Summary and commentary of the novel by Anatole France

(The page numbers refer to the Livre de Poche Edition of 1967!

Chapter 1
6th April 1793

Évariste Gamelin - a pupil of the great painter David has gone to the Barnabite Church which now serves as a meeting place of the Section Révolutionnaire. Évariste Gamelin is a member of this Section - Pont Neuf. The church had been defaced by the revolutionaries. The pictures of Brutus and Rousseau now replaced those of the Christian Saints.

Dupont, the elder of the Watch committee complains of the indifference of the masses only 50 people come to vote, out of the 900 citizens eligible - but he does not agree with Gamelin that the vote should be compulsory.   If that happened, the patriots would be the minority. We soon understand why so few people took part in the meetings when we are told that they used to take place twice weekly from 5 o'clock until 11 o'clock in the evening. Gamelin speaks of the Federalists (the Girondins)and he wants them outlawed for bringing Marat to trial.

Historical event: The trial of Marat
Gamelin goes to see Trubert of the military committee

The desperate situation in France in April 1793, under attack from all quarters
At this moment, revolutionary France is in a desperate position:
Revolts against the revolutionary government are breaking out throughout France.
Paris is threatened by the guns of the Austrian army.
The people have no money and no bread. Page 3
La situation était effroyable . La plus belle armée de la République investie dans Mayence; Valenciennes assiégée;  Fontenay pris par les Vendéens; Lyon révolté; les Cévennes insurgées, la frontière ouverte aux Espagnols; les deux tiers des départements envahis ou soulevés; Paris sous les canons autrichiens, sans argent, sans pain.

The consumptive Trubert working 12-14 hours a day is a realist. He wants practical action. He tells Évariste to search for saltpetre and he sees the need to make soldiers feel that their families are being well cared for at home while they are away fighting for the country.

Trubert is unique in this book- a revolutionary who is totally admirable.
Trubert is perhaps the only sympathetic revolutionary in the book and he is the small conscientious man who makes the great achievements. Page 5
Il était de ceux qui, enthousiastes et patients, après chaque défaite, préparaient le triomphe impossible et certain.
There was however some self interest for Trubert and Gamelin, because they either won or they died.

Chapter II

There is a description of the run-down district of Paris where Gamelin lived. Évariste lived on the fourth floor.
On the floor above him lived Maurice Brotteaux who had an attic room.  Brotteaux, formerly the noble M. des Ilettes, had been accustomed, in his pre-revolutionary days, to spend his time in the company of beautiful women including Mme. de Rochemaure. She had deserted him when the Revolution took away his property.

The author's view of women. An example of female infidelity
Brotteaux now made a living painting portraits and ironically teaching the children of the revolutionaries the aristocratic arts of dancing. He also made puppets for sale. He accepted his misfortunes without complaint. Page 10
Au milieu des troubles publics et dans la grande infortune dont il était lui-même accablé, il gardait une âme sereine, lisant pour se récréer son Lucrèce, qu'il portait constamment dans la poche béante de sa redingote puce.

Brotteaux achieved a philosphic calm in spite of his current misfortunes
Évariste enters his own room.  Inside, there are pictures he painted before the revolution in the pastoral style - Now he's ashamed of them and he regards them as decadent royalist art.
Although he used to paint love scenes with shepherdesses there was no eroticism Page 10
Ces scènes, froidement traitées, attestaient l'irrémédiable chasteté du peintre.

Gamelin was unsensual
Now that the Revolution has taken place, he paints instead stirring allegorical pictures of revolutionary topics:-but they did not sell, Why was that? It was not the fault of the Convention

“Convention” was the name given to the Ferench Parliament at that time.
Évariste knew the Convention was proud and resolute in its defiance of the European coalition, which threatened the country.
The Convention was merciless against those of its own members, whose treachery was tearing it apart. The Convention, in response, had set up the Tribunal Révolutionnaire, thus instituting the Terror.

History: the start of the Terror with the setting up of the Revolutinary Tribunal
Yet, in spite of all this turmoil, the Convention found time to foster the arts and sciences. It was not their fault that Évariste could not sell his pictures. The British market for French art was lost and in France no private people would buy art. The new rich were afraid to display their wealth and anyway they did not appreciate art.
The new rich were made up of peasants who had acquired state property and people whose time was absorbed by making the maximum profit from selling supplies to the armies defending French soil.
In one of Évariste's portraits, however, there was personal feeling absent from the rest.  This was the portrait of Orestes and Electra. The handsome but tragic Orestes that Gamelin had painted resembled himself.

Gamelin is associated with Orestes, the tragic killer of those he loved.
Gamelin’s new idea for making money was to design playing cards with patriotic characters which would replace the decadent kings and queens on the traditional playing cards. He had made some money painting the soldiers who volunteered freely to fight for the Revolution in the days of euphoria, before 1792 when the unpopular decree of mass conscription was brought in.
Gamelin would dearly have loved to join the volunteers but his mother was dependent on him and he could not leave her. She would be alone, because his sister, Julie, had escaped abroad with an aristocrat. Gamelin never spoke of her, as revelation of this fact would not have been good for him in the company he kept.
Food is now in such short supply and so dear that he and his mother are living off chestnuts.  His mother told him that the children of poor families were starving.
The suffering during "La Disette"- the severe food shortage

Gamelin blames food shortage on the Brissotins and the Girondins- the moderates in the Convention. He also blames the federalist rebels in France and the speculators.  His hopes are placed on the Tribunal Révolutionnaire, with the guillotine which will accompany it and also in two figures, capable of extreme action, Robespierre and Marat.

The Tribunal Revolutionnaireand the guillotine.
He is indignant when his mother reminds him of his past revolutionary idols including Brissotins and the Girondins who have now fallen from grace.
He silences his mother's complaints with a statement that the Revolution will bring centuries of happiness for the human race. Page 15
La Révolution fera pour les siècles le bonheur.

Nostalgically Mime. Gamelin thinks of the past. She relates how her husband had begun their courtship.  Ironically the tender moments of his approaches to her took place against a background of total horror, as they watched from a good vantage point the horrific torture and execution of a man called Damiens who had attempted to assassinate the King in 1757.
Évariste was born prematurely (27 years ago)  because Mme. Gamelin had been caught in a crowd rushing to see the execution of M. de Lally (1766),

Lally had been blamed for the loss of the Indian territories to the English, in the reign of Louis XV  .
She tells how kindly and compassionate Évariste was as a child. He was religious and used bring home the destitute he met.

The character of Gamelin as a child
She contrasts her son with the violent selfish Julie. Page 16:
Tu étais d'un naturel affectueux et doux. Ta sœur n'avait pas mauvais cœur; mais elle  était égoïste et violente. Tu avais plus de pitié qu'elle des malheureux.

The character of Julie as a child

He has grown up into a handsome man. He never chased girls - he always looked after his mother.

The kind nature of Gamelin, the dutiful son.
She blames the Revolution for her troubles. She does not miss the previous regime - she remembers the arrogance of the nobility but she doesn't believe in equality.
…… parce que les hommes ne seront jamais égaux…..il y aura toujours des grands et petits, des gras et des maigres.
A little fat simple country girl comes to ask Évariste for a portrait of her lover who is in the army. She doesn't realise that he cannot paint a man he hasn't seen. Évariste gives to her a portrait which she says is just like him and happily she limps out.

A comic twist to end the chapter. this is a feature of the author's style

Chapter III

When Évariste arrives in Jean Blaise's picture shop he finds his daughter Élodie examining some assignats she has just received in payment for sales she has just completed in her father’s shop. She is examining them in case they are forgeries as
these forgeries were then flooding through France.

Assignats were paper money issued in France during the French Revolution.  The British were responsible for some of the forgeries, as they attempted to undermine the currency
Évariste’s eyes have the seriousness of a man in love. Élodie pulls a face at him flirtatiously.

Elodie- a description
We now have a picture of Élodie who is neither very young nor very pretty -in fact she is ugly at the first glance.  Page 22
Élodie n'était ni très jeune ni très jolie. On pouvait la trouver laide au premier abord. Brune, le teint olivâtre, sous le grand mouchoir blanc noué négligemment autour de sa tête et d'où s'échappaient les boucles azurées  de sa chevelure, ses yeux de feu charbonnaient leurs orbites.

But her body gives the indications of her sensuality.  Page 22
Son regard, son souffle, les frissons de sa chair, tout en elle demandait le cœur et promettait l'amour.

Elodie's sensuality -in contrast to Gamelin.

This is a pencil sketch that Anatole France made of his heroine

Évariste reproves Elodie because the pattern of the embroidery she is working on is fussy. The new artistic style is classical and plain.
Évariste shyly recoils when she moves too close to him. Élodie likes men to be sensual but she still finds Évariste attractive. She believes that she should make the move. She is consoled by the fact that she knows Évariste has already had one love affair – a very humble woman who was a cleaner at the art school..
Évariste would be regarded as an unsuitable match for her as he and his family are so poor.  In contrast, her father is rich and well known. He has made money recently in shady deals, supplying the armies.
Her father is a great womaniser.  He trusted her and gave her complete freedom.
At 27 she felt free to do as she liked but she recognised that M. Blaise would have to do something for the penniless Gamelin if she married him.  As a result what her father thought of him was important.
She would have been satisfied just to be Gamelin's mistress but even for that Évariste was probably too preoccupied by the pressing difficulties caused by his poverty.
She asked Évariste to sketch a design that she can embroider.
Évariste says that in a hundred years the French painters of the previous school, Boucher and Watteau will be forgotten and expresses violent hatred for Fragonard.

