The 5th of May, 1789, was fixed for the opening of the states-general. A religious ceremony on the previous day prefaced their installation. The king, his family, his ministers, the deputies of the three orders, went in procession from the church of Notre-Dame to that of Saint Louis, to hear the opening mass. Men did not without enthusiasm see the return of a national ceremony of which France had for so long a period been deprived. It had all the appearance of a festival. An enormous multitude flocked from all parts to Versailles; the weather was splendid; they had been lavish of the pomp of decoration. The excitement of the music, the kind and satisfied expression of the king, the beauty and demeanour of the queen, and, as much as anything, the general hope, exalted every one. But the etiquette, costumes, and order of the ranks of the states in 1614, were seen with regret. The clergy, in cassocks, large cloaks, and square caps, or in violet robes and lawn sleeves, occupied the first place. Then came the nobles, attired in black coats with waistcoats and facings of cloth of gold, lace cravats, and hats with white plumes, turned up in the fashion of Henry IV. The modest third estate came last, clothed in black, with short cloaks, muslin cravats, and hats without feathers or loops. In the church, the same distinction as to places existed between the three orders.

The royal session took place the following day in the Salle des Menus. Galleries, arranged in the form of an amphitheatre, were filled with spectators. The deputies were summoned and introduced according to the order established in 1614. The clergy were conducted to the right, the nobility to the left, and the commons in front of the throne at the end of the hall. The deputations from Dauphine, from Crepi in Valois, to which the duke of Orleans belonged, and from Provence, were received with loud applause. Necker was also received on his entrance with general enthusiasm. Public favour was testified towards all who had contributed to the convocation of the states-general. When the deputies and ministers had taken their places, the king appeared, followed by the queen, the princes, and a brilliant suite. The hall resounded with applause on his arrival. When he came in, Louis XVI. took his seat on the throne, and when he had put on his hat, the three orders covered themselves at the same time. The commons, contrary to the custom of the ancient states, imitated the nobility and clergy, without hesitation: the time when the third order should remain uncovered and speak kneeling was gone by. The king's speech was then expected in profound silence. Men were eager to know the true feeling of the government with regard to the states. Did it purpose assimilating the new assembly to the ancient, or to grant it the part which the necessities of the state and the importance of the occasion assigned to it?

"Gentlemen," said the king, with emotion, "the day I have so anxiously expected has at length arrived, and I see around me the representatives of the nation which I glory in governing. A long interval had elapsed since the last session of the states-general, and although the convocation of these assemblies seemed to have fallen into disuse, I did not hesitate to restore a custom from which the kingdom might derive new force, and which might open to the nation a new source of happiness."

These words which promised much, were only followed by explanations as to the debt and announcements of retrenchment in the expenditure. The king, instead of wisely tracing out to the states the course they ought to follow, urged the orders to union, expressed his want of money, his dread of innovations, and complained of the uneasiness of the public mind, without suggesting any means of satisfying it. He was nevertheless very much applauded when he delivered at the close of his discourse the following words, which fully described his intentions: "All that can be expected from the dearest interest in the public welfare, all that can be required of a sovereign, the first friend of his people; you may and ought to hope from my sentiments. That a happy spirit of union may pervade this assembly, gentlemen, and that this may be an ever memorable epoch for the happiness and prosperity of the kingdom, is the wish of my heart, the most ardent of my desires; it is, in a word, the reward which I expect for the uprightness of my intentions, and my love of my subjects."

Barentin, keeper of the seals, spoke next. His speech was an amplification respecting the states-general, and the favours of the king. After a long preamble, he at last touched upon the topics of the occasion. "His Majesty," he said, "has not changed the ancient method of deliberation, by granting a double representation in favour of the most numerous of the three orders, that on which the burden of taxation chiefly falls. Although the vote by poll, by producing but one result, seems to have the advantage of best representing the general desire, the king wishes this new form should be adopted only with the free consent of the states, and the approval of his majesty. But whatever may be the opinion on this question, whatever distinctions may be drawn between the different matters that will become subjects of deliberation, there can be no doubt but that the most entire harmony will unite the three orders on the subject of taxation." The government was not opposed to the vote by poll in pecuniary matters, it being more expeditious; but in political questions it declared itself in favour of voting by order, as a more effectual check on innovations. In this way it sought to arrive at its own end, - namely, subsidies, and not to allow the nation to obtain its object, which was reform. The manner in which the keeper of the seals determined the province of the states-general, discovered more plainly the intentions of the court. He reduced them, in a measure, to the inquiry into taxation, in order to vote it, and to the discussion of a law respecting the press, for the purpose of fixing its limits, and to the reform of civil and criminal legislation. He proscribed all other changes, and concluded by saying: "All just demands have been granted; the king has not noticed indiscreet murmurs; he has condescended to overlook them with indulgence; he has even forgiven the expression of those false and extravagant maxims, under favour of which attempts have been made to substitute pernicious chimeras for the unalterable principles of monarchy. You will with indignation, gentlemen, repel the dangerous innovations which the enemies of the public good seek to confound with the necessary and happy changes which this regeneration ought to produce, and which form the first wish of his majesty."

This speech displayed little knowledge of the wishes of the nation, or it sought openly to combat them. The dissatisfied assembly looked to M. Necker, from whom it expected different language. He was the popular minister, had obtained the double representation, and it was hoped he would approve of the vote by poll, the only way of enabling the third estate to turn its numbers to account. But he spoke as comptroller-general and as a man of caution. His speech, which lasted three hours, was a lengthened budget; and when, after tiring the assembly, he touched on the topic of interest, he spoke undecidedly, in order to avoid committing himself either with the court or the people.

The government ought to have better understood the importance of the states-general. The restoration of this assembly alone announced a great revolution. Looked for with hope by the nation, it reappeared at an epoch when the ancient monarchy was sinking, and when it alone was capable of reforming the state and providing for the necessities of royalty. The difficulties of the time, the nature of their mission, the choice of their members, everything announced that the states were not assembled as tax- payers, but as legislators. The right of regenerating France had been granted them by opinion, was devolved on them by public resolutions, and they found in the enormity of the abuses and the public encouragement, strength to undertake and accomplish this great task.

It behoved the king to associate himself with their labours. In this way he would have been able to restore his power, and ensure himself from the excesses of a revolution, by himself assisting in bringing it about. If, taking the lead in these changes, he had fixed the new order of things with firmness, but with justice; if, realizing the wishes of France, he had determined the rights of her citizens, the province of the states- general and the limits of royalty; if, on his own part, he had renounced arbitrary power, inequality on the part of the nobility, and privileges on the part of the different bodies; in a word, if he had accomplished all the reforms which were demanded by public opinion, and executed by the constituent assembly, he would have prevented the fatal dissensions which subsequently arose. It is rare to find a prince willing to share his power, or sufficiently enlightened to yield what he will be reduced to lose. Yet Louis XVI. would have done this, if he had been less influenced by those around him, and had he followed the dictates of his own mind. But the greatest anarchy pervaded the councils of the king. When the states- general assembled, no measures had been taken, nothing had been decided on, which might prevent dispute. Louis XVI. wavered between his ministry, directed by Necker, and his court, directed by the queen and a few princes of his family.

