Abdiel. In Milton's Paradise Lost, Abdiel is the seraph
who stands against Satan when the latter urges the angels to revolt.
Actaeon. A hunter who becomes the hunted. In Greek myth, Actaeon
is hunting deer when he comes to a spring where the virgin goddess
Artemis is bathing. She is so angry at his intrusion that she turns him into
a stag. His dogs, not recognizing their master, run him down and kill him.
Agio. Agio is the difference in value of money from place to
place. For example, if you go to a bank in Paris and ask to buy euros with
dollars, you might be quoted a price of $1.17 per euro. But if you wish
to sell euros for dollars, they might offer you only $1.15. The difference
is the agio. There is another more specialized meaning of the term:
coinage at one time had a nominal value based on its precious-metal content.
Coins long in circulation become worn and lose weight. The difference between
nominal and by-weight value of coinage is also called agio.
Emmanuel Armand de Vignerot du Plessis de Richelieu, Duc d' Aiguillon,
Louis XV's minister for Foreign Affairs and the richest nobleman in France.
He earns the special scorn of Carlyle for having, at least in part, anticipated
some principles of the revolutionaries. He was an unsuccessful governor of
Britanny and, with Terray and Maupou, one of the "triumvirate" of ministers
in the last years of Louis XV. He played no important role in the next
Jean-Baptiste-André Amar, 1755-1816. Lawyer of Grenoble,
member of the Convention and of the Committee of General Security. He was
accused by Robespierre of laxity in the investigation of the East India
Company scandal and participated in the coup that brought Robespierre down on
9 Thermidor. He was considered one of the bloodiest executives of the Terror.
Antinous. Slave and lover of the Emperor Hadrian. When Antinous
died, Hadrian declared him a god and struck medals in his honor.
Emmanuel-Louis-Henri de Launay, Comte d'Antraigues, 1753-1812.
Elected to the Estates General for the nobles of Languedoc with the reputation of a reformer, having
written books on constitutional monarchy and the central place of the Third
Estate in States-General.
Instead, he adopted
the traditional positions of the nobles. Launay left France in 1791 and spent
the rest of his life in the pay of and in intrigue with foreign powers. He
was murdered in London in 1812.
Argus, one of the Giants of Greek mythology. He had 100 eyes,
only two of which he could close at the same time. Hera set him to guard
Io, who Zeus had turned into a heifer. Hermes, employing a cloak of
invisibility, killed Argus and set Io free.
The name of the Witch-Queen of Damascus in old French romances.
Assignat. The paper money of the revolutionary governments.
Originally it was backed by property nationalized from the Church, but
for the most part it was only an empty promise to pay. Assignats were the
subject of speculation and were deeply discounted. Gold and silver
coin of the old
regime remained the standard of exchange during the revolution.
Carlyle, following the lead of Burke, frequently uses the assignat as
a symbol of the moral as well as the fiscal bankruptcy of the revolution.
According to story, it was Louis XVI's portrait on the 50-livre assignat
that caused him to be recognized and arrested at Varennes
during his family's flight in June, 1791.
Astolpho. A legendary figure of French Romance. In Ariosto's
Orlando Furioso, Astolpho tames the Hippogriff (a flying creature
part horse, part lion, part eagle) and, mounted on it, rescues Orlando
from an enchantress.
Astræa, the Roman goddess of Justice.
She was the daughter of Earth and Heaven. Carlyle uses the phrase
"Astræa Redux" frequently and sarcastically; it is Latin for
Até. Greek godess of "rash actions and their consequences."
Atlas, a figure of Greek myth, was a Titan, one of the race which
challenged Zeus and the Olympians for the supremacy of heaven. As punishment,
he was made to hold on his shoulders the pillars which hold the heavens above
the earth. One version of the myth says that Atlas lived in northwest Africa
(he was the father of the Hesperides). A range of mountains there bears
his name and is dominated by the peak of Mount Atlas, "the pillar of Heaven".
atrabiliar, an adjective meaning irritable or bilious — from the
Latin for black bile.
Attila the Hun d. 453.
He united discordant bands of Scythians into an effective army which in turn
defeated the forces of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. One of his
few defeats was on the Plains of Chalons where the combined Roman and
Visigoth forces of Actius and Theodoric stopped his westward progress.
Augean Stable. The stables of King Augeias of Elis had gone
uncleaned for 30 years. It was one of the tasks of Hercules to clean them,
which he did by directing a river through them.
Jacques-Mathieu Augeard, 1731-1805,
appointments secretary to the Queen.
Early in the revolution he urged Marie-Antoinette to flee France. This
was discovered and he was forced to emigrate in 1790.
Charles-Marie-Auguste-Joseph de Beaumont, comte d'Autichamp, 1770-1859.
Leader of the Royal and Catholic army of the Vendée (and one of the
few to survive that distinction). He managed to change sides a couple of
times and yet keep his head.
Jean-François Thèrése Louis,
comte Beaumont d'Autichamp, 1738-1831. Royalist exile who spent a lot of time
at the Russian court.
Azrael, in Moslem and Jewish tradition, the Angel of Death.
François-Noel (dit Gracchus) Baboeuf, 1760-1797. Journalist
and one of the fathers of socialism. His papers, first Correspondant
Picard and later Le Tribun du Peuple and Eclaireur du
peuple, consistently attacked the
economic basis of the new order and demanded redistribution of the wealth
of the nation. He was accused in 1796 of attempting an insurrection and was
arrested; after a trial and appeals he was executed the next year.
Louis Petit de Bachaumont, 1690-1771. French literary hanger-on.
He is credited, or blamed, for beginning the journal of the salons of
Madame Doublet de Persan; a journal which eventually grew to 36 volumes and
which contained most of the literary and political gossip of the day.
Jacques-Charles Bailleul 1762-1843.
Girondist-leaning member of the National
Convention and author of Almanach des bizarreries humaines, anecdotes
of the revolution years. He fled Paris and was arrested, but he survived the
Terror and returned to the legislature, later being elected to the 500.
Because he voted against the death of the King, he prospered after the
Jean Sylvain Bailly, 1736 - 1793, French astronomer and
politician, best known for his work on the satellites of Jupiter. He was
elected to the States General,
was the first President of the National Assembly,
and was Mayor of Paris (1791-93). He was executed during the Terror.
Charles Jean Marie Barbaroux, 1767-1794. Lawyer of Marseilles.
One of the best speakers
of the Convention, at least among the Girondists, he helped suppress
the royalist rising at Arles and the ultras in Marseilles.
After the arrests of the Girondins, Barbaroux and Pétion
led a revolt in Normandy against
the Convention in 1793. It failed and he was executed at Bordeaux
in 1794. Some say that Barbaroux put the thought of killing Marat into
the mind of Charlotte Corday, though she denied it.
Charles de Barentin, 1738-1819. Louis XVI's
chancellor and Keeper of the Seals.
from 1788. He delivered the royal speech to open the
States-General. Barentin's memoirs are an important source
of information about the advice Louis received at the end of his reign.
Paul Barras, 1755-1820. Barras was a
minor noble and an army officer
who advanced himself through the Revolution. As a representative (of the
National Convention) on mission in Toulon, he made the acquaintance of
Napoleon Bonaparte, whose promoter and later sycophant he became.
Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac, 1755-1841. Revolutionary
politician known for the power of his writing.
He began as a moderate but became a radical, voting for the
execution of Louis XVI and later serving as one of the 12 members of the
Committee of Public Safety during the Terror. He had an adventurous
life after the Revolution as a secret agent for Napoleon.
Antoine Pierre Joseph Marie Barnave, 1761-1793, a provincial
politician of Grenoble until elected to the States General. He was
a leader of the Jacobin Society
His history of the revolution,
written in prison before he was guillotined, is one of the first. His
correspondence with Marie-Antoinette, encouraging her to urge her husband
to support the revolution in return for recognition as a constitutional
monarch, was the immediate cause of his execution.
A guild of law clerks, from which the French equivalent of barristers were
drawn. At the time of the revolution the guild was often at odds with
François, Baron de Bassompierre, 1579-1646, Marshal of
France in the reign of Henry IV and the minority of Louis XIV. His memoirs,
written during his 14 years of imprisonment by Richelieu, are an important
record of the period.
Claude Bazire, 1764-1794, lawyer and deputy for the Côte d'Or in
the Legislative Assembly. He was violently anti-monarchist and voted for
the death of Louis XVI. Though a member of the Committee of General Security,
Bazire ran afoul of Robespierre and was executed
on the same day as Danton and Demoulins, April 5, 1794.
Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais, 1760-1794, French General.
He was the first husband
of Joséphine Tasher de la Pagerie. When Napoleon married the widow,
he adopted Beauharnais's son, Eugene, who succeeded him in the empire.
Beauharnais was a moderate member of the National Assembly and was guillotined
Paul-Augustin Caron Beaumarchais, 1732-1799. Son of a Paris
watchmaker, and a watchmaker himself,
he prospered to the extend of buying a title of nobility and
the name Beaumarchais. He was
the leading French dramatist of his day, author of The Marriage of
Figaro and The Barber of Seville, both of which later were set
as operas. He helped finance French advances of war materiel to the colonists
during the American Revolution, transactions on which he made a tidy profit.
Beaumarchais had continuing trouble with the
courts, mainly over financial matters. He rarely won in court, but his
written accounts of the misadventures were an important in fostering distrust
of the corrupt courts of the old regime. One Parlementarian, Goezman, who
took Beaumarchais's bribe and ruled against him anyway, was ruined when
Beaumarchais published an account.
Trying to reprise his earlier success in dealing arms,
Beaumarchais in 1792 tried to
secure 60,000 muskets from Holland.
After being arrested in August, 1792, and barely escaping the September
Massacre, he went abroad and did not return to France until 1796.
Nicolas Joseph Beaurepaire, 1740-1792. Commandant of the garrison
of Verdun when it was besieged by the Duke of Brunswick in September, 1792.
The town government, facing a 60,000-man force and possessing fewer than 40
cannon, voted to surrender of the protests of Beaurepaire. He was found
dead, possibly by suicide
Christophe de Beaumont, 1703-1781, Archbishop of Paris.
He is best known for his
protracted persecution of the Jansenists in the 1750s. The bishop is
addressed in the "Lettre à M. de Beaumont" in which Rousseau argues
in favor of the free discussion of religion.
Bec d'Ambes. A long narrow point of land at the mouth of the
Jeremy Bentham, 1748-1832. English philosopher and writer.
Although he was intellectually opposed to the notion of "natural rights",
he supported the French Revolution in the spirit of utilitarianism. He was
made an honorary citizen of France in 1792.
Louis Alexandre Berthier, 1753-1815. Another of the great
French military figures who served in the American Revolution. He was commander
of the Versailles National Guard in 1789 and was instrumental in protecting
the royal family in October. He also helped the king's aunts escape
Versailles in 1791. He left the Army during the period of the Terror, but
was reinstated shortly after 9 Thermidor. He rose to greatness as a general
under Napoleon, becoming Prince of Wagram and Neufchâtel in 1809.
Louis-Bénigne-François Bertier de Sauvigny, 1737 -
1789. French politician, Intendant of Paris,
assassinated together with Foulon.
Claude Louis, Comte Berthollet, 1749-1822. French chemist best
known for his work with chlorine and for his contributions to chemical
Antoine-François Bertrand, marquis de Moleville, 1744-1818.
Nobleman and Navy Minister in the Constitutional Cabinet. He urged
Louis XVI to flee Paris and was accused of being one of the "Austrian
Committee", the shadowy circle accused of all sorts of anti-revolutionary
plots. He emigrated in 1793.
Pierre-Victor de Besenval, 1721 - 1791, French general.
He directly commanded the Swiss Guards in Louis XVI's service
and was the general of the Gardes Françaises, which became
the national guard under La Fayette.
He refused to order his
troops to attack the Parisiennes storming the Bastille, July 14, 1789.
His memoirs were an important source to Carlyle.
The center of medicine and medical training in Paris; comparable perhaps
to St. Barts in London except that it was also used as a prison.
Jean Nicolas Billaud Varenne, 1756-1819. Lawyer of La Rochelle.
He was a radical Republican and Jacobin, known as "le Rectiligne" for his
political rigidness. A member of the Committee of Public Safety from
September, 1793, he was one of the most powerful men in France during the
Terror. He took part in the overthrow of Robespierre on 9 Thermidor,
but was exiled to Guyane. After the restoration in 1815 he took
refuge in Haiti where he died.
Armand Louis de Gontaut, duc de Lauzun, later duc de Biron, 1747-1793.
Under his title of Lauzun he saw extensive action in the American Revolution
and the concurrent English wars. He sat in the States-General for the nobles
of Quercy and supported the Third Estate. In 1791 he commanded the Army of
Flanders, and in 1792 the Army of the Rhine. He had some successes in the
Vendée in 1793 but was accused by Carrier of leniency. He was arrested
Blanc-Gilli, a member of the Legislative Assembly. Little is known
about him. Blanc-Gilli was from Marseilles and wrote on economics and
tax policy. On December 11, 1791, he submitted a proposal for the abolition
of negro slavery in the
French colonies, but it never came to the floor. He deserted the Assembly
after August 10 and went into hiding.
Philibert-François Rouxel de Blanchelande, 1735-1793.
French colonial general and governor. He took Trinidad from the English in
1781, but lost the city of San Domingo (now capitol of the Dominican Republic)
to royalist forces in 1792. For this latter he was summoned to Paris where he
was condemned by the Revolutionary Tribunal.
François-Antoine, comte de Boissy d'Anglas, 1756-1826,.
French Protestant politician, elected to represent the Third Estate in the
States-General. (His title came after the revolution.)
He was an important figure in governments from the time of
the Terror, stressing the need for freedom of religion and press.
Chareles, Marquis de Bonchamps, 1760-1793. One of the chief
military leaders of the Vendée rebellion. He was a royalist officer
garrisoned in southwestern France when he was asked to join and help lead
the rebels in 1792. He died in the battle of Cholet, October 17, 1793.
Bonhomme-Richard. The ship loaned John Paul Jones by Louis XVI for
use in attacking British shipping. Originally the Duc de Duras,
Jones renamed it after the "author" of
Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac. It was sunk in the
fight with HMS Serapis in 1789, the greatest triumph of Jones's career.
bosky. An adjective meaning "abundant in trees and shrubs".
François Claude Amour Bouillé, 1739-1800. Royalist
general and cousin of the Marquis de La Fayette.
He distinguished himself in the Caribbean during the English war
following the American Revolution and was a favorite of Louis XVI.
It was at Bouillé's suggestion that the King and his family attempted to
flee the country in April, 1792,
an attempt which led to Louis' capture, imprisonment
and eventual execution. Bouillé fled to the Austrian lines. He later
served in the Russian army.
François Louis Bourdon de l'Oise, d. 1797. An agent of the
Paris Parlement who became a whole-hearted supporter of the Revolution. He
was by turns a radical and a reactionary. His
ruling passion seems to have been opposition to whomever was in power, and it
finally got him exiled to French Guiana, where he died.
Jean-Baptiste Boyer-Fongrède, 1765-1793, Bordeaux lawyer.
He was elected to the Convention in September, 1792 and quickly rose to power.
He was accused of enriching himself at the expense of the Revolution and
beheaded in November, 1793.
Brennus, ancient king of the Gauls. He attacked and sacked Rome in
the 4th Century B.C. A second Brennus led the Gauls into Greece and raided
the Temple of Apollo at Delphi about a century later.
Louis-Auguste le Tonnelier, baron de Breteuil, 1730 - 1807,
Interior Minister in the
government of Louis XVI, briefly Controller General in 1789 after the departure
of Necker, and a secret contact between the king and European governments
Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville, 1754-1793. Journalist and
provocateur. He is best known for advocating the abolition of negro slavery
Société de Amis de Noirs. He proposed the first
municipal constitution for Paris, which was rejected by the districts.
At the beginning of the
revolution, he edited the Patriote Français newspaper and
became a leading voice of the Girondists (originally called Brissotins),
for which he was executed.
Victor-François, duc de Broglie, 1715-1804. Marshal of France
and son of a Marshal, he distinguished himself in the War of the Austrian
Succession and the Seven Years War. He was Louis XVI's minister of war at the
end of the reign and commanded the "Army of the Princes"
against the Revolution in 1792.
George Bryan "Beau" Brummell, 1778-1840. English dandy and
Brunhilde, queen of the Franks (545-613).
Wife of Sigebert, mother and regent of Childebert II. She is said
to have instigated a war of 40 years' duration over the murder of her
Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, 1735-1806. Commander
in chief of the joint Prussian and Austrian armies on the frontiers of
France in 1792. His famous manifest of July 28, 1792, in which he declared
the coalition's goal to be "to put an end to the anarchy in the interior of
France, to check the attacks upon the throne and the altar, to reestablish
the legal power, to restore to the king the security and the liberty of which
he is now deprived and to place him in a position to exercise once more the
legitimate authority which belongs to him;" and threatened that
"if the least violence be offered to their Majesties the king, queen, and
royal family, and if their safety and their liberty be not immediately
assured, they will inflict an ever memorable vengeance by delivering over the
city of Paris to military execution and complete destruction, and the rebels
guilty of the said outrages to the punishment that they merit;" was
probably one of the chief causes of the overthrow of the monarchy on
August 10. Brunswick had mixed success against the French. He was defeated
at Valmy in 1792, but in 1793 he drove the French back from the Rhine at
Kaiserslautern and Pirmasens. In 1806 he was wounded at Auerstedt and later
died of his wounds.
Pierre de Ruel, Marquis de Beurnonville, 1752-1821. French general.
He was a commander in the early victories of the Republic. Recalled to Paris,
he denounced his old command Dumouriez and was sent to watch him in 1793.
Beurnonville was captured, along with Camus, in Dumouriez's treason and was
held by the Austrians until 1795. He returned to the Army after his captivity
and rose to high rank under the Directory and nobility under Napoleon.
Georges Louis Leclerc,Comte de Buffon, 1707-1788. Mathmetician and
discoverer of the Binomial Theorem. He is best known for his work in
probability theory. His widow became the mistress of Philippe
Égalité and is credited with convincing Orléns not to
emigrate to America in 1789.
François Nicholas Léonard Buzot, 1760-1794. French
lawyer of Evreux. Elected to the Estates-General for the third estate, he
was instrumental in the nationalization of Church property. In the National
Convention he proposed two important measures: the formation of a National
Guard to protect the Convention; and a death sentence for emigrées who
refused to return. He voted for the death of Louis XVI but with the appeal of
the people. Buzot was extremely unpopular with the Mountain and the
and was forced to flee Paris when the Girondists were proscribed in June,
1793. He tried to organize a Federalist coup against the Convention but failed
and committed suicide.
Pierre-Jean-George Cabanis, 1757-1808. French philosopher and
physiologist, a specialist in diseases of the pancreas and liver.
Thérésa Cabarrus, 1773-1835.
Ci-devant Comtesse de Fontenai, she was
in prison in Bordeaux when she met Tallien, who fell in love with her. Her
arrest in Paris is given by Baroness Orczy in one of her Pimpernel
as the proximate cause of Tallien's successful plot against Robespierre.
Cabarrus married Tallien but
later divorced him and subsequently married twice again.
Georges Cadoudal, 1771-1804. Son of a miller in Bretagne, he rose
to command one of the rebel armies of La Vendée. The later part of his
life was consumed in plots to kill Napoleon, for which he was finally executed
Giuseppe Balsamo Cagliostro, 1743 - 1795.
Italian montebank who posed as a nobleman. Dumas wrote a novel "Joseph
Balsamo" which fictionalized his rôle in the Revolution.
Ça Ira, a poem composed about April, 1790 by a street
singer named Ladrée and sung to
the Carillon National, a court dance tune.
It was the anthem of the Revolution.
The title is said to have been a favorite saying of Benjamin Franklin who,
when frequently asked how the American Revolution was going, would reply
Ah, ah, ça ira, ça ira!. The phrase eludes precise
translation into English. Literally it means "that will go", with the
implication that it will go well. I have seen it rendered as
"It will be OK", "We will succeed", "We will speed", etc.
|Ah ! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira,
||Ah, it's coming, coming, coming,
|Le peuple en ce jour sans cesse répète:
||The people are constantly singing.
|Ah ! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||Ah, it's coming, coming, coming,
|Malgré les mutins, tout réussira!
||Despite the rascals, all succeeds.
|Nos ennemis confus en restent là,
||Our enemies increasingly confused,
|Et nous allons chanter Alléluia:
||We will sing Alleleuhia.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Quand Boileau jadis du clergé parla.
||When Boileau spoke about the priests
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira,
||It is coming, coming, coming
|Comme un prophète il a prédit cela.
||Like a prophet he predicted this.
|En chantant ma chansonnette
||In singing my song
|Avec plaisir on dira,
||With pleasure I say
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira.
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
|Suivant les maximes de l'Évangile
||As the Gospels say
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Du législateur tout s'accomplira
||And the Legislature will achieve
|Celui qui s'élève on abaissera
||Who is first will be last
|Et qui s'abaisse l'on élèvera
||And the last first.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Le vrai catéchisme nous instruira
||The true catechism will instruct us
|Et l'affreux fanatisme s'éteindra
||And dreadful fanaticism will disappear
|Pour être à la loi docile
|Tout Français s'exercera
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Pierrot et Margot chantent à la guinguette
||Punch and Judy sing it in the tavern:
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Réjouissons-nous le bon temps viendra
||We'll rejoice for the good times are coming
|Le peuple français jadis à quia
||The French people were once dirt
|L'aristocrate dit mea culpa
||Now the aristocrats admit their fault.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Le clergé regrette le bien qu'il a
||The Church now regrets its wealth;
|Par justice la Nation l'aura
||Via justice it will be the Nation's
|Par le prudent La Fayette
||By the work of the wise Lafayette
|Tout trouble s'apaisera
||All trouble will be quelled.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Par les flambeaux de l'auguste assemblée
||By the guiding light of the august Assembly
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Le peuple armé toujours se gardera
||The people, armed, will protect
|Le vrai d'avec le faux l'on connaîtra
||The truth against falsehood
|Le citoyen pour le bien soutiendra
||And the Citizens will support the good.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Quand l'aristocrate protestera
||When the aristocrats complain
|Le bon citoyen au nez lui rira
||The Citizens will ridicule them
|Sans avoir l'âme troublée
|Toujours le plus fort sera
||And always more strongly.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Petits comme grands sont soldats dans l'âme
||The small and the great are soldiers in their spirits
|Ah ! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Pendant la guerre aucun ne trahira
||During the war there will be no traitors
|S'il voit du louche hardiment parlera
||When a slacker is seen he will be denounced.
|Ah ! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|La Fayette dit vienne qui voudra
||Lafayette says, "Follow who will!"
|Le patriotisme leur répondra
||Patriotism will respond
|Sans crainte ni feu ni flamme
||Fearing nor fire nor flame
|Le Français toujours vaincra
||The French will always conquer.