Irony- These three painters are still today regarded as great masters
Élodie uses this to attempt to lead Évariste to talk of love and she says page 28:
Vous savez haïr, monsieur Gamelin, faut-il croire que vous savez aussi ai...
but at that point her father returns.
Évariste tells M. Blaise his idea for revolutionary playing cards. M. Blaise says he has already had two offers of the same thing. He tells Gamelin to paint pretty women because people are tired of the revolution.
Gamelin is indignant. The revolution that Christ brought has lasted for 18 centuries - the cult of liberty which the French revolution has brought has only had 4 years. How can he say that people are tired of it?
M. Blaise insists that Évariste is living in a dream world whereas he is the realist. Page 30
Vous êtes dans le rêve; moi, je suis dans la vie.  Croyez-moi, mon ami, la Révolution ennuie: elle dure trop. Cinq ans d'enthousiasme, cinq ans d'embrassades, de massacres.
M. Blaise says that the heroes of one moment are on the guillotine the next.
Évariste’s anger makes M. Blaise realise that he is on dangerous ground. He makes an effort to attest his loyalty to the Republic.  He claims that he is helping the Republic by his actions not by mere words. He is providing oats and fodder for the cavalry.

Évariste is very angry to have heard the Revolution attacked. He thinks sadly as he leaves the house that France will never again see the enthusiasm of 1789 and the glorious enthusiasm of the Fêtes de la Fedération, but at least the few patriots like himself can revive this enthusiasm.

Gamelin goes to the home of a fellow painter, Desmahis, but finds that he isn't in. A cart goes past taking a former nobleman to the scaffold. He is the first victim of the revolutionary tribunal which has just been set up.
Desmahis appears and he expresses his annoyance because the tumbril cart carrying the man to be executed passed him just at the wrong time, making him miss the beautiful woman whom he had been chasing -an assistant in a clothes shop.

Another surprising change of tone to end a chapter The antics of Desmahis against the background of a man on his way to be decapitated.
Chapter IV
13th April 1793
For a whole week Évariste had refused to return to M. Blaise's shop as he was offended by his ideas. He wrote a letter to Élodie to tell her that his principles prevented him from ever returning to her shop. It was Élodie who brought about the reconciliation; she made a date with him in a romantic park. The park is in the style of the romanticism of J.J. Rousseau.

The force of the influence of J J Rousseau during the French Revolution

In the park they see a soldier and his girl who look so much like a soldier and a girl you might have seen under the monarchy. An old lady selling cakes comes along. She is poor, because the Revolution has taken away the rich people who bought her products. She tells tales of strange supernatural events recently in France which suggest that doomsday is nigh.
Élodie arrives in a coach and runs to meet him. She assures Gamelin that he is welcome at her father's shop. She leads him to the park to a secluded spot. The prudish Gamelin is reluctant to go because he has heard stories about what goes on in this part of the park.
Élodie talks intimately of her life, telling how she lost her mother at 16 and she leads Gamelin on until he confesses his love and she is amused that he is quite unaware that she has led him into it. Then she tells him she loves him.
There is a romantic interlude and he feels united with nature, in the spirit of Rousseau.  Page 40
Il se sentait uni à la nature entière, il l'associait à sa joie, à sa gloire.
He kisses her and the sensual Élodie relaxes in his arms. They talk together showing the difference of their character. Évariste’s talk is idealistic and pure.

Gamelin is more cerebral than sensual

Élodie says sweet things directly relevant to the two of them.   Page 40/41
Évariste exprimait surtout des idées vagues et pures, qui jetaient Élodie dans le ravissement. Élodie disait des choses douces, utiles et particulières.
The coach finally takes Élodie away and this makes Évariste conscious of her difference in rank.
Now the story links up with history again. As Gamelin leaves the park he sees Marat being led in triumph by the mob. Having been exonerated by the revolutionary tribunal, he was now free to impose his extremism on the Convention.  Gamelin approved enthusiastically Page 42:
(Gamelin) bénissait le tribunal révolutionnaire qui, en acquittant l'Ami du peuple, avait rendu à la Convention le plus zélé et le plus pur de ses législateurs

History - After being declared a free man by the Revolutionary Tribunal, Marat is led by the mob back to the French parliament - the Convention - which had sought to condemn him

Gamelin could see the ravaged face and body of the dying man who had just become the new leading force in the Revolution page 42:
Ses yeux revoyaient cette tête brûlée de fièvre, ceinte de la couronne civique, ce visage empreint d'un vertueux orgueil et d'un impitoyable amour, cette face ravagée, décomposée, puissante, cette bouche crispée, cette large poitrine, cet agonisant robuste qui du haut du char vivant de son triomphe semblait dire à ses concitoyens : " Soyez, à mon exemple, patriotes jusqu'à la mort. "

In the street now deserted, Gamelin made his own prophetic oath to follow him to death- Page 43:
La rue était déserte, la nuit la couvrait de son ombre; l'allumeur de lanternes passait avec son falot, et Gamelin murmurait :  
Jusqu'à la mort.

Chapter V
May 1793

The two lovers meet daily for a month.  Évariste pure and a deist, wanted an open love. Élodie would have preferred a clandestine affair and is impatient with Évariste’s scruples.

The contrasting characters of Gamelin and Elodie . Gamelin is in the mould of Robespierre.
She has decided that she had better confess to Évariste a past love affair which she had fearing that Évariste would find out himself some day.
Évariste’s first reaction on hearing of another man is displeasure but she changes the story a little to make it appear that she was the victim of a seduction and Gamelin softens. Gamelin presses to find the man's name but she refuses to name him.  When Gamelin still persists she says he has left the country now. Gamelin immediately assumes that the man must have been an émigré.  This simplified things for him, because now there a combination of the political and the personal in the passion of his resentment against Élodie's former lover.
In fact Élodie has misled him. Her former lover had been a clerk who used to chase rich older ladies for their money. He was now a dragoon in the revolutionary army and has as his mistress a former noble lady.
Élodie is aware that Évariste has calmed down because he has not formed the jealous pictures in his mind of the woman he loves making love with another man which would have been the immediate reaction of more sensual man.

Elodie is aware that the man she loves lacks sensual feelings
As they leave the park they see a handsome dragoon haranguing the crowd with passionate words against the Brissotins, (the party of moderation in the Convention along with the Girondins)
Élodie is embarrassed to see this soldier and pulls Évariste away.

We will discover that Henri, the dragoon, Elodie's former lover has no real loyalties. He is an opportunist, who moves without scruple to the next dominant faction.

When Gamelin gets back home he finds that Brotteaux has obtained a capon (a male chicken of about 5 months) from an old contact and he shares this with his characteristic goodwill and generosity with old Madame Gamelin and her son.

The generosity of Brotteaux

Gamelin had returned home determined to get his revenge, personally and politically on the former lover of Élodie, when he finds him. Coincidentally, Brotteaux is in the middle of a discourse about how ignorance of what is going on around us is a blessing which alone makes life bearable Page 51.
L'ignorance fait notre tranquillité; mensonge, notre félicité.

The ironical, cynical outlook of Brotteaux
Mine. Gamelin eats standing up knowing that Brotteaux was once a nobleman. She cannot permit herself to sit down in his presence.

A comic detail ends the chapter

Chapter VI

History: the decree of the Maximum and the subsequent acute shortages of food.

It is the sweltering hot July of 1793. The decree of the Maximum, passed by the Convention on the 4th of May, had been intended to bring in checks to stop profiteering in grains.  The effect was that all grain has disappeared from the capital so that there was a shortage of bread.
The Parisians used to queue from early morning at the shops and there were disputes in the queues.
As Gamelin and Brotteaux were queuing there is a stink and there is some hysteria in the queue. They think it is a body from the September massacres which has been lying in the cellars all this time and they think the smell could poison them.
We have a detail of Brotteaux' previous wealth. He had owned a gallery of Dutch paintings which was unsurpassed.

Brotteaux the connaisseur of fine art
When a newspaper seller passes with lists of those recently condemned by the Tribunal, Évariste bursts into a passionate denunciation of traitors in the provinces and in the Convention and he calls for revolutionary tribunals to be set up across France and even more- for all citizens to become judges Page 55:
— Ce n'est point assez d'un tribunal révolutionnaire, dit Gamelin. Il en faut un dans chaque ville... Que dis-je? dans chaque commune, dans chaque canton. Il faut que tous les pères de famille, que tous les citoyens s'érigent en juges.

Gamelin's nightmare solution to the French crisis is for all French citizens to become judges of their fellows.

Brotteaux cynically says that as a philosopher he recognises that murder is a natural right of human beings but all the same he is revolted by the sight of blood page 55.
Le meurtre est de droit naturel: en conséquence la peine de mort est légitime, à la condition qu'on ne l'exerce ni par vertu ni par justice, mais par nécessité ou pour en tirer quelque profit, Cependant, il faut que j'aie des instincts pervers, car je répugne à voir couler le sang.

The cynical irony of Brotteaux
Évariste says the republicans are humane and they detest the death penalty.  They will abolish the death penalty when the last traitor has been executed.

The unconscious irony in the idealism of the fanatics
Behind the two men stand a female revolutionary a tricoteuse with a sword and also a young mother with a sickly six month old baby. Her baby cries because the mother, who is starving, cannot feed her from the breast.
The queue is angry about the shortages; they blame the royalists and the Brissotins who they claim have destroyed food stocks in order to starve the nation.
When the revolutionary girl (the tricoteuse) screams out that she has lost her purse; there is general clamour and they look around for a likely person and they decide to string up an old man who looks like a defrocked priest.
In spite of his Epicurean principles of non-intervention, Brotteaux decides that he must defend the old man and then the crowd turn on Brotteaux as well.

Brotteaux puts his own life at risk to defend the ex-priest as did Gamelin.