Necker, satisfied with obtaining the representation of the third estate, dreaded the indecision of the king and the discontent of the court. Not appreciating sufficiently the importance of a crisis which he considered more as a financial than a social one, he waited for the course of events in order to act, and flattered himself with the hope of being able to guide these events, without attempting to prepare the way for them. He felt that the ancient organization of the states could no longer be maintained; that the existence of three orders, each possessing the right of refusal, was opposed to the execution of reform and the progress of administration. He hoped, after a trial of this triple opposition, to reduce the number of the orders, and bring about the adoption of the English form of government, by uniting the clergy and nobility in one chamber, and the third estate in another. He did not foresee that the struggle once begun, his interposition would be in vain: that half measures would suit neither party; that the weak through obstinacy, and the strong through passion, would oppose this system of moderation. Concessions satisfy only before a victory.

The court, so far from wishing to organize the states-general, sought to annul them. It preferred the casual resistance of the great bodies of the nation, to sharing authority with a permanent assembly. The separation of the orders favoured its views; it reckoned on fomenting their differences, and thus preventing them from acting. The states-general had never achieved any result, owing to the defect of their organization; the court hoped that it would still be the same, since the two first orders were less disposed to yield to the reforms solicited by the last. The clergy wished to preserve its privileges and its opulence, and clearly foresaw that the sacrifices to be made by it were more numerous than the advantages to be acquired. The nobility, on its side, while it resumed a political independence long since lost, was aware that it would have to yield more to the people than it could obtain from royalty. It was almost entirely in favour of the third estate, that the new revolution was about to operate, and the first two orders were induced to unite with the court against the third estate, as but lately they had coalesced with the third estate against the court. Interest alone led to this change of party, and they united with the monarch without affection, as they had defended the people without regard to public good.

No efforts were spared to keep the nobility and clergy in this disposition. The deputies of these two orders were the objects of favours and allurements. A committee, to which the most illustrious persons belonged, was held at the countess de Polignac's; the principal deputies were admitted to it. It was here that were gained De Epremenil and De Entraigues, two of the warmest advocates of liberty in parliament, or before the states-general, and who afterwards became its most decided opponents. Here also the costume of the deputies of the different orders was determined on, and attempts made to separate them, first by etiquette, then by intrigue, and lastly, by force. The recollection of the ancient states-general prevailed in the court; it thought it could regulate the present by the past, restrain Paris by the army, the deputies of the third estate by those of the nobility, rule the states by separating the orders, and separate the orders by reviving ancient customs which exalted the nobles and lowered the commons. Thus, after the first sitting, it was supposed that all had been prevented by granting nothing.

On the 6th of May, the day after the opening of the states, the nobility and clergy repaired to their respective chambers, and constituted themselves. The third estate being, on account of its double representation, the most numerous order, had the Salle des Etats allotted to it, and there awaited the two other orders; it considered its situation as provisional, its members as presumptive deputies, and adopted a system of inactivity till the other orders should unite with it. Then a memorable struggle commenced, the issue of which was to decide whether the revolution should be effected or stopped. The future fate of France depended on the separation or reunion of the orders. This important question arose on the subject of the verification of powers. The popular deputies asserted very justly, that it ought to be made in common, since, even if the union of the orders were refused, it was impossible to deny the interest which each of them had in the examination of the powers of the others; the privileged deputies argued, on the contrary, that since the orders had a distinct existence, the verification ought to be made respectively. They felt that one single co-operation would, for the future, render all separation impossible.

The commons acted with much circumspection, deliberation, and steadiness. It was by a succession of efforts, not unattended with peril, by slow and undecided success, and by struggles constantly renewed, that they attained their object. The systematic inactivity they adopted from the commencement was the surest and wisest course; there are occasions when the way to victory is to know how to wait for it. The commons were unanimous, and alone formed the numerical half of the states-general; the nobility had in its bosom some popular dissentients; the majority of the clergy, composed of several bishops, friends of peace, and of the numerous class of the cures, the third estate of the church, entertained sentiments favourable to the commons. Weariness was therefore to bring about a union; this was what the third estate hoped, what the bishops feared, and what induced them on the 13th of May to offer themselves as mediators. But this mediation was of necessity without any result, as the nobility would not admit voting by poll, nor the commons voting by order. Accordingly, the conciliatory conferences, after being prolonged in vain till the 27th of May, were broken up by the nobility, who declared in favour of separate verification.

The day after this hostile decision, the commons determined to declare themselves the assembly of the nation, and invited the clergy to join them in the name of the God of peace and the common weal. The court taking alarm at this measure, interfered for the purpose of having the conferences resumed. The first commissioners appointed for purposes of reconciliation were charged with regulating the differences of the orders; the ministry undertook to regulate the differences of the commissioners. In this way, the states depended on a commission, and the commission had the council of the prince for arbiter. But these new conferences had not a more fortunate issue than the first. They lingered on without either of the orders being willing to yield anything to the others, and the nobility finally broke them up by confirming all its resolutions.

Five weeks had already elapsed in useless parleys. The third estate, perceiving the moment had arrived for it to constitute itself, and that longer delay would indispose the nation towards it, and destroy the confidence it had acquired by the refusal of the privileged classes to co- operate with it, decided on acting, and displayed herein the same moderation and firmness it had shown during its inactivity. Mirabeau announced that a deputy of Paris had a motion to propose; and Sieyes, physically of timid character, but of an enterprising mind, who had great authority by his ideas, and was better suited than any one to propose a measure, proved the impossibility of union, the urgency of verification, the justice of demanding it in common, and caused it to be decreed by the assembly that the nobility and clergy should beinvited to the Salle des Etats in order to take part in the verification, which would take place, whether they were absent or present.

The measure for general verification was followed by another still more energetic. The commons, after having terminated the verification on the 17th of June, on the motion of Sieyes, constituted themselves the National Assembly. This bold step, by which the most numerous order and the only one whose powers were legalized, declared itself the representation of France and refused to recognise the other two till they submitted to the verification, determined questions hitherto undecided, and changed the assembly of the states into an assembly of the people. The system of orders disappeared in political powers, and this was the first step towards the abolition of classes in the private system. This memorable decree of the 17th of June contained the germ of the night of the 4th of August; but it was necessary to defend what they had dared to decide, and there was reason to fear such a determination could not be maintained.

The first decree of the National Assembly was an act of sovereignty. It placed the privileged classes under its dependence, by proclaiming the indivisibility of the legislative power. The court remained to be restrained by means of taxation. The assembly declared the illegality of previous imposts, voted them provisionally, as long as it continued to sit, and their cessation on its dissolution; it restored the confidence of capitalists by consolidating the public debt, and provided for the necessities of the people, by appointing a committee of subsistence.

Such firmness and foresight excited the enthusiasm of the nation. But those who directed the court saw that the divisions thus excited between the orders had failed in their object; and that it was necessary to resort to other means to obtain it. They considered the royal authority alone adequate to prescribe the continuance of the orders, which the opposition of the nobles could no longer preserve. They took advantage of a journey to Marly to remove Louis XVI. from the influences of the prudent and pacific counsels of Necker, and to induce him to adopt hostile measures. This prince, alike accessible to good and bad counsels, surrounded by a court given up to party spirit, and entreated for the interests of his crown and in the name of religion to stop the pernicious progress of the commons, yielded at last, and promised everything. It was decided that he should go in state to the assembly, annul its decrees, command the separation of the orders as constitutive of the monarchy, and himself fix the reforms to be effected by the states-general. From that moment the privy council held the government, acting no longer secretly, but in the most open manner. Barentin, the keeper of the seals, the count d'Artois, the prince de Conde, and the prince de Conti conducted alone the projects they had concerted. Necker lost all his influence; he had proposed to the king a conciliatory plan, which might have succeeded before the struggle attained this degree of animosity, but could do so no longer. He had advised another royal sitting, in which the vote by poll in matters of taxation was to be granted, and the vote by order to remain in matters of private interest and privilege. This measure, which was unfavourable to the commons, since it tended to maintain abuses by investing the nobility and clergy with the right of opposing their abolition, would have been followed by the establishment of two chambers for the next states-general. Necker was fond of half measures, and wished to effect, by successive concessions, a political change which should have been accomplished at once. The moment was arrived to grant the nation all its rights, or to leave it to take them. His project of a royal sitting, already insufficient, was changed into a stroke of state policy by the new council. The latter thought that the injunctions of the throne would intimidate the assembly, and that France would be satisfied with promises of reform. It seemed to be ignorant that the worst risk royalty can be exposed to is that of disobedience.