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira.
||It is coming, coming, coming.
These additional couplets were improvised at the Féte de la
Fédération in July 1790 and were always sung
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira! Ah! ça ira!
||It is coming, coming, coming!
|Les aristocrates à la lanterne!
||Aristrocrats to the lamp iron!
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
||It is coming, coming, coming,
|Les aristocrates on les pendra!
||The atistocrats must be hung!
|Le despotisme expirera
||Tyranny will die
|La liberté triomphera
||Liberty will triumph,
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira!
||It is coming, coming, coming!
|Nous n'avons plus ni nobles ni prêtrres
||We'll be rid of nobles and priests,
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira!
||Ah, it's coming, coming, coming.
|L'Egalité partout régnera
||Equality will reign everywhere
|L'esclave autrichien le suivra
||The Austrian slaves will follow it
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira!
||It is coming, coming, coming.
|Et leur infernale clique
||And their infernal cliques
|Au diable s'envolera.
||With the devil will fly away.
Some pro-feuillant verses which have been associated with the song
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira! Ah! ça ira!
||It is coming, coming, coming!
|Voilà le refrain qu'on repètera,
||That is the refrain they all will repeat
|La Fayette etois bon content d'ça,
||Lafayette is well pleased with it,
|Louis Seize de joie en pleura,
||Louis XVI weeps for joy,
|Autour de l'autel on dansa
||Round the altar we will dance
|Quel spectacle que çelui là.
||What a scene that will be!
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira! Ah! ça ira!
||It is coming, coming, coming!
|Le Roi de lè loi le gardien sera.
||The king will be guardian of the law.
|La douce Égalité renaitra,
||Sweet equality will be reborn,
|Notre felecité s'ensuivra,
||Our happiness will ensue,
|La liberté triomphera,
||Liberty will triumph,
|Et dans cent ans l'on redira
||And in 100 years they will still sing
|Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira! Ah! ça ira!
||It is coming, coming, coming!
Charles Alexandre de Calonne, 1734-1802. French politician.
He came to power as controller of finances after the disgrace of Turgot
and Necker and the failures who followed them. His solution to the
financial crisis was a general land tax, in support of which he convinced
Louis XVI to convene the first Assembly of Notables, which dismissed his
proposal out of hand. Calonne was disgraced and replaced as Comptroller
Pierre Joseph Cambon, 1756-1820. Lawyer of Monpelier. Elected
to the Legislative Assembly, he took an interest in the public finance and
was for the most part in charge of the treasury from the inception of the
Republic until 1795. Cambon was hated by Robespierre, and the public
controversy between them in Thermidor of the Year II led to Robespierre's
overthrow. Cambon tried to retire, but his renown and deep involvement
in the affairs of the treasury kept him under attack by the Royalists
after Thermidor. He had little peace in the last 25 years of his life.
Persian ruler of the 6th century B.C. The name was that of
two kings: one the father, the other the son, of Cyrus the Great. The younger
Cambyses conquered Egypt and assumed the throne of the Pharoahs. He is said
to have been a drunkard and to have done and spoken terrible things while in
M. Campan, referred to by Carlyle as "Usher" or
master-of-ceremonies. This is probably the husband of
Jeanne-Louise Henriette Campan (née Genêt), 1752-1822.
Waiting lady to Marie-Antoinette from 1770 until the Queen's imprisonment
in 1792. Her mémoires, published in 1823 as Mémoires sur
la vie de Marie-Antoinette, suivis de souvenirs et anecdotes sur le
règne de Louis XIV et de Louis XV, are frequently cited by
Carlyle and are available in English translation at Project Gutenberg.
Armand Gaston Camus, 1740-1804. Archivist of the Constituent
Assembly and the Legislative Assembly. He was captured by the Austrians
in April 1793 while on mission to watch Dumouriez; and was released in
1795 in exchange for Louis XVI's daughter. He spent the rest of his life
in the archives, avoiding politics.
Emilie Julie Candeille, 1767-1834. Actress, playwright and composer.
Perhaps best known for her opera Catherine, ou la belle fermiere.
She was the star performer of the Theatre Français during the Terror.
She was inadvertently of use to the Jacobins for purposes of display.
La Carmagnole. One of the favorite songs of the Revolution. It
was both a song and a dance, the steps often being performed by crowds
following prisoners to the guillotine.
Madam' Veto avait promis
||Lady Veto has promised
De faire égorger tout Paris
||To slit the throats of all Paris
Mais son coup a manqué
||But her blow has missed
Grâce à nos canonniers.
||Thanks to our gunners;
Dansons la Carmagnole
||Let us dance the Carmagnole
Vive le son (bis)
||Long live the sound!
Dansons la Carmagnole
||Let us dance the Carmagnole
Vive le son du canon !
||Long live the sound of the Cannon.
Dansons la Carmagnole
||Let us dance the Carmagnole
Vive le son (bis)
||Long live the sound!
Dansons la Carmagnole
||Let us dance the Carmagnole
Vive le son du canon!
||Long live the sound of the Cannon.
Monsieur Veto avait promis (bis)
||Sir Veto has promised
D'être fidèle à son pays
||To be faithful to his country.
Mais il y a manqué,
||But he failed
Ne faisons pas de quartier.
Antoinette avait résolu (bis)
||Antoinette has resolved
De nous faire tomber sur le cul (bis)
||To overcome us,
mais son coup a manqué,
||But her blow missed us,
Ne faisons pas de quartier.
Amis, restons unis (bis)
||Friends, let us remain calm.
Ne craignons pas nos ennemis (bis)
||Do not fear our enemies
S'ils viennent nous attaquer,
||If they attack,
Nous les ferons sauter.
||We will make them jump.
Oui, nous nous souviendrons toujours (bis)
||Yes we will always remember
Des sans-culottes des faubourgs (bis)
||The sans-coulottes of the suburbs.
A leur santé buvons,
||Drink to the health
Vivent ces francs lurons.
||Of those honest boys.
Canute, (or Knud, or Knut), 996?-1035, the first Viking king of
all England. Canute ruled over an empire that included England, Denmark,
Norway and parts of Sweden. He is perhaps best known for teaching his
courtiers a lesson about flattery and religion. When they told him he was
so mighty a King that the very tides would obey him, he had his throne set
on a beach. As the tide rose, he ordered the waves to advance no further,
with the expected result. The lesson was that the powers of kings are puny
compared to the laws and might of God.
Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot, 1753-1823.
French soldier. He was a Captain of Engineers at the start of the Revolution.
He was elected to the Legislative Assembly for Pas de Calais; ruled France
as a member of the Committee of Public Safety in 1793 and 1794;
in the French victories on the eastern front in those years;
and became a great general
under Napoleon. His grandson was a President of the Third Republic, his
son the minister of education in the Second Republic.
Jean-Louis Carra, 1742-1793. Journalist and politician. With Mercier
he founded the widely-read journal Annales Patriotiques
in October, 1789.
He was a Girondist member of the Convention and was executed at their fall.
Carraccio, a war-cart, drawn by oxen, used by the medieval states
of Italy. It bore the standard of the state and an altar upon which priests
said mass before battle. Signal-trumpets were blown from it.
It was usually surrounded by the best troops of the army.
Jean-Baptiste Carrier,1756-1794. Anti-monarchist lawyer. He was
a member of the National Convention and made a reputation for himself of
atrocious cruelty by his suppression of the counter-revolution in Nantes.
He conspired in the fall of Robespierre but was himself guillotined in
Jean-François Carteaux, 1751-1815, an artist (not a very
good one) who because a general. He was transferred from a command in the
Alps to defeat the Provençal rebels at Orange, July 16, 1793. He
occupied Marseilles August 25, 1793 and began the seige of English-occupied
Toulon (though he was arrested and replaced by General Dugommier). He escaped
death in the Terror and was reinstated to commands in the Northwest. Bonaparte
appointed him Administrator of the National Lottery.
Decorative figures carved into the structural supports of buildings.
The Louvre has some of the most beautiful examples.
Jean-Baptiste Cavaignac, 1762-1829. Member of the Convention for Lot,
he was almost uninteruptedly "on mission" to the provinces, most notably at
Brest with Pinet, and with the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees in 1794. He
escaped charges of repression after the fall of the Jacobins and went on to
be a minor functionary in the Empire.
Cassandra, daughter of Priam, the king of Troy. The god Apollo
fell in love with her and promised her the gift of prophecy if she would
have sex with him. Prophecy given, she withheld her favor. Apollo allowed
her to keep her power, but added the curse that no one would believe her.
Court of Cassation. The highest criminal appeals court under
the Constituent, organized in April, 1791.
Armand Charles Augustin, duc de Castries, 1756-1842.
Son of Louis XVI's Navy Minister, he commanded a regiment under
Rochambeau in the American Revolution. He fled France after a celebrated
duel with Charles Lameth in 1790, and raised a corps of emigrants in the
pay of England. After the revolution he held important positions in
the government of Louis XVIII.
Jacques Cathelineau, 1759-1793. A wool merchant and church
sexton of the Vendée, known at the "Saint of Anjou".
When he heard of a rising against the Convention after the execution of the
King, he raised an army from the peasants of Le Pin and brought them in
support. In July he was proclaimed general of the Catholic and Royal Army.
He died of wounds suffered in the attack on Nantes.
Jacques Antoine Marie de Cazales, 1758-1805. He is remembered most
for his eloquent defense of monarchy in the Constituent Assembly. Despite
his dedication to monarchy, he argued for an English-style system. After the
execution of the king, he emigrated.
Jacques Cazotte, 1719-1792. Author of Le Diable Amoureux
(The Devil in Love).
He saw the revolution as Satanic. A disciple of the Illuminati,
Cazotte claimed powers of prophecy. Discovery of some of his "prophetic"
letters concerning the revolution led to his arrest as a Royalist. He was
executed September 25. There is still something of a cult surrounding him.
Guiseppe Antonio Giachimo Cerutti, 1738-1792. Italian Jesuit who
taught at the Jesuit college at Lyons. He was one of the Paris electors
for the States General and a friend of Mirabeau. He was publisher,
with Rabaut Saint-Etienne and Philippe Antoine Grouvelle of the journal
Cerutti preached Mirabeau's funeral sermon in 1791.
François Chabot, 1757-1794. Franciscan friar who became
a radical member of the Legislative Assembly; the "Cordelier Trio"
consisted of Chabot, Bazire and Merlin de Thionville. Chabot is
chiefly known for revolutionary saying like "Christ was the
first sanscoulotte". He was caught up
in the Foreign Plot -- he and Bazire exchanged accusations -- and was
guillotined in April, 1794.
Joseph Chalier, 1747-1793, merchant of Lyons. After 1789 he was one
of the leading men in Lyons, organizing the National Guard, regulating the
finances of the town, etc. But in November, 1792 he was defeated for Mayor
by a conservative, Nievre-Chol. With the aid of the Jacobin Club of which
he was a principal, he tried to regain control of the city but failed. The
new mayor had him arrested in May and guillotined in July, 1793.
He was considered a martyr by the Jacobins.
Claude Chalot, a wine merchant of Saint-Antoine, found himself in
charge of one of the few cannon in the possession of the Bastille's besiegers.
He later provided a primitive drawing of the siege.
La Chalotais, Louis-René de Caradeuc de.
The leader of the Breton Parlement, whose prolonged challenge to the
royal power was a contributing factor in
Maupeou?'s dissolution of the
Aubin Bigorie de Chambon, 1757-1793. A local politician in the
department of Corrèze, Chambon was elected to the Convention where he
voted for the death of the King with the appeal to the people. When
Pétion refused reelection, Chambon was chosen Mayor of Paris (he had
earlier been Mayor of Uzerches); but his vote for the appeal to the people
led to his proscription along with the Girondins. He fled to his home
Lubersac where he was murdered.
Sébastien-Roch Nicholas de Chamfort, 1741-1794.
French author and Academician, a favorite in the court of Louis XVI but
also a strong Republican.
Carl Sandburg remembers him in a poem:
- There's Chamfort. He's a sample.
- Locked himself in his library with a gun,
- Shot off his nose and shot out his right eye.
- And this Chamfort knew how to write
- And thousands read his books on how to live,
- But he himself didn't know
- How to die by force of his own hand — see?
- They found him a red pool on the carpet
- Cool as an April forenoon,
- Talking and talking gay maxims and grim epigrams.
- Well, he wore bandages over his nose and right eye,
- Drank coffee and chatted many years
- With men and women who loved him
- Because he laughed and daily dared Death:
- "Come and take me."
Chamfort is credited with an early motto of the revolution: "Guerre aux
châteaux; paix uax chaumières" (War to the castles; peace to the
Luc-Antoine de Champagneux, 1744-1807. Editor of the patriotic
newspaper Mail of Lyons. A friend of Roland, he held jobs in
the Girondist government in 1792. He spent 13 months in prison but returned
to important positions in the Interior Ministry after the fall of Robespierre.
Charenton. A suburb of Paris, on the right bank of the Seine
where it received the Marne. It lies between the river and the Bois
Jacques Charles, 1746-1823. French physicist. He was the first
to ascend beneath a hydrogen balloon (1783).
Charles, Comte d'Artois, 1757 - 1836. The younger of Louis XVI's
two brothers. He reigned as Charles X. He is often referred to as
François-René de Châteaubriand, 1768-1848. One of
France's best-known writers. He spent the early part of the Revolution in
America, which remained a source of inspiration and imagery his entire career.
Returning in 1792, he was a staunch royalist. Châteaubriand fought
in Condé's army, was wounded at Thionville, and escaped to England.
His reputation secured by his Les génie du Christianisme,
Châteaubriand became involved in politics, serving all the governments
after 1802 as a minister or ambassador.
(Marie-Anne de Nesle) Duchesse de Chateauroux.
The mistress of Louis XV at the time of his illness at Metz in 1744.
King of the Franks (but not a Merovingian — his father Pepin having
stopped that line), his invasion of Rome in support of Pope Leo III resulted
in his being named Emperor of the West in 800
and established the Holy Roman
Carlyle seems under the impression that Charlesmagne was buried at Salzburg,
but most sources say Aachen (Aix la Chapelle).
Charles the Bold, 1433-1477. Last ruling Duke of Burgundy,
son of Philip the Good. He ruled an area far larger than Burgundy; it included
large parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxumbourg and north-eastern France.
He occupied Lorraine in 1473 but was not happy in its possession. He was
killed in battle by Swiss and Lorrainers.
François-Athanase Charette, 1763-1796. A naval officer who
refused to take the oath to the constitution, he joined the Vendén
rebellion and commanded one of its most effective armies. He also ensured
the ultimate failure of the Vendée by refusing to cooperate with other
elements of the royalist army. He was shot at Nantes in 1795 and dies of those
wounds the next year.
A safe-box where legal title to land, honours or other rights were kept.
The discovery of old family charter-chests continues to be a source of new
information about pre-revolutionary France. Rights held by charter often
meant that the masses had no rights at all.
Châtelet, literally "little castle", was originally a
fortification guarding the Right Bank approach to a bridge. It became
a prison and eventually the headquarters of the Paris police. An action
carried out "by the Châtelet" had the authority of the government of
Florent-Louis-Marie, duc de Châtalet-Lomont, (1727-1793).
In 1789 he was commander of the Paris Detachment of the Gardes Français,
a unit of some 3600 men and officers. It was on his order that the soldiers
fired on the Réveillon rioters on April, and it was his orders they
refused to obey in July. Châtalet was a liberal, voting for the
joint meeting of the Estates and for the abolishment of tithes.
Pierre Gaspard Chaumette, 1763-1794. One of the most radical of the
Cordeliers, he supported Hébert (though he renounced him when
Robespierre turned against him) and was an influential leader of the
Paris Commune. Carlyle gives him the epithet "Anaxagores" because he
was irreligious -- something of which the Greek philosopher Anaxagores
was accused -- and was
an advocate of the "cult of reason".
Bernard-François, marquis de Chauvelin, 1766-1832.
A volunteer with Rochambeau in the American Revolution, he became
a courtier at Versailles. Talleyrand brought him to London where he
became Ambassador in 1792. He was jailed during the Terror but avoided
execution. Chauvelin was elected to the Tribune in 1800 and the
Chamber of Deputies in 1816.
André Chénier, 1762-1794, son of a French diplomat
and a Greek mother, brother of Marie-Joseph Blaise Chénier with
whom he is sometimes confused. Andreé returned to France from
England in 1790. From November 1791 to July 1792 he wrote extensively for
the Journal de Paris. By most accounts a poet and classicist who
wished merely to be left alone, he was mistakenly arrested during the
terror and executed even though there was no warrant for him. His
life in prison before the guillotine was the subject of an opera
Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano.
Marie-Joseph Blaise Chénier, 1764-1811. Playwright and
politician, younger brother of André Chénier. He was a member
of the Legislative Assembly, the National Convention and the Council of 500.
Despite his position, he was unable to save his brother from the guillotine,
and he was under fear of arrest himself for his supposed "moderate" views.
Claude Chappe d'Auteroche, 1763-1805. Engineer and
ci-devant priest who, with his four
brothers, developed several successful mechanical telegraph systems. The
first of importance was a semaphore system installed between Paris and Lille
in 1793. By 1852, systems on the same principal (but improved design)
connected all corners of France.
Etienne-François, Duc de Choiseul.
Soldier and nobleman
whose preferment was due mainly to his favor with Madame
Pompadour, whom he warned of the plots of a rival mistress. He was a chief
ambassador of the French court and
instrumental in gaining French support for the American Revolution.
His dismissal by Louis XV is reckoned by some a great error of the reign.
Jérôome Champion de Cicé, 1735-1810.
Archbishop of Bourdeaux and a delegate of the clergy in the States General.
He wrote significant parts of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and
Cicé served as Chancellor (Garde de Sceaux) in the post-Bastille
cabinet of Louis XVI.
Lucius Quinctius, 'Cincinnatus' was a Roman patrician land-owner
appointed Dictator of Rome around 450 B.C. when the city was
threatened by the Aequians. He "set aside his plough", assumed leadership
of the armies and defeated the enemy. As soon as the emergency was over,
before the end of his 6-month dictatorship, he resigned and returned to
Étienne Clavière, 1735-1793. Swiss financier who
settled in Paris
after the failure of the popular revolt in Geneva, 1782. Once a speech
writer for Mirabeau,
he became finance minister in the Girondist cabinet, but
committed suicide in 1793 to avoid Jacobin persecution.
Jean Pierre Louis Hanet Clery. Valet to Louis XVI and to his
son after the King's death. He left a memoir of his service in the royal
household. Clery was the only servant allowed the king during his
imprisonment which Clery shared with his master.
Clio. The Greek Muse of History.
Jean Baptiste du Val du Grace, Baron von Cloots, 1755-1794.
Prussian noble of Dutch extraction. He was educated in Paris and returned
there during the revolution. In 1790 he changed is name to "Anacharsis"
after the Scythian philosopher who came to Athens to absorb the learning and
the laws of the Greeks. His trans-nationalist ideas made him popular
and he was awarded French citizenship and was elected to the National
where he voted for the King's death. Robespierre despised Cloots and had
him arrested on trumped-up charges. He was beheaded March 24, 1794.
Clotaire (? - 561).
One of the sons of Clovis. King of Soissons.
Frédéric Josias, Prince de Saxe-Cobourg-Saalfeld,
1737-1815. Austrian field-marshal.
Cockade. A small badge, usually of cloth or ribbon, worn on the
hat of jacket as a sign of support for or membership in a faction. The
symbol of concentric red, white and blue circles seen on French warplanes
represents a cockade. Lafayette is given credit for combining white (the
color of the Bourbon house) with blue and red (the colors of Paris) to
form the patriotic or national cockade. Other well-known cockades were
green (worn in July, 1789); white showing loyalty to the King; and black
showing support for the Queen.
Edward Cocker, 1631-1676. English engraver and teacher. He was
said to have written the famous text Cocker's Arithmetic.
Pierre André Coffinhal, 1762-1794. Vice-president of the Revolutionary
Tribunal. He was one of Robespierre's inner circle. On 9 Thermidor, when
Hanriot was taken prisoner by the Committee of General Security, he marched a
company of horse, with cannon, to the Tuilleries to release him. Arrested
with Robespierre, he was executed 18 Thermidor.
Marie-François Henri de Franquetot, duc de Coigny, 1737 -1821
French court figure. He held the post of First Equerry to Louis XVI.
Louis-Henri II, 1772-1804, Prince de Condé, duc d'Bourbon.
Courtier and close relative of Louis XVI. He emigrated at the start of the
revolution and was involved in several of the emigrée plots. Under
the Empire, he fell out of Napoleon's favour and was kidnapped and murdered
on Bonaparte's order.
Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, 1743-1794.
French noble mathematician (Esai sur le calcul intégral).
Inspector General of the Mint in Louis XVI's government.
With Claviére he founded a newspaper, The Monitor, a widely-read
promoter of the revolution. He was secretary of
the Legislative Assembly and a member of the Constitutional Committe of the
National Convention, but as a Girondist fell under the displeasure of the
Jacobins. He died in prison. In the first two books of the History,
Carlyle quotes Condorcet perhaps more than any other writer .
Louis François Joseph, Prince de Conti, 1734-1814.
Contrat Social, the tract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau — known in English
as "The Social Contract" — which began influencing revolutions at the time it
was published in 1763 and continues to do so today. If you haven't read it,
stop now and read it in translation
. The first line cuts like a knife:
"Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains." Rousseau argues that
there is no natural order to government nor are there "natural rights".
Society is ordered according to the best agreement its members can arrange.