When Gamelin protects him as well they want to string up the three of them.
In fact all three of them would have been marched off but then at the moment the tricoteuse finds her purse.
The old man, whom the crowd had first wanted to lynch, admits to Brotteaux and Gamelin that he is a former monk, expelled by the revolutionaries from his Barnabite Convent.
Brotteaux gives the old man some practical advice about the way he dresses which is too much like that of a monk. The priest clings to his faith in human kindness, naively praising the goodness of the crowd because they immediately took up the cause of the robbed girl.

The naive priest living in a unreal world of his own.
Brotteaux cynically says that their motives are selfish because they put themselves in the position of the robbed girl and were thinking about themselves. Also he says their sense of respect for other people's property has been beaten into them since childhood.
Page 60 - Ces sentiments leur ont été inculqués dès l'enfance par leurs père et mère qui les ont suffisamment fessés, et leur ont fait entrer les vertus par le cul.
Gamelin interjects with Rousseau's idea that man is naturally good.
Page 60 - La vertu dit-il, est naturelle a l`homme: Dieu en a déposé le germe dans le cœur des mortels.
Brotteaux expresses his surprise that the revolutionaries e.g. Marat & Robespierre are deists. They have got rid of their earthly tyrants but cling to their heavenly ones.
Page 60 - L'humanité copie ses dieux sur ses tyrans, et vous, qui rejetez l'original, vous gardez la copie!
Gamelin preaches the new religion - the cult of the Supreme Being, which the Republic is about to inaugurate.  He believes that a belief in God is a prerequisite for establishing an ethical code -page 60:
 - La croyance en un Dieu bon est nécessaire à la morale. L'Etre suprême est la source de toutes les vertus, et l'on n'est pas républicain si l'on croit en Dieu.

Brotteaux warns against making any ideas however reasonable or good into divine authority Page 61:
 - La raison nous guide et nous éclaire; quand vous en aurez fait une divinité, elle vous aveuglera et vous persuadera des crimes.
Brotteaux happily debates with Gamelin with his feet in the gutter just as years before he had argued with his noble friends in the rich salons.

The influence of J.J .Rousseau on the Revolutionaries

He says ethical values are not inborn as Rousseau claims: they are the desperate struggle by humans against the universal order which is conflict, carnage and the blind play of contrary forces.
People paint God as an extremely evil force. As a result he is feared and people worship God. If God wasn't to be feared he would be ignored.

Brotteaux talks about the role of the fear of God in ensuring the devotion of the faithful.

The priest interrupts and says that this is blasphemy but he feels that if he should follow this line of argument, he is not clever enough to avoid giving Brotteaux the chance for further blasphemy. .
The queue starts to move as the shops open.
Brotteaux disappointed with his companion's arguments, gets his book out and starts to read Lucretius who expresses the philosophy of Epicurus.  Like the Epicureans, Brotteaux believed that the quest for pleasure was the sole aim of living-
Page 62
- Le citoyen Brotteaux faisait de la recherche du plaisir la fin unique de la vie: il estimait que la raison et les sens, seuls juges en l'absence des Dieux, n'en pouvaient concevoir une autre.
However the Epicureans did not understand by “pleasure” material and sensual pleasure which led only to disappointment.  Brotteaux could not totally accept this teaching. Whereas Lucretius advises scorn of the pleasures of the flesh, Brotteaux very much appreciates women.

Brotteaux is an Epicurean but does not conform to their principles of abstinence.
The three men were the last in the queue to be served. The people waiting behind them were sent away empty-handed..
As Gamelin turns to go home, he sees the mother he saw previously with her starving child. He cuts the bread in half and gives half to her. He takes the remaining half for his mother, telling her that he has already eaten his share.

Another example of Gamelin's kindness in his everyday dealings with people

Chapter VII

The 13th July 1792 - Évariste is just finishing off his lunch of chestnut soup when he is surprised by the entry of Mme de Rochemaure.   Gamelin had seen her before at the Jacobin Club and the Assembly and in the studio of the great painter of the Revolution - David.
She is with a dragoon.
Gamelin becomes enthusiastic describing his picture of Orestes. The subject strangely moves him- Page 67.
- Pour venger la justice outragée, il a renié la nature, il s'est fait inhumain, il s'est arraché les entrailles.

Gamelin identifies with Orestes a character in classical tragedy. Acting out of a sense of duty, Orestes violated the laws of family and of nature by killing his own mother Clytemnestra.
-Orestes is a man who to satisfy justice commits a crime against men and nature.
His Orestes resembles himself.
We have a description of Mme. de Rochemaure. Her loyalties had changed, depending on which party had the most power.  She had moved on in turn from the Feuillants to the Girondins and now to the Montagnards or Jacobins, the party of Marat and Robespierre.  However, at the same time she was involved in intrigues with aristocrats and anti revolutionaries.
She had always been actively involved in the social life of France, attending the main society functions and enjoying gambling.  In spite of all her activity, she had little understanding of political events in France and was courting danger without being aware and trusting too much in the power of her feminine charms- page 68:
- ne comprenant absolument rien à ce qui se passait en France, elle se montrait entreprenante, hardie et toute pleine d'audace par ignorance du danger et par une confiance illimitée dans le pouvoir de ses charmes.

The limited understanding of Mme de Rochemaure . Note the author's sometimes unflattering view of women

There is a full description of the uniform of the dragoon.He is Citizen Henry of the Revolutionary Committee. (Élodie's ex lover).

We had been seen the dragoon Henry earlier addressing the crowd. He was attacking the Brissotins, who are now out of favour.
The lady said she wanted Gamelin to design a publicity card for a friend who owned a fashion shop - but this was a pretext. Really she wanted Gamelin to introduce her into the circle of Marat.

Gamelin says that as Marat is a man with a big heart and he would be glad to receive her, particularly if she has got some traitor to denounce to him.
Unconscious irony in Gamelin's admiration for the "compassion" of a leader of the Terror

Her real motive stemmed from her involvement with bankers who were trying to rig the stock market to make a profit. Some of the collaborators had been discovered and to save themselves, they hoped to get Marat on their side. He was their last hope. The Girondins were on the way out - the followers of Danton had no real power and Marat’s ally, Robespierre, was too honest.

History: Robespierre was "the Incorruptible "
Marat had recently been showing more moderation - calming things down. The conspiring friends of Mme. de Rochemaure hoped they could use Marat's vanity and credulity, in order to deceive him.
Évariste agrees to take her to see Marat. Henry says he will not go with them- Marat is too moderate for him.
In Gamelin's absence, his mother all in one breath pours out their misfortunes to Mme. de Rochemaure.
Madame de Rochemaure says she will find buyers for Gamelin's paintings. Then she has another idea - she will use her social contacts among the revolutionaries to get Gamelin nominated to the revolutionary tribunal.
The two women have to stop talking as Gamelin returns.
On going out they find crowds of people in the street.
Marat has been assassinated.

History: The stabbing of Marat in his bath by Charlotte Corday, who sought to end the political massacre. She was guillotined.

Charlotte Corday (1768 -1793)
Gamelin's reaction shows his idolatry of his heroes -Page 74
- Marat, sensible, humain, bienfaisant, Marat n'est plus là pour nous guider, lui qui ne s'est jamais trompé, qui devinait tout, qui osait tout révéler!

The crowds are hysterical - his death is the signal for all patriots to be murdered- Page 74
- Marat a été frappe par les mains criminelles qui veulent nous exterminer. Sa mort est le signal de l'égorgement de tous les patriotes.
National Guards were taking away a man whom the mob had attacked for speaking ill of Marat. There is a surge of emotion in the masses.  However, an old peasant lady thought it was her local parish priest they were talking of – “Father Mara.” Comic end of chapter after a very dramatic historical event

This painting by Louis David (1748 -1825), the most imprtant painter of the revolutionary period, shows the murdered Marat in his bath.

Chapter VIII

Élodie meets Évariste on the eve of the Festival of the 10th of August
Paris is still threatened but the Federalists have been defeated. The civil war is over and the Republic is now one and indivisible.
The couple had not met for three days. Élodie’s father had almost been thrown in jail on suspicion of fraud in his supplies to the army.
The young couple speak their love in the language of Rousseau-Page 79
- le bon Jean-Jacques leur donnait les moyens de peindre et d'orner leur amour.

The influence of Rousseau on French thought during the Revolution
Évariste gives her a ring - with the head of Marat on it.
That evening Madame de Rochemaure summoned Évariste to tell him that he had been elected to the Tribunal Révolutionnaire.
Gamelin disappoints Madame de Rochemaure by saying he will use his position to serve the Republic to get revenge on its foes-Page 80
- je jure sur mon honneur que je n'accepte les fonctions de juré que pour servir la République à la venger de tous ses ennemis.
However she thinks she can work on Évariste. She wanted Gamelin on the Tribunal as she had written a lot of correspondence abroad which could get her into trouble.
Henry arrives - he is so extreme that he does not believe that the Tribunal is effective enough to wipe out the Girondins and execute the Queen

.The King had been executed 7 months previously, following a campaign against him by Robespierre. The Queen was still alive.
Gamelin's mother is delighted at her son’s nomination. She remembers his good and gentle nature as a child -Page 82:
- Et je crois que tu jugeras bien, mon Évariste: car, dès l'enfance, je t'ai trouvé juste et bienveillant en toutes choses.
She wishes the jurors had special clothes to distinguish them.

The picture of Gamelin as a child reminds us that Gamelin is fundamentally a good man - like Robespierre!

Brotteaux is ironical: The tribunal is good because it has a straight forward job:  judging with its heart between their feelings of love and hatred for the accused- and that is easy.
To judge rationally between right and wrong, on the other hand, is impossible. For this Brotteaux recommends casting a dice.