Strokes of state policy generally come unexpectedly, and surprise those they are intended to influence. It was not so with this; its preparations tended to prevent success. It was feared that the majority of the clergy would recognise the assembly by uniting with it; and to prevent so decided a step, instead of hastening the royal sitting, they closed the Salle des Etats, in order to suspend the assembly till the day of the sitting. The preparations rendered necessary by the presence of the king was the pretext for this unskilful and improper measure. At that time Bailly presided over the assembly. This virtuous citizen had obtained, without seeking them, all the honours of dawning liberty. He was the first president of the assembly, as he had been the first deputy of Paris, and was to become its first mayor. Beloved by his own party, respected by his adversaries, he combined with the mildest and most enlightened virtues, the most courageous sense of duty. Apprised on the night of the 20th of June, by the keeper of the seals, of the suspension of the sitting, he remained faithful to the wishes of the assembly, and did not fear disobeying the court. At an appointed hour on the following day, he repaired to the Salle des Etats, and finding an armed force in possession, he protested against this act of despotism. In the meantime the deputies arrived, dissatisfaction increased, all seemed disposed to brave the perils of a sitting. The most indignant proposed going to Marly, and holding the assembly under the windows of the king; one named the Tennis- court; this proposition was well received, and the deputies repaired thither in procession. Bailly was at their head; the people followed them with enthusiasm; even soldiers volunteered to escort them, and there, in a bare hall, the deputies of the commons standing with upraised hands, and hearts full of their sacred mission, swore, with only one exception, not to separate till they had given France a constitution.

This solemn oath, taken on the 20th of June, in the presence of the nation, was followed on the 22nd by an important triumph. The assembly, still deprived of their usual place of meeting, unable to make use of the Tennis-court, the princes having hired it purposely that it might be refused them, met in the church of Saint Louis. In this sitting, the majority of the clergy joined them in the midst of patriotic transports. Thus, the measures taken to intimidate the assembly, increased its courage, and accelerated the union they were intended to prevent. By these two failures the court prefaced the famous sitting of the 23rd of June.

At length it took place. A numerous guard surrounded the hall of the states-general, the door of which was opened to the deputies, but closed to the public. The king came surrounded with the pomp of power; he was received, contrary to the usual custom, in profound silence. His speech completed the measure of discontent by the tone of authority with which he dictated measures rejected by public opinion and by the assembly. The king complained of a want of union, excited by the court itself; he censured the conduct of the assembly, regarding it only as the order of the third estate; he annulled its decrees, enjoined the continuance of the orders, imposed reforms, and determined their limits; enjoined the states-general to adopt them, and threatened to dissolve them and to provide alone for the welfare of the kingdom, if he met with more opposition on their part. After this scene of authority, so ill-suited to the occasion, and at variance with his heart, Louis XVI. withdrew, having commanded the deputies to disperse. The clergy and nobility obeyed. The deputies of the people, motionless, silent, and indignant, remained seated. They continued in that attitude some time, when Mirabeau suddenly breaking silence, said: "Gentlemen, I admit that what you have just heard might be for the welfare of the country, were it not that the presents of despotism are always dangerous. What is this insulting dictatorship? The pomp of arms, the violation of the national temple, are resorted to - to command you to be happy! Who gives this command? Your mandatary. Who makes these imperious laws for you? Your mandatary; he who should rather receive them from you, gentlemen - from us, who are invested with a political and inviolable priesthood; from us, in a word, to whom alone twenty-five millions of men are looking for certain happiness, because it is to be consented to, and given and received by all. But the liberty of your discussions is enchained; a military force surrounds the assembly! Where are the enemies of the nation? Is Catiline at our gates? I demand, investing yourselves with your dignity, with your legislative power, you inclose yourselves within the religion of your oath. It does not permit you to separate till you have formed a constitution."

The grand master of the ceremonies, finding the assembly did not break up, came and reminded them of the king's order.

"Go and tell your master," cried Mirabeau, "that we are here at the command of the people, and nothing but the bayonet shall drive us hence."

"You are to-day," added Sieyes, calmly, "what you were yesterday. Let us deliberate."

The assembly, full of resolution and dignity, began the debate accordingly. On the motion of Camus, it was determined to persist in the decrees already made; and upon that of Mirabeau the inviolability of the members of the assembly was decreed.

On that day the royal authority was lost. The initiative in law and moral power passed from the monarch to the assembly. Those who, by their counsels, had provoked this resistance, did not dare to punish it. Necker, whose dismissal had been decided on that morning, was, in the evening, entreated by the queen and Louis XVI. to remain in office. This minister had disapproved of the royal sitting, and, by refusing to be present at it, he again won the confidence of the assembly, which he had lost through his hesitation. The season of disgrace was for him the season of popularity. By this refusal he became the ally of the assembly, which determined to support him. Every crisis requires a leader, whose name becomes the standard of his party; while the assembly contended with the court, that leader was Necker.

At the first sitting, that part of the clergy which had united with the assembly in the church of Saint Louis, again sat with it; a few days after, forty-seven members of the nobility, among whom was the duke of Orleans, joined them; and the court was itself compelled to invite the nobility, and a minority of the clergy, to discontinue a dissent that would henceforth be useless. On the 27th of June the deliberation became general. The orders ceased to exist legally, and soon disappeared. The distinct seats they had hitherto occupied in the common hall soon became confounded; the futile pre-eminences of rank vanished before national authority.

The court, after having vainly endeavoured to prevent the formation of the assembly, could now only unite with it, to direct its operations. With prudence and candour it might still have repaired its errors and caused its attacks to be forgotten. At certain moments, the initiative may be taken in making sacrifices; at others, all that can be done is to make a merit of accepting them. At the opening of the states-general, the king might himself have made the constitution, now he was obliged to receive it from the assembly; had he submitted to that position, he would infallibly have improved it. But the advisers of Louis XVI., when they recovered from the first surprise of defeat, resolved to have recourse to the use of the bayonet, after they had failed in that of authority. They led the king to suppose that the contempt of his orders, the safety of his throne, the maintenance of the laws of the kingdom, and even the well-being of his people depended on his reducing the assembly to submission; that the latter, sitting at Versailles, close to Paris, two cities decidedly in its favour, ought to be subdued by force, and removed to some other place or dissolved; that it was urgent that this resolution should be adopted in order to stop the progress of the assembly, and that in order to execute it, it was necessary speedily to call together troops who might intimidate the assembly and maintain order at Paris and Versailles.