Dissatisfied members need to arrange a better contract. This was anathema
Rousseau had a way with words that extends even into translation. Imagine
the effect of paragraphs like these:
Aristotle . . . said that men are by no means equal naturally, but that some
are born for slavery, and others for dominion.
Aristotle was right; but he took the effect for the cause.
Nothing can be more certain than that every man born in slavery is born for
slavery. Slaves lose everything in their chains, even the desire of
escaping from them: they love their servitude, as the comrades of Ulysses
loved their brutish condition. If then there are slaves by nature, it is
because there have been slaves against nature. Force made the first slaves,
and their cowardice perpetuated the condition.
Studies have shown, however, that the Contrat was not widely
read before the Revolution.
Cordeliers. Originally the name of a Paris neighbourhood,
later of a section, it was the home of working-class people, though
some were of the middle-class. Danton was section president.
The Club of the Cordeliers was formed in May 1790. The original
members were from the Paris district of Cordeliers, but the name
may also come from their first meeting house -- the monastery of the Franciscan
Observantists, called Cordeliers. The asserted purpose of the Club was to
keep an eye on the government, and its symbol was an open eye. It was
the poor man's Jabobins. After the
10th of August, the driving members -- Danton, Camille, d'Eglantine --
no longer attended and more radical members such as Hébert came to the
fore. The club was to the left of Robespierre but could not challenge him.
By March, 1794, most of the radicals had been guillotined. Carlyle seems to
think that the club was formed by men refused by the Jacobins, but there
is no evidence of this.
Charlotte Corday, 1768-1793, spinster of Caen. Disgusted by the
purging of the Girondists from the National Convention in June, 1793, she took
revenge on Marat, whom she blamed, by murdering him in his bath in Paris,
July 13, 1793. She was executed shortly after.
Corvée. The corvée was a form of taxation by
compulsory labor in which peasants were required to construct and maintain
roadways without compensation.
Côté droit, côté gauche, literally "the right side" and "the left side". Beginning
with the National Assembly, political positions were identified by where the
factions seated them selves. Those of the côté droit -- the
right wing -- were conservative and monarchist. Those of the left
(côté gauche) tended to
republicanism and were open to change.
Those who sat in the high benches above the
floor -- the 'Mountain' -- were the most radical. The flat area before
the tribunal, the "Plain", attracted members attached to no party.
The political arguments
of those who occupied the various seats changed greatly over the course of the
Revolution, but the relative gradation of opinion stayed fairly constant.
From context I suppose this means scenery. The word is usually translated
to the English "slides" today.
Georges Couthon, 1755-1794. Lawyer of Clermont in the Auvergne.
He was crippled by disease and, except for short distances which he could
manage on crutches, had to be carried or pushed in a wheel-chair
for all of his political career. Carlyle gives the supposed cause. Couthon
was one of the most powerful men in France during 1793 and 1794. He sat
on the Committee of Public Safety, where he was closely allied with
Robespierre. He was sent on mission to suppress the revolt of Lyons.
He was the first to demand the arrest of the Girondist legislators and
demanded that victims of the Revolutionary Tribunal be denied lawyers and
witnesses in their behalf. Couthon remained loyal to Robespierre and was
executed on the same day, 10 Thermidor.
Alexandre Charles Emmanuel de Crussol-Florensac, 1747-1815.
Soldier and nobleman in the service of the Count of Artois (the future
Charles X). He served at the siege of Gibralter and in the Emigrée
army. He was raised to the peerage after the restoration.
Crussol's wife, the Baroness Crussol, rode to the Guillotine with
Louis XVI's sister Elizabeth. There is a well-known portrait of her by
Peter Creutz modelled and exhibited wax figures of royalty,
notables and heroes of the moment. He had an exhibition room in the
Palais Royal. It was from his shop that the wax heads of Necker
were taken by the rioters of July 12, 1789.
Gabriel de Cussy, 1759-1793. He represented the third estate of
Caen in the States General, where he was mainly concerned with monetary
policy. Returned to the National Convention in 1792, he usually voted with
the Girondins. Cussy joined the Girondists who fled Paris in June, 1793 at
Caen and fled with them to Bordeaux after their defeat. He was captured there
and sent to Paris where he was condemned and executed.
Adam-Philippe, Comte de Custine, 1740-1793. A distinguished
volunteer in the American Revolution and member of the States General for
the Third Estate of Metz. As general of the Army of the Vosges he was
a popular commander, known as "Général Moustache". When the
Prussians forced him out of Saxony in the winter of 1792, he was accused of
treason but was saved by Robespierre. Sent to the northern front, he was
indecisive and eventually was executed for failure to successfully defend
Jean-Baptiste Le Rond D'Alambert (1717-1783).
French scientist, mathematician and philosopher. With Diderot, a chief
author of the Encyclopedia.
Roger de Damas d'Antigny, 1765-1823. He emigrated soon after the
capture of Louis XVI at Varennes but returned to rise to high rank in the
armies of Napoleon.
A Versailles domestic servent who
stabbed Louis XV, January, 1755, in a possible assassination attempt.
Georges Jacques Danton, 1759-1794. Lawyer and leader of a
faction ('Dantonists'). He and his followers helped plan the insurrection
of August 10, 1792
which overthrew the constitutional monarchy and ended in the death of
Louis XVI six months later.
Danton was a leading member of
the Committee of Public Safety but resigned in the summer of 1793.
Disgusted with both the Jacobins and the Girondists, he tried to remain
independent of either. Robespierre considered him too dangerous as a free
agent; Danton was arrested March 31 and executed April 15, 1794.
Danton's original base of power was the Cordeliers district of Paris where
he exercised great influence as section President.
Jacques-Louis David, 1748-1825. French neo-classic painter. It is
hard to separate David from the Revolution. He depicted the classical scenes
that excited the bourgoisis; the Oath of the Tennis Court;
the murder of Marat; and Napoleon in his various guises. His taste was the
taste of the Revolution. David survived the
revolution by a moderate adherance to the radical views. He was exciled
to Brussels after the Restoration, but continued to produce powerful and
Silas Deane, American revolutionary and diplomat, 1735-1789.
With Benjamin Franklin and Henry Lee, Deane negotiated first the secret then
the open assistance of France in the war of the Colonies against England.
Claude Antoine Nicolas Waldec de Lessart, 1741-1792. Aristocrat
of Guyene. He was a court hanger-on and a friend of Necker whom he replaced
as Finance Minister in 1790. Delessart served as interior minister and
as Foreign Secretary in the constitutional cabinet. He was arrested
in September 1792 for his opposition to the Austrian war and was
murdered in the September Massacres.
Ramond Romain, comte de Sèze, 1748-1828. Lawyer and
magistrate of Bordeaux. He was the principal defense attorney at the trial
of Louis XVI. Arrested early in the Terror, he was languished in prison until
9 Thermidor. He actively and successfully served all the governments
thereafter. He was elected to the Académie in 1816 and was
raised to the peerage by Louis XVIII in 1815.
Camille Desmoulins, 1760-1794. Lawyer who was more caught up in
than a leader of the Revolution. His defining moment was July 12, 1789,
when he incited a riot at the Palais Royal which spread and continued until
the Bastille was taken July 14. Although he wrote for clemency and
moderation, he also called for the hanging of aristocrats from the lampposts.
He was a Dantonist and fell with Danton. During the last half of 1789 he
published a popular paper Révolutions de France et de Brabant.
In late 1793 he started another important paper, Vieux Cordeliers, which
eloquently opposed Hébert's Père Duchesne.
Denis Diderot, 1713-1784.
French philosopher and one of the chief authors and editors of the
His writings in favor of democracy were influential.
Theobald Dillon, 1745-1792, descendent of a famous line of noble
Irish military men. He distinguished himself as a volunteer in the American
Revolution. Dillon commanded the French force which met the Austrians
at Pas de Baisieux, April 29, 1792. The French broke ranks and fled before
any shots were fired. The rumour spread that Dillon had betrayed his army
to the Austrians; he was captured and killed by his own troops.
Arthur Dillon, 2nd count of Dillon, 1750-1794. Irish-born general of
the French Army. He commanded the Regiment Dillon, a unit formed before the
revolution but which was always loyal to the revolutionary government. Dillon
was named lieutenant-general of the Army of the North and performed well during
the Prussian invasion of 1792. He fell under suspicion as a friend of
Dumouriez and was executed during the Terror.
Claude-Emmanuel Dobsen. One of the enragés and a
friend of Varlet.
The name of a mytical undersea cavern where evil magicians
met. Carlyle liked this word a lot.
William Dodd, 1729-1777, disgraced English cleric. He lost his
position when his wife tried to bribe a Bishop. Later, in an attempt to pay
down his large debts, he forged the signature of a private pupil of his,
Philip Stanhope, later Earl of Chesterfield. For this he was hanged. It was
Dodd about whom Samuel Johnson said "when a man knows he is to be
hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."
Amédéde Doppet, 1753-1799. Physician,
statesman, and general. He is best known as one of the leaders of the siege of
Jean-Baptiste Drouet, 1763-1824, postmaster of the village of Sainte Menehould
and a former dragoon. It was he who recognized the King during his flight
in June 1791. Drouet rode ahead to Varennes and organized the King's capture
there. Later Drouet was elected to the National Convention, where he voted
for the death of the King, and the Council
of 500. He prospered under the Empire but was forced to flee the country
on the restoration of Charles X.
Marie-Jeanne Becu, Comtesse du Barry , 1743-1793
Marie-Jeanne Bècu, the mistress of Louis XV's last years.
She was of low origins and an illegitimate child and reviled by both
the court and the population. Carlyle speaks of her as of a whore, and
he is reflecting the public opinion.
On the death of Louis XV, his successor confined Dubarry to a convent for two
years. On her release, she resumed a life of luxury and lovers. Her many
trips to England brougt her under the suspicion of the Revolutionary
government; she was arrested, tried and executed at the age of 50.
Guillaume Dubois, 1656-1723. Cardinal and archbishop of Cambrai.
He held several important posts in the government of Louis XIV and in the
regency; he was the private tutor of the Duke of Chartres (an earlier one,
not Philippe Egalité). The character given of Dubois by nobles who
left memoirs (Saint-Simon, for example)
is one of a libertine and a grifter. He probably wasn't as bad as all that.
Edmond Louis Alexis Dubois-Crancé, 1747-1814.
A career military
man though a commoner, he served in the Constituent Assembly and the
National Assembly, concentrating on military matters. He is given credit now
-- but was not then -- for reforms which greatly increased the effectiveness
of the French Army. Sent on mission to the Army of the Alps besieging
Lyons, he directed operations with moderation and was therefore replaced by
Couthon. Dubois-Crancé served in later governments and was Secretary of
War at the time of Napoleon's coup in 1799.
Gascard-Séverin Duchastel, 1766-1793. Soldier and businessman
of Deux-Sévres. A member of the National Convention, he is best known
for having been carried from his sick-bed into the convention hall in order to
vote on the question of the King's sentence. Although he voted for the arrest
of Marat, he was not expelled with the leading Girondists in June, 1793.
Duchastel did, however, join some of the proscribed deputies at Caen in the
summer of 1793. He made his way to Bordeaux where he was captured and
accused of compliciy with the Vedén rebels. Ducshastel was executed
October 10, 1793.
Jean François Ducos, 1765-1793,
a tradesman and representative
of the Gironde in the Legislative Assembly. He was among the most radical
of the legislators, but fell foul of Danton and was guillotined in
Pierre Roger Ducos, 1754-1816. A legislator who played a minor role
in the events until after Thermidor, when he was elected to the 500 and
later to the Directorate. He gained great influence under Napoleon, but
was exiled as a regicide after the Restoration. He is widely viewed as
a man of no talent who rose far beyond the level of his capabilities.
Charles Coquille dit Dugommier, 1738-1794. French colonial soldier
who was sent to France as deputy to the Legislative Assembly in 1791,
representing the French Windward islands. He was recalled to active duty
to command the French forces besieging the English at Toulon. He later fought
the Spanish in the Pyrenees and was killed by artillery fire at the battle
of la Montagne Noire.
François Dumas, 1757-1794. Lawyer of Lons-le-Saunier .
He was introduced to
Robespierre by Robespierres's brother. In September 1793 he was appointed
Vice-President of the Revolutionary Tribunal; and in April 1794 he succeeded
Armand Herman as President. The trials over which he presided were marked by
complete disregard for legal form. Dumas was violent and arrogant and his
behavior probably contributed to the fall of Robespierre. He was arrested
after 9 Thermidor and was soon executed.
Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, 1762-1807, the natural son of
Alexandre Antoine Davy, marquis de la Pailleterie and a negro slave,
Marie-Césette Dumas; and father of the famous novelist.
He sat in the Legislative Assembly as a royalist and was one of the best
known of Napoleon's generals, earning the sobriquette "the first soldier
of the world."
Pierre Étienne Louis Dumont, 1759-1829, Genevese Protestant
clergyman, lawyer and
writer. He served as Mirabeau's speech-writer and ghost-writer,
and later was his biographer. He had spent much time in England in the 1780s
and returned there in 1791.
Charles-François Dumouriez, (born with the title
du Perier), 1739-1823. Career soldier who served in the
secret service of Louis XV, where he was a protege of the great minister
Choiseul, serving in, among other places, Poland and Corsica;
and became commandant of the port of Cherbourg,
where he was involved in one of Louis XVI's pet projects -- the creation of
an artificial harbour. After the King's flight to Varennes, Dumouriez, now
commandant of Nantes, offered to march his garrison to Paris to assist the
Assembly. He attached himself to the Girondists and was made Minister of
Foreign Affairs under the constitution and later, for 2 days, Minister of
War. Unable to be effective in the cabinet, he took field commands in
the Revolutionary Army, defeating the Prussians at Valmy and the Austrians
at Jemappes. He was never popular with the Revolutionists, though, and fled
to the Austrian camp when threatened with arrest in 1793. He finally settled
in England where he assisted the government in designing defenses against
Napoleon. It is probably this latter service that accounts for Carlyle's
relative warmth towards Dumouriez.
Claude-Romain Lauze-Duperret, 1747-1793. Girondist deputy for the
Bouches du Rhône. He was considered an extremist in the Assembly, but
fell under the influence of Barbaroux in the Convention. He voted for the
death of the King, but with an appeal to the people. His moment of fame came
in April, 1793 when he drew his sword during the Convention debate on the
accusation of Marat. Duperret was not among the first of the Girndists
suspended, but he was later arrested and executed in October, 1793.
Pierre-Samuel Dupont, 1739-1817. French economist, journalist
and politician. He was enobled by Louis XVI in 1783 for his work in
negotiating the free-trade treaty with England; and took the title
Dupont de Nemours. Dupont was secretary of the Convocation of Notables and
an elected representative of the third estate in the Constituent Assembly.
After surviving the Terror and serving the Directory, he emigrated to America
where he founded the Dupont industrial empire.
Adrien Jean François Duport-Dutertre, 1759 - 1798,
French politician and prominent
opponent of Calonne and Brienne in the Paris Parlement. He was elected to
the States General for the nobility of Paris. His house became
the center of a circle of opposition to the later governments of Louis XVI.
Duport became a prominent
constitutional monarchist in the Constituent Assembly in which he was part
of the "triumvirate" with Barnave and Lameth. He served as minister of
justice in the post-revolution cabinet, succeeding Champion de Cicé,
but fled to England in 1792.
Louis Lebéque de Presle Duportail, 1743-1802. One of the
most important of the French officers who aided the American Revolution.
He laid out the camp and defenses of Valley Forge, and helped train the
Continental artillery. Durportail was appointed Minister of War in late 1790
and resigned about 13 months later. He fled Jacobian retribution while
serving with the army of the Lower Rhine and lived in the United States for
most of the rest of his life.
Ernest Dominique François Joseph Duquesnoy, 1749-1795.
Deputy to the Legislative Assembly and National Convention for Pas-de-Calais,
he voted for the death of Louis XVI without appeal. As a member on mission to
the armies, he was known for great courage and great severity. Duquesnoy
tended to vote with the Mountain and was a friend of Robespierre. Some
believe he was an instigator of the 1 Prairial insurrection, for which he was
condemned, but the evidence has never been strong. He committed suicide with
Goujon before he could be executed.
Duc de Duras. The duke associated with the court under the Constitution
would have been the son and heir of the more famous Duke,
Emmanuel-Félicité de Durfort, (1715-1789),
who was a marchel of France
and a member of the Academy.
Durozoy, conservative publisher of the royalist
Gazette de Paris. After August 10, 1792 his presses were confiscated
and given to a more "patriotic" journalist, Gorsas.
Jean-Joseph Dusaulx, 1723-1799. Writer, scholar of ancient languages,
and a member of the Legislative Assembly and the Convention. Carlyle used his
L'insurrection parisienne et de la prise de la Bastille as a reference.
Joseph Paris-Duverney, 1684-1770.
A wealthy Paris banker who handled many of the financial transactions of
the court of Louis XV.
Henry Essex Edgeworth, 1745-1807, L'Abbé Edgeworth de Firont.
Irish-born priest who was
vicar-general of the Diocese of Paris at the outbreak of the revolution.
Louis XVI chose him as his final confessor. Edgeworth served the surviving
members of the royal family in exile and died before the restoration.
eleutheromaniac, an adjective meaning "mad for freedom". Another of
Carlyle's favorite words.
Jacob Elie, a 2nd lieutenant of the Queen's Infantry who, along with
Pierre-Augustin Hulin, helped organize the mob at the Bastille, July 14,
Ell-wand. A stick for measuring cloth. It would be one "ell"
in length. The "ell" was a measure that differed from country to country:
in England it was 45 inches; in Scotland 37; in Flanders 26.
Madame Elizabeth, (1764-1794), unmarried sister of Louis XVI. She
lived in her brother's household and was emprisoned with the royal family
after August 10, 1792. She went to the guillotine in May, 1794, some 16
months after her royal brother.
Enceladus, a Titan who was defeated by Athena in the war between
the Giants and the children of Saturn. He was buried by piling Mount Aetna
on top of his body, and Aetna's rumblings were attributed to him. Mount
Aetna is in Sicily, or Trinacria.
Epimenides, 6th Century B.C., Cretan philosopher and mystic.
He is said to have wandered into the Diktaian Caves (the birth-place
of Zeus) near Gnossos while
tending his father's sheep and to have slept there 57 years, filled with
divine dreams. He emerged both wise and good.
Erebus, the mythological personification of the darkness of the
underworld. The name conveyed the idea of "covered" or "obscured" in Greek.
Erebus was said to be a son of Chaos.
Jean-Jacques d'Duval d'Espréménil, 1745-1794,
council in the Paris Parlement, delegate of the Paris nobles in the
States General, Royalist in the Constituent Assembly. Guillotined in April,
Charles Henri Jean-Baptiste, Comte d'Estaing, 1729-1794. Admiral
and general. He won fame in the American Revolution but was never a great
military leader. He was executed during the Terror.
esurient, an adjective meaning hungry or greedy.
Ethis de Corny, the purchasing agent for the King in Paris, he
was one of the Electors for the States-General. He took part in the
negotiations that preceded the July 14 attack on the Bastille.
Philippe François Nazaire Fabre d'Eglantine, 1750-1794.
Playwright of Carcassonne. He gained fame on the coattails of Danton, who
befriended him. Although he sat in the Convention and voted for the Mountain
-- for the guilt and death of the King; for the price Maximum;
for the Law of Suspects -- he never had the full trust of the
most ardent revolutionaries. Part of this was the affected "d'Eglantine",
an extension he himself added after winning a crown of eglantine flowers
at a literary competition in Toulouse. Fabre was arrested in 1794 for
involvement in the Company of the Indies scandal. Though he undoubtedly
had his hand out, there was no evidence of his active involvement.
Nonetheless he was guillotined in April, 1794.
Fabre is perhaps best known for two things: Inventing the names of the months
and days of the Revolutionary calendar; and blithely passing out copies of
his poems on his way to the gallows.
Eumenides. A euphemistic name given to the
Erinyes, or Fates, as they were worshipped in Athens.
It means something like "the well-disposed ones".
The Fates. In Greek mythology, the three daughters of Zeus (order)
and Thetis (necessity) were said to govern the life of man:
- Clotho spun the thread of life.
- Lachesis measured it.
- Atropos cut it short.
Twice in the French Revolution, Carlyle puts the scissors in the hands
of Clotho, I know not on what authority.
Claude Fauchet, 1744-1793, clergyman (he was elected constitutional
bishop of Calvados) and a leader of the attack on the Bastille. In the
legislature he styled himself "Attorney General of the Truth". He edited
the journal La Bouche de Fer and founded a liberal political
club, the Cercle Social, to which Condorcet, Brissot and many others
The club was suppressed in 1793 and Fauchet
was executed as one of the principal Girondists.
Thomas de Mahay, Marquis de Favras, 1744-1790, a royalist involved
in a plot to help the King flee Paris in 1789. The plot is supposed
to have originated with the King's brother, the comte d'Artois.
Favras was apprehended and
hung. He is probably best known for his words when handed his death warrant:
"I see you have made three spelling mistakes."
François de Salignon de la Mothe-Fénelon, 1651-1715.
A French bishop and political writer. He wrote that the ideal political
system for France was a strong monarchy supported and limited
by the aristocracy and by a triennial States-General.
Jean Féraud 1764-1795. Member of the National Convention
who tried to resist the rioting mob on 1 Prairial and was killed by them.
He is sometimes referred to as the last victim of the Terror.
Ferney, Voltaire's estate near the French-Swiss border.
In the last twenty years of Voltaire's life, it was known as "the
intellectual capital of Europe."
The place is famous as the long-time residence of Voltaire. It has long
had a fascination for Englishmen, as can by seen in these lines from
W.H. Auden's poem "Voltaire at Ferney":
- Perfectly happy now, he looked at his estate.
- An exile making watches glanced up as he passed
- And went on working; where a hospital was rising fast,
- A joiner touched his cap; an agent came to tell
- Some of the trees he'd planted were progressing well.
- The white alps glittered. It was summer. He was very great.
- Far off in Paris where his enemies
- Whispered that he was wicked, in an upright chair
- A blind old woman longed for death and letters. He would write,
- "Nothing is better than life." But was it? Yes, the fight
- Against the false and the unfair
- Was always worth it. So was gardening. Civilize.