Brotteaux' cynical irony accurately describes the Revolutionary Tribunal

Chapter IX

The Tribunal is re-organised into four sections on the 14th September. Gamelin joins it at this time.
The prisons are overflowing. The Terror was in full swing.  The Gods were thirsty for blood.- Page 84 :
 - Les prisons regorgeaient; l’accusateur public travaillait dix-huit heures par jour.  Aux défaites des armées, aux révoltes des provinces, aux conspirations, aux complots, aux trahisons, la Convention opposait la terreur. Les Dieux avaient soif.
The President of the Tribunal, Herman, was a very gentle humane man - proud to have ended torture - he would like to abolish the death penalty, but treason needed this penalty.  They had adopted without qualms the old monarchist ideas of raison d’état. 

The ordinary, even humane character of the public servants who, nevertheless, administered the slaughter of the Terror.
Gamelin also meets the public prosecutor Fouquier - a hard working man - immersed in the detail of his mountain of work. He was kind to his wife and his servants and was a good father.
They were just like the judiciary of the days of the monarchy - in which they had in fact served. Gamelin is uneasy to see that the Revolution hasn't changed this.
Gamelin visits the bookshop and asks for some good revolutionary literature. He is told that no one buys books on the Revolution - dirty books are the best sellers.

The common people are indifferent to the issues that enthuse the revolutionary leaders.
Desmahis is there seducing the salesgirl.
Gamelin goes to sit in the gallery of the Tribunal to watch it at work.
A general is on trial. A stupid man, the general knew as little about the battles as the Revolutionary Court did but Évariste felt they had to strike him down as the embodiment of revolt and defeat Page 87 :
- Evariste le sentait ardemment: ce qu'il fallait frapper en ce misérable, c'étaient les deux monstres affreux qui déchiraient la Patrie: la révolte et la défaite.To avoid joining in the chorus of the people thronging the court calling for the man’s death, Gamelin leaves the Tribunal, to go to his Section, to receive the congratulations of his colleagues.  Here, the president of the Section gets him to swear,  in the name of humanity to stifle all human weakness -Page 88
 -  ……. d'étouffer dans son âme, au nom sacré de l'humanité, toute faiblesse humaine.

Irony; The revolutionaries had to stifle any feelings of human compassion in the name of humanity! - The murderous effect of idealism.
The hunchback Beauvisage lists the threats - many imaginary - threatening the Republic and he calls on Évariste to be ruthless.
An extremist, Citizen Dupont, who is jealous of Évariste’s appointment, asks him what his attitude is to Marie Antoinette and to the Brissotins. When Gamelin says he must only speak in the Tribunal, Dupont attacks the integrity of the tribunal as too moderate.
Trubert, the conscientious consumptive defends Évariste against this extremist talk, reassuring him that the corrupt members have been expelled.

The strict moral integrity of the leaders who introduced the Terror

He maintains that Robespierre and Couthon and St. Just are honest men - Page 90:
- N'y a-t-il plus de talents ni de vertus a la Convention? Robespierre, Couthon, Saint Just ne sont-ils pas des hommes honnêtes?

Trubert is a calming voice.
He tells them all to do less shouting and do more work to save France, telling them to look after the soldiers’ families. Trubert brings the Section down to an awaremess of reality. Trubert is a practical man
Gamelin thanks Trubert. The latter spits blood but maintains that his health is fine.
Widow Gamelin now assumed the bearing worthy of the mother of a juror of the Tribunal and wore her revolutionary cockade straight for a change.
She respected the new courts as much as she had the old ones of the monarchy, but Brotteaux despised them as much as he had the earlier ones.
He says the Republic would have done better to work by anonymous murder and bribery. Trials sow fear and it is fear that makes people do heroic things, rather than innate courage.  Prophetically he says that the reaction could be terrible- Page 92:
 - Vous semez la peur: c'est la peur plus que le courage qui enfante les héros; puissiez-vous, citoyen Gamelin, ne pas voir un jour éclater contre vous des prodiges de peur!

Brotteaux accurately predicts the reaction of people, frightened for their own lives who will rise up against the avenging Jacobins, like Robespierre.
Élodie saw his appointment as a distraction to their love. She hated the things of the revolution, but her father embraced Gamelin in congratulation, because he might need him. He invites Gamelin to a painting excursion with Desmahis and a little known painter, Dubois. Élodie went as well and Blaise took along also the vaudeville actress, la Thévenin who was thought to be his girlfriend.

Chapter X

When M. Blaise arrives at 7am to collect Gamelin to join his painting expedition, Widow Gamelin suggests that Brotteaux is added to the party, as he is a painter as well.

Blaise has provided a carriage for his guests, but he leads the party on horseback.
As they pass through a little village outside Paris.Desmahis goes into a shop and holds everyone up as he tries to seduce the shop girl. When he refuses to come out, Dubois calls him "Barbaroux." to provoke him.
When the passers-by hear this name, they think that he's the outlawed Girondin of the same name and a mob forms around him. Finally he manages to prove his identity with his carte de civisme.

The excitability of the people.
There is a description of the actress la Thévenin. Women were always ready to point out that she was not beautiful, but she had great charisma.

The character of La Thevenin

She was a woman of many contradictions, but Blaise was totally captivated by her charms- Page 100:

D'humeur inégale et cependant toujours gaie, susceptible, irritable et pourtant accommodante et facile, la langue salée avec le ton le plus poli, vaine, modeste, vraie, fausse, délicieuse, si Rose Thévenin ne faisait pas bien ses affaires, si elle ne devenait point déesse, c'est que les temps étaient mauvais et qu'il n'y avait plus à Paris ni encens ni autels pour les Grâces. La citoyenne Blaise, qui en parlant d'elle faisait la grimace et l'appelait sa " belle-mère ", ne pouvait la voir sans se rendre à tant de charmes.

These were bad times for the Paris theatre. Rose asks whether the revolutionaries had brought freedom by closing the National theatre, but Gamelin says they were justified as the the theatres were keeping alive old aristocratic values.

The intolerance of the revolutionaries -The censorship they imposed.

Very pertinently the actress asks whether the gentlemen of the revolution only wish to hear those who flatter their opinions.- Page 101

— Messieurs, dit la Thévenin, ne savez-vous entendre que ceux qui vous flattent?... "

The intelligence of la Thévenin

Brotteaux and Dubois, who knew Brotteaux in earlier days, think nostalgically of the times gone by.

Brotteaux thinks of the worldly men of religion he once knew.  He prefers them to the cruel Jacobins, using the guillotine to make everyone virtuous and wise   The clergy under the old regime knew neither what they were saying or doing, but their aim was to control people such as they were, and not such as they would like them to be.

Brotteaux believes that the Jacobins are inspired by a particularly bigoted, religious mentality
La Thévenin is attracted to Brotteaux. He assures her she is more beautiful than all the actresses of the old days who frequented his home.
They stop at a country hotel, where an old lady recalls having seen Louis XIV in her childhood..
They dine - regretting the poor food on offer in these difficult times.
That night Desmahis slipped a message to Élodie to meet him in the attic. He creeps there later. He finds there no Elodie but a dirty peasant girl. She is a freak - the doctor had said she was really twins in one. He sleeps with her and then goes back to his room to sleep content.

A change of tone to end the chapter. -The astonishing and distasteful amorality of Desmahis

After another day's painting, the party returns to Paris.

Chapter XI

7th September 1793
Mme. de Rochemaure on a visit to Gamelin runs into Brotteaux.
She is astonished at his miserable circumstances now.  Brotteaux treats the change stoically and humorously, e.g. the cats which disturbed him at night.

Brotteaux makes a wry comment about the sorrow and disappointments that sexual love brings into our lives.
Page 112 - Mais il faut pardonner à l'amour de miauler et de jurer sur les toits, quand il emplit de tourments et de crimes la vie des hommes.
Madame de Rochemaure is anxious. Her house has been searched.
Her lover, le Bel Henry is under suspicion as his fanaticism is thought too excessive to be sincere.
She asks Brotteaux what will be the outcome of it all.
He states the possibility - rather tongue in cheek. He tells of the rumour that Robespierre might marry Marie Therese the sister of Louis XVII.
The naive Rochemaure takes him absolutely seriously.
Brotteaux predicts (truly) that the revolutionary tribunal will itself bring an end to the regime it has instituted. Too many people now live in fear of it.

Brotteaux accurately predicts the reaction of people, frightened for their own lives who will rise up against the bloodthirsty Jacobins like Robespierre.
Virtuous men like Gamelin terrify the people..
Page 114 - Je crois que vous avez fait nommer le jeune Gamelin à cette justice. Il est vertueux: il sera terrible.

Jacobins like Robepierre and Gamelin were terrifying because they had an overwhelming sense of their own virtue, that gave them the right to oppress their fellow citizens.
They bring ridicule by applying justice to the humble as well as to the great - to a serving girl as well as to the Queen.
That evening Henry goes to see her uninvited. She is just sealing a letter for the English government. Henry is aware that she is turning her affections from him and is afraid of her power to do harm to him. She might get him thrown into prison just to get rid of him.
He uses his normally effective seductive charms but in vain.
To get away from him Rochemaure leaves the room.  While she is away, Henry steals her letter, which contains Brotteaux's comments on the political situation in France. He takes the letter to the Committee of Public Safety.
That afternoon at 3 p.m. Evariste took his seat on the Tribunal.
Anatole France gives a description of the tribunal and of dress of the French people in these years

In this -unfortunately blurred -drawing, we can make out the bench of the 3 judges on a small platform, in the centre. Behind them are the tablets of the rights of man.. The public gallery is on the right and the bench of the jurors faces them

Gamelin is nervous.
The first accused is a man of about 50. One witness spoke against him - one witness spoke for him and the jury split equally on their verdict.-
Page 119

- On vit d'un côté les indifférents, les tièdes, les raisonneurs, qu'aucune passion n'animait,  et d'un autre côté ceux qui se laissaient conduire par le sentiment, se montraient peu accessibles a l'argumentation et jugeaient avec le cœur.
It was the dispassionate members who wished to acquit.  Those on the other side were  ruled by feeling.  They were les bons les purs - Gamelin felt himself at one with these men.