While these plots were hatching, the deputies of the nation began their legislative labours, and prepared the anxiously expected constitution, which they considered they ought no longer to delay. Addresses poured in from Paris and the principal towns of the kingdom, congratulating them on their wisdom, and encouraging them to continue their task of regenerating France. The troops, meantime, arrived in great numbers; Versailles assumed the aspect of a camp; the Salle des Etats was surrounded by guards, and the citizens refused admission. Paris was also encompassed by various bodies of the army, ready to besiege or blockade it, as the occasion might require. These vast military preparations, trains of artillery arriving from the frontiers, and the presence of foreign regiments, whose obedience was unlimited, announced sinister projects. The populace were restless and agitated; and the assembly desired to enlighten the throne with respect to its projects, and solicit the removal of the troops. At Mirabeau's suggestion, it presented on the 9th of July a firm but respectful address to the king, which proved useless. Louis XVI. declared that he alone had to judge the necessity of assembling or dismissing troops, and assured them, that those assembled formed only a precautionary army to prevent disturbances and protect the assembly. He moreover offered the assembly to remove it to Noyon or Soissons, that is to say, to place it between two armies and deprive it of the support of the people.

Paris was in the greatest excitement; this vast city was unanimous in its devotion to the assembly. The perils that threatened the representatives of the nation, and itself, and the scarcity of food disposed it to insurrection. Capitalists, from interest and the fear of bankruptcy; men of enlightenment and all the middle classes, from patriotism; the people, impelled by want, ascribing their sufferings to the privileged classes and the court, desirous of agitation and change, all had warmly espoused the cause of the revolution. It is difficult to conceive the movement which disturbed the capital of France. It was arising from the repose and silence of servitude; it was, as it were, astonished at the novelty of its situation, and intoxicated with liberty and enthusiasm. The press excited the public mind, the newspapers published the debates of the assembly, and enabled the public to be present, as it were, at its deliberations, and the questions mooted in its bosom were discussed in the open air, in the public squares. It was at the Palais Royal, more especially, that the assembly of the capital was held. The garden was always filled by a crowd that seemed permanent, though continually renewed. A table answered the purpose of the tribune, the first citizen at hand became the orator; there men expatiated on the dangers that threatened the country, and excited each other to resistance. Already, on a motion made at the Palais Royal, the prisons of the Abbaye had been broken open, and some grenadiers of the French guards, who had been imprisoned for refusing to fire on the people, released in triumph. This outbreak was attended by no consequences; a deputation had already solicited, in behalf of the delivered prisoners, the interest of the assembly, who had recommended them to the clemency of the king. They had returned to prison, and had received pardon. But this regiment, one of the most complete and bravest, had become favourable to the popular cause.

Such was the disposition of Paris when the court, having established troops at Versailles, Sevres, the Champ de Mars, and Saint Denis, thought itself able to execute its project. It commenced, on the 11th of July, by the banishment of Necker, and the complete reconstruction of the ministry. The marshal de Broglie, la Galissonniere, the duke de la Vauguyon, the Baron de Breteuil, and the intendant Foulon, were appointed to replace Puysegur, Montmorin, La Luzerne, Saint Priest, and Necker. The latter received, while at dinner on the 11th of July, a note from the king enjoining him to leave the country immediately. He finished dining very calmly, without communicating the purport of the order he had received, and then got into his carriage with Madame Necker, as if intending to drive to Saint Omer, and took the road to Brussels.

On the following day, Sunday, the 12th of July, about four in the afternoon, Necker's disgrace and departure became known at Paris. This measure was regarded as the execution of the plot, the preparations for which had so long been observed. In a short time the city was in the greatest confusion; crowds gathered together on every side; more than ten thousand persons flocked to the Palais Royal all affected by this news, ready for anything, but not knowing what measure to adopt. Camille Desmoulins, a young man, more daring than the rest, one of the usual orators of the crowd, mounted on a table, pistol in hand, exclaiming: "Citizens, there is no time to lose; the dismissal of Necker is the knell of a Saint Bartholomew for patriots! This very night all the Swiss and German battalions will leave the Champ de Mars to massacre us all; one resource is left; to take arms!" These words were received with violent acclamations. He proposed that cockades should be worn for mutual recognition and protection. "Shall they be green," he cried, "the colour of hope; or red, the colour of the free order of Cincinnatus?" "Green! green!" shouted the multitude. The speaker descended from the table, and fastened the sprig of a tree in his hat. Every one imitated him. The chestnut-trees of the palace were almost stripped of their leaves, and the crowd went in tumult to the house of the sculptor Curtius.

They take busts of Necker and the duke of Orleans, a report having also gone abroad that the latter would be exiled, and covering them with crape, carry them in triumph. This procession passes through the Rues Saint Martin, Saint Denis, and Saint Honore, augmenting at every step. The crowd obliges all they meet to take off their hats. Meeting the horse-patrol, they take them as their escort. The procession advances in this way to the Place Vendome, and there they carry the two busts twice round the statue of Louis XIV. A detachment of the Royal-allemand comes up and attempts to disperse the mob, but are put to flight by a shower of stones; and the multitude, continuing its course, reaches the Place Louis XV. Here they are assailed by the dragoons of the prince de Lambesc; after resisting a few moments they are thrown into confusion; the bearer of one of the busts and a soldier of one of the French guards are killed. The mob disperses, part towards the quays, part fall back on the Boulevards, the rest hurry to the Tuileries by the Pont Tournant. The prince de Lambesc, at the head of his horsemen, with drawn sabre pursues them into the gardens, and charges an unarmed multitude who were peaceably promenading and had nothing to do with the procession. In this attack an old man is wounded by a sabre cut; the mob defend themselves with the seats, and rush to the terraces; indignation becomes general; the cry To arms!soon resounds on every side, at the Palais Royal and the Tuileries, in the city and in the faubourgs.

We have already said that the regiment of the French guard was favourably disposed towards the people: it had accordingly been ordered to keep in barracks. The prince de Lambesc, fearing that it might nevertheless take an active part, ordered sixty dragoons to station themselves before its depot, situated in the Chaussee-d'Antin. The soldiers of the guards, already dissatisfied at being kept as prisoners, were greatly provoked at the sight of these strangers, with whom they had had a skirmish a few days before. They wished to fly to arms, and their officers using alternately threats and entreaties, had much difficulty in restraining them. But they would hear no more, when some of their men brought them intelligence of the attack at the Tuileries, and the death of one of their comrades: they seized their arms, broke open the gates, and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the barracks, and cried out, "Qui vive?" - "Royal-allemand." - "Are you for the third estate?" "We are for those who command us." Then the French guards fired on them, killed two of their men, wounded three, and put the rest to flight. They then advanced at quick time and with fixed bayonets to the Place Louis XV. and took their stand between the Tuileries and the Champs Elysees, the people and the troops, and kept that post during the night. The soldiers of the Champ de Mars were immediately ordered to advance. When they reached the Champs Elysees, the French guards received them with discharges of musketry. They wished to make them fight, but they refused: the Petits-Suisses were the first to give this example, which the other regiments followed. The officers, in despair, ordered a retreat; the troops retired as far as the Grille de Chaillot, whence they soon withdrew into the Champ de Mars. The defection of the French guard, and the manifest refusal even of the foreign troops to march on the capital, caused the failure of the projects of the court.

During the evening the people had repaired to the Hotel de Ville, and requested that the tocsin might be sounded, the districts assembled, and the citizens armed. Some electors assembled at the Hotel de Ville, and took the authority into their own hands. They rendered great service to their fellow-citizens and the cause of liberty by their courage, prudence, and activity, during these days of insurrection; but in the first confusion of the rising it was with difficulty they succeeded in making themselves heard. The tumult was at its height; each only answered the dictates of his own passions. Side by side with well-disposed citizens were men of suspicious character, who only sought in insurrection opportunities for pillage and disorder. Bands of labourers employed by government in the public works, for the most part without home or substance, burnt the barriers, infested the streets, plundered houses, and obtained the name of brigands. The night of the 12th and 13th was spent in tumult and alarm.