Hans Axel, Count von Fersen, (1755-1810). Swedish diplomat
and French soldier. As an officer of the Royal Bavière, he accompanied
Rochambeau to America as his adjutant, where he served with distinction.
In 1789 he replaced the Baron de Staël as Swedish envoy to Versailles.
Fersen was close to the royal family (some rumours of Marie-Therese's
infidelities involved him). The attempted escape to Varennes could not
have happened without him. He
- Raised most of the money required.
- Ordered and paid for the construction of the carriage used (using the
pseudonym "Baroness von Koff").
- Kept the carriage at his house to make it familiar to Parisians.
- Even drove the carriage on its first stage.
After the execution of the King, Ferson came to Paris in disguise to try to
rescue the Queen, but with no success.
ferula. An instrument (a switch, perhaps, or a measuring stick)
used to discipline school children. Carlyle also uses it in the sense of
disciplinary punishment itself.
Club of the Feuillans. Formed in July, 1791 by the splinter
of the Jacobins who were against removing the King, after the anti-monarchic
riots and massacre at the Champs de Mars. Barnave and Lafayette
were chief members. Feuillants were prominent in the government until
March, 1792, when they were replaced by Gerondist (Brissotin) ministers,
members of the Jacobins.
As with the Jacobins, the Feuillants took their name from their meeting place,
in this case the Abbaye of the Feiullants in Paris.
An adjective meaning malleable or formable. Often applied to the clay
used to form pottery.
A difficult and obscure adjective used to describe things that are in the
action of being moulded.
Jacques de Flesselles, ? - July 14, 1789. As Prévôt
de Marchands, Flesselles was in charge of the munitions at the
Hôtel de Ville. He surrendered to the July 13 mob only 3 muskets.
Before becoming Prévôt, he was
Intendant of Lyons. He was killed by the mob after the taking of the Bastille.
Jean-Baptiste Fleuriot-Lescot, 1761-1794.
An assistant to Tinville as
prosecutor of the Revolutionary Tribunal, he was Robespierre's choice to
succeed Pache as mayor of Paris in April, 2004. He attempted to raise an
insurrection to save Robespierre on 9 Thermidor, but failed and was executed
with Robespierre on 10 Thermidor.
Omer-Louis-François Joly De Fleury, 1715-1810. French
lawyer and politician. Advocate-general of the Paris Parlement and for a
time Louis XVI's controller-general. His relative, the Cardinal Fleury
was famous for bringing the finances of Louis XV into a semblance of order.
De Fleury succeeded Necker in the controllership and was replaced by
Georg Forster, 1754-1794, a Danziger journalist and
travel-writer who was inspired
by the revolution and accompanied the French Army of the Rhine in 1792. He
founded the Jacobin club in Mainz after it fell to Custine. Carlyle for some
reason calls him "Foster".
Fortunatus's Purse. Fortunatus was a figure from medieval romances
who possessed a magic purse from which 10 pieces of gold could always be drawn;
and a magic hat which could transport him wherever he wished to go.
Joseph Fouché, c.1760-1820. One of the great opportunists.
He rose from Oratorian teaching monk under Louis XVI to Duke of Otranto under
Napoleon. He was elected to the National Convention and first supported the
Girondists; but seeing how the wind went he switched to the Mountain. As
a member on mission, he was responsible for many of the atrocities of Nantes
brutally repressed the revolt of Lyons in 1793. Fouché was a key actor
in the overthrow of Robespierre in 1794 and went on to become an important
supporter of, and later Minister of Police under, Napoleon. Nor did he stop
there: in 1814 he was serving Napoleon; by 1815 he was in the government of
Joseph-François Foulon de Doué,
1715 - 1789. French politician and Louis XVI's minister of finance for
a few days after Necker's second dismissal.
Assassinated together with his son-in-law Bertier eight days after the fall of
Bastille. The aristocratic Foulon was infamous for saying, in an earlier
period of famine, that "If the people are hungry, let them feed on grass.
Wait till I am minister, I will make them eat hay".
Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville, 1746-1795. Lawyer and the notorious
public prosecutor of the Revolutionary Tribunal during the Terror.
He prosecuted the Girondists and
Marie-Antoinette and Danton, and thousands more, to their deaths. He was
himself beheaded after the fall of Robespierre.
Fournier l'Americain, 1745-1825. A distiller in
Santo Domingo until his premises were destroyed by fire, he returned just in
time for the Revolution and was important in organizing the local Paris
militias. He was extremely unpopular with the politicians of the time, even
being thrown out of the Cordeliers for radicalism. He continued a thorn in
the side, and frequently the prisoner of, every government until 1814.
Benjamin Franklin, American printer and Renaissance Man, 1706-1790.
Franklin resided in Paris for most of the Revilutionary War. He was very
popular with the Court and with the people and was instrumental in securing
French aid for the American rebels. Franklin was elected to the Academie
Widow of Merovingian King Chilperic I and mother and regent of
Louis Marie Stanislaus Fréron, 1754-1802. Son of the
anti-Voltaireian editor Elie Catherine Fréron whom he succeeded as
publisher of L'Année Litteraire. He was editor of the violent
journal L'Orateur. Fréron
maintained a political position by always
jumping to the right party, failing only in 1798 when he was refused the
hand of Pauline Bonapart, Napoleon's sister.
Emmanuel Marie Michel Philippe Fréteau,
jurist, member of
the Paris Parlement. He was one of the judges whose insolence towards
Louis XVI led the latter to exile the Paris Parlement under Brienne.
Junius and Emmanuel Frey. Pseudonyms of the brothers Moses and David
Dobrushka, Jews of Strasbourg who became financiers during the Revolution.
Their sister, Léopaldine, married Chabot, providing them some protection
for their financial manipulations. They ensured themselves good-will by making
large charitable contributions and payments to legislators. A house of cards
they had built up around the East India Company collapsed in 1793 and the
brothers were arrested on charges of being Austrian spies. Both were
executed with Danton
A period of disturbances during the minority of Louis XIV, now seen as
a kind of "last gasp" attempt of the French nobility to limit the power
of the monarchy. There were financial grievances among the merchant class
as well, mainly against the taxing policites of Richelieu and Mazarin.
Fugleman. A leader, particularly a political leader. The
word derives from the German for a squad or file leader -- a corporal.
furibund, an adjective describing a person who is in a rage of fury.
The Furies, or Erinyes. The Greek goddesses of vengeance. They are
usually depicted as harpy-like women with serpent hair. The Erinyes were
Megaera (the spirit of jealosy), Tisiphone (of retribution) and Alecto (of
fusil. A light flintlock musket, probably named for the fusil,
or striking-steel, used to ignite the power.
The tax on salt.
Jean-Antoine Gauvin, called Gallois, 1761-1828.
Lawyer of Aix. He held responsible positions in all the governments from
1791 to 1813, managing to be effective while avoiding fatal factional
alliances. His name is often linked with that of Gensonné, with whom
he served in putting down the revolt of the Vendée.
Mssr. Gamain was a craftsman of the Versailles region who played a brief but
important part in French history. Gamain was introduced to the young Louis XVI
when the king wanted to learn about locks. Years later, in 1792, Louis again
called upon Gamain, this time to help construct a secret strong-room in the
imprisoned King's chambers. The Queen gave Gamain wine and a biscuit and
when he sickened on his way home he (presumably) thought he had been poisoned
and gave evidence about the secret store. The papers taken from the King's
chambers were the proximate cause of his execution.
Dominique Joseph Garat, 1749-1833. Lawyer and writer from Bayonne.
He was a member of the States General and rose to Minister of Justice in 1792
on the recommendation of Danton.
As Justice Minister, he brought the news of a sentence of immediate death to
Louis XVI in January, 1793. In 1793 he moved to the Interior Ministry where
he tolerated gross peculation. He was arrested during the Terror but escaped
condemnation through his friendship with Robespierre whom he nevertheless
betrayed on 9 Thermidor. Garat wrote extensively about the people and events
of the revolution and is one of the most important (though certainly biased)
sources of first-hand information about the period.
Antoine Court du Gébelin, 1725-1794. Etymologist and
Director of the
Musée de Paris.
Sainte Genevieve (422-512).
The patron saint of Paris. A chapel devoted to her,
Sainte-Geneviève des Ardents, was pulled down in
Stephanie-Felicité du Crest de Saintaubin, Comtesse de la Genlis,
1746-1830, wife of Charles Brillart de Genlis, later Marquis de Sillery.
In an unheard of step, the Duke of Chartres made her the tutor of his sons
(she was already responsible for the education of his daughters). She
emigrated in 1793. Her memoires are an important source of first-hand
information about the period.
Armand Gensonné, 1753-1793, representative of the Gironde
in the Legislative Assembly. He was among the most radical of the Girondists,
but strongly opposed the Mountain and the Paris extemists. He was one of
the first group of Girondist deputies condemned in June, 1793 and went to the
guillotine in October.
Gerle, 1736-1801, a Cartusian monk elected for the First Estate
of Auvergne. He was greatly offended by the Church Constitution and later
became a strong royalist.
Cahier de Gerville.
Briefly minister of the interior in the Brissotin
Edward Gibbon, 1737-1794,
English historian, author of The Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire. He lived and wrote in Switzerland and knew
many of the persons named in Carlyle's history.
Charles-Genevieve Louis-Auguste-Andre-Timothée Glaat, Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont, 1728-1810. French spy
and master of disguise. Slight of build, he lived for long periods as a woman,
even in the Russian court.
Jean Baptiste Joseph Gobel, 1727-1794. He was suffragan Bishop
of Basel when elected to the States General for the clergy of Huningue.
Despite a life spent in the church, he supported the constitutionalization
of the clergy and in doing so became so popular that he was elected
constitutional bishop in several dioceses. He entered the see of Paris in
1791 and resigned it under popular pressure in 1793. Robespierre had him
executed in 1794. Carlyle despises Gobel for apostasy.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832. German poet, novelist,
dramatist, scientist and critic. He is considered the greatest of German
writers. His personality was so strong that, like Voltaire to Ferney, he
drew visitors from all over the world to his home in Weimar. As secretary
to the Duke of Weimar, Goethe was present at the Prussian invasion of
France in 1792 and the subsequent retreat.
Antoine Joseph Gorsas, 1752-1793, publisher and politician.
He published the Courrier de Versailles à Paris
et de Paris à Versailles, famous for printing the account of
the Officers' Banquest at Versailles in October, 1789. As a legislator,
he moved from a Jacobin to a Girondist position. His presses were
among those destroyed by the Jacobins March 9-10, 1792; and he was
arrested and executed after the fall of the Girondists.
François-Joseph Gossec, 1734-1829. Belgian-born composer.
He supported the Revolution whole-heartedly. Much of the surviving formal
music of the period is his. He managed to avoid partisan entanglements and was
enrolled in the Legion of Honor by Napoleon in 1804.
Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, 163-133 B.C.
Roman soldier and statesman.
As tribune of 133 B.C., he pressed land reform favorable to the Plebian tribes.
Politicians of the senatorial class had him murdered. His death marks the
beginning of 100 years discord which ended the Roman Republic.
Henri Grégoire, 1750-1831. The son of a peasant and educated
by the Jesuits, he was elected to the States-General for the clergy of
Nancy. He was first among the clergy to join the Third Estate. Under the
1790 constitution he was elected Bishop of Blois. Grégoire made
speeches, including the first motion to abolish the monarchy. He was a member
of almost all the national legislative bodies through 1801.
Frederich Melchior Grimm, 1723-1807. Music critic.
Jean Marie Claude Alexandre Goujon, 1766-1795. A lawyer who
was elected to the Convention seat of Herault de Sechelles when the latter was
arrested. He was a moderate Jacobin and an advocate for peace, but he strongly
opposed the reaction which followed 9 Thermidor. As one of the last of the
Mountain party, he supported the insurrectionists of 1 Prairial, for which he
was arrested. Goujon committed suicide before he could be executed.
Jean Baptiste Gouvion, 1747-1792. A volunteer in the American
Revolution, he served as an engineer in the Continental Army. Returning
to France in 1783, he held various posts including commander of the
Gardes Français at Versailles in 1789. He died in action against the
Austrians at Maubeuge, 11 June, 1792. Like his cousin, Gouvion-St.-Cyr,
he had a disgust for politics.
Laurent Gouvion-St.-Cyr, 1764-1830. Son of a tanner, he joined
the Republican army in 1792 and was a major-general by June, 1794. His
military genius and disgust for politics served him well and he was highly
regarded by all the various governments from the Constitutional Monarchy
through the Restoration.
Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, 1738-1814. Physician and politician. He
was influential in the argument that voting in the Estates General
should be per capita rather than by Estate, and that the commons
should have deputies equal in number to the combined nobles and clergy.
He was elected to the States-General from Paris and was secretary of the
Constituent Assembly. His lasting fame is that he proposed, and with
Doctor Antoine Louis designed, the beheading-machine that bears his name.
Marguerite-Elie Guadet, 1753-1794. Lawyer of Bordeaux.
He was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the Gironde and became
one of the leaders of the liberal party. He was influential in establishing
the Girondist cabinet in the spring of 1792 and voted for the execution of
the King; but his deep-felt opposition to Danton and the Paris extremists
brought him a death sentence when the Girondists fell. He escaped prison
but was captured and executed in Bordeaux.
Manuel Guzman, a Spanish adventurer who was involved with the
Austrian Proli in war profiteering in the Spanish Netherlands. He came to
Paris with Proli and like him covered his speculations in war supplies by
large gifts to patriotic charities and to the Jacobin Club.
Halle aux bleds, a circular structure which housed the grain market of
Haman, the chief minister of the Persian emperor Xerxes in the story
of Esther as told at Purim. He intended to destroy all the Jews,
but Esther gained the intercession of Xerxes and Haman was hanged on the
gibbet he had intended for his victims.
François Hariot, (or Heriot), 1759-1794. He became the
head of a Paris section and closely associated with the amorphous
"sans-culotte" party. In 1793 he was made commandant of the National Guard
and through his support behind Hébert. He was guillotined July 28,
Harmodius and Aristogiton were Greeks of Athens,about 500 B.C., whose love
for each other involved them in a conspiracy against the tyrant Hippias and
his brother Hipparchus who also coveted the boy Harmodius.
Jean-Henri Hassenfratz, 1755-1827. Self-taught scientist and
revolutionist, founder of the Polytechnic school and the School of Mines.
He served in the government from 1792-1795 but spent the rest of his life as
a researcher and teacher.
Christian August Heinrich Kurt, Count of Haugwitz, (1752-1831).
Prussian diplomat. He originally opposed war with France, but once it broke
out he was instrumental in putting together the coalition of Prussia, England,
Holland and Austria to fight it.
Jacques Rene Hébert, 1757-1794. The poor son of a goldsmith
from Alencon, he became a prominent member of the club of the Cordeliers where
he made violent verbal attacks on the Girond. His arrest for these attacks
gave him great personal popularity. Along with Chaumette, he proposed
the "worship of Reason" in opposition to Robespierre's theism. This led to
the arrests of Hébert and many of his followers. Both he and his
wife were executed early in 1794.
Hébert was publisher from 1791 to 1794 of a weekly newspaper
Le Père Duschesne, a nasty, violent journal that had a great
Historian, literary figure and president of
the Court of Inquiry. A noble as well as a lawyer, he was a familiar figure
in the court of Louis XV.
His best known work, a chronological abridgement of French history, is cited
by Carlyle. Hénault is one of the few courtiers
Carlyle does not find despicable.
Henri IV, 1553-1610. King of Navarre (1572) and France (1594),
he was the first Bourbon king. Henri was a Protestant until his ascension
to the throne of France. His marriage to Marguerite de Valois,
St. Bartholomew's day, 1572, was the occasion of a great massacre of French
Protestants. As the French king, Henri established religious toleration
(the Edict of Nantes) and restored order, industry and trade to a country
long plagued by war and misrule. He was known as "the People's King". The
phrase "a chicken in every pot" originated with him.
Marie-Jean Herault de Sechelles, 1759-1794. A lawyer and member of the
old Paris Parlement, he was a member of the Legislative Assembly and the
National Convention. He argued against the constitution proposed by Condorcet
and his redraft became, with little change, the constitiution of 1793.
Politically he was closely identified with Danton, with whom he was executed
Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois, 1750-1796. Actor, playwright and
publisher of the Almanach du Père Gérard. Originally
a constitutional monarchist, he became radicalized after 1792, supporting
Hébert. He was a member of the Committee of Public Safety, where
he had an important part in the brutal suppression of the Lyons uprising,
the Terror. After 9 Thermidor, in which he helped topple Robespierre,
he was deported to French Guiana.
Armand Martial Joseph Herman, 1760-1794. A Robespierrist who was made President of the
Revolutionary Tribunal in July, 1793 and presided over most of the important
trials of the Terror. In April, 1794 he became President of the Committee of
Safety -- or as some put it, Robespierre's Minister of the Interior. He was
executed with Robespierre on 10 Thermidor.
Louis Lazare Hoche, 1768-1797. He rose from the peasantry and
rank of a private soldier to become, by 1796, France's greatest general.
Hoche died in the Prussian campaign of 1797.
homoiousian, an adjective describing the schismatic doctrine
of the 4th century which held that God and Christ were of similar but
not identical nature.
Samuel Hood, first Viscount Hood, 1724-1816. English admiral.
He distinguished himself in the Caribbean as second in command to Rodney.
As commander of the English Mediterranean fleet, he occupied Toulon with the
help of the townspeople in 1793; and conquered Corsica (with the help of
rebel Corsicans) in 1794.
Jean-Nicolas Houchard, 1739-1793. Army general who rose through the
Royal-Allemand cavalry (he was born at Forbach on the Moselle) to the
unenviable position of replacing Custine as commander of the Army of the
Rhine in the spring of 1793. Despite having relieved the siege of Dunkirk,
he was arrested in September and condemned by the Revolutionary Tribunal,
presumably for not having done more.
Sulpice Huguenin, disbarred lawyer, militia deserter, and
embezzler. He was one of the leaders of the mob which
descended on the Tuileries June 20, 1792, to protest the dismissal of the
Girondin ministry. He became a rabble-rouser in the sections and
was made President of the September Paris Commune.
Pierre-Augustin Hulin, 1758-1841. A Genevese refugee.
He played an important role in
organizing the besiegers of
the Bastille on July 13-14 and later became a general and statesman under
Napoleon and subsequent regimes. At the time of the Revolution he had
a minor position in the court: director of the Queen's Laundry.
Maximin Isnard, 1758-1825, perfumer of Draguignan and representative
of the Var in the Legislative Assembly, National Convention and the 500. He
voted for the death of the King and was among the Girondists condemned in
1793. He escaped prison and lived to serve, with little distinction, in the
Ixion. In Greek mythology, Ixion was king of the Lapiths and the
first man to murder a relative. He caused his father-in-law Deioneus to
fall into a camouflaged cooking-pit. His famous punishment, though, was not for
parricide but ingratitude. Zeus had taken pity on Ixion and invited him to
Olympus. Ixion promptly fell in love with Hera. To test Ixion, Zeus made
a model of Hera out of cloud; Ixion mounted and impregnated it. (The offspring
was the monster Centaurus, which mated with the mares of Mt. Pelion to create
the race of Centaurs.) Zeus sent Ixion to Hades and bound him to an
eternally-spinning wheel; Ixion must continuously cry out "Be grateful to
Jacobin Society. Originally a political club of the Breton
deputies to the States-General. They met at the monastery of the Jacobins
(Dominicans) in Paris. The group was later known as the "Society of
Friends of the Constitution", and, from the high bleacher seats many
of them occupied in the
Legislative Assembly, "Mountainists".
A society with many moderate members in the beginning,
the Jacobins became progressively more republican and revolutionary.
The club supported
Robespierre in the Terror and used the executions to eliminate political
enemies. Its power as an organized group evaporated with the overthrow
Jacta est alea — "the die is cast". Supposed to be Cæsar's
words as he crossed the Rubicon.
Jansenism was the Catholic Calvinism. Named for the Belgian bishop of
Ypres, Corelisu Jansen (1585-1638), it held, within the Catholic tradition,
in favor of absolute Predistination. Rome condemned Jansenism as heretical.
Jacquerie refers specifically to the peasant revolt of 1358, but
by extention to any uprising of the lower classes.
Arnail-François de Jaucourt 1757-1852. Royalist member of
the Legislative Assembly. He emigrated in 1793 and did not return to France
until 1799. He held important posts under Napoleon and was enobled as
Count de Joucourt in 1808.
Jeanne De Bourgogne, 1293-1348.
Wife of the future
Philip VI, she was accused of adultery in the Tower of Nesle but
was forgiven by her husband. In her widowhood she was allowed to live in
the Hôtel Nesle, near by the Tower, and is said to have seduced and
executed passersby there.
John Paul Jones, Scots-born American sea captain, 1747-1792.
Louis XVI loaned Jones and the Americans a ship, named by Jones the
Bonhomme Richard and Jones spent the last years of the war commanding
a combined French-American force harassing English shipping.
After the American
Revolution, Jones served Catherine the Great as an admiral of the Russian
Navy. He returned to Paris in 1790 and died there in 1792.
Joseph II, King of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor (1740-1790).
He was a brother of Maria Theresa and therefore uncle to Louis XVI's Queen.
Jean-Baptiste, Comte Jourdan, 1762-1830. An officer who
distinguished himself in all the wars of France from the republic through
the reign of Louis XVIII, though he was known as "the Anvil" from having
been beaten so often. He began service as a private soldier in 1778 and
rose to the highest levels of military and political power.
Mathieu Jouve Jourdan, 1749-1794. Called
"Jourdan Coupe-Tête" because he claimed to have cut off the heads
of two royal guards at Versailles in September, 1789.
He led the armed Jacobin
brigands at Avignon and brought terror there early in the revolution.
His excesses were punished by execution when he was captured at Marseilles
Judith. A biblical character. According the Book of Judith
(one of the Apocrypha), she avenged the Israelites by tricking the
invading Assyrian general Holofenes into drinking a great quantity of wine.
While he lay in a stupor, she cut off his head with his own sword.