Gamelin has not yet found his feet at the court, but he already identifies with jurors described as good and pure, who judged according to their feelings, not by rational assessment.
In spite of this, Gamelin is haunted by the fear of executing an innocent man. His casting vote is for acquittal.  There are scenes of joy as the man is freed. Yet the Terror was not relenting and the four sections of the Tribunal had condemned 30 men the previous day.

Outside, Élodie is waiting. She is overwhelmed with pride in Évariste because he has shown mercy.

Elodie is moderate and good-hearted.

In the heady sentiment of excitement, Élodie takes him to her room.
Overwhelmed with passion she runs to bolt the door. Page 122 -

La tête renversée, les yeux mourants, les cheveux répandus, la taille ployée, a demi évanouie, elle lui échappa et courut pousser le verrou.
Then the sensual Élodie, takes the lead as they make love.

The sensuality of Elodie
When Évariste leaves in the early hours of the morning, Élodie tells him how to slip out without being seen -Page 122:
« Adieu, mon amour... C'est l'heure où mon père peut rentrer : si tu entends du bruit dans l'escalier, monte vite  à l'étage supérieur et ne descends que quand il n'y aura plus de danger qu'on te voie. Pour te faire ouvrir la porte de la rue, frappe trois coups à la fenêtre de la concierge. Adieu, ma vie! adieu, mon âme ! »
The reader will see these exact words repeated at another point in the book.
Anyone less naive than Évariste would have been suspicious that Élodie had done all this before.  As he leaves Élodie drops him a red carnation from her window.

Gamelin is naive and trusting in his personal relationships

Chapter XII

When Brotteaux takes his puppets to be sold, he is told by the salesman that he can't accept them. Some officials think their faces are like those of the heroes of the Revolution. Brotteaux is amazed at this as he has used only the traditional puppet faces

The humourless, paranoiac Revolutionaries
Brotteaux risks losing his main means of livelihood and sets off to find another buyer. On his way, Brotteaux finds the priest, Longuemare, in an exhausted state.  He had not been home since 5 p.m. the previous day, after some men had come and taken him away.
Brotteaux takes him home and gives him food and wine - Page 126

- Brotteaux, en son grenier, lui servit du pain, du fromage et du vin, qu'il avait mis à rafraichir dans sa gouttière, car il était sybarite.

Brotteaux is still a lover of the good things in life.
After his Convent was closed, Father Longemare, innocent of the enormity of what he was doing, wrote pamphlets against the persecution of the church by the Revolution - and against the demand of the Revolutionaries that priests should swear an oath of loyalty. Quite naively he had gone for a certificate of citizenship and as a result of enquiries in connection with this, he was to be arrested. What counted against him was that he had not taken a wife as the Revolution strongly recommended to priests and also he had no record of active involvement with three important public manifestations of support for the Revolution.

The intolerance of the Revolutionaries. Those who did not back them totally were in very great danger.

Brotteaux tells him that he does not have a carte de civisme either. Before Father Longemare goes to sleep he suggests to Brotteaux that it would be better if Brotteaux would direct kindness similar to that which he had shown to him, to his God. 

The priest testifies to Brotteaux' good nature

The priest's own gratitude is of no avail, as God only takes account of what is done for his glory. Theologically Brotteaux' kindness to Longemare does not count as it is merely the natural expression of Brotteaux's good nature.
Cynically Brotteaux refuses to acknowledge any good motives. One does a good deed, seeing oneself in the sufferer's place thus all kindly deeds are selfish - his second motive for kindness is that he has nothing better to do and thirdly he wishes to prove that atheists can do good deeds.

Brotteaux is uncomfortable to be counted among the virtuous
Father Longemare brushes aside this cynicism.  He says his prayers and goes to sleep soundly in spite of his impending fate.

Chapter XIII 

About 20th September 1793 Gamelin’s second sitting of the Tribunal.
The news is terrible. The Revolution is attacked from all quarters. Now the Tribunal make the national interest its own concern and the interest of the nation confused with the interest of the jurors themselves dictated their feelings, passions and conduct - Page 130     

Sûrs de périr si la patrie périssait, ils faisaient du salut public leur affaire propre. Et l'intérêt de la nation, confondu avec le leur, dictait leurs sentiments, leurs passions, leur conduite.
Trubert working in his practical way is still looking for saltpetre for use by the artillery. He appoints Gamelin to make a search of the cellars.
The first accused when Gamelin next sits on the Tribunal is a general just as in the previous case Gamelin had witnessed, when he went to the court as a spectator.
The general is an unattractive character. The evidence is confusing. Gamelin thinks only of the plight of the defeated army - the ghost of Marat hangs over the room.The decision is split. This time, Gamelin votes for execution and gets approval from the public gallery

In the eyes of the revolutionary public, Gamelin shows his youthful virtue by sending a fellow citizen to the guillotine
Page 131 - Gamelin d'une voix sourde, qui s'étranglait dans sa gorge, mais d'un ton résolu, déclara l'accusé coupable de trahison envers la République et un murmure approbateur, qui s'éleva dans la foule vint caresser sa jeune vertu.
The tricoteuses outside are demanding the head of Marie Antoinette.
The next day the court tried an ignorant woman "une porteuse de pain." For shouting Long Live the King and for planning the escape of the Queen!  Out of simplicity or fanaticism she confessed to it all.
To Gamelin it was a mark of real equality to offer the same justice to the small and the humble and he found the porteuse de pain guilty - Page 132
- Il eût juge méprisant, insolent pour le peuple, de l'exclure du supplice. C'eût été le considérer, pour ainsi dire, comme indigne du châtiment. Réservée aux seuls aristocrates, la guillotine lui eut paru une sorte de privilège inique.(Iniquitous) - Page 132:
Gamelin commençait à se faire du châtiment, une idée religieuse et mystique, à lui prêter une vertu, des mérites propres.

Punishment is endowed with a mystic and religious quality and is applied to the highest and the most humble.

Almost every night, Évariste went to the Jacobin Club where Robespierre preached his ideas to his followers. This Club was a solid middle class assembly. (The inquisitors of the Republic had replaced the Inquisition of the Church in this former monastery of the Jacobins-  the Dominican order that enforced the Papal inquisition).  It was from this hall that Robespierre governed France.
On Page 133 Anatole France outlines the history of this French revolutionary faction who took this name of Jacobins.
We see their characteristics.  They are vigilant, suspicious, dogmatic, sticklers for the rules, with the skill of asserting control and an imperial wisdom..
Page 134 - Evariste admirait en eux la vigilance, l'esprit soupçonneux, la pensée dogmatique, l'amour de la règle, l'art de dominer, une impériale sagesse.
On the eleventh of vendemaire, Robespierre addresses the Jacobins. We are given a vivid picture of Robepierre. He is still a young man- he is 35- He is an effete dandy and some said he carried himself in the manner of a dancing teacher - Page 134

un homme jeune, le front fuyant, le regard perçant, le nez en pointe, le menton aigu, le visage grêlé, l'air froid, monta lentement à la tribune. Il était poudré à frimas et portait un habit bleu qui lui marquait la taille.

The portait of Maximilien de Robespierre at 35: Receding forehead-piercing eye, pointed nose, pock-marked face, cold manner. He had white powdered hair and wore a closely fitted suit
Speaking in his characteristic clear voice and using great eloquence, he attacks the Brissotins as he had on many occasions before, but now he takes flight into metaphysical language - The dogmatic Robespierre took his audience into the abstract realms of absolute certainties.Page 114
- Robespierre découvrait des vérités plus hautes et plus pures; il concevait une métaphysique révolutionnaire, qui élevait son esprit au-dessus des grossières contingences, a l'abri des erreurs des sens, dans la région des certitudes absolues.
He simplified the complicated issues by defining them clearly in terms of right and wrong.  For example: unity is salvation -.federalism is damnation.

He defines political issues, however complex as a choice between right and wrong.
For Évariste it was like receiving the gospel - Page 135
- Gamelin goûtait la joie profonde d'un croyant qui sait le mot qui sauve et le mot qui perd..... Et parce qu'il avait l'esprit religieux, Evariste recevait ces révélations avec un sombre enthousiasme; son cœur s'exaltait et se réjouissait a l'idée que désormais, pour discerner le crime et l'innocence, il possédait un symbole. Vous tenez lieu de tout, o trésors de la foi!

Gamelin, who has a religious mindset is a natural disciple
Robespierre also attacked those of the extreme left, who sought the complete equality of all people - by taking away property. By such measures, the Republic would make enemies who would destroy it.
Robespierre also attacked atheists. Gamelin had previously tolerated and felt sympathy for them but now Robespierre showed him his error - by taking away religion, you take away the hope of salvation of the masses and you remove a necessary discipline against immorality.