The departure of Necker, which threw the capital into this state of excitement, had no less effect at Versailles and in the assembly. It caused the same astonishment and discontent. The deputies repaired early in the morning to the Salle des Etats; they were gloomy, but their silence arose from indignation rather than dejection. "At the opening of the session," said a deputy, "several addresses of adherence to the decrees were listened to in mournful silence by the assembly, more attentive to their own thoughts than to the addresses read." Mounier began; he exclaimed against the dismissal of ministers beloved by the nation, and the choice of their successors. He proposed an address to the king demanding their recall, showing him the dangers attendant on violent measures, the misfortunes that would follow the employment of troops, and telling him that the assembly solemnly opposed itself to an infamous national bankruptcy. At these words, the feelings of the assembly, hitherto restrained, broke out in clapping of hands, and cries of approbation. Lally-Tollendal, a friend of Necker, then came forward with a sorrowful air, and delivered a long and eloquent eulogium on the banished minister. He was listened to with the greatest interest; his grief responded to that of the public; the cause of Necker was now that of the country. The nobility itself sided with the members of the third estate, either considering the danger common, or dreading to incur the same blame as the court if it did not disapprove its conduct, or perhaps it obeyed the general impulse.

A noble deputy, the count de Virieu, set the example, and said: "Assembled for the constitution, let us make the constitution; let us tighten our mutual bonds; let us renew, confirm, and consecrate the glorious decrees of the 17th of June; let us join in the celebrated resolution made on the 20th of the same month. Let us all, yes, all, all the united orders, swear to be faithful to those illustrious decrees which now can alone save the kingdom." "The constitution shall be made, or we will cease to be," added the duc de la Rochefoucauld. But this unanimity became still more confirmed when the rising of Paris, the excesses which ensued the burning of the barriers, the assembling of the electors at the Hotel de Ville, the confusion of the capital, and the fact that citizens were ready to be attacked by the soldiers or to slaughter each other, became known to the assembly. Then one cry resounded through the hall: "Let the recollection of our momentary divisions be effaced! Let us unite our efforts for the salvation of the country!" A deputation was immediately sent to the king, composed of eighty members, among whom were all the deputies of Paris. The archbishop of Vienne, president of the assembly, was at its head. It was to represent to the king the dangers that threatened the capital, the necessity of sending away the troops, and entrusting the care of the city to a militia of citizens; and if it obtained these demands from the king, a deputation was to be sent to Paris with the consolatory intelligence. But the members soon returned with an unsatisfactory answer.

The assembly now saw that it must depend on itself, and that the projects of the court were irrevocably fixed. Far from being discouraged, it only became more firm, and immediately voted unanimously a decree proclaiming the responsibility of the present ministers of the king, and of all his counsellors, of whatever rank they might be; it further passed a vote of regret for Necker and the other disgraced ministers; it resolved that it would not cease to insist upon the dismissal of the troops and the establishment of a militia of citizens; it placed the public debt under the safeguard of French honour, and adhered to all its previous decrees. After these measures, it adopted a last one, not less necessary; apprehending that the Salle des Etats might, during the night, be occupied by a military force for the purpose of dispersing the assembly, it resolved to sit permanently till further orders. It decided that a portion of the members should sit during the night, and another relieve them early in the morning. To spare the venerable archbishop of Vienne the fatigue of a permanent presidency, a vice-president was appointed to supply his place on these extraordinary occasions. Lafayette was elected to preside over the night sittings. It passed off without a debate; the deputies remaining in their seats, observing silence, but apparently calm and serene. It was by these measures, this expression of public regret, by these decrees, this unanimous enthusiasm, this sustained good sense, this inflexible conduct, that the assembly rose gradually to a level with its dangers and its mission.

On the 13th the insurrection took at Paris a more regular character. Early in the morning the populace flocked to the Hotel de Ville; the tocsin was sounded there and in all the churches; and drums were beat in the streets to call the citizens together. The public places soon became thronged. Troops were formed under the titles of volunteers of the Palais Royal, volunteers of the Tuileries, of the Basoche, and of the Arquebuse. The districts assembled, and each of them voted two hundred men for its defence. Arms alone were wanting; and these were eagerly sought wherever there was any hope of finding them. All that could be found at the gun- smiths and sword-cutlers were taken, receipts being sent to the owners. They applied for arms at the Hotel de Ville. The electors who were still assembled, replied in vain that they had none; they insisted on having them. The electors then sent the head of the city, M. de Flesselles, the Prevot des marchands, who alone knew the military state of the capital, and whose popular authority promised to be of great assistance in this difficult conjuncture. He was received with loud applause by the multitude: "My friends," said he, "I am your father; you shall be satisfied." A permanent committee was formed at the Hotel de Ville, to take measures for the general safety.

About the same time it was announced that the Maison des Lazaristes, which contained a large quantity of grain, had been despoiled; that the Garde- Meuble had been forced open to obtain old arms, and that the gun-smiths' shops had been plundered. The greatest excesses were apprehended from the crowd; it was let loose, and it seemed difficult to master its fury. But this was a moment of enthusiasm and disinterestedness. The mob itself disarmed suspected characters; the corn found at the Lazaristes was taken to the Halle; not a single house was plundered, and carriages and vehicles filled with provisions, furniture and utensils, stopped at the gates of the city, were taken to the Place de Greve, which became a vast depot. Here the crowd increased every moment, shouting Arms! It was now about one o'clock. The provost of the merchants then announced the immediate arrival of twelve thousand guns from the manufactory of Charleville, which would soon be followed by thirty thousand more.

This appeased the people for some time, and the committee was enabled to pursue quietly its task of organizing a militia of citizens. In less than four hours the plan was drawn up, discussed, adopted, printed, and proclaimed. It was resolved that the Parisian guard should, till further orders, be increased to forty-eight thousand men. All citizens were invited to enrol their names; every district had its battalion; every battalion its leaders; the command of this army of citizens was offered to the duc d'Aumont, who required twenty-four hours to decide. In the meantime the marquis de la Salle was appointed second in command. The green cockade was then exchanged for a blue and red one, which were the colours of the city. All this was the work of a few hours. The districts gave their assent to the measures adopted by the permanent committee. The clerks of the Chatelet, those of the Palais, medical students, soldiers of the watch, and what was of still greater value, the French guards offered their services to the assembly. Patrols began to be formed, and to perambulate the streets.

The people waited with impatience the realisation of the promise of the provost of the merchants, but no guns arrived; evening approached, and they feared during the night another attack from the troops. They thought they were betrayed when they heard of an attempt to convey secretly from Paris nearly fifty cwt. of powder, which had been intercepted by the people at the barriers. But soon after some cases arrived, labelled Artillery. At this sight, the commotion subsided; the cases were escorted to the Hotel de Ville, it being supposed that they contained the guns expected from Charleville. On opening them, they were found to contain old linen and pieces of wood. A cry of treachery arose on every side, mingled with murmurs and threats against the committee and the provost of the merchants. The latter apologized, declaring he had been deceived; and to gain time, or to get rid of the crowd, sent them to the Chartreux, to seek for arms. Finding none there, the mob returned, enraged and mistrustful. The committee then felt satisfied there was no other way of arming Paris, and curing the suspicions of the people, than by forging pikes; and accordingly gave orders that fifty thousand should be made immediately. To avoid the excesses of the preceding night, the town was illuminated, and patrols marched through it in every direction.

The next day, the people that had been unable to obtain arms on the preceding day, came early in the morning to solicit some from the committee, blaming its refusal and failures of the day before. The committee had sent for some in vain; none had arrived from Charleville, none were to be found at the Chartreux, and the arsenal itself was empty.