Antoine Le Clerc de Juigné, ?-1811, archbishop of Paris,
succeeding Beaumont in 1781. He was president of the First Estate in the
Flavius Claudius Julianus, ("Julian the Apostate"), 331-363,
Emperor of Rome (361-363), nephew of Constantine the Great. Associated
to the empire by Constantius in 355, he showed himself an able soldier and
administrator in Gaul, routing the Alamanni at Strasbourg and pacifying
Northern France as far as Paris. After defeating Constantius in a civil
war, Julian, nominally a Christian, declared himself and the empire
under the protection
of Zeus and reestablished the old worship in Constantinople. None of his
affairs prospered thereafter and he was killed in battle by a Persian
arrow two years later.
Wenzel Anton, Prince von Kaunitz-Reitburg, 1711-1794, Austrian
diplomat and, from 1753 until his retirement in 1792, chancellor. He
was a master of forging alliances. Under his government, Austria's power and
influence, and its empire, peaked.
François Christophe Kellerman, 1735-1820. One of the few
experienced French general officers who remained in the army after the
Revolution. With Dumouriez he defeated the Duke of Brunswick's invasion force
in September, 1792; and credit for the relief of Valmy is given him.
Kellerman was imprisoned by Robespierre but survived the terror to become
a Marshal of France under Napoleon and Duke of Valmy after the Restoration.
Augustus, Viscount Keppel, 1725-1785, English Admiral.
Aboard Victory he commanded 30 British ships of the line
against the French at
the Battle of Ushant in 1778, a fight in which he was accused of cowardice,
though later absolved.
Kilkenny Cats: cats which were said to have fought so fiercely that,
when they were done, nothing was left of them but the tails.
Peter Klaus. A character in a German folk tale who fell asleep
in the woods and did not wake for 23 years. Washington Irving used the
story as one basis for his character Rip van Winkle.
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, 1724-1803. German poet and playwright.
He was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the French Revolution and was
given honorary citizenship; but he later became disgusted with the violence.
As far as I know, he never set foot in France.
John Knox, 1514-1572, Scottish churchman and a father of the
Presbyterian movement. He opposed the ascension of Mary Stuart to the
throne of Scotland and was captured when her French-backed forces occupied
the country. After two years as a French galley-slave, he returned to England
and joined the reformed Church of England. On the death of Edward VI he
fled to Europe, leading a congregation of exiled Puritans in Geneva. He
returned to England with his flock when Elizabeth became Queen. When
Scotland declared itself Protestant in 1560, Knox returned home and
devoted himself to the Church of Scotland.
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, 1741-1803, dramatist, author of
Les Liasons Dangereuses, banned for over 100 years after its
writing. He was a career Artillery officer, was close to the Duc d'Orleans,
and edited a newspaper in support of the Jacobins. After the revolution
he was a general under Napoleon.
Jean Charles Dominique de Lacretelle, 1755-1855. Journalist, historian and member
of the Acadamy. He is best known for his historical surveys
Précis historique de la Révolution français and
Histoire de France pendant le XVIIIe siècle This Lacretelle
was known as Lacretelle le Jeune to distinguish him from his older
brother, Pierre Louis. Both the brothers were royalists and were involved with
the resurgent monarchist party after Thermidor.
Sébastian Marie-Bruno Lacroix, (-1794). Radical member of the
Legislative Assembly and the Convention. He was chief in denouncing
Mirabeau when the latter's payments from the King were revealed. Lacroix was
a Dantonist and died with Danton and Camille in April, 1794.
Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette,
1757-1834. A leading figure in three Revolutions. He served on the staff
of George Washington as a Major General; was a leading advocate of a French
National Assembly; but fiercely protected Louis XVI, for which he was
Citoyen Laflotte. Spy in the Luxumbourg prision who accused ex-General
Dillon and the wife of Camille Desmoulins of plotting to save the life of
Joseph Louis Lagrange, 1736-1813. Generally considered the greatest
mathematician of his age, Lagrange also dealt with practical matters of
mechanics and physics. A Savoyard, Lagrange was given special permission to
remain in Paris when foreigners were expelled in 1793, and he continued to
do important public and private science throughout the decade. He is chiefly
responsible for the metric system.
Jean-François LaHarpe, 1739-1803. Poet, essayist and member
of the Acadamy. Already famous by the start of the Revolution, he supported
it until he was arrested in 1794. After Thermidor, he was a leader of the
Jérôme Lafrançais de Lalande, 1832-1807.
One of the premier astronomers of his time. He held deistic views and played
a prominent part in the Festival of the Supreme Being in June, 1794. He is
best known for the Histoire céleste française which
included a catalog of the some 40,000 stars known at the time. He was also
author of a Dictionary of Atheists.
Thomas Arthur O'Lally, Comte de Lally, Baron de Tollendal (1702-1766).
Son of an Irish Jacobite who married into the French nobility, O'Lally gained
high rank in the French military. In the war against England in 1756 he
was sent with a fleet to harass the British in India but met with misfortune,
was captured and taken prisoner of war. He was made a scapegoat for the
military disaster, condemned by the Paris Parlement, and executed.
Trophime Gerard O'Lally, Marquis de Lally-Tollendal, 1751-1830.
Bastard son (later legitimized) of Thomas Arthur O'Lally. He worked hard
and unsuccessfully to restore his father's name. Disgusted with the
direction of the Revolution, he emigrated to England in 1789.
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, 1744-1829. A zoologist of little
reputation in his own time, but later recognized as having organized
knowledge of species in such a way as to suggest the process of evolution.
Lamarck's conclusions were wrong -- he thought that acquired traits were
passed on to succeeding generations -- but his work was important in that
it implied that the origin of species was subject to natural rather than
Louis Alexandre Stanislaus de Bourbon, Prince of Lamballe,
Son of the Duc de Penthiévre. He died soon after marrying
Marie Therese Louise di Savoia Carignano (1749-1792)
who became a close friend of
Marie-Antoinette. The Princess de Lamballe fled with the first emigrés,
but returned to comfort Marie-Antoinette. When she refused to denounce
the monarchy, she was given over to the Paris crowd on September 3, 1792.
The mob beat, raped and dismembered her and carried her head on a pike
before the Queen's prison window.
Charles Eugene de Lorraine, Duc D'Elbeuf and Prince de Lambesc,
Louis XVI's Master of the Horse. He led the charge of Royal-Allemands against
the Paris mob at the Tuilleries, July 12, 1789.
Lameth, the manorial title of three noble brothers. All served in
America during the revolution. The oldest, Theodore (1756-1854),
was made marechal
by Louis XVI and was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1791.
His brothers Charles and Alexandre (1760-1829) were
also soldiers and politicians; both were deputies to the States-General for
the nobility. Alexandre was a general of the Republican
army but was taken prisoner and survived the Terror in an Austrian prison.
All three brothers seem to have had the title Comte de Lameth.
Charles, Comte de Lameth, 1757-1832,
One of Rochambeau's officers in the French expedition to Providence during
the American Revolution. After a flirtation with constitutional monarchy in
the Constituent Assembly, of which he was a president,
he became an important Jacobite
and later was an important commander under Napoleon.
Chretién François Lamoignon, Marquis de Basville,
1735-1789. As Garde-de-Sceaux (keeper of the seal), he was an important
functionary in the last years of Lous XVI's reign. He worked hand in
hand with Brienne in the institution of local assemblies and courts to weaken
Jeanne de St Remy de Valois, Comtesse de Lamotte, 1756-1791.
of the lower nobility who engineered the Diamond Necklace Affair. With
the unwitting contrivance of the Cardinal Louis de Rohan, who kept her as a
mistress, she and her husband managed to steal a necklace worth 85,000 pounds
sterling. The husband took the necklace to Paris where it was broken up and
the stones sold. Madame Lamotte, however, was arrested along with Rohan
and other minor participants. Rohan was acquitted, but Lamotte was condemned
as a thief, whipped branded and imprisoned in the Saltpetriere.
She escaped prison and fled to London
where in 1789 she published a widely-read memoir of the affair.
Antoine-Adrien Lamourette, 1742-1794. Sat in the Legislative
assembly for Rhône-et-Loire, where he was Constitutional Bishop.
He is best known for his attempt to end factional discord in the Legislative,
which resulted in the short-lived reconciliation of July, 1792. From that
episode, an insincere expression of political amity is called
Jean-Denis Lanjuinais, 1753-1827, lawyer and politician of
Rennes. He was elected to the States General for the commons of Rennes and
served on the Constitution Committee in the National Assembly and was involved
in the nationalization of church property. Appointed to the Convention,
he voted for the death of the King with an appeal to the people. A Girondist,
he fled Paris in 1793, hiding 18 months in Britanny until he was returned
to the legislature in 1795.
Jean-François de Galaup de Lapérouse, 1741-1788, French
noble and explorer. He was chosen to lead an expedition of discovery to the
Pacific in 1785. It is known that he reached Botany Bay in early 1788, but
after that the expedition disappeared seemingly without trace. In the
mid-1800s it was discovered that the ships had wrecked on a small
uncharted island, now called Recherce, in the Indian Ocean.
Marc-David Alba dit Lasource, 1763-1793. A Girondist deputy,
closely associated with the Roland clique. He is best known for his speech in
April, 1793 (while he was President of the Convention) in which he accused
Danton of complicity in the treason of Dumouriez. He was among the Girdins
suspended on May 31 and later executed.
Jean Frédéric de La Tour du Pin, 1727-1794.
Aristocrat and army officer. He was Louis XVI's Minister of War in the
post-Bastille government. He is probably best known as the husband of
Henriette-Lucy who was a friend of Marie-Antoinette and whose mémoirs
of the period are accurate and informed.
Lavergne, commandant of the French fort at Longwy. He surrendered
the place to Brunswick almost as soon as the Prussians appeared on the horizon
and was rumoured to have made a bargain to do so.
Antoine Lavoisier, 1743-1794, French chemist. He is credited with
many of the basic discoveries of chemistry as well as many practical
applications. Lavoisier was closely associated with the noblesse and was
executed during the Terror.
Bernard René Jordan, Marquis de Launay, 1740-1789.
Governor and son of a governor of the Bastille.
Although he had attempted to avoid casualties, he was murdered by the mob the
evening of July 14.
Philippe Le Bas, 1764-1794. Member of the Convention and friend
of Robespierre and Saint-Just. He fell with Robespierre on 10 Thermidor.
Guislan François (known as Joseph) Lebon, 1765-1795.
who was elected to the National
Convention. As a member on mission, he brutally suppressed a royalist
uprising in his home town of Arras.
Thomas Paine described him as "one of the vilest
characters that ever existed, and who made the streets of Arras run with
blood." Lebon was executed in 1795.
Pierre Henri Hélène Marie Lebrun-Tondu, 1754-1793,
politician of Noyon, Foreign Minister in the Girondin cabinet after August 10.
Isaac René Guy LeChapelier, 1754-1794. Breton lawyer who
actively opposed the tax reforms of Brienne in the Parlement of Rennes.
Elected for the Third Estate, he was a founder of the Breton Club (later
the Jacobins), and in 1791 he brought in the Act that bears his name
"Loi LeChapelier" which prohibited corporations of producers of goods,
effectively dismantling the guild system and the budding labor unions.
He emigrated and was condemned
to the guillotine on his return from England.
Laurent Lecointre, 1742-1805, fabric seller in Versailles, rose
from humble origins to positions of command in the National Guard and
the revolutionary governments. He commanded the detachment of Garde
Français at Versailles on October 6, 1789, when the women of
Paris marched on the town.
Louis Legendre, 1752-1797, Paris butcher, born at Versailles.
Though uneducated, he was a great natural leader. Legendre played important
parts in the taking of the Bastille, the massacre of the Champs-du-Mars and
the August 10 overthrow of the monarchy. As a delegate to the National
Assembly, he voted for the death of the King. He survived the Terror by
turning against Danton but became an important reactionary after 9 Thermidor.
He forced the closing of the Jacobins and prosecuted Carrier.
Michael Leonard-Bourdon, 1754-1807. Revolutionist of Orléns.
He was a member of the National Convention and was mainly concerned with
education, but Bourdon is best known for two incidents: first, he was in
charge of the royalist prisoners being transferred
from Orléns to Paris in September, 1792 --
the prisoners who were massacred by a mob in Versailles. Second, he was
attacked by Federalists in the streets of Oréans in 1793. Although he
was only injured, 9 of his assailants were executed for his "assassination".
Leonidas, King of Sparta who stood with 300 men at the pass of
Thermopylae to hold off the Persian armies of Xerxes. The story was a popular
one in revolutionary France. David painted it.
Pierre Nicolas Leroy, dit Dix-Août, 1743-1795. One of the
jurors of the Revolutionary Tribunal. He took his nickname, "10 August", from
the 1792 overthrown of the monarchy. Leroy was executed with the prosecutor,
Stanislaus Lesczczynski, 1677-1766, twice king of Poland
(1704-1709 and 1733-1735), and, from
1735, Duke of Lorraine and Bar. The story of how a Polish nobleman
became the prince of a French province that was under the control of the
Holy Roman Empire is told in note 105.
Lettres de Cachet.
Arrest warrants signed by the French king. They could be used to arrest
any person without investigation or proceedings. One imagines that Dr.
Manet in A Tale of Two Cities was arrested under cachet, though
Dickens doesn't say so.
Lettre de Jussion.
Royal order to record an edict despite the objection of the Parlement.
Réné Levasseur, 1747-1734. Surgeon and obstetrician,
elected to the National
Convention for the Sarthe. He was a rabid Jacobin and a leader in the
the Girondin deputies. Levasseur was sent on mission several times, notably
to the Army of the North where he participated in the great victory of
Handschoote; and to the Ardennes where he was on 9 Thermidor, thus escaping
the fate of his friend Robespierre. He was amnestied by the Convention and
returned to medical practice but was exciled as a regicide after the
Simon Nicholas Henri Linguet, 1736 - 1794.
The greatest judicial advocate of 18th-century France, Linguet was a man of
limited self-control. His bitter and sarcastic pen, directed against targets
as diverse as Gerbier and Mirabeau, caused him endless trouble and, at least
twice, exile. For a time he was in the service of the Emperor of Austria.
He wrote a spirited defense of Louis XVI during the trial,
and was himself sent to the guillotine two years later "for having
flattered the despots of Vienna and London."
Charles Joseph, Prince de Ligne, 1735-1814. Soldier and diplomat,
author of Contes Immoraux (Immoral Tales). He knew, and wrote about in
his memoirs, most of the great men of Europe.
Charles Antoine, Prince de Ligne, 1759-1792. Son of Charles-Joseph
and Françoise Marie Xavière, princess of Lichtenstein. He
married the princess Hélène Massalska in 1779. Charles Antoine
was killed in the Argonne while serving with an emigrée battalion.
Little Trianon — Le Petit Trianon.
A château built by Louis XV in 1768 at the insistence of
Madame de Pompadour?.
It was located near the Grand Trianon, the getaway château
built by Louis XIV
on the site of a village he destroyed for the purpose. Both were in the
neighborhood of Versailles.
Bridge of Lodi. During Napoleon's Italian campaign of 1796-97, the
French and Italian forces were barred from passing the river Adda by the
Austrian army. By the strength of repeated frontal assaults and a flank
maneuver of the cavalry, the bridge was taken. The Austrians lost 2,000 men
and their artillery.
Thomas Hardy wrote a well-known poem on the subject:
When of tender mind and body
I was moved by minstrelsy,
And that strain "The Bridge of Lodi"
Brought a strange delight to me.
In the battle-breathing jingle
Of its forward-footing tune
I could see the armies mingle,
And the columns cleft and hewn
On that far-famed spot by Lodi
Where Napoleon clove his way
To his fame, when like a god he
Bent the nations to his sway.
Hence the tune came capering to me
While I traced the Rhone and Po;
Nor could Milan's Marvel woo me
From the spot englamoured so.
And to-day, sunlit and smiling,
Here I stand upon the scene,
With its saffron walls, dun tiling,
And its meads of maiden green,
Even as when the trackway thundered
With the charge of grenadiers,
And the blood of forty hundred
Splashed its parapets and piers . . .
Any ancient crone I'd toady
Like a lass in young-eyed prime,
Could she tell some tale of Lodi
At that moving mighty time.
So, I ask the wives of Lodi
For traditions of that day;
But alas! not anybody
Seems to know of such a fray.
And they heed but transitory
Marketings in cheese and meat,
Till I judge that Lodi's story
Is extinct in Lodi's street.
Yet while here and there they thrid them
In their zest to sell and buy,
Let me sit me down amid them
And behold those thousands die . . .
— Not a creature cares in Lodi
How Napoleon swept each arch,
Or where up and downward trod he,
Or for his memorial March!
So that wherefore should I be here,
Watching Adda lip the lea,
When the whole romance to see here
Is the dream I bring with me?
And why sing "The Bridge of Lodi"
As I sit thereon and swing,
When none shows by smile or nod he
Guesses why or what I sing? . . .
Since all Lodi, low and head ones,
Seem to pass that story by,
It may be the Lodi-bred ones
Rate it truly, and not I.
Once engrossing Bridge of Lodi,
Is thy claim to glory gone?
Must I pipe a palinody,
Or be silent thereupon?
And if here, from strand to steeple,
Be no stone to fame the fight,
Must I say the Lodi people
Are but viewing crime aright?
Nay; I'll sing "The Bridge of Lodi" -
That long-loved, romantic thing,
Though none show by smile or nod he
Guesses why and what I sing!
Longchamp. A field in the Bois de Boulogne where horse races have
been held since the 17th century.
Étienne Charles Loménie de Brienne, 1727 - 1794,
archbishop of Toulouse.
He succeeded Calonne, who had followed Necker, who succeeded Turgot,
as treasurer in 1787. Brienne came to power during the sitting of the
Assembly of Notables and was dismissed in 1788, shortly before the calling
of the States General.
Major de Losme Salbrai, the commander of the garrison of the
Bastille under de Launay, was killed by the rioters despite his attempts to
avoid bloodshed during the siege.
Louis-Joseph, Prince of Condé (1736-1818).
Louis-Armand, 1755 - 1824. The older of Louis XVI's two brothers,
comte de Provence.
He was in the van of the emigrés and attempted to gain European support
for military intervention in France during the Revolution. He eventually
reigned as Louis XVIII. During the reign of his brother, he was often
referred to as "Monsieur".
Armand Elisée de Loustalot, 1762-1790, Paris lawyer and
journalist, chief writer of Révolutions de Paris, one of the
principal rabble-rousing journals, from July 1789 until his
death in 1790.
Jean Baptiste Louvet de Couvray, 1760 - 1797, French writer and
politician. His best known work is The Loves of the Knight of Faublas,
but he wrote other novels and plays. In 1792 he published a newspaper, the
Sentinel the placard-edition of which was much read on the streets
of Paris. He is probably best known for uttering two words, "J'accuse!",
against Robespierre in October, 1792 when the demagogue had asked in a speech
"who dares accuse me?".
François-Michel Le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois, 1641-1691,
Secretary of State and Minister for War in the cabinet of Louis XIV. He was
responsible for making the French army one of the great land powers of Europe;
but he also advised the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which brought the
ruin of French Protestants and French finances. He founded the Hôtel de
les Invalides for the care of soldiers wounded in the Sun King's wars.
Lubberland. A land of plenty. It's not clear whether
the name became
current with or precedes this 17th-century English ballad:
The rivers run with claret fine,
The brooks with rich canary,
The ponds with other sorts of wine,
To make your hearts full merry:
Nay, more than this, you may behold,
The fountains flow with brandy,
The rocks are like refined gold,
The hills are sugar candy.
There's nothing there but holy-days
With music out of measure;
Who can forbear to speak the praise
Of such a land of pleasure?
There may you lead a lazy life,
Free from all kind of labour:
And he that is without a wife,
May borrow of his neighbour.
Louis-Philippe I, Duc de Orléans (1725-1785).
Grandson of the regent, he left little mark. His son, as Carlyle remarks,
was a driving force in the Revolution, and his grandson was
Louis-Philippe, 1773-1850. Son of the Duke of Orléans
(Philippe Égalité) and King of France. He came to power in the
July Revolution of 1830 and reigned until the revolution of 1848. Although
he fought with the French army against the Prussians and emigrées in
1792, he spent most of the Revolution and the reign of Napoleon outside
France, including 4 years in the United States.
Nicolas, Baron de Luckner, 1722-1794.
Already an accomplished soldier, he was one of the French volunteers in
the American Revolutionary War and later a general and commander of the
Army of the North in the French revolutionary army. He was dismissed in 1792
because of his royalist sympathies and executed in the
lusus naturae, literally, "freak of nature".
Adam Lux, 1765-1793, was a German who welcomed the French advances
of 1792. When Custine took Mainz, Lux became a leading member of the Jacobin
club. When the Prussians retook the city, he went to Paris where he was soon
guillotined for defending the actions of Charlotte Corday,
the murderess of Marat, with whom
he had fallen in love after seeing her at her trial.
Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de Mably, 1709 - 1783. French
cleric and historian who wrote on theories of government. Jean-Jacuqes
Rousseau was a tutor in the Abbé's family.
Etienne Maignet, 1758-1834, lawyer of Ambert. He was elected to
the legislative assembly for Puy-du-Dôome
and undertook several important missions, including
one to the Army of the Moselle in 1793. He established the
popular commission d'Orange which tried and executed hundreds of
Girondists and federalists.
Jean-Baptiste Mailhe, 1754-1834. Deputy to the National
Convention from Haute-Garrone. He reported in 1792
the decision of the Committee on Legislation that the person of Louis XVI
was not inviolate as a matter of law. As one of the first to vote in the
of death after the trial, he voted for death but suggested that the Convention
might delay the execution. Mailhe survived the persecution of the Gerondists
and, after the fall of Robespierre, moved the disbanding of the Jacobins.
As a regicide he was exiled to Brussels at the restoration; he prospered
there and returned to Paris a wealthy man in 1830.
Stanislas-Marie Maillard, b. 1763, a Captain of the Bastille
Volunteers. He participated in the siege of the Bastille, perhaps
taking the terms
of capitulation passed by Launay through the portcullis (though it may have
been some else).
He accompanied, and perhaps helped to instigate the Women's
March to Versailles, October 5, 1789; and read their complaint to the
National Assembly. He was later a notorious Jacobin.
Louis de Mailly. Career soldier and maréchal-de-camp under
Louis XV and Louis XVI. He gained his reputation in
the War of Austrian Succession.
The royal kitchen, which Bourbon kings did not leave at home when he traveled.
Nicholas Malebranche, 1638-1715. The most influential of the
Cartesian philosophers. He is best known for the arguments now called
"occasionalism" and for the dictum "all things we see, we see through God".
Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, 1721-1794,
French botanist, lawyer and statesman,
at various times President of the Court
of Aids and
Minister in the government of Louis XVI.
For all that he opposed some measures of Louis XVI' government;
favored decentralization and elected assemblies; and advocated
rights for French Protestants and Jews; he was monarchist
and helped defend the King at his trial. He was guillotined in the Terror.
Malesherbes was the great-grandson of Guillaume de Lamoignon (1617-1677)
the famous codifier of French law. His cousin, Lamoignon, had great but
not particularly positive influence as Keeper of the Seals.
Jacques Mallet Du Pan, 1749-1800. Genevese Huguenot and
journalist. He wrote the Annales politiques with Linguet in London
and later contributed to the Mercure de France in Paris. Louis XVI
sent him abroad to gather foreign financing, and he remained outside France
1796. He returned to London in 1798 and died there.
Pierre Victor, Baron Malouet, 1740-1815. Colonial and
naval administrator. As a member for the Third Estate, he led the monarchical
party. Seeing how the wind blew, he emigrated in 1792.
François-Xavier-Joseph Guyot de Malsiegne, Marquis de
Maîche, 1759-1824. Army brigadier chosen by the Constituent Assembly
to inspect reports of mutiny at Nancy in August, 1790.
Jean Gailliot, Marquis de Mandat, 1731-1792. He was in command
of the Nation Guard in Paris on August 10, 1792. Mandat set up an effective
defense around the Tuileries but was summoned by the new insurrectional
Commune and murdered. His leaderless Guard was then unwilling to resist the
Louis Pierre Manuel, 1751-1793. Lawyer of Montargis. He was a
dedicated Jacobin and a member of the Legislative and the Convention, while
also serving as prosecutor of the Paris Commune. Manuel opposed execution of
the King and was arrested and executed with the Girondists.
Sylvain Maréchal, 1750-1803. Paris philosopher and poet.
He wrote the Almanach des Honnêtes Gens, which proposed
a new calendar in which the names of Saints would be replaced with those
of famous Frenchmen. An admirer of Rousseau, Maréchal was greatly
concerned with the problems of social inequality; in his later years he
proposed a system of agrarian socialism far in advance of his time.
Jean Paul Marat, 1743-1793. Swiss-born French journalist. He
spent 10 years in England beginning 1765 studying medicine, physics,
literature and politics. One of his best-known works, Chains of Slavery
was written in English (1774). On his return to Paris he developed
a medical practice among the noblesse and was physician to the Duc d'Artois'
cavalry regiment (Carlyle makes fun of his "horse-doctoring" — Marat
actually extended his knowledge through vivisection of horses). He also
wrote on physical science, translating Newton's Optics. His
newspaper La Ami du Peuple, published 1789-1793, both reported and
boosted the Revolution; it was violently anti-monarchical and anti-federalist.
He was murdered in his bath by
Charlotte Corday, July 13, 1793.
Marat was disliked by most of the leaders of the revolution and spent much of
the first 3 years of the revolution in hiding. He became a powerful influence
in the emergency Commune after August 10, 1792 and is given a large share of
the blame for the September Massacres.
Carlyle considers Marat motivated by bitterness because he lost many of his
noble patients in the 1780s. He also despises Marat for his eloquent lack of
Marie-Thèrée de Bourbon 1778-1851,
eldest daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Therese of Austria. Carlyle refers to
her as "Madam Royale", the traditional title of the king's first daughter
(subsequent girls being styled collectively "Mesdames de France"). Madame
Royal survived the imprisonment of the royal family and went on to marry her
cousin, the Duc de Angoulême. She left valuable memoirs of her life
Jean-François Marmontel, 1723-1799. Historian, philosopher,
poet and novelist; a disciple of Voltaire.
He was one of the Encyclopoedists with Diderot and Alembert.
La Marseillaise, a hymn composed in 1792 by Rouget de Lisle,
an Army engineer. The idea was to have a patriotic march more martial
in spirit than the Ça Ira. It was originally titled
Chant de Guerre de l'Armée du Rhin, but when the 500
volunteers from Marseilles marched into Paris singing it, it became ever
known as La Marseillaise.
Allons enfants de la Patrie
Come, children of the Fatherland,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé
The day of glory is here;
Contre nous, de la tyrannie
Against us, representing tyranny,
L'étandard sanglant est levé,
The blood flag is raised,
L'étandard sanglant est levé!
||The bloody flag is raised!
Entendez-vous, dans le compagnes,
Do you hear, across the countryside,
Mugir ces farouches soldats?
The shouts of the savage soldiers?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
They come directly to us
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes.
To slaughter yours sons, your comrades.
Aux armes, citoyens!
To arms, citizens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Draw up your battalions!
Qu'un sang impure abreuve nos sillons.
That their gore might water our fields.
Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,
||What do they want, this horde of slaves,
De traîtres, de rois conjurés?
||Of traitors, of conspiring kings?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
||For whom do they intend these fetters
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés?
||These irons so long held ready?
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés?
||These irons so long held ready!
Français, pour nous, ah! quel outrage
||Frenchmen, they are for us! What an outrage!
Quels transports il doit exciter!
||What energy it must give us!
C'est nous qu'on ose méditer
||It is we they intend to turn
De rendre à l'antique esclavage!
||Once again into slaves!
Quoi! ces cohortes étrangères
||What? These foreign troops
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
||Would rule our hearths?
Quoi! ces phalanges mercenaires
||What? These mercenary battalions
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers !
||Would crush our proud fighters?
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers !
||Would crush our proud fighters!
Grand Dieu ! par des mains enchaînées
||Great God! by our joined hands
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
||Our heads are bent to the yoke
De vils despotes deviendraient
||Against these despots
Les maîtres des destinées!
||Who would rule our destiny.
Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
||Tremble, you tyrants and you traitorous
L'opprobre de tous les partis,
||Cast-offs of the parties!
Tremblez ! vos projets parricides
||Tremble! Your parricidal plots,
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix!
||They will be paid.
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix!
||They will be paid!
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,
||Every man is a soldier to fight you.
S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,
||If they fall, these young heroes,
La France en produit de nouveaux,
||France will produce them anew.
Contre vous tous prêts à se battre !
||Every hand will be raised against you!
Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
||Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Portez ou retenez vos coups !
||Hold or restrain your blows.
Épargnez ces tristes victimes,
||Save the sad victims
À regret s'armant contre nous.
||Unwillingly being armed against us.
À regret s'armant contre nous.
||Unwillingly being armed against us.
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
||But against these bloody despots,
Mais ces complices de Bouillé,
||These accomplices of Bouillé,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
||Be like tigers who, without pity,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère!
||Would shred the guts of their own mother!
Amour sacré de la Patrie,
Sacred love of the Fatherland,
Conduis, soutiens, nos bras vengeurs,
Guide and support our vengeful arms,
Liberté, liberté cherie
Liberty, cherished liberty
Combats avec tes defénseurs;
Fight alongside your defenders!
Combats avec tes defénseurs,
Fight alongside your defenders,
Sous drapeaux, que la victoire
Under our banners, so that victory
Acoure à tes mâle accents;
Will rush to your manly songs;
Qu tes ennemis expirants
So your fallen enemies
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire
Will see your triumph and our glory.
Nous entrerons dans la carrière
||We shall enter the profession of war
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus,
||Where our predecessors no long are.
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
||We will find their dust there
Et la trace de leurs vertus
||And a trace of their virtues.
Et la trace de leurs vertus
||And a trace of their virtues
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
||Which yet survive.
Que de partager leur cercueil,
||Rather than honor their coffins,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
||We shall with sublime pride
De les venger ou de les suivre !
||Avenge them or follow them.
Charles Martel, surnamed "the hammer", (683-741).
Grandfather of Charlesmagne and Mayor of the Palace for the last
Merovingian kings. He is best known for beating back the invasion of the
Spanish Moslem Saracens, the stuff of many of the old French romances.
René Nicolas de Maupeou. 1714-1792.
The chancellor of Louis XV and, before, President of the parlement.
He was responsible for the dissolution of all parlements in 1771, a move
which bought him the gratitude of the monarch and the hate of the nobles.
Maupeou has a very bad historical reputation, but there is a contrarian
view that if his parlementary "reforms" had held, rather than being reversed
by Louis XVI, the revolution might have been prevented.
Jean Frédéric Phélypeaux, Comte de Maurepas,
Maurepas was an important functionary in the court of Louis XV and became the
prime minister of Louis XVI when he was nearly 80 years old.
Jean-Siffrein Maury, (1746-1817). Descendent of a converted Calvinist
family, he was a renowned wit in his youth and author of Princepes de
Maury was a leading voice for the interests of the Church, the King and
the existing social order in the States General and Constituent Assembly.
He fled France in 1792, living in Rome, where he was made a Cardinal in
1794; and after the French occupation of Italy in 1799, in Russia.
He attempted to leave France in July and again in October of 1789, but
Arnaud Meillan, 1748-1809, member of the National Convention for the
Basses-Pyrénées. He was put out of the convention as an
associate of the Girondins but was later readmitted. His memoires are an
important source of information about the Convention.
Menads. The story of the Menads comes mainly from Ovid's
Metamorphoses. Orpheus, having lost Euridice, rejected all women.
The women of the tribe of Cicones in his native Thrace, whom Ovid describes
as wild-women, "their furious breasts/Clad with the spotted skins of
savage beasts" attacked Orpheus as a woman-hater. These woman, who were
devotees of the wine-god Dionysus or Bacchus, we call the
Menades or Menads. The magic
power of Orpheus's
voice and lute was able to deflect their weapons for a while, but the women
brought out the drums and instruments used to celebrate the feast of Bacchus.
The noise overcame the power of Orpheus's music and they were able to
overwhelm him. They tore him limb-from-limb and threw his head into the river
Jacques-François, Baron de Menou, 1750-1810. Army general.
He represented the second estate of Boussay in the States General and fought
against the rebels in the Vendée. Under the Empire he succeeded
Kléber in Egypt.
Louis-Sebastian Mercier, 1740-1814.
Dramatist, journalist and historian. In the Constituent
Assembly he was a Girondist and opposed the execution of the king. He
was imprisoned during the Terror but released after the fall of Robespierre.
Antione Christophe Merlin (de Thionville), 1762 - 1833. A lawyer,
he was elected to the Legislative Assembly and served in all the elected
assemblies until 1798. He was violently anti-monarchical and
anti-emigré. Although he had no military experience, he was several
times sent on mission to the armies. He distinguished himself at
Mainz and was brutally effective in the Vendée.
After 1798 Merlin lived privately
as a farmer except in 1814 when he led a volunteer army in a
vain attempt to halt the advance of the Allied armies.
Philippe-Antoine Merlin, 1754-1838, known as "Merlin d'Douai".
He served in the National Convention and introduced the "Law of Suspects"
there, the infamous law that put under threat of immediate arrest:
(i) Those who, either by their conduct or their relationships,
by their remarks or by their writing, are shown to be partisans of tyranny
and federalism and enemies of liberty;
(ii) Those who cannot justify, under the provisions of the law of
21 March last, their means of existence and the performance
of their civic duties;
(iii) Those have been refused certificates of civic responsibility
(certificats de civisme);
(iv) Public officials suspended or deprived of their functions by the
National Convention or its agents, and not since reinstated, especially
those who have been, or ought to be, dismissed by the law of 14 August last;
(v) Those former nobles, including husbands, wives, fathers, mothers,
sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, and agents of émigrés,
who have not constantly manifested their loyalty to the Revolution;
(vi) Those who have emigrated during the interval between the 1 July 1789
and the publication of the law of 8 April 1792, although they may have
returned to France during the period of delay fixed by the law or before.
Merovingian Kings.A race of Frankish
barbarian monarchs who ruled northern Gaul after the decay of Roman
power there. The first great conquerer, Clovis, who ruled as King
of all Franks from 481-511, divided his empire among his four sons,
Theodoric (Metz), Chlodomer (Orléans), Childebert (Paris) and
Lothair (Soissons). The line continued into the 8th century.
The Merovingian Kings traditionally did not cut their hair.
Franz Anton Mesmer, 1734-1815.
Swiss physician who believed that living things, including people,
could be "magnetized" to their benefit.
Minute-guns. Guns fired at a fixed period, usually one minute,
as at a military funeral.
Honoré Gabriel Riquetti, Comte de Mirabeau, 1749 - 1791.
French essayist, politician and fire-brand orator. He gained fame as the
author of essays on despotism and on Letters of Cachet
under authority of one of which he spent three years in prison, 1777-1780;
and infamy for running off with a married woman.
Elected for the
Third Estate (though a noble) from Marseilles, he became the leader of
the party seeking
constitutional monarchy. Although this party did not prevail, he was elected
a President of the National Assembly. He was the principal author of
the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen".
At the end of his life, he was in the pay of the Louis XVI. When the king
was deposed and executed, and the payoffs were discovered,
Mirabeau's remains were removed from their resting
place in the Pantheon.
Sebastiao Francisco de Miranda, 1750-1816. Venezuealan-born Spanish General. He
assisted Gen. Washington during the American Revolution and later was a
general in the French Revolutionary Army. He
died in prison after leading a revolution against
Spain in South America.
Victor Riquetti, Marquis Mirabeau (1715-1789).
An aristocratic land-owner and amateur economist, author of
The Friend of Men and father of Honoré and
Andre Boniface Louis de Riquetti, Viscomte Mirabeau, 1754-1792.
Younger brother of the famous orator Mirabeau, he distinguished himself as
a soldier in the American Revolution but otherwise lived a boisterous and
dissolute life. His was nicknamed Mirabeau Tonneau (Mirabeau Barrel). In
the States General (he was elected for the nobles of Limoges)
he strongly opposed the joint sitting of the three houses.
He raised a regiment to fight alongside the German invaders in 1791 and died —
either from apoplexy or in a duel — in 1792.
Armand-Thomas Hue, Marquis de Miromesnil, 1723 - 1796.
Antoine François Momoro, 1756-1794. Paris book-seller and
one of the most
listened-to members of the Club of the Cordeliers, editor if its journal,
and originator of the saying Liberté, égalité,
fraternité ou la mort.
He was executed by direct order of Robespierre.
Gaspard Monge, 1746-1818. Mathematician, physicist and chemist
of Beaune. He was one of the leading scientists in Paris at the time of the
revolution and he strongly supported it. He was made of Secretary of the
Navy in the Girondist cabinet, but was not effective in that position.
Monge managed to avoid politics during the Terror and was involved in the
establishment of the Polytechnique and the École Normal. He befriended
Napoleon in the late 1790s and was ennobled as Comte de Péluse under the
Charles de Secondat,
Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu, (1689-1755),
French philosopher and political scientist. Montesquieu's idea of
government balanced among executive, legislative and judicial functions
influenced constitutional governments around the world.
Anne-Pierre, Marquis de Montesquiou-Fezensac, (1739-1798),
dramatist and general. His long military career began in 1754. At the
beginning of the Revolution he commanded the Army of the South, but after
magnificent successes against the Savoyards in 1792 he was accused of royalist
sympathies (probably justified because he was a boyhood friend of Louis XVI)
and fled to Switzerland. His exile was short: he returned to France after the
fall of Robespierre and lived in Paris until his death.
Jean Gabriel Maurice Rocques, Comte de Ontagaillard, 1761-1841.
The son of minor nobles, he was a political schemer throughout his life.
He served at various times as a secret agent for and against the Revolution,
Napoleon, Louis XVIII and Charles X. His memoirs, consulted by Carlyle,
are highly suspect.
Armand-Marc comte de Monmtorin de Saint-Herem, 1745 - 1792,
French statesman. He was a long-time friend of Louis XVI and was appointed
to lead the Foreign Ministry on the death of Vergennes.
Charles Théveneau de Morande 1741-1805, journalist and
sometimes blackmailer. He wrote Mémoires secrets d'une femme
publique, a smear of Madame du Barry.
Hannah More, 1745-1833, English educational theorist, author of
Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education and Coelebs
in Search of a Wife. Carlyle contrasts her with Madame de Genlis, who
had influence on the education of nobles in France.
André Morellet, 1727-1819. Philisopher and
translator, of liberal bent. He was a churchman and opposed to the
revolution of the lower classes.
Mederic-Louis Moreau de Saint-Mery, 1750-1819. French colonial
administrator. Returned from the Caribbean, he found himself President of
the Paris Electors on the
eve of the Revolution and was later elected to the Constituent Assembly by
the colony of Martinique. A moderate, he escaped France in 1792 and lived
for several years in Philadelphia.
Mouchard. A police or government spy.
Jean-Joseph Mounier, 1758-1806. He was a provincial politician
in Grenoble until the States General, in which he represented the Third
Estate, propelled him to national prominence. He proposed the Oath at the
Tennis Court; and with Mirabeau he wrote
the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
Joseph-Michael Mongolfier, 1740-1810.
The son of a paper manufacturer, he and his brother Etienne pioneered
techniques for vacuum pumping and hydraulics. They are best known for
creating a hot-air baloon which they successfully demonstrated on June 5,
The balloons of the 18th century were sometimes called "mongolfiers".
André Morellet, 1727-1819.
French Academician, friend of Voltaire and Rousseau. His Memoires are an
important source of information about the Age of Paper and the Revolution.
Guyton de Morveau. Advocate-General of the Dijon Parlement.
Mutius Scaevola. Ancient Roman soldier (not to be confused with
Quintus Mutius Scaevola, the law-giver of a later era) whose name survives as
a symbol of fortitude and patriotism. During the Tuscan wars he suffered his
right hand to be burned off in the presence of the Tuscan leader, Lars
Porsenna, rather than dishonor the Roman state.
Jacques-André Naigeon, 1738-1810. Friend of Diderot. He
contributed to the Encyclopoedia as a young man. In 1790 he addressed
the Assembly in favor of freedom of speech. He was known as an intolerant
and fanatic atheist.
Jean-Louis de Narbonne, 1755-1813. Court figure and supposed
bastard of Louis XV. He was a friend and relative of Talleyrand.
Narbonne has a long relationship with Mme. de Staël who bore him two
children. In 1791 he became Minister of War in the constitutional cabinet
and was instrumental in fielding the first revolutionary armies against
Prussia and Austria. He was replaced by Dumouriez in June, 1792.
Jacques Necker, 1732-1804, French-Swiss banker.
He was twice Controller-General under Louis XVI but failed to put the
French finances in order mainly due to resistance by the noblesse. His
memoir Compte Rendu (Account Rendered) increased the
dissatisfaction of the French with their government while increasing his
Nenia. Latin for a funeral song or dirge. A familiar one from
the 15th century is attributed to Pontanus:
Somne, veni, tibi Luciolus blanditur ocellis.
Somne, veni, venias, blandule somne, veni.
Accubitum te Luciolus vocat: eia, age, somne,
eia, age, somne, veni, noctis amice, veni.
Ad cunas te Luciolus vocat: huc age, somne,
somne, veni ad cunas, somne, age, somne, veni.
Venisti, bone somne, boni pater alme soporis,
qui curas hominum corporaque aegra levas.
Nestor, the mythological king of Pylos who went with the Greeks to
Troy and was greatly respected among gods and men for his age,
his sage advice and his bravery.
Antoine Nivière-Chol, 1744-1817. Elected mayor of Lyons in December,
1792, he resigned in 1793 under pressure from the Lyonaisse Jacobins. He
was re-elected in April, defeating the Jacobin candidate Chalier, but
forced out again in May. In June,
Nivière's party, usually identified as
"Girondist" but more properly Federalist, overthrew the Jacobin-supported
government, arresting Chalier and and later executing him.
Nova Zembla. A peninsula in Northern Russia, extending into the
Artic Sea. Despite its far-northern position, it is warmed by sea currents
and is very fertile in places.
objurgatory. An adjective describing the process of delivering
a harsh rebuke.
The "eye of the bull" or "Bull's eye" —
the anteroom to the King's Bedchamber at Versailles, so named for the
round window above the lentil. In the reigns of Louis XV and XVI, it was
synonymous with the center of government.
Vincent Oge, 1750-1791. A free mulatto (Carlyle says quadroon)
and relatively wealthy Haitian. He went to France to plead for civil rights
for mixed-race colonials and when he was ignored (except by Brissot and
a few of the Girondins) returned to Hispanola. He fomented an insurrection
in 1791 and was tortured to death.
Orcus. A name for Dis, the Roman god of the underworld. By
extension, it is used to mean the Underworld itself.
Charles-Nicolas Osselin, 1752-1794. A member of the insurrectionary
Commune and probably one of the planners of the August 10 attack on the
Tuileries. He sat on the Committee of Public Safety, but was removed when it
was discovered he had saved and made a mistress of one of the prisoners of
the Revolutionary Tribunal. For this and other irregularities, he was
patibulary, an adjective meaning 'pertaining to the gallows'.
Louis-Philippe Joseph Orleans, Duc de Chartres, 1747-1793.
After the death of his father,
Louis-Philippe, in 1785 he assumed the title Duc d' Orléans.
He is better known as "Philippe Egalité"
primarily for an incident during the
meeting of the States-General in which he led the secession of a group of
47 nobles from their Estate to the Third Estate. The party of Louis XVI
suspected Philippe of stirring the agitations that became the Revolution.
Although Orléans was ambitious and had visions of becoming a
King, there is little evidence that he actively fostered the Revolution.
Philippe was a member of the Jacobins and sat with the radicals in the
Constituent Assembly, but he never had their trust.
The Orleans Regency (1715-1723).
At the death of Louis XIV, his great-grandson and heir,
to become Louis XV, was a boy of 5 years. The will
of Louis XIV put the government in the hands of Philip, duc d' Orléans.
The regency was known as a period of shrewd diplomacy and loose morals.
Jean Nicolas Pache, 1746-1823. French-born politician
of Swiss parentage. He held
posts in the royal household under the old regime and was Minister of War
for about six months in 1793 and 1794. In 1794 he was elected mayor of
Paris, but his earlier connections with the Girondists (who thought he
was an incompetent) and his later attachment to Hèbert
led to his arrest in the Terror. He escaped execution
and eventually dropped out of public life.
Thomas Paine, 1737-1809. The son of an English quaker, he was
early apprenticed as a corset-maker. After educating himself (he
never mastered the subtleties of grammar), he emigrated to the United States
in 1774. In early 1776 he wrote the famous pamphlet Common Sense which
was probably read by a majority of literate colonists; it urged an immediate
declaration of independence and a union of the colonies. He served in the
Continental Army, during which time he wrote the essay series The American
Crisis. Paine first visited revolutionary Paris in 1789 and returned
frequently over the next three years. He wrote extensively in support of the
revolution, most significantly The Rights of Man in 1791-92, for which
he was condemned, in absentia, of treason by English courts.
Although he did not speak French, Paine was given French citizenship and
elected to the National Convention in 1792. His friendship with the Girondists
led to rescinding the citizenship and his arrest -- for being English. He
wrote The Age of Reason in the Luxumburg prison.
Palais Royal, a theatre (later a complex of theatres) near the Louvre,
originally built by Cardinal Richelieu and later used by Moliere's troupe.
The Duke of Chartres (q.v.) purchased it in 1782 and
turned it into an amusement area frequented by all classes. Most literature
of the period, even the most seditious, could be found there because, as the
property of nobility, police had no jurisdiction.
The Palladium was a statue of the goddess Pallas in her temple at
Troy. Legend was that the city would be preserved as long as the statue
The Pandours were originally a regiment of Croats in the Austrian
Army, known for ruthlessness and cruelty. The term has come to mean any
group of brutal and loosely-controlled soldiers.
Etienne-Jean Panis,1757-1832, Paris lawyer. He came into
prominence in the August 10, 1792 insurrection. A friend of Danton, he
served on the Committee of Vigilance, in charge of finding suspects for the
Revolutionary Tribunal. He was a member of the Convention, where he voted for
the guilt and death of the king.
The Pantheon. The building being erected to replace the burnt
Abbaye de Ste-Genevièe was converted in 1791 to a burial hall for
the great men of the Revolution. Mirabeau was the first to be interred, and
the first to be removed. The bodies of Voltaire and Rousseau were moved
to the Pantheon in July and September, 1791, respectively. After the
revolution the building returned to control of the church but it has remained
a "Hall of Fame" since Victor was buried there. The graves of the Curies
are there, and most recently the ashes of André Malraux were transferred
to the Pantheon.
Parc-aux-cerfs. The royal deer park where Louis XV engaged in
many of his short-term amours.
Claude-Emmanuel de Pastoret, 1755-1840.
Legislator, poet and academician, he was a loyalist in
the Legislative Assembly, emigrated in 1793 and returned in 1795. Pastoret
was elected to the 500 and served in the governments of Napoleon. He was
elected to the Académie in 1820.
Paul et Virginie, a 1787 novel by Bernardin Saint-Pierre that
depicted the chaste and doomed affair of a boy and a girl on a
tropical island. It set a high standard for escapist entertainment.
Cornelis De Paux, 1734-1799. French-Dutch-Prussian philosopher,
diplomat and trans-nationalist. Uncle of Baron von Cloots.
Claude-François Payan, 1766 - 1794. Nobleman of
Dauphiné. He resigned his army commission in 1789 and became active
in the Jacobins. He was editor of the Jacobin newspaper
l'Anti-fédéralist and a member of the jury of the
Revolutionary Tribunal. When Chaumette fell (April, 1794),
he was made Agent Nationale
and effective co-mayor of Paris. Payan was executed with his fellow
Robespierrists on 10 Thermidor.
Louis Michel Comte de le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, 1760 - 1793,
French jurist and politician. He was a brilliant young member of the Parlement
of Paris and later President of the National Assembly. He was assassinated
by a national-guardsman in 1793 shortly after voting for the death of the King.
Jean-Gabriel Peltier, 1765-1825, banker and journalist. He came
to Paris after being bankrupt trying to do business with the crown. In
late 1789 he founded the anti-Convention journal Le Actes des
Apôtres. His politics led to his emigration in 1792. Peltier
gained renown in London as the editor of anti-Bonapartist journal
in the first decade of the 19th century.
Duc de Penthiévre, 1725 - 1793, a cousin of Louis XVI.
He was father of Louis Egalité's wife.
Pepin III, surnamed "the short", 714-768).
Son of Charles Martel and father of Charlesmagne. He was the first
Carolingian king of the Franks. His conquests formed the basis
of Charlesmagne's empire.
Jacob Pereira (or Peyreyra or Pereyra). Flemish
Jew of Portuguese descent. He had a contract to supply the Revolutionary
Pereyra was a Jacobin and served as commisioner to the Belgian government
under Dumouriez's occupation, along with Proli and Dubuisson. In the middle
of the defeats of 1793,
he accused Dumouriez of treason. Pereyra was reputed to be the
bastard of Prince Kaunitz, the Austrian Prime Minister.
Peterloo. The massacre of Peterloo was English rather than French
history. On 16 August 1819, a crowd gathered at St. Peter's Field, Manchester,
to protest among other things, restrictive laws concerning the import of grain,
were assaulted by the 15th Hussars.
Fifteen English men and women were killed.
Jerome Pétion de Villenueve, 1756-1794.
A provincial lawyer with radical credentials, he was elected deputy for the
Third Estate of Chartres.
Pétion was elected vice-mayor of Paris in 1791 and petitioned for the
dethronement of the king in 1792. His reputation for incorruptibility was
matched only by that of Robespierre. He was one of the Twelve on the Committee
of Public Safety, but a falling-out with Robespierre forced him to flee
Paris and eventually commit suicide.
Francesco Petrarch, 1304-1374. Italian poet. He spent much of his
early life in Avignon.
Alexandre Frédéric Jacques Masson de Pezay,
17xx-1777. French nobleman. He was instrumental in the dismissal of
Turgot and bringing in Necker. His only public post however, was inspector
of ports, a job he is well-known for mismanaging.
Marie Jeanne Roland, née Philipon or Phlipon, 1754-1793.
the inspector-general turned revolutionary Jean-Marie Roland de la
Platière. She supported her husbands Girondist politics and was
arrested for them. After 5 months' imprisonment she was executed in
December, 1793. She is remembered for the eloquent memoirs she wrote while
in prison and for her words on going to the guillotine: "O Liberty,
what crimes are committed in thy name!" Her Mémoirs, written
in prison, were published in 1820 and were generally much admired.
Pierre Nicolas Philippeaux, 1756-1794. Member of the Convention for
the Sarthe, he voted for the death of the king with delay. A friend and
follower of Danton, he frequently clashed with his fellow member on mission,
Chodieu, whom he renounced on his return to Paris. He was arrested and
executed with Danton.
Charles Pichegru, 1761-1804. Revolutionary Army
general who rose through the
ranks. Despite significant victories on the Rhine, and in the Netherlands
where he took Amsterdam, he was involved in several royalist conspiracies. The
last, in 1803, led to his arrest. He died in prison.
Jacques Pinet, 1754-1844, member of the Convention. Associate on
mission with Cavaignac at Brest and Bayonne in 1793-4.
William Pitt (the Younger), 1759-1806.
Tory prime minister of England
1783-1801 and 1804-1806.
Place Louis XV, or Place Louis Quinze, is the square in central
Paris known as Place de la Revolution after 1790 and Place de la Concord
Plumsack, or "plumpsack", a game in which a knotted cloth is passed
around a circle of players without the use of hands.
Pompadour, Jeanne-Antoinette (Poisson) (1715-1764).
Mistress of Louis XV
and arbiter of fashion in his court. She was of a Paris commercial banking
Jules, Duc de Polignac, d. 1817. French court figure. He held
the post of Postmaster-General in Louis XVI's government, but his real
influence was as the husband of one of Marie-Antoinette's best friends.
Armand, duc de Richelieu, 1771-1847. First son of Jules, Duc
de Polignac. He was condemned by the revolution and remained imprisoned
Jules Armand, prince de Polignac, 1780-1847. The second son of Jules,
he was imprisoned by Napoleon but released in 1814 and went on to become
ambassador to England and briefly head of the last government of Charles X.
The July Revolution of 1830 put him once again in prison until 1836.
Jean-George Le Franc de Pompignan, 1715-1790, archbishop of Vienne
and brother of the poet Jean-Jacques Le Franc. He was elected to the
States-General for the clergy and led the splinter which joined the Third
Estate in May, 1789. He was one of the first Presidents of the National
Assembly and served in the Revolutionary governments.
Jean-Jacques Le Franc, Marquis de Pompignan, 1709-1794.
French dramatist, poet, translator and lawyer,
at one time a president of the Court of Aids. Brother of Jean-George Le Franc,
archbishop of Vienne. One of his translations was of the Lamentations.
Louis François Perren, Comte de Précy.
Royalist and commander
of the rebellious forces at Lyons in 1793.
M. Goupil de Prefeln, ?-1831. An aristocrat and parlementarian
His father, the "old Goupil" referred to by Carlyle,
was a member of the constituent assembly and a judge of the court at
Joseph Priestley, 1833-1804. English chemist and philosopher.
His Unitarian religious beliefs put him in sympathy with the French Revolution,
which he saw as doing away with arbitrary government control. (Unitarians
were not a tolerated sect in England at the time.) These sympathies led to
his house and laboratory in Birmingham being burnt during the "Church and King"
riots in 1791. After he was made an honorary French citizen in 1792, his
persecution in England became so severe that he emigrated to America, where
Claude-Antoine, Comte de Prieur-Duvernois (Prieur de la Côte d'Or), 1763-1832. Politician and army officer from Auxonne. H was important in
preserving the supply lines for French forces in 1793 and 1794, a problem
he and Carnot made their first priority as a member of the Committee of
Public Safety. As a member of the National Assembly he was frequently sent
on mission to disaffected regions of the country. While on mission to Caen
he was imprisoned for over a month.
George Augustus Frederick, 21st Prince of Wales, 1762-1830. Later
George IV, he became regent for his father, the mad king George III, in 1811.
He set the standard for all future Princes of Wales in terms of drinking,
gambling, high living and wenching.
Café Procope, "the world's first coffee-house." established
in 1686 by a Sicilian, Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli. It's
pre-revolutionary customers included Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin.
The café has been
I believe, at the site where it began, 13 Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie,
Pierre Proli, or Proly, -1794.
A Belgian financier who became grew rich trading in
war materiel. He was a member of the Jacobins and spent most of his time
in Paris. He was a supporter of Hébert and was executed with him.
Louis-Marie Prudhomme, 1752-1830 editor and publisher of the radical
weekly Révolutions de Paris, founded in 1789. Most of the
content in 1789 and 1790 was written by Loustalot, a fire-brand.
Prudhomme ceased publication in 1794 in reaction to the Terror. In 1797
he published An Impartial History of the Revolution in collaboration
with Sylvain Maréchal. His best-known work was
Les Crimes de la Révolution
(The General and Impartial History of the Errors, Offenses, and Crimes Committed during the French Revolution)
in which he catalogs atrocities of
the period, some of them even true.
Joseph comte de Puisaye, 1755-1827. French general of Le Perche,
which elected him to the States General for the second estate. He served as
a deputy to Wimpfen under Dumouriez, and also seconded Wimpfen in the command
of the Girondist insurrectionary army. When that force was routed, he fled to
England, where he participated in the planning for the disasterous attempt to
land at Queberon. He spent the rest of his life in exile in England.
A pyx is the vessel containing the Host during Communion.
Jean Paul Rabaut Saint-Etienne, 1743-1793. French protestant cleric,
son of the famous Huguenot Paul Rabaut. He was one of the framers of the
Constitution in the Constituent Assembly and one of the 12 on the Committee
for Public Safety. A monarchist, he was purged with the Girondists and
executed in 1793 after being found hiding between the walls of his house.
Paul Rabaut, 1718-1794. Father of Saint-Etienne. He was the most
influential Huguenaut of his time and largely responsible for the cessation
of active persecution after 1760. He was arrested about the time of Saint-Etienne's execution and died soon after his release.
Jean-Baptiste Racine, (1639-1699), along with Molière and
Corneille was the most prominent literary figure of the time of Louis IV.
His plays don't read well in English, but were influential on the development
of drama both in England and on the continent.
Guillaume-Thomas-François Raynal, (1713-1796).
The "Abbè Raynal" was an historian and controversialist who was exiled
briefly for his anti-American views. He was a leading conservative voice
François Trophime Rebecqui, 1744-1794. Politician of Marsailles.
He was elected to the Legislative and the Convention and aligned
himself with Brissot and Vergniaud. As representative on mission, he
subdued the royalist uprising in Arles in 1791. When the Girondists were
imprisoned, he escaped to Marsailles where he tried to raise an opposition.
He committed suicide in January, 1794.
Red Book. The secret pensions paid by the government of Louis XVI were
recorded in the Red Book. When it was found and published in 1791, some of
the entries caused great embarrassment and political downfalls.
Réné first d'Anjou (1434-1480). Son of Louis II,
duc d'Anjou, he was titular king of Naples and of Aragon as a boy.
Réné was the last ruling Count of Provence. On his death,
he ceded his territories around Avignon to the Pope; Provence became
the property of the French crown. Réné was a great patron
and protector of the arts, which is probably why Carlyle calls him
John Renwick, 1662-1688, Scottish field preacher of the United
Societies or Cameronians, a Presbyterian group still faithful to the Solemn
League and Covenant. The group disavowed loyalty to Charles II and encouraged
field preaching, both capitol offenses in Scotland.
Renwick was hanged (or martyred) at Edinburgh.
Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642)
Armand Jean du Plessis, prime minister of Louis XIII. He is best known today
for his assertion that "If you give me six lines written
by the most honest man, I will find
something in them to hang him." His policies firmly established the French
monarchy as the near-absolute power.
Jean-François-Armand de Richelieu (1696-1788).
Great grand-nephew of the Cardinal, he was known in his youth for debauchery
and spent several periods in the Bastille. He later became Marshal of France
and one of the chief advisors in the court of Louis XV.
Honoré-Jean Riouffe, 1764-1813. Girondist politician who
left memoires of the civil wars of 1793 and subsequent imprisonment of the
Girondist leaders (Mémoires d'un détenu pour servir à
l'histoire de la tyrannie de Robespierre).
Antoine de Rivarol, 1753-1801. French writer. A loyalist editor
at the start of the Revolution, he saw the direction of the wind and escaped
to Berlin by way of Brussels. He was known as a master of satirical epigram.
For a time Rivarol directed the propaganda campaign of the royalists, but to
Augustin Bon Joseph de Robespierre, 1764-1794. The younger brother
of the infamous Robespierre. He served in the Convention and had the
distinction of promoting Napoleon Bonaparte to Brigadier General (at Toulon,
1793). He was captured with his brother on 9 Thermidor and executed with
him the next day.
Maximilien Marie Isadore de Robespierre, 1758-1794. Lawyer elected for
the Third Estate of Artois. He quickly built a reputation as a radical and
as an incorruptible idealist. He was a leading member the Committee for
Public Safety and
by political maneuverings became for a time in 1794 the effective
France. He did not have a party, however, and when the Jacobins turned against
him, he was deposed and executed.
Jean-Baptiste, Comte de Rochambeau, 1725-1807.
Rochambeau arrived at Providence with between 4000 and 6000 French troops in
1780, providing relief in the North so that the colonial forces could
concentrate on defeating Cornwallis in the South. Though an aristocrat, he
sided with the proletarian forces of the French Revolution on his return
François-Alexandre-Frédéric, Duc de La
Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, 1747-1827. A nobleman who was both closely
attached to Louis XVI and sympathetic to reform. He was an Anglophile and
hoped that a constitutional monarchy would be established in France. He
emigrated and spent several years in the United States. In Carlyle's history
he is the "Duc de Liancourt"; he assumed the title of Duc de La
Rochefoucauld-Liancourt on the assissination of Louis-Alexandre, Duc de
La Rochefoucauld d'Enville, September 14, 1792. It was Liancourt who,
as Master of the Wardrobe, wakened
Louis XVI on July 15 with the news of the fall of the Bastille;
when asked if were
a revolt, he is said to have replied "No, sire, it is a revolution.".
Louis-Alexandre, Duc de La Rochefoucauld d'Enville, 1743-1792, cousin
of François-Alexandre-Frédéric, Duc de Liancourt. He
was a liberal and a friend of Benjamin Franklin. He translated the American
Declaration of Independence into French and was one of the first deputies
of the Second Estate to join the Third in the States-General. La Rochefoucauld
was elected President of the Department of Paris in 1791. He was arrested
at Gissors on order of the Paris Commune and the crowd killed him on the spot,
September 15, 1792.
Henri, comte de la Rochejacquelin, 1772-1794. Son of a noble family
in southwestern France. His father and brother emigrated, but Henri remained
in service with the militia until the execution of Louis XVI. He then returned
home and joined the Vendéan rebellion of which he became one of the
chief commanders. He was killed in a skirmish near Nouaillé March 4,
1794, aged 21 years.
George Brydges Rodney, 1719-1792, British Admiral.
His notable achievements included the capture of Martinique in the Seven Years'
War; the victory of Cape St. Vincent which broke the siege of Gibraltar in
1780; and the defeat of de Grasse and the French fleet in the West Indies in
Pierre-Louis Roederer, 1754-1835. Lawyer of Metz. He was a
Royalist member of the States-General and worked as a prosecutor in the
Paris Commune under the constitution. Carlyle refers to him by the title
of "Syndic", or municipal magistrate. His great early distinction is in
assisting the Royal Family out of the Tuileries and into the Salle de
Ménage on August 10, 1792. He emigrated and, remaining friends with
Talleyrand and Sieyés, prospered with them in the governments after
the fall of the Republic in 1799.
Louis-Rene Edouard, Cardinal de Rohan, 1734-1803. French
aristocrat, Archbishop of Strassburg. He was one of the richest
men in France. He was out of favor with Marie-Antoinette and in an attempt
to regain court influence was caught up in the "Diamond Necklace" affair.
the Clergy in the States-General.
Jean-Marie Roland de la Platière, 1734-1793. Revolutionary
publisher (Financier patriote) and politician. He was Home Minister
in the Girondist cabinet, dismissed by Louis XVI in July 1792
but restored after August 10. He was condemned in 1793 but
escaped Paris, leaving his young wife behind. When she was arrested and
executed, Roland committed suicide. Mdm. Roland's memoirs, written in
prison, are an important source of information about Parisian affairs in
1792 and 1793. Carlyle refers to him as "Veto coquins" or "Veto of
scoundrels" for his often-ridiculed self-righteous moral rectitude.
Rollo the Viking, surnamed "the walker", d. 931.
He attacked Paris with a fleet of seven hundred ships in 885. After
reinforcement at Rouen, the fleet is said to have stretched for 6 miles
along the Seine.
Jean-Louis Romœuf, 1766-1812. French officer. He was
involved in the capture and return of the King in his flight to Varennes.
Later be became a general and Baron of the Empire. He died in the
Battle of Borodino.
Gilbert Romme, 1750-1795. Mathematician and politician of the
Auvergne. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly and the Convention where
he voted for the death of the King and headed the committee which proposed
the revolutionary calendar. He was a fierce partisan of the Mountain
even after the overthrow of Robespierre. Romme was tried as a
supposed leader of the 1 Prairial riots and commited suicide in 1795.
Charles Philippe Henri Ronsin, 1752-1794, playwright and
commander of the Revolutionary
Armies. He supported Hébert and was dismissed and beheaded in 1794.
Jean-Antoine Rossignol, 1759-1802. Army officer and
friend of Robespierre,
suspected in some of the most horrible excesses of the revolution,
especially in the suppression of the Vendée uprising. He was
deported to the Seychelles by Napoleon in 1801.
Jean Antoin Roucher, 1745-1794. Poet of Montpelier. He was
a Voltairian and therefore a supporter of the Revolution, but only lukewarm.
He was arrested in 1793 and executed in 1794 along with his friend and
fellow-poet André Chénier. Perhaps Rocher's most important
accomplishment was translating Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations
into French in 1790.
Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, 1760-1836, author of the
Marseillaise. He was of a bourgoise family and was serving as a
Captain of Engineers in the Army of the Rhine in 1792 when he wrote the
Jacques Roux, 1752-1794. Author of the
Manifesto de Enragés;. He was known as the "Red Priest" of the
Pierre Célestin Roux Lavergne, 1802-1874. Churchman,
philosopher and historian who was the principal author of a 40-volume
History of the French Parliament, Histoire parlementaire de la
Révolution française, ou Journal des assemblées
nationales, depuis 1789 jusqu'en 1815.
Philippe-Jacques Rühl, 1737-1797. Son of a Lutheran Minister
in Alsace, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly and to
the convention for the Lower Rhine. He is famous, or infamous, for having
broken the ampule of holy oil used in the coronation of French Kings since
ancient times. He was an enemy of Robespierre against whom he spoke on
9 Thermidor; but also attacked the Thermindorian reaction. He escaped
arrest because of his age but committed suicide in 1797 when again threatened
Jean-Baptiste Salles, 1759-1793. Physician of Vélize and
member of the States General for the third estate of Nancy. He was one of the
founding members of the club of the Feuillants and as such was considered a
moderate member of the National Convention to which he was returned.
Expelled with the Girondists, Salles fled to the Calvados and later Bordeaux
with Guadet. He was captured and executed in 1794.
There is a story the guillotine jammed just before Salles was to be executed.
He examined the machine, told the executioner how to fix the problem, and
proved the effectiveness of the repair with his own death.
Salvator Rosa, 1615-1673, Italian painter and poet, known for
The site of the defeat of the French army of Soubise by the Prussians under
Frederich II in 1757.
Jean Antoine Rossignol, 1759-1802. Anti-Girondist; member of the
Commune,\; probable murderer of the Marquis de Mandat, then commander of the
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712 - 1778. French philosopher and
deist. His theories of the nature of social organization were the
philosophical underpinnings of the French Revolution.
Thomas-Marie Royou. Churchman and loyalist journalist. He
was closely associated with other conservatives like Barruel and
Elie Fréron. He edited
a newspaper Ami du Roi.
Laura de Sade, ? - 1348. The Avignon woman who is usually pointed
to as Petrarch's Laura --
the subject of most of his sonnets. She was of the nobility,
the wife of Hugues de Sade, and
an ancestor of the infamous Marquis de Sade. Petrarch
met her in 1327 and she died of plague 21 years later.
Jeanbon St. André, 1749-1813. Huguenout from the area of
Toulouse. He was schooled by Jesuits and by the time of the Revolution had
wide experience as a business man, merchant captain and Protestant theologian.
After the collapse of the Girondin government, he had primary responsibility
for maritime matters as a member of the Committee of Public Safety. Though
a radical, he was
not closely tied to Robespierre and so survived Thermidor and went on to serve
Napoleon, who made him a baron.
Jeanbon is a family name. He took on the name St. André to conceal his
Claude-Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain, 1707 - 1778. French general
with vast experience in the Hungarian and Austrian wars. Louis XVI made
him War Minister on his ascension and Saint-Germain immediately made himself
unpopular by insisting on merit promotion and Prussian-style discipline in
Marquis de Saint-Huruge, one of the demogogic orators of the Palais
Royal, second only to Desmoulins in popularity. He spent the decade before
the Revolution in prison and in exile. Part of his imprisonment was in the
insane-asylum of Charenton where the Marquis de Sade was also held. On
August 13, 1789, he led a small mob toward Versailles go compel the King
to live in Paris; Lafayette intercepted and scattered them.
Louis Antoine Saint-Just, 1767-1794. Devoted friend oand
disciple of Robespierre. He studied law in Paris and wrote a boring
pornographic poem Orgent. To young to take part in the politics of
first part the Revolution, he wrote about it until 1792 when he gained notice
at the Jacobins and was elected to the National Convention.
He was appointed -- before Robespierre -- to the Committee of Public Safety
and from that body (in effect the executive of France) exerted great influence
on policy and legislation. Saint-Just was executed along with Robespierre on
François Jourgniac de Saint-Meard, 1745-1827. Army officer
who was arrested in September 1792 but survived the Massacres. He wrote about
Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, French novelist. Author
of the wildly popular Paul et Virginie (1787). He was a friend and
disciple of Rousseau.
Louis XVI's ambassador to Spain and his
Secretary of War at the end of his reign.
Antoine-Christophe Salicetti, 1757-1809. Lawyer and representative
of the third estate of Corsica in the States General. Elected to the
National Convention, he was sent on mission
to besieged Toulon in 1793 and helped set up the administration after its fall.
He was a friend and protector of the young Bonaparte, but that relationship did
not do him a lot of good. He ended his life as chief of police in Naples.
Salpétrière. A Paris hospital established for poor
This is one of Carlyle's favorite words and he may be responsible for
introducing it to English. The culottes referred to are the
knee-britches affected by the nobility in the reign of Louis XVI in imitation
of the English fashion. "Sanscullotes" were men who wore rural or working
costume, although the idea of being too poor to afford pants is inherent in
Charles-Henri Sanson, 1739-? . Public executioner of Paris from 1788
to 1795. He inherited the office from his father, and passed it on to a son.
It was Charles-Henri who presided over most of the executions of the Terror,
although he was assisted by his sons. After 1795, Sanson passes out of
history. There is no record of his death.
Antoine Joseph Santerre, 1752-1809, French political figure.
Before the Revolution he was one of the largest employers in the Faubourg
San Antoine, operating a brewery there. He became commander of the National
Guard and took part in many of the
major events of the Revolution including the execution of the King. Carlyle
in one place calls him a "laggard sonorous Beer-vat, with the
loud voice and timber head."
Sardanapalus, or Assurbanipal, last king of ancient Ninevah. He lived
in indolent luxury until his city was attacked by barbarians. When it
was clear that, despite brave resistance, Ninevah would fall, he ordered
a great pyre built of all his possessions, upon which he and his wives
Albert, Herzog von Saxe-Teschen, (1738-1822). Commander of the
Austrian forces in Belgium in 1792. His defeat by Demouriez at Jemappes was
a turning point in the wars of the French Revolution.
A superficial pretender to knowledge.
Sebatier A member of the French Parlement. With Freteau he showed
disrespect to Louis XVI in the showdown of 1787.
September massacre. In September, 1792, anarchy reached a new peak in
Paris, promoted by the Prussians' capture of Verdun. Over 1,000 royalists were
dragged from prisons and summarily executed.
Antoine-François Sergent, 1751-1836, Paris engraver.
He was a member
of the club of the Cordaliers and a friend of Danton. After the insurrection
of August 10, 1792 he was active in the government of the Paris Commune and
was a leading member of the Committee of Vigilance.
Joseph Servan de Gerbay, 1741-1808.
He was minister of War in the Brissotin
cabinet and was one of the few Girondists to survive the proscription.
Servan was later a general of Republican armies and a renowned general under
Roch-Amboise Cucurron Sicard, 1742-1822.
A non-juring priest who established schools for the deaf and dumb in Bordeaux
and Paris. After narrowly escaping death in the September Massacres, he went
into hiding for two years, during which time he produced the first extensive
dictionary of sign-language.
Refers to the revolt of Palermo against
the cruel repression of Charles of Anjou on Easter Tuesday,
1282. Supposedly the signal for the uprising was the call to evening prayers.
Emmanuel Sieyès, 1748-1836. A priest of middle-class
origins, he wrote many pamphlets touching on the political and philosophical
bases of the Revolution. One of the best known pamphlets was "What is
the Third Estate". Sieyes' answer: it is the nation. He headed the
committee on the Constitution in the Constituent Assembly and was its chief
author. Later, in the National Convention, he again led the Constitutional
Committee in the writing of the Constitution of 1793.
Sieyès was one of the few participants in the events of the Revolution
who was still alive when Carlyle wrote his book.
Silenus. In Roman mythology, the companion and mentor of the
god Bacchus. He is usually portrayed as an old, fat man with a long beard
a short nose, and a horse's tail, obviously drunken.
Charles Alexis Brulart de Genlis, marquis de Sillery, 1737-1793.
Wealthy noble, naval officer, member of the Estates for the nobles of Rheims,
Jacobin, and supporter of Philippe d'Orleans.
Simon the Cordwainer, ?-1794. The shoemaker to whom the young
Dauphin was given to raise, at least according to one story. He became a
minor official in the Muncipality and was taken and executed with Robespierre.
Jacques-Guillaume Simonneau, 1740-1792. He tried to stop a corn
riot in the village of Etampes, of which he was mayor, and was killed on the
spot. The Legislative Assembly voted him a national funeral.
The Solemn League and Covenant is a part of British, not French,
History. The French revolutionaries were great oath-takers, though, and
there are several interesting parallels. The title of the oath is The
Solemn League and Covenant for the Reformation and Defense of Relition; the
Honour and Happiness of the King; and the Peace and Safety of the Three
Kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland. It is inspired by
Jerimiah 50:5 -- "Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord
in a perpetual Covenant that shall not be forgotten," and was first proposed
by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, August 17, 1643. The oath
is long and was abjured as many times as it was taken.
Charles-François Virot, marquis de Sombreuil, 1727-1794.
and governor of the Invalides, built as a home for old and
wounded soldiers but also used as a barracks and arsenal. He refused to hand
over his store of muskets and cannon
on July 13, but they were seized by force early
on July 14. His two sons also died in the Revolution: the younger with him
at the guillotine; the older after the failed Quiberon invasion in 1795.
His daughter once saved him from the Tribunal in a famous plea related by
Carlyle; but he was rearrested and executed.
Agnes Sorel, 1422-1450. Mistress of Charles VII, considered the
first "official mistress". She maintained the affection of the king all her
life and is credited with favoring the most capable advisors of the court.
Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise, 1715-1787. French general
best known for France's crushing loss to the Prussians at Rossbach in 1757.
Pierre-Amable Soubrany, 1752-1795. Deputy for Puy-du-Dôme.
He was mayor of Rion at the start of the Revolution and was returned to the
Legislative Assembly. Soubrany earned a good reputation as member on mission
to the armies. He supported the 1 Prairial insurrectionists for which he was
spontoon. A short pike carried by officers and squad leaders.
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, née Necker, 1766-1817,
Genovese author and critic, daughter of Jacques Necker and Susanne Curchod.
Like her mother's her salons were considered intellectual and important.
She married the Swedish ambassador, de Staë, but her affairs were
public and well known. Jean-Louis de Narbonne (1755-1813),
the supposed bastard of Louis XV, was
one of her lovers; she
bore him two children and helped him escape France to England. Talleyrand
Jean Nicolas Stofflet, (1751-1796). A peasant leader of the
Vendéan rebellion. He had long experience as a private soldier in
a Swiss mercenary regiment which he applied to the discipline and tactics of
the royalist army of the Vendée. Stofflet was command-in-chief after
the death of La Rochejaquelein in 1794, but by that time the back of the
rebellion was broken. He surrendered and accepted amnesty in 1795 but was
soon again under arms in the service of the Comte de Provence. Stofflet
was captured at Angers and executed there.
Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Suard, 1832-1817. Editor with Arnaud of the
Brusselles-based Gazette de France and prominent member of the
Academie Français. I have seen him described as "one of the perpetual
Pierre-André de Suffren de Saint-Tropez, 1729-1788,
Suffren was probably the ablest of French naval officers in his time.
He had a famous victory over the British in the Canary Islands and his small
fleet prevented a British hegemony in the Indian Ocean, 1781-83.
François Suleau, 1757-1792, journalist, pro-royalist writer
whose articles appeared in the conservative papers of the time, including
Peltier's Actes des Apôtes. He was accosted on the streets
of Paris and beaten to death on August 10, 1792.
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, 1754-1838.
At the time of the Revolution, Talleyrand was Bishop of Autun. He was elected
a delegate of the Clergy to the States-General, was a signer of the
1791 Constitution, and supported the nationalization of church property (having
resigned as Bishop). During the Terror he lived and worked in the United
States. His government work after the Revolution, is of course well known:
he was Foreign Minister in the Directory, Chamberlain and Minister of
Foreign Affairs to Napoleon, President of the Provisional Government, and
at various times Ambassador to London.
Jean Lambert Tallien, 1767-1820. The son of a butler who became
a law clerk and, after 1791, the publisher of the newspaper Ami des
Citoyens. He served as secretary to the Paris Commune and was elected
to the Convention, where he supported the Mountain. Tallien helped spread
the Terror into the provinces, but escaped retribution in large part because
of his leading role in the coup of 9 Thermidor.
Tantalus. In Greek mythology he was a sone of Zeus and king of
Sipylos. Alone among mortals he was allowed to share the food of the Gods.
For reasons unknown, he returned the favor by killing his son, Pelops, and
serving him as a feast for the Olympians. The Gods were disgusted and
dispatched Tantalus to Hades where his punishment was to stand neck-deep
in water which, when he bent to drink, would rush away; beneath succulent
fruit hanging just beyond his reach.
Guy-Jean Target, 1733-1806, Paris Parliamentarian, known as one
of the greatest trial lawyers in French history. He was elected to the States
General for Paris outside-the-walls. He composed, on the spot, the Tennis
Court Oath sworn by the delegates June 20, 1789. Even in English it is an
imposing piece of ad hoc prose:
The National Assembly, considering that it
has been summoned to establish
the constitution of the kingdom,
to effect the regeneration of public order,
and to maintain the true principles of monarchy;
that nothing can prevent it
from continuing its deliberations in whatever place it may be forced to
establish itself; and, finally, that wheresoever its members are
assembled, there is the National Assembly;
Decrees that all members of this Assembly shall
immediately take a solemn
oath not to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require,
until the constitution of the realm is established and consolidated
upon firm foundations; and that, the
said oath taken, all members and each
one of them individually shall ratify this
steadfast resolution by signature.
Target was Louis XVI's first choice as a lawyer,
but he refused on the grounds
of age (he was 54); the refusal is often held against him.
After the Revolution, Target was one of the
principal authors of the Napoleanic
Tartuffe, the title of a comedy by Moliere, and also
the name of its villain. The character Tartuffe is usually described as
an "irredeemable hypocrite".
tatterdemalion, an noun describing a tattered or ragged person.
The word was already old-fashioned by the time Carlyle used it. The image
he is trying to evoke seems to be of men in torn under-shirts.
Teneriffe, the principal island of the Canary Archipelago. Its
overwhelming feature is Mount Atlante which reaches a height of 12,200
Tenpound Franchises. In 1829 the English government
raised the level
of income entitled to the vote in Ireland from 40 shillings to 10 pounds,
thus disenfranchising the main body of Irish voters.
Termagant. an Eastern mythological deity of great fierceness. (Note
that this term may be offensive to Moslems because European Christians at
one time ascribed belief in Termagant to Islam.)
The Comptroller General of Louis XV after Choiseul's disgrace.
In the last three years of Louis XV's reign, he effectively ruled France
along with Maupeou and D'Aiguillon.
Themis. In Greek mythology, a Titan who was allowed to live at
Olympos after the wars. She goddess of "custom, assemblies and right order".
Catherine Théot, 1716-1794. A mystic who concluded that
Robespierre was the redeemer spoken of by the prophets, especially in
She was arrested by the Committee of General Security in one of the events that
precipitated the fall of Robespierre.
Théroigne de Mércourt, d. 1817,
"the Amazon of the Revolution".
She came from Liège in Belgium, not Luxemburg as Carlyle suggests,
where she was born Anne-Joseph Méricourt.
The daughter of a declining middle-class family, she was a professional
mistress until the Revolution, when she led the Women's March to Versailles.
She was the first woman allowed to join in the debates of the Jacobins.
She lost her political position and her sanity in 1793 and remained the rest
of her life an inmate of insane asylums.
Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d' Holbach, 1723-1789.
French philosopher and athiest. His best-known work is The System of
Thirty-Years War (1618-1648).
Actually a series of wars that plagued northern and central Europe, mainly
involving the Hapsburg empire variously against the Danes, Dutch, French
Bertel Thorwaldsen, 1770-1844. Danish sculptor. His
of Lucerne (1821), part of a monument to the Swiss massacred in Paris
on August 10, 1792, is an evocative and very moving sculpture carved in
a rock face.
Jacques-Guillaume Thouret, 1746-1794, a lawyer of Rouen, was an
eloquent member of Sieyés' Constitution Committee.
He was key in the suppression of the religious
orders and confiscation of church property, and sat four times as President
of the Assembly.
Pierre Thouvenot, 1757-1817. French general who distinguished
himself on the Eastern front in 1792 and, under Napoleon, in the Peninsular
Jacques-Alexis Thuriot, (1753-1829). Paris lawyer and member
of the Legislative Assembly and the Convention for the Marne. He was
briefly a member of the Committee on Public Safety in the summer of 1793
but ran afoul of Robespierre. Thuriot had his revenge on 9 Thermidor when,
as presiding officer of the Convention,
he refused to allow Robespierre to defend
himself from the tribunal. He held important posts in subsequent governments
but was exiled as a regicide at the first restoration.
Johann Ludwig Tieck, 1773-1853, "King of the Romantics". A German
writer perhaps best remembered for his fairy tales. He was a prolific author
of plays, poems and novels.
Tophet, a place near Gehenna, Jerusalem, where human sacrifices were
burnt to Baal and other gods. There was also a Tophet outside Carthage where
sacrifices were carried out.
François-Emmanuel, Marquis de Toulongeon, 1748-1812
Noble member of
the Estates and author of Histoire de France, depuis la révolution
de 1789, cited several times by Carlyle.
Tour de Nesle.
A tower on the Seine, built in 1200 where now stands the Institut de France.
Razed in 1665, it was the subject of several lascivious romances in the
early 19th century, including a novel by Dumas père.
Louise Elizabeth de Tourzel, 1749-1832. A daughter of the
and governess to the children of Louis XVI. She played the part of "Baronne
Korff" in the abortive escape to Varennes. She was arrested after August 10,
but was released.
Baron Frederick von der Trenck, d. July 25, 1794. The son of a
Prussian General, Trunck came to Paris during the revolution and started
a wine business. He was probably spying, either for Prussia or Austria,
but he was very popular with the people of Paris. Arrested as an
Austrian spy, he was beheaded July 25, 1794. His execution infuriated the
Parisians, who tore Robespierre from his bed and arrested him.
Hermes Trismegistus, the supposed author of the Hermetica,
a work of occultism and magic. He was said to carry an emerald on which was
inscribed all the philosophy of the world.
François Denis Tronchet, 1726-1806. Elected to the States
General for the third estate of Paris, he enjoyed the reputation of a learned
legal scholar and pleader. He defended the King at his trial. Forced into
hiding during the Terror, he survived to serve all the
governments until the Empire.
Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, 1727-1781.
Economist and treasurer to Louis XVI. His work forms the basis for modern
thinking about free markets. He failed, however, in his efforts to put
the French economy on a more regular footing, largely because of opposition
from the nobility to his efforts in eliminating monopolies and restructuring
Tyrtaeus, Spartan general and poet. He wrote songs that inspired his
soldiers and countrymen in the second war against Messenia (668 B.C.).
Use and Wont.
Customary and distinctive practice. "The way things are done." Carlyle
uses the term to denote the practical rights that both benefited and limited
the French citizenry.
Ushant. A small island about 20 miles off the coast of Brittany.
It is the western-most point of France.
Marc-Guillaume Vadier, 1736-1828. Representative of the 3rd estate
of Parmiers in the States General, deputy (and once President)
of the National Convention, and influential member of the Committee of General
Jacques Godefroi Charles Sebastien Xavier Jean Joseph de Fraissinet,
Marquis d'Izarn de Valadi, 1766-1793. A nobleman of philosophic bent,
he went to England
to study with Thomas Taylor, a mathematical and philosophical prodigy.
He returned to France write about the States-General and the revolution.
Fearing persecution because of his close ties with the Girondists, he fled
Paris but was captured and executed in the Dordogne.
Charles-Eléonore Dufriche-Valazé, 1751-1793.
Lawyer of Alençon. He was one of the leaders of the Girondist group
and one of the first of them executed in October, 1793.
Jean Varlet, 1764-1837.
One of the group of extreme democrats in Paris called the
enragés. Other prominent enragés;s were Jacques Roux and
The main demands of this group included price controls;
cash redemption of the assignat; and suppression of hoarding. Varlet
put together the "Central Revolutionary Committee" which sat at the
Evêché and coordinated the activities that led to the insurrection
of May 31 and the suspension of the Girondins. Varlet was as violently
opposed to the dictatorship of Robespierre as he was to the "moderate"
government of the Girondists.
Vincent Marie Vienot Vaublanc, 1756-1845. French West Indian colonial,
elected to the Legislative Assembly for Santo Domingo. He successfully
defended Rochambeau and secured the enfranchisement of slaves in French
America. He held several important positions under Napoleon and subsequent
governments and remained a staunch advocate for
what remained of the French American colonies.
Pierre Anne Louis de Maton de la Varenne. Noble lawyer
The Vendée, a department on the Atlantic coast of
France, consisting of the western part of the province of Poitou as it existed
in the old regime. It had the reputation as the most backward part of France.
The name is also given to the anti-Republican uprising there and in the
contiguous territories of southern Bretagne (Loire Inferiour and
Maine-et-Loire) in 1793.
Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes,1717 - 1787. Louis XVI's
Foreign Minister, considered one of the few stable and able elements of the
Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud, 1753-1793, lawyer and orator from
Limoges. He represented the Bordeaux in the Legislative Assembly where he
soon gained renown as a speaker. His principles were those of the
dominant liberal faction of the Legislative was called "Girondist", but
he never considered himself a member of a faction.
Virgniaud became increasingly radical in 1792, supporting the massacre at
Avignon and attacking the king. August 10, 1792 and the September Massacres
of that year sobered him, and his opposition to Paris radicalism earned
him the guillotine in the first wave of proscribed Girondists.
Jacques de Vermond, 1735 -1797, reader and advisor to
The last rites of the Catholic Church. The Eucharist given to someone
in danger of death. Carlyle seems to use it in a more general sense
of "ceremonies to help the dying on his way."
Joachim Vilate, 1767-1795. A physician of the Ahun. He was a
strident Jacobin and a juror of the Revolutionary Tribunal. Vilate is
remembered for his essay "Causes Secrétes de la Révolution
du 9 au 10 Thermidor", written in prison, in which he tried to distance himself
from the excesses of Robespierre. It didn't work: he was guillotined in
Ville de Paris, the flagship of the French Navy. It was key in
the defeat of the British in Chesapeake Bay in 1781, but was captured by
Rodney in the West Indies a few months later. Stuart's paintings of the huge
ship can be found
Louis-Marie Guy Jacques, Duc d'Aumont, Marquis de Villequier,
1732-1799. French general and courtier. He became correspondence
secretary to Louis XVI in 1789.
François Nicolas Vincent, 1767-1794, lawyer and one of the
principal speakers of the Club of the Cordeliers. He was secretary-general
to the Department of War but, with
Hébert, Ronsin, Clootz and others was condemned by
the Revolutionary Tribunal.
Pen name of François-Marie Arouet. He was considered during his
life and long after to be France's greatest and most rational philosopher.
Vulcan, the son of Jupiter and Hera, forged the invincible armor of the Gods
as well as the armor worn by Achilles at Troy.
Walter Sans-Avoir ("Walter the Penniless") d. 1096.
He led the vanguard of Frankish and German knights in the First Crusade
(1096). "Sans Avoir" was his family name, not an indication that he was
Joseph Weber, an Austrian, "step-brother" of Marie-Antoinette who
was given into his mother's care after her birth. Weber's memoirs are
frequently cited by Carlyle.
Adam Weisshaupt, 1748 - 1830,
founder of the Bavarian Order of the Illuminati.
François-Joseph Westermann, 1751-1794. Alsacian soldier
and a friend of Danton. He was a leader in the attack on the Tuileries on
August 10 and then took a post as Colonel in Dumouriez's army. He was arrested
when Dumouriez crossed to the Austrian lines but was let go and given further
commissions. His most infamous operation was against the rebels of La
Rochelle in December,1793, where he massacred men, women and children.
Westermann was guillotined along with Danton.
William I, surnamed "Towhead", 915-960.
Medieval French king of the line of Henri I.
William III, surnamed "Taillefer", 947-1037.
Medieval French king of the line of Henri I.
Louis-Félix de Wimpfen, -1793. French general, deputy for the
second estate of Caen in the States General.
He served under Dumouriez in 1791 and 1792.
In 1793 he offered to lead a force to be raised by the purged Girondists.
John de Trocznow, dit Zisca, or one-eyed, (?-1424). Military
leader of the Bohemian religious reformists. His victories established the
first political base of what became Protestantism.