In the following days, inspired by such religious fervour, the jurors condemned all but one of the people who appeared before them. In rapid succession, they judged many different people accused of a wide variety of offences. -Page 136;
Dans les jours qui suivirent, Évariste eut à juger, cour sur coup, un ci-devant convaincu d'avoir détruit des grains pour affamer le peuple, trois émigrés qui étaient revenus fomenter la guerre civile en France, deux filles du Palais-Égalité, quatorze conspirateurs bretons, femmes, vieillards, adolescents, maîtres et serviteurs. Le crime était avéré, la loi formelle. The law that was applied from now on was categorical

The tragic effects of Robespierre's idealism
 The author increases the poignancy by giving an individual description of one of the victims, a charming girl of twenty – Page 137:
Parmi les coupables se trouvait une femme de vingt ans, parée des splendeurs de la jeunesse sous les ombres de sa fin prochaine, charmante, Un nœud bleu retenait ses cheveux d'or, son fichu de linon couvrait un cou blanc et flexible.

In the following week they condemned 45 men and 18 women.
Women were not offered greater mercy. Some jurors experienced a perverted pleasure when sacrificing a desirable woman - but this did not apply to Evariste who saw beauty only in the art of antiquity. He could only feel desire in deep love - his love for Élodie.
He felt disgusted with these women who came before the Court and had them executed out of a sense of virtue.

Perversely, there was a strange frenzy on the part of some of the accused to prove themselves guilty and to be executed. Évariste, excited by the speeches of the Jacobins and affected by his experiences at the tribunal now sees traitors everywhere around him. To him the only answer is the sacred guillotine - Page 139 -

Et il songeait: "République: contre tant d'ennemis secrets ou déclarés, tu n'as qu'un secours. Sainte guillotine, sauve la patrie!...

The change in his relationship with Élodie, who feared him now

Élodie now thought him a monster. She feared him but still loved him.
They spent their nights locked in passion - the voluptuous woman and the bloody lover.
Page 140 - Toute la nuit, pressés éperdument l'un contre l'autre, l'amant sanguinaire et la voluptueuse fille se donnaient en silence des baisers furieux.

Chapter XIV

Father Longuemare goes to say mass in a clandestine meeting place. It was run by a priest, who, like him, had refused to swear the oath required of clergy under the Revolution.The Epicurean Brotteaux prepares the lunch.
Brotteaux is not surprised that people - mere playthings of fate - find themselves in painful and ridiculous situations. However, he believed that the revolutionaries were more foolish than most as they had fallen into the trap of ideology.
Page 141 - Ce sage n'était pas surpris que des êtres misérables, vains jouets des forces de la nature, se trouvassent le plus souvent dans des situations absurdes et pénibles: mais il avait la faiblesse de croire que les révolutionnaires étaient plus méchants et plus sots que les autres hommes, en quoi il tombait dans l'idéologie.

Brotteaux believed that the revolutionaries were more wicked and more stupid than other people because they had devoted themselves to an ideology
However, Brotteaux thought that life had its compensations — including the wonders of the universe and physical love. Brotteaux put up with the travail until the day his mortality would ensure his rest.
Brotteaux is still making his puppets and makes one resemble La Thévenin, whom he liked and physically admired.
He has found some-one new to buy his puppets and when he delivers them, he gets a big further order.
On the way from the shop, he nears the Place de la Révolution and his eye is caught by the triangular blade of steel between two wooden posts.  Around the guillotine crowds are milling, as at a carnival, waiting for the next loaded carts. Brotteaux turns back.
When he gets back home again, Father Longemare helps Brotteaux to make puppets.  He is clumsy but when the priest animates one, something amuses the serious priest.. He tells Brotteaux how the director of his convent had once become totally obsessed by the wish to work a puppet.
Brotteaux says enigmatically that one does see such obsessions and not only for puppets.
As they work, the two men talk mainly at cross purposes.  Making the puppets who have role of villains, Brotteaux rates the kings as the greatest fools of all in history.  The priest says the greatest villain in history was the Abbé Fauchet. 

The Abbé Fauchet was a priest who was active in the revolution of 1789.  He went against his Church by swearing an oath to the Civil Constitution of November 1790. He cooperated to some extent in the reform of the church.  He was closely associated with the Girondins and was guillotined along with them on 31st October 1793)

Brotteaux is amused by the narow focus of his friend. He suggests three greater villains: the revolutionaries Brissot, Danton, and Marat. And he could name another hundred. He asks about the conduct of Father Longemare’s God in the Revolution and goes on to quote the Epicurean statement of the irreconcilability of a benign, omnipotent, God with the existence of so much evil and suffering in the world.

The priest, too humble to argue, rests his case on faith and the explanation that God's ways are not the ways of man. He is generous to some extent, however, and puts the thought of atheists on the bottom rung of the ladder of knowledge.
Brotteaux finds not one atom of sense in theology. However, he thinks religion is necessary for the masses.
Brotteaux is extremely fearful about the new religion (the worship of the Supreme Being) because religions in their early years are at their most cruel.
Page 147 - Il avait remarqué que c'est dans la vigueur de leur jeune âge que les religions sont le plus furieuses et le plus cruelles, et qu'elles s'apaisent en vieillissant.
Now that the Catholic religion was getting old, it was satisfied with burning only 4 or 5 people a year.

Religions and ideologies are at their most lethal when they are new says Brotteaux.
However, Brotteaux had been tolerant of religion when he was rich and had had his own chaplain.
Father Longemare stayed another week. He followed the rules of fasting of his order, even though they had hardly anything to eat. Brotteaux is sceptical.
Page 148 - "Croyez-vous vraiment que Dieu éprouve quelque plaisir à vous voir endurer ainsi le froid et la faim? "
On the 8th day Brotteaux is out in the street when a girl in distress throws herself in his arms asking for refuge.
She is a prostitute and the new virtuous prosecutor is rounding them up. Some have been guillotined already.

Young female victims of the guillotine.
She confesses to having shouted "Vive le roi!" She had done this because of the harassment she had suffered from the revolutionaries. She says the revolutionaries are making all the poor people hostile to the Revolution.
Page 150 - Ils ne seront contents que lorsqu'ils auront mis contre eux tout le pauvre monde.
Her name is Athénaïs. She is 16.  Brotteaux takes her home and that makes three of them sharing the attic.
Brotteaux looks at the sleeping girl and thinks what a terrible enemy of the Republic she is.
Page 151 -"Voilà, songea-t-il, une terrible ennemie de la République!"

Brotteaux' incredulity that the revolutionaries should pick on a girl like Athénaïs
Brotteaux reads in his Lucretius that one should live without fear or desires - but nevertheless he feels regret and anxiety -Page 151:
 - Lucrèce s’instruisait à vivre sans craintes et sans désirs; et toutefois il était dévoré de regrets et d'inquiétudes. I
The next morning Athénaïs leaves. Brotteaux gives her half of his money so that she can get a seat on a coach and go back to the country and safety.

The generosity of Brotteaux

Chapter XV
14th October 1793

The prisons were overflowing. Verdicts were necessary in order to empty them.
All the judges were exhausted. All, ignorant or learned, all atrocious with virtue or fear formed one creature which produced death.
They were capricious - one minute sentimentally sparing someone who an hour earlier they would have condemned with sarcastic comments..
Judgements were made under pressure of work - under pressure of the mob.
All in all they were men like any other.
Page 155 - Enfin, c'étaient des hommes, ni pires ni meilleurs que les autres.

The arbitrary justice of the overworked courts.
Marie Antoinette was tried without being allowed any defence counsel.  She spoke for herself. The prosecution used insult and filthy scandal.

Marie Antoinette is taken from her prison in the Conciergerie for public beheading. The date was the 16th October 1793

Three days after the execution of Marie Antoinette, Gamelin was called to the dying Trubert.
 On his death bed, he predicts that the foreign invasion has been stopped. He repeats yet again his words of confidence that everything will work out: “Ça ira”.
He is still worrying about the army supplies right up to the moment of death.
Évariste wept, weeping also for himself who had yet to complete his task.
There is a funeral of great pomp for Trubert.
In the apathetic mood of the capital, Évariste was voted onto the counsel of the Commune. Out of 700,000 people in Paris, Évariste calculated that only 4,000 were true Republicans.
That day the 21 Brissotins appeared before the tribunal. They had once been the heroes of the revolution. Now they were condemned and mocked by men such as Gamelin who had once idolised them .The Terror is now devouring former leaders of the Revolution. Page 157:
........ traînés au Tribunal sur l'exemple qu'ils avaient donné, ils n'étaient pas moins la jeunesse éclatante de la Révolution; ils en avaient été le charme et la gloire. Ce juge, qui va les interroger avec une partialité savante; ce blême accusateur, qui, là, devant sa petite table, prépare leur mort et leur déshonneur; ces jurés, qui voudront tout à l'heure étouffer leur défense; ce public des tribunes, qui les couvre d'invectives et de huées, juge, jurés, peuple, ont naguère applaudi leur éloquence, célébré leurs talents, leurs vertus. Mais ils ne se souviennent plus.

Gamelin goes home after the hearing.  He hears Josephine, the caretaker’s daughter, who had looked like an angel in Trubert’s funeral procession, being whipped for dirtying her nice white dress playing with the kids.

The chapter ends with the anti-climax of a human event, in a world where men play at being gods

Chapter XVI

This following chapter is an example of how personal vindictiveness on the part of the jurors could sway their judgement tragically

After three months judging, Évariste found an accused man served up for himself alone.
Gamelin had jumped to the conclusion that Élodie’s "seducer" had been an émigré. He thought he had found him in an accused called Maubel, who was brought before the tribunal.
There was no real evidence against Maubel – merely letters from an English bank and love letters to a woman in Spain. The only reason he was detained was that the court had not got round to releasing him.
Gamelin found in the documents the name of Élodie’s shop - along with that of other art dealers - and also some petals of a red carnation - Élodie’s favourite flower.
When Gamelin next sees Élodie, he attempts to confirm his suspicions. Dramatically he pronounces the name "Maubel" to view her reaction. However the cobbler arrives at the moment and interrupts with light-hearted banter with Mme Gamelin.
Évariste then bluntly accuses Élodie of having had an affair with Maubel. She denies it.
In the end Élodie gives up her denials.  She is convinced that she will never succeed and is glad to make Évariste a bit jealous and put him on the wrong track. Also she thinks there is a possibility that Henri might come back to her. She didn't know that Maubel was under examination by the Tribunal.   
Although fully involved in the trial of the Brissotins, Gamelin found time to follow up the case of Maubel.
At Gamelin’s insistence, Maubel was brought to trial. He answered all the questions satisfactorily except the reference to "Nieres" and some Spanish words about which he refused to make any explanation to the court.
Évariste asked the Judge to find out about the carnation. The accused said that this did not concern the court.
All the jurors wanted to acquit Maubel but Évariste worked them up to a verdict of guilty.  Maubel heard the sentence in silence and looked at Évariste with scorn.
That night, Maubel wrote to his sister. Nieres was in fact his dead mistress. The flower was a pomegranate not a carnation. He was a collector of paintings.
Maubel was executed that evening.
Évariste in triumph tells Élodie that she is avenged.
Élodie is greatly distressed and denies knowing Maubel. She cries out - Page 166 :
- Il était jeune, aimable..., innocent. Et tu l'as tué, misérable: misérable!
But once again the sensation of Évariste’s cruelty arouses her sensuality and on recovering her senses she pulls him to her for passionate love - Page 167:
- Plus elle le voyait couvert du sang de ses victimes, plus elle avait faim et soif de lui

.....................Anatole France refers several times to the sadistic and masochistic instincts of those involved in this orgy of blood-letting......................................................................

It was at the same time that the death sentences passed on the Brissotins (Girondins) were carried out.They were taken for execution on the 31st October 1793

Chapter XVII
24th Frimaire -The 14th December 1793

Two delegates of the security committee, la Comité de Sûreté Générale, come to the Barnabite headquarters of the Section to ask where they would find Brotteaux, whom they seek to arrest. (There has been a delay of over 3 months since Henry betrayed him, but the two men only admit to having taken two weeks)   They say that they are overwhelmed with denunciations from all quarters.

The culture of mutual treachery induced by the Terror.
Beauvisage from the Section says that they too are swamped by denunciations - some are made to them out of public spirit, some denunciations are made for the hundred sols reward - some children denounce their parents to get their inheritance.

Beauvisage has the letter that Madame de Rochemaure wrote. She has reported very seriously all Brotteaux' remarks.
The two men on their cruel mission talk of their young children. Their conversation is banal - they are ordinary human beings.
They arrest an old lady for selling rosaries and images. She is astonished - she has been doing it for 40 years.
Arriving at Brotteaux house they find the porter is having a quarrel with the carpenter over the affair the latter is having with his wife. When offered the 100sols for informing where M. d’Ilettes is living, both point simultaneously and instantaneously to his room. They are thus given a further cause of dispute- which one of the two earned the100 sols prize.

The men who are informers and agents for their neighbour's death are average human beings

The delegates find Brotteaux and Father Longemare making puppets.  When the two men state their charges against him.Brotteaux realises too late that one should never confide in women.
Page 173 - Brotteaux, aux questions du citoyen Delourmel, comprit d'où venait le coup et s'aperçut un peu tard qu'on a tort de se confier aux femmes.
Father Longemare is also arrested for having no certificat de civisme.
The prostitute Athénaïs arrives with a gift of food. She tries to stop the arrest. Then she abuses the delegates in filthy language. Finally at the top of her voice she shouts "Vive le roi!"

Another unexpected ending to a chapter

Chapter XVIII

Mme. Gamelin is heartbroken at the arrest of Brotteaux whom she loved. Although not previously religious, she prayed for Brotteaux and also for her son.
Then there is a totally unexpected development for the old woman. Her daughter, Julie, whom she believed to be abroad, turns up at her house.  She is dressed as a man.

Among the many people in prison is the aristocratic lover of Gamelin's sister.He was captured on their return from England and is awaiting trial.
Julie's nobleman lover has been arrested and taken to the Luxembourg prison. They had been in London, but had been living in poverty.
She has come home hoping for Évariste’s help, to save her lover’s life.
Mme. Gamelin knows it is hopeless - Évariste acts according to his conscience.
Page 178 - il est juge; il a des principes: il agit d'après sa conscience. Ne lui demande rien, Julie.

Mme Gamelin knows her son well enough to know that he will not help his sister's lover.
Julie however gives a more frank portrait of Évariste as cold, insensitive, ambitious and vain.
Page 178 - Je vois que tu le connais maintenant. Tu sais qu'il est froid, insensible, que c'est un méchant, qu'il n'a que de l'ambition, de la vanité.

Julie's view of her brother's character
Mme. Gamelin defends him as he has stayed to look after her.
Julie says he lacks heart.
Julie and her husband had returned to Paris on a mission, as they needed money. Fortune, her lover, had been recognised by a former acquaintance whom he had once kicked in the pants before the Revolution. Arrogance of the old aristocracy
The two women break down in tears. Mme. Gamelin hopes she can influence Évariste. It is only the Jacobins who have made him hard.
Mme. Gamelin knows Evariste will be shocked to see Julie dressed as a man.
Evariste returns home in a good mood. The French Armies are winning victories on all fronts. The only threat now comes from internal conspiracies.
When Mme. Gamelin broaches the subject of Julie, Évariste shuts her up, - if his sister and her lover have to die, they should avoid it happening by his hand. He would have no other recourse but to denounce Julie.
Mme. Gamelin in despair sees that her son is a monster.
Page 184 - Je ne voulais pas le croire, mais je le vois bien: c'est un monstre..

The depravity of Gamelin. Like Orestes he could kill his own family
With foam on his lips Évariste goes to find in Élodie’s arms forgetfulness and find the sleep offering him a delightful foretaste of the void..

Chapter XIX

The Conciergerie on the bank of the Seine. During the Revolution, it was used as a prison

While Father Longemare and Athénaïs were being interrogated, Brotteaux was taken to the Luxembourg prison; the doorkeeper would not let them in - there was no room left.
Brotteaux is then taken to another prison - the Conciergerie. In the next room are two men waiting for the cart to take them to the guillotine - Page 185
- ….. deux hommes qui, gardaient une immobilité de mort et, l'œil fixe, semblaient ne rien voir.   C'étaient des condamnés a mort qui attendaient la charrette.
Brotteaux is thrown into a stinking cell.
There is excrement on the floor - lice and vermin. Brotteaux faints with shock.
When he recovers he tries philosophically to recall the delight of the sensation of fainting, but he cannot summon this up again.  
There are two criminals in his cell - one a forger and one a murderer.
Brotteaux develops a fever because of the filth. The jailer offers to find him a cell in the prison where prisoners who can pay are kept. Brotteaux gets a room with a bed which although miserable is luxurious by comparison and gives him as much pleasure as the bed he arranged for him and his mistress, years before.

Le lit doré où se becquetaient des colombes, qu'il avait jadis fait faire pour la plus jolie des danseuses de l' Opéra ne lui avait pas paru si agréable ni promis de telles délices.

The pleasure-loving Brotteaux in past times

There are 17 other prisoners in the room. These men, although condemned, are merry. Significantly, the most intelligent are the least cheerful. Anatole France points out ironically that cowardice is the one human emotion to which no-one will confess.  Thus, all armies are composed only of brave men.
Brotteaux paid also to transfer Father Longemare out of the filthy cell. He raised the money by painting portraits of the condemned prisoners as a memento for their survivors.

Brotteaux' further kindness to Father Longemare
Father Longemare was naively engaged on preparing his defence for the tribunal. He was going to show how the mother church had been wrongly treated by the Revolution. He writes copious notes on bits of paper. The priest says when he starts his defence he wouldn't like to be in the shoes of the prosecutors - Page 189 :
 - Je ne voudrais pas être la leur place!

The touching naivety of the priest
The prisoners, royalists and Girondins mainly, were none of them Christians and thus Father Longemare was regarded as a dishonest rogue. Brotteaux defended him, but as he was anti Rousseau and pro Voltaire, his views seemed eccentric to the others.  As a result, they distrusted Brotteaux as well.
The prisoners held mock trials and executions. They teased Father Longemare, condemning him to hell for having depicted the creator of the universe as the enemy of joy and love. The priest was not provoked until they called him a Franciscan instead of a Barnabite. Then he was furious.
The Terror is still raging - Page 191
- Le Tribunal révolutionnaire vidait les  prisons, que les comités remplissaient sans relâche:  en trois mois la chambre des dix-huit fut a moitié renouvelée.

In three months 9 out of the 18 were dead and others took their place.
The Girondin, Dubosc, leaves for the scaffold with a joke - he is sorry he pulled the priest out of bed and he won't get up to these tricks again.  Small, one eyed, hunchback and bow-legged, he expresses the hope that if the elements of which he is composed are re-used in future, they will be put together more successfully.
Brotteaux is deeply upset to see him go. Father Longemare also, but because he is shocked by Dubosc’s impiety on the brink of death.

Brotteaux' group was still in the Conciergerie, when the Spring of 1794 arrived.   Brotteaux began to feel stirrings of the heart. He went down to the grill which separated the male and female quarters and saw couples taking advantage of the widely spaced bars to hold hands and kiss.
Discreetly he leaves them and sits alone on the staircase. He is reading what Lucretius said about the total void that death offers and he envies Longemare's beliefs although he is sure they are illusory.

The Terror grows to an even greater level of intensity
The terror is increasing, every night the jailers come to take 20, 30, 50 of the condemned. The room of the 18 is still the home of elegance and good tone. In spite of their experiences, the prisoners are patriotic Republicans and praise their native land.

Now there were two others with them in the prison who had been transferred to the Conciergerie from the Luxembourg (2 spies?).
Brotteaux is not too ready to praise those responsible for the victories of the Republican armies - which he had foreseen.
Page 19  - De deux généraux en présence, tous deux stupides, il faut nécessairement que l'un d'eux soit victorieux.
One of these generals whom they have made into Gods will one day swallow them all up as the crane did with the frogs in the fable. He will be a real God because Gods are recognisable by their appetite.
Page     - C'est alors qu'il sera vraiment dieu!  Car les dieux se connaissent à l'appétit.
Anatole France gives Brotteaux the foresight to predict the rise to power of the all conquering Napoleon
The prisoners had heard they were to be searched. A search at the Luxembourg prison had revealed letters and documents. The prisoners hid everything successfully - Brotteaux hiding his Lucretius.
One evening in Prairial (May -June) Brotteaux meets the actress La Thévenin - who has been in the women’s prison, just one day. She intends to use friends on the Tribunal to get her release.  She came to this area expressly to see Brotteaux, believing that she can work for his release as well as her own

The good characteristics of this female character
Brotteaux warns her against this action. Jurors are not men they are things.
Page 195 - Surtout n'essayez pas d'émouvoir les juges, les jurés, un Gamelin. Ce ne sont pas des hommes, ce sont des choses: on ne s'explique pas avec les choses.

Brotteaux recognises that the ideology of the revolutionaries has destroyed their humanity
Brotteaux says her best hope is to avoid getting herself noticed.

La Thévenin is loyal to Brotteaux, but he disregards his own interests.

She promises herself to him, if they are freed. They kiss through the bars.

Chapter XX

Évariste is reflecting about the events in which he has become involved, during a long session of the tribunal revolutionnaire..
He thinks how Robespierre is even more effective than Marat had been and how by merely raising his finger he spreads the terror. His particular genius is the subtlety of his mind. Robespierre recognises that only a fine nuance separates vice from virtue, wrong from right.
Page 196 (Robespierre) - Il distingue les nuances délicates, imperceptibles, qui séparent le mal du bien, le vice de la vertu, que sans lui on eut confondues, au dommage de la patrie et ;  il trace devant lui la ligne mince, inflexible, en dehors, de laquelle il n'est, à gauche et  à droite, qu'erreur, crime et scélératesse.

Gamelin admires how Robespierre decrees with absolute certainty the narrow path between those in fatal error on each side of him -one side too moderate, the other too extreme.
He shows how traitors can be both those who are too weak and also those who are too extreme.
Traitors can be those who defend the old religion and the rationalists who attack the new cult (Of the Supreme Being).
Thus threats to the republic come from all sides: from the moderates and from the extremists -  the Hébertistes - Page 197
- Modéré, on perd la République; violent, on la perd.
Traitors are hidden under the guise of revolutionaries e.g. Danton and Desmoulins.

The former great men of the Revolution, Danton and Desmoulins had been had been the most recent victims of Robespierre. They had been advocating a softer approach and were guillotined on the 1st April 1794
The people further to the left, who are trying to outdo the Jacobins, are also traitors.
Now Danton and the rest are all dead. The Republic is saved.
Yet Gamelin sees that further traitors will rise up to be recognised by the eye of the Incorruptible - Robespierre.

Chapter XXI

Julie joined the other women in the park surrounding the Luxembourg prison.  They were there to communicate by signs with their imprisoned men folk. There are touching scenes – for example a mother lifting her infant above her head when a certain window opened.
The widow Gamelin knew that her daughter was in the greatest danger in her own home and neighbourhood and found her somewhere to live in another Section.
Enjoying adventure, Julie went sometimes to a small pub (the Croix Rouge) where she enjoyed the boisterous atmosphere and where brawls were frequent. One night she was involved in a fight and her men's clothes were torn open, but she managed to escape.
Seeing, each day, carts pass by packed with the condemned, Julie decided she must act to save her lover. She put on a woman's dress and went to see the Judge Renaudin.
She told him she was Chassagne’s sister and effectively argued his case to show him innocent.  The judge remained hard and indifferent.
His attitude changed dramatically, when she burst into tears at the Judge's feet. The tears he was able to cause aroused deep emotions in him and he became like an animal - Anotole France's view of the role played by sexual sadism in the actions of the perpetrators of violence. Page 202
- Des qu'il vit des larmes, son visage changea: ses prunelles, d'un noir rougeâtre, s'enflammèrent, et ses énormes mâchoires bleues remuèrent comme pour ramener la salive dans sa gorge sèche.
He takes her into a luxurious boudoir - contrasting with his shabby office and makes love to her. After he has finished with her he turns her out, refusing to help her.

Helpless, Julie returns home and howls with rage all night. Now the women find themselves expelled from the Jardin du Luxembourg by the Gendarmes. There are stories of a conspiracy among the prisoners.
 The start of a new scare-The so-called conspiracy of the prisons. This led to an even greater intensification of the Terror

Chapter XXII


The Fête de L'Etre Suprême, attended by crowds of people, took place on the 8th June 1784.  The book gives a description of the ceremonies. In the Tuileries gardens was a statue representing atheism.  Robepierre marched towards it: then took a burning torch and set fire to the statue.  As it burnt to the ground a new figure appeared, representing wisdom, with one hand pointing to heaven and the other holding a crown of stars.   The worship of the Supreme Being was to replace the old religion.
The new religion instituted by the Revolution is based on the ideas of Rousseau
Gamelin is among the spectators and is moved to tears - Page 204
- Enfin nous serons heureux, purs, innocents, si les scélérats le permettent.
Hélas! les scélérats ne l'ont pas permis.

An ironical comment from the author
Three days afterwards La loi de Prairial was promulgated by the Convention - all safeguards for the innocent were abolished. Now the accused was allowed no defence counsel, no witnesses and was forced to keep silent.

Under the mood of ecstasy of the new religion, justice was further restricted throughout France and the period of High terror began.
Gamelin saw after a moment’s confusion how he was to judge in these circumstances – as the spirit moved him -Page 205
- Jugeant par illumination patriotique et voyant tout dans un éclair. Alors que les garanties, les précautions eussent tout perdu, les mouvements d'un cœur droit sauvaient tout.
Once again the inspiration was the spirit of Rousseau, whom Gamelin invoked – Page 205:
….. il fallait juger avec le cœur, et Gamelin faisait des invocations aux mânes de Jean-Jacques : « Homme vertueux, inspire-moi, avec l'amour des  hommes, l'ardeur de les régénérer! »

The influence of Rousseau on the revolutionnaries.

The jurors were simple, intolerant men and did not think that right-minded people could think differently from them - Page 205 :
- Comme ils croyaient posséder la vérité, la sagesse, le souverain bien, ils attribuaient à leurs adversaires l'erreur et le mal. Ils se sentaient forts: ils voyaient Dieu.Theirs was a religious conviction. They stood for truth and righteousness. Their opponents represented the wrong and evil The accused are brought before the court in batches, not singly as before.

A lofty idealism justifies the slaughter
L'Etre Suprême flooded them with its flames. Now they tried people in batches not one by one.
The conspirators of the prisons came next, once the Dantonistes and the Hébertistes had been despatched. Rumours about a conpiracy plotted by the people held in prisons fuelled the new frenzy of executions.
Among those accused of conspiracy while in the Luxembourg prison was Fortune Chassagne, Julie’s lover. Gamelin, in fury, states that he has a personal relationship with the accused but asks to be allowed to sit in judgement.
Each of the accused in the batch is questioned for 3-4 minutes. The entire batch is found guilty. Gamelin also passes a guilty verdict on every one of the accused.
Outside the Court, Julie, dressed as a man, screams at her brother and spits on him as he passes.

Julie's contempt for what her brother has become
Luckily for Julie, the revolutionary women, the Tricoteuses are now less passionate than they used to be.  They do little to prevent Julie's escape.

Chapter XXIII

These nights Evariste can no longer sleep. On one night he dreamt of the Goddess of vengeance and he woke up feeling that he was in the scene which he had painted of Orestes. Élodie is playing the role of Orestes’ sister and he hears her say the words of Electra Page 209 :
-"Ecoute-moi, mon frère chéri, pendant que les Furies te laissent maître de ta raison..."

Gamelin identifies with torments experienced by Orestes, while carrying out his divine, murderous duty
Gamelin maintains to himself that he has not spilled his own family's blood like Orestes. What he has done, he has done out of patriotism- Page 209:
 - c'est par piété filiale que j'ai verse le sang impur des ennemis de ma patrie.

Chapter XXIV

They had still not done with the conspiracy of the prisons.
Now a batch of 49 others appeared. It is the ex nobleman Brotteaux who is given the place of honour in this batch and Mme de Rochemaure is at his side. There is a description of her as she faces the tribunal
Page 210 - A son côté, la femme Rochemaure, peinte, fardée, éclatante, horrible.
Also in the batch are father Longuemare and Athénaïs who has now regained the freshness of youth.
Mme. de Rochemaure. was trying to catch Gamelin's eye, believing he might still return her favour to him.
The prosecutor accused them all of conspiracy in the prisons. Brotteaux the leader was accused of libertinage - Page 211
- Cet individu, qui se faisait remarquer, même au temps de la tyrannie, par sa conduite dissolue, est une preuve certaine que le libertinage et les mauvaises mœurs sont les plus grands ennemis de la liberté et du bonheur des peuples

.The sexual prudery of some revolutionaries and