The mob, no longer satisfied with excuses, and more convinced than ever that they were betrayed, hurried in a mass to the Hotel des Invalides, which contained a considerable depot of arms. It displayed no fear of the troops established in the Champ de Mars, broke into the Hotel, in spite of the entreaties of the governor, M. de Sombreuil, found twenty-eight thousand guns concealed in the cellars, seized them, took all the sabres, swords, and cannon, and carried them off in triumph. The cannon were placed at the entrance of the Faubourgs, at the palace of the Tuileries, on the quays and on the bridges, for the defence of the capital against the invasion of troops, which was expected every moment.

Even during the same morning an alarm was given that the regiments stationed at Saint Denis were on the march, and that the cannon of the Bastille were pointed on the Rue Saint Antoine. The committee immediately sent to ascertain the truth; appointed bands of citizens to defend that side of the town, and sent a deputation to the governor of the Bastille, soliciting him to withdraw his cannon and engage in no act of hostility. This alarm, together with the dread which that fortress inspired, the hatred felt for the abuses it shielded, the importance of possessing so prominent a point, and of not leaving it in the power of the enemy in a moment of insurrection, drew the attention of the populace in that direction. From nine in the morning till two, the only rallying word throughout Paris was "a la Bastille! a la Bastille!" The citizens hastened thither in bands from all quarters, armed with guns, pikes, and sabres. The crowd which already surrounded it was considerable; the sentinels of the fortress were at their posts, and the drawbridges raised as in war.

A deputy of the district of Saint Louis de la Culture, named Thuriot de la Rosiere, then requested a parley with De Launay, the governor. When admitted to his presence he summoned him to change the direction of the cannon. The governor replied, that the cannon had always been placed on the towers, and it was not in his power to remove them; yet, at the same time, having heard of the alarm prevalent among the Parisians, he had had them withdrawn a few paces, and taken out of the port-holes. With some difficulty Thuriot obtained permission to enter the fortress further, and examine if its condition was really as satisfactory for the town as the governor represented it to be. As he advanced, he observed three pieces of cannon pointed on the avenues leading to the open space before the fortress, and ready to sweep those who might attempt to attack it. About forty Swiss, and eighty Invalides, were under arms. Thuriot urged them, as well as the staff of the place, in the name of honour and of their country, not to act as the enemies of the people. Both officers and soldiers swore they would not make use of their arms unless attacked. Thuriot then ascended the towers, and perceived a crowd gathering in all directions, and the inhabitants of the Faubourg Saint Antoine, who were rising in a mass. The multitude without, not seeing him return, were already demanding him with great clamour. To satisfy the people, he appeared on the parapet of the fortress, and was received with loud applause from the gardens of the arsenal. He then rejoined his party, and having informed them of the result of his mission, proceeded to the committee.

But the impatient crowd now clamoured for the surrender of the Bastille. From time to time the cry arose, "The Bastille! we will have the Bastille!" At length, two men, more determined than the rest, darting from the crowd, sprang on a guardhouse, and struck at the chains of the drawbridge with heavy hatchets. The soldiers shouted to them to retire, and threatened to fire; but they continued to strike, succeeded in breaking the chains and lowering the bridge, and then rushed over it, followed by the crowd. In this way they advanced to cut the chains of the second bridge. The garrison now dispersed them with a discharge of musketry. They returned, however, to the attack, and for several hours their efforts were confined to the second bridge, the approach to which was defended by a ceaseless fire from the fortress. The mob infuriated by this obstinate resistance, tried to break in the gates with hatchets, and to set fire to the guard-house. A murderous discharge of grapeshot proceeded from the garrison, and many of the besiegers were killed and wounded. They only became the more determined, and seconded by the daring and determination of the two brave men, Elie and Hulin, who were at their head, they continued the attack with fury.

The committee of the Hotel de Ville were in a state of great anxiety. The siege of the Bastille seemed to them a very rash enterprise. They ever and anon received intelligence of the disasters that had taken place before the fortress. They wavered between fear of the troops should they prove victorious, and that of the multitude who clamoured for ammunition to continue the siege. As they could not give what they did not possess, the mob cried treachery. Two deputations had been sent by the committee for the purpose of discontinuing hostilities, and inviting the governor to confide the keeping of the place to the citizens; but in the midst of the tumult, the cries, and the firing, they could not make themselves heard. A third was sent, carrying a drum and banner, that it might be more easily distinguished, but it experienced no better fortune: neither side would listen to anything. The assembly at the Hotel de Ville, notwithstanding it efforts and activity, still incurred the suspicions of the populace. The provost of the merchants, especially, excited the greatest mistrust. "He has already deceived us several times during the day," said one. "He talks," said another, "of opening a trench; he only wants to gain time, to make us lose ours." Then an old man cried: "Comrades, why do you listen to traitors? Forward, follow me! In less than two hours the Bastille will be taken!"

The siege had lasted more than four hours when the French guards arrived with cannon. Their arrival changed the appearance of the combat. The garrison itself begged the governor to yield. The unfortunate De Launay, dreading the fate that awaited him, wished to blow up the fortress, and bury himself under its ruins and those of the faubourg. He went in despair towards the powder magazine, with a lighted match. The garrison stopped him, raised a white standard on the platform, and reversed the guns, in token of peace. But the assailants still continued to fight and advance, shouting, "Lower the bridges!" Through the battlements a Swiss officer proposed to capitulate, with permission to retire from the building with the honours of war. "No! no!" clamoured the crowd. The same officer proposed to lay down arms, on the promise that their lives should be spared. "Lower the bridge," rejoined the foremost of the assailants, "you shall not be injured." The gates were opened and the bridge lowered, on this assurance, and the crowd rushed into the Bastille. Those who led the multitude wished to save from its vengeance the governor, Swiss soldiers, and Invalides; but cries of "Give them up! give them up! they fired on their fellow-citizens, they deserve to be hanged!" rose on every side. The governor, a few Swiss soldiers and Invalides were torn from the protection of those who sought to defend them, and put to death by the implacable crowd.

The permanent committee knew nothing of the issue of the combat. The hall of the sittings was invaded by a furious multitude, who threatened the provost of the merchants and electors. Flesselles began to be alarmed at his position; he was pale and agitated. The object of the most violent reproaches and threats, they obliged him to go from the hall of the committee to the hall of the general assembly, where a great crowd of citizens was assembled. "Let him come; let him follow us," resounded from all sides. "This is too much!" rejoined Flesselles. "Let us go, since they request it; let us go where I am expected." They had scarcely reached the great hall, when the attention of the multitude was drawn off by shouts on the Place de Greve. They heard the cries of "Victory! victory! liberty!" It was the arrival of the conquerors of the Bastille which this announced. They themselves soon entered the hall with the most noisy and the most fearful pomp. The persons who had most distinguished themselves were carried in triumph, crowned with laurels. They were escorted by more than fifteen hundred men, with glaring eyes and dishevelled hair, with all kinds of arms, pressing one upon another, and making the flooring yield beneath their feet. One carried the keys and standard of the Bastille; another, its regulations suspended to his bayonet; a third, with horrible barbarity, raised in his bleeding hand the buckle of the governor's stock. With this parade, the procession of the conquerors of the Bastille, followed by an immense crowd that thronged the quays, entered the hall of the Hotel de Ville to inform the committee of their triumph, and decide the fate of the prisoners who survived. A few wished to leave it to the committee, but others shouted: "No quarter for the prisoners! No quarter for the men who fired on their fellow-citizens!" La Salle, the commandant, the elector Moreau de Saint-Mery, and the brave Elie, succeeded in appeasing the multitude, and obtained a general amnesty.

It was now the turn of the unfortunate Flesselles. It is said that a letter found on De Launay proved the treachery of which he was suspected. "I am amusing the Parisians," he wrote, "with cockades and promises. Hold out till the evening, and you shall be reinforced." The mob hurried to his office. The more moderate demanded that he should be arrested and confined in the Chatelet; but others opposed this, saying that he should be conveyed to the Palais-Royal, and there tried. This decision gave general satisfaction. "To the Palais-Royal! To the Palais-Royal!" resounded from every side. "Well - be it so, gentlemen," replied Flesselles, with composure, "let us go to the Palais-Royal." So saying, he descended the steps, passed through the crowd, which opened to make way for him, and which followed without offering him any violence. But at the corner of the Quay Pelletier a stranger rushed forward, and killed him with a pistol- shot.

After these scenes of war, tumult, dispute, and vengeance, the Parisians, fearing, from some intercepted letters, that an attack would be made during the night, prepared to receive the enemy. The whole population joined in the labour of fortifying the town; they formed barricades, opened intrenchments, unpaved streets, forged pikes, and cast bullets. Women carried stones to the tops of the houses to crush the soldiers as they passed. The national guard were distributed in posts; Paris seemed changed into an immense foundry and a vast camp, and the whole night was spent under arms, expecting the conflict.

While the insurrection assumed this violent, permanent, and serious character at Paris, what was doing at Versailles? The court was preparing to realize its designs against the capital and assembly. The night of the 14th was fixed upon for their execution. The baron de Breteuil, who was at the head of the ministry, had promised to restore the royal authority in three days. Marshal de Broglie, commander of the army collected around Paris, had received unlimited powers of all kinds. On the 15th the declaration of the 23rd of June was to be renewed, and the king, after forcing the assembly to adopt it, was to dissolve it. Forty thousand copies of this declaration were in readiness to be circulated throughout the kingdom; and to meet the pressing necessities of the treasury more than a hundred millions of paper money was created. The movement in Paris, so far from thwarting the court, favoured its views. To the last moment it looked upon it as a passing tumult that might easily be suppressed; it believed neither in its perseverance nor in its success, and it did not seem possible to it that a town of citizens could resist an army.

The assembly was apprised of these projects. For two days it had sat without interruption, in a state of great anxiety and alarm. It was ignorant of the greater portion of what was passing in Paris. At one time it was announced that the insurrection was general, and that all Paris was marching on Versailles; then that the troops were advancing on the capital. They fancied they heard cannon, and they placed their ears to the ground to assure themselves. On the evening of the 14th it was announced that the king intended to depart during the night, and that the assembly would be left to the mercy of the foreign regiments. This last alarm was not without foundation. A carriage and horses were kept in readiness, and the body-guard remained booted for several days. Besides, at the Orangery, incidents truly alarming took place; the troops were prepared and stimulated for their expedition by distributions of wine and by encouragements. Everything announced that a decisive moment had arrived.

Despite the approaching and increasing danger, the assembly was unshaken, and persisted in its first resolutions. Mirabeau, who had first required the dismissal of the troops, now arranged another deputation. It was on the point of setting out, when the viscount de Noailles, a deputy, just arrived from Paris, informed the assembly of the progress of the insurrection, the pillage of the Invalides, the arming of the people, and the siege of the Bastille. Wimpfen, another deputy, to this account added that of the personal dangers he had incurred, and assured them that the fury of the populace was increasing with its peril. The assembly proposed the establishment of couriers to bring them intelligence every half hour.

M. M. Ganilh and Bancal-des-Issarts, despatched by the committee at the Hotel de Ville as a deputation to the assembly, confirmed all they had just heard. They informed them of the measures taken by the electors to secure order and the defence of the capital; the disasters that had happened before the Bastille; the inutility of the deputations sent to the governor, and told them that the fire of the garrison had surrounded the fortress with the slain. A cry of indignation arose in the assembly at this intelligence, and a second deputation was instantly despatched to communicate these distressing tidings to the king. The first returned with an unsatisfactory answer; it was now ten at night. The king, on learning these disastrous events, which seemed to presage others still greater, appeared affected. Struggling against the part he had been induced to adopt, he said to the deputies, - "You rend my heart more and more by the dreadful news you bring of the misfortunes of Paris. It is impossible to suppose that the orders given to the troops are the cause of these disasters. You are acquainted with the answer I returned to the first deputation; I have nothing to add to it." This answer consisted of a promise that the troops of the Champ de Mars should be sent away from Paris, and of an order given to general officers to assume the command of the guard of citizens. Such measures were not sufficient to remedy the dangerous situation in which men were placed; and it neither satisfied nor gave confidence to the assembly.

Shortly after this, the deputies d'Ormesson and Duport announced to the assembly the taking of the Bastille, and the deaths of De Launay and Flesselles. It was proposed to send a third deputation to the king, imploring the removal of the troops. "No," said Clermont Tonnerre, "leave them the night to consult in; kings must buy experience as well as other men." In this way the assembly spent the night. On the following morning, another deputation was appointed to represent to the king the misfortunes that would follow a longer refusal. When on the point of starting, Mirabeau stopped it: "Tell him," he exclaimed, "that the hordes of strangers who invest us, received yesterday, visits, caresses, exhortations, and presents from the princes, princesses, and favourites; tell him that, during the night, these foreign satellites, gorged with gold and wine, predicted in their impious songs the subjection of France, and invoked the destruction of the national assembly; tell him, that in his own palace, courtiers danced to the sound of that barbarous music, and that such was the prelude to the massacre of Saint Bartholomew! Tell him that the Henry of his ancestors, whom he wished to take as his model, whose memory is honoured by all nations, sent provisions into a Paris in revolt when besieging the city himself, while the savage advisers of Louis send away the corn which trade brings into Paris loyal and starving."

But at that moment the king entered the assembly. The duke de Liancourt, taking advantage of the access his quality of master of the robes gave him, had informed the king, during the night, of the desertion of the French guard, and of the attack and taking of the Bastille. At this news, of which his councillors had kept him in ignorance, the monarch exclaimed, with surprise, "this is a revolt!" "No sire! it is a revolution." This excellent citizen had represented to him the danger to which the projects of the court exposed him; the fears and exasperations of the people, the disaffection of the troops, and he determined upon presenting himself before the assembly, to satisfy them as to his intentions. The news at first excited transports of joy. Mirabeau represented to his colleagues, that it was not fit to indulge in premature applause. "Let us wait," said he, "till his majesty makes known the good intentions we are led to expect from him. The blood of our brethren flows in Paris. Let a sad respect be the first reception given to the king by the representatives of an unfortunate people: the silence of the people is the lesson of kings."

The assembly resumed the sombre demeanour which had never left it during the three preceding days. The king entered without guards, and only attended by his brothers. He was received, at first, in profound silence; but when he told them he was one with the nation, and that, relying on the love and fidelity of his subjects, he had ordered the troops to leave Paris and Versailles; when he uttered the affecting words - Eh bien, c'est moi qui me fie a vous, general applause ensued. The assembly arose spontaneously, and conducted him back to the chateau.

This intelligence diffused gladness in Versailles and Paris, where the reassured people passed, by sudden transition, from animosity to gratitude. Louis XVI. thus restored to himself, felt the importance of appeasing the capital in person, of regaining the affection of the people, and of thus conciliating the popular power. He announced to the assembly that he would recall Necker, and repair to Paris the following day. The assembly had already nominated a deputation of a hundred members, which preceded the king to the capital. It was received with enthusiasm. Bailly and Lafayette, who formed part of it, were appointed, the former mayor of Paris, the latter commander-in-chief of the citizen guard. Bailly owed this recompense to his long and difficult presidency of the assembly, and Lafayette to his glorious and patriotic conduct. A friend of Washington, and one of the principal authors of American independence, he had, on his return to his country, first pronounced the name of the states-general, had joined the assembly, with the minority of the nobility, and had since proved himself one of the most zealous partisans of the revolution.

On the 27th, the new magistrates went to receive the king at the head of the municipality and the Parisian guard. "Sire," said Bailly, "I bring your majesty the keys of your good town of Paris; they are the same which were presented to Henry IV.; he had regained his people; now the people have regained their king." From the Place Louis XV. to the Hotel de Ville, the king passed through a double line of the national guard, placed in ranks three or four deep, and armed with guns, pikes, lances, scythes, and staves. Their countenances were still gloomy; and no cry was heard but the oft-repeated shout of "Vive la Nation!" But when Louis XVI. had left his carriage and received from Bailly's hands the tri-coloured cockade, and, surrounded by the crowd without guards, had confidently entered the Hotel de Ville, cries of "Vive le Roi!" burst forth on every side. The reconciliation was complete; Louis XVI. received the strongest marks of affection. After approving the choice of the people with respect to the new magistrates, he returned to Versailles, where some anxiety was entertained as to the success of his journey, on account of the preceding troubles. The national assembly met him in the Avenue de Paris; it accompanied him as far as the chateau, where the queen and her children ran to his arms.

The ministers opposed to the revolution, and all the authors of the unsuccessful projects, retired from court. The count d'Artois and his two sons, the prince de Conde, the prince de Conti, and the Polignac family, accompanied by a numerous train, left France. They settled at Turin, where the count d'Artois and the prince de Conde were soon joined by Calonne, who became their agent. Thus began the first emigration. The emigrant princes were not long in exciting civil war in the kingdom, and forming an European coalition against France.

Necker returned in triumph. This was the finest moment of his life; few men have had such. The minister of the nation, disgraced for it, and recalled for it, he was welcomed along the road from Bale to Paris, with every expression of public gratitude and joy. His entry into Paris was a day of festivity. But the day that raised his popularity to its height put a term to it. The multitude, still enraged against all who had participated in the project of the 14th of July, had put to death, with relentless cruelty, Foulon, the intended minister, and his nephew, Berthier. Indignant at these executions, fearing that others might fall victims, and especially desirous of saving the baron de Besenval, commander of the army of Paris, under marshal de Broglie, and detained prisoner, Necker demanded a general amnesty and obtained it from the assembly of electors. This step was very imprudent, in a moment of enthusiasm and mistrust. Necker did not know the people; he was not aware how easily they suspect their chiefs and destroy their idols. They thought he wished to protect their enemies from the punishment they had incurred; the districts assembled, the legality of an amnesty pronounced by an unauthorised assembly was violently attacked, and the electors themselves revoked it. No doubt, it was advisable to calm the rage of the people, and recommend them to be merciful; but instead of demanding the liberation of the accused, the application should have been for a tribunal which would have removed them from the murderous jurisdiction of the multitude. In certain cases that which appears most humane is not really so. Necker, without gaining anything, excited the people against himself, and the districts against the electors; from that time he began to contend against the revolution, of which, because he had been for a moment its hero, he hoped to become the master. But an individual is of slight importance during a revolution which raises the masses; that vast movement either drags him on with it, or tramples him under foot; he must either precede or succumb. At no time is the subordination of men to circumstances more clearly manifested: revolutions employ many leaders, and when they submit, it is to one alone.

The consequences of the 14th of July were immense. The movement of Paris communicated itself to the provinces; the country population, imitating that of the capital, organized itself in all directions into municipalities for purposes of self-government; and into bodies of national guards for self-defence. Authority and force became wholly displaced; royalty had lost them by its defeat, the nation had acquired them. The new magistrates were alone powerful, alone obeyed; their predecessors were altogether mistrusted. In towns, the people rose against them and against the privileged classes, whom they naturally supposed enemies to the change that had been effected. In the country, the chateaux were fired and the peasantry burned the title-deeds of their lords. In a moment of victory it is difficult not to make an abuse of power. But to appease the people it was necessary to destroy abuses, in order that, they might not, while seeking to get rid of them, confound privilege with property. Classes had disappeared, arbitrary power was destroyed; with these, their old accessory, inequality, too, must be suppressed. Thus must proceed the establishment of the new order of things, and these preliminaries were the work of a single night.

The assembly had addressed to the people proclamations calculated to restore tranquillity. The Chatelet was constituted a court for trying the conspirators of the 14th of July, and this also contributed to the restoration of order by satisfying the multitude. An important measure remained to be executed, the abolition of privileges. On the night of the 4th of August, the viscount de Noailles gave the signal for this. He proposed the redemption of feudal rights, and the suppression of personal servitude. With this motion began the sacrifice of all the privileged classes; a rivalry of patriotism and public offerings arose among them. The enthusiasm became general; in a few hours the cessation of all abuses was decreed. The duke du Chatelet proposed the redemption of tithes and their conversion into a pecuniary tax; the bishop of Chartres, the abolition of the game-laws; the count de Virieu, that of the law protecting doves and pigeons. The abolition of seigneurial courts, of the purchase and sale of posts in the magistracy, of pecuniary immunities, of favouritism in taxation, of surplice money, first-fruits, pluralities, and unmerited pensions, were successively proposed and carried. After sacrifices made by individuals, came those of bodies, of towns and provinces. Companies and civic freedoms were abolished. The marquis des Blacons, a deputy of Dauphine, in the name of his province, pronounced a solemn renunciation of its privileges. The other provinces followed the example of Dauphine, and the towns that of the provinces. A medal was struck to commemorate the day; and the assembly decreed to Louis XVI. the title of Restorer of French Liberty.

That night, which an enemy of the revolution designated at the time, the Saint Bartholomew of property, was only the Saint Bartholomew of abuses. It swept away the rubbish of feudalism; it delivered persons from the remains of servitude, properties from seigneurial liabilities; from the ravages of game, and the exaction of tithes. By destroying the seigneurial courts, that remnant of private power, it led to the principle of public power; in putting an end to the purchasing posts in the magistracy, it threw open the prospect of unbought justice. It was the transition from an order of things in which everything belonged to individuals, to another in which everything was to belong to the nation. That night changed the face of the kingdom; it made all Frenchmen equal; all might now obtain public employments; aspire to the idea of property of their own, of exercising industry for their own benefit. That night was a revolution as important as the insurrection of the 14th of July, of which it was the consequence. It made the people masters of society, as the other had made them masters of the government, and it enabled them to prepare the new, while destroying the old constitution.

The revolution had progressed rapidly, had obtained great results in a very short time; it would have been less prompt, less complete, had it not been attacked. Every refusal became for it the cause of a new success; it foiled intrigue, resisted authority, triumphed over force; and at the point of time we have reached, the whole edifice of absolute monarchy had fallen to the ground, through the errors of its chiefs. The 17th of June had witnessed the disappearance of the three orders, and the states- general changed into the national assembly; with the 23rd of June terminated the moral influence of royalty; with the 14th of July its physical power; the assembly inherited the one, the people the other; finally, the 4th of August completed this first revolution. The period we have just gone over stands prominently out from the rest; in its brief course force was displaced, and all the preliminary changes were accomplished. The following period is that in which the new system is discussed, becomes established, and in which the assembly, after having been destructive, becomes constructive.