Source Problems on the French Revolution

Contents:

4. Lafayette, Marquis De, Mémoires, II, 337–343.

Between four and five o’clock word was received that they [the first troop of women] were to be followed by several thousand men and women armed with guns, pikes, and two or three cannon. Then Lafayette, after having received from the city government an order and two commissioners, quickly provided for the protection of Paris, and at the head of several battalions took the road to Versailles. Such was the general sentiment of indignation which animated Paris and the national guard against the first instigators of these disorders, that when he had given the order to march, he was covered with applause along the way and notably by the crowd of well-dressed people who lined the terrace of the Tuileries. . . . Lafayette, before reaching Versailles, halted the column for a few minutes at the bridge of Sèvres; but this Rubicon once passed, he ordered his troops to drive back any who opposed them. There was no need of it. The regiment of Flanders, minus its officers, sent to ask for orders, and were instructed to remain in their barracks. He [Lafayette] sent the commandant of the city artillery and a general officer to announce to the château his intentions and the orders of the magistrates of Paris. The king sent word to him by another officer, sent in advance, that "he saw him approach with pleasure and that he had just accepted his declaration of rights." Two patrols of the body guard, after the first, "Who goes there?" fell back on the château. Nobody appeared, and if a few shots, to which there was no reply, were fired on the arrival of the advance guard, it was evidently with the intention of engaging an unequal contest which might have become bloody. Near the meeting place of the assembly, Lafayette again halted his troops, spoke to them, and had them renew the civic oath to the nation, the law, and the king. Before again giving the order to advance, he wished to pay his respects to the president and to receive the orders of the king. He presented himself alone with the two commissioners of the commune at the closed and locked grating of the court of the château, full of Swiss guards. They refused to open the gate, and when Lafayette had announced his intention to enter solely with his two companions, the captain who parleyed with him expressed his astonishment, to which he replied in a loud voice: "Yes, sir, it would always be with a feeling of confidence that I would find myself in the midst of the brave regiment of Swiss guards." The gate was finally opened. The apartments were full of people. When Lafayette crossed the Œil de Bœuf, a man cried out: "There is Cromwell!" "Sir," replied Lafayette, "Cromwell would not have entered alone." It was considered that, in view of the circumstances, he talked well to the king, who received him in public and confided to him the old posts of the French guards. At daybreak he went to call upon M. Montmorin, within reach of his grenadiers, then very close to the château, to the hôtel de Noailles, his headquarters, when the alarm was given by his sentinels and by the officer on duty. The irruption of the brigands, which had taken place suddenly, was soon checked by a company of grenadiers under the orders of Cadigan and by another volunteer company having at its head Captain Gondran. . . . While Lafayette sent rapidly these first succors, he was able, by going quickly to the king, to save a group of body guards. He found the apartments occupied by the national guards, praised their fine conduct, and confided anew the royal family and its guards to their loyalty. He harangued with warmth and even with violence from the balcony the multitude which filled the court of marble, and when the king and his family, after having promised to go to Paris, had retired from this balcony, he said to the queen: "Madam, what is your personal intention?" "I know the fate which awaits me," she replied, with magnanimity, "but my duty is to die at the feet of the king and in the arms of my children." "Very well, Madam, come with me." "What! Alone on the balcony? Have you not seen the signs they made at me?" In fact, they were terrible. "Yes, Madam, let us go there." And in appearing with her, in face of those waves which roared still in the midst of a fringe of national guards which bordered three sides of the court, but could not repress the center of it, Lafayette, not being able to make himself heard, had recourse to a hazardous but decisive sign; he kissed the hand of the queen. The multitude, struck by this act, cried: "Long live the general! Long live the queen!" The king, who stood a few paces behind, advanced upon the balcony and said, in an affected and grateful tone: "Now, what can you do for my guards?" "Bring me one of them," replied Lafayette. Then giving his cockade to the guard, he embraced him, and the people cried: "Long live the body guards!" From this moment the peace was made. The national guards and the body guards marched to Paris arm in arm. . . . He [Lafayette] took care to engage the people to march ahead, to have them followed by several battalions, and to retain only the escort necessary for the security of the royal family. In spite of these precautions, they got on slowly. The place of Lafayette was by the side of the carriage of the king, which he accompanied on horseback. He could not go to all the different points to prevent embarrassment and oppose frequent halts. They reached the city hall through an immense crowd. It was night, and there was reason to fear that the fermentation had not yet subsided. But the royal family was received by the representative of the commune with all the marks of respect that one might expect from these excellent citizens. It is known that Bailly, charged by the king to express a few words of attachment for the city, forgot the word confidence. The queen called his attention to it, and Bailly, gracefully seizing the opportunity to put her in a favorable light, said: "Gentlemen, in hearing it from the mouth of the queen you are more fortunate than if I had not made the mistake." Lafayette led the cortege to the palace of the Tuileries, which became the residence of the royal family until August, 1792.

Contents:

Download Options


Title: Source Problems on the French Revolution

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: Source Problems on the French Revolution

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: "4. Lafayette, Marquis De, Mémoires, II, 337–343," Source Problems on the French Revolution in Source Problems on the French Revolution, ed. Fred Morrow Fling and Helene Dresser Fling (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1913), 187–191. Original Sources, accessed April 13, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PTKCDGCW7ZU7T97.

MLA: . "4. Lafayette, Marquis De, Mémoires, II, 337–343." Source Problems on the French Revolution, Vol. II, in Source Problems on the French Revolution, edited by Fred Morrow Fling and Helene Dresser Fling, New York, Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1913, pp. 187–191. Original Sources. 13 Apr. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PTKCDGCW7ZU7T97.

Harvard: , '4. Lafayette, Marquis De, Mémoires, II, 337–343' in Source Problems on the French Revolution. cited in 1913, Source Problems on the French Revolution, ed. , Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, pp.187–191. Original Sources, retrieved 13 April 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PTKCDGCW7ZU7T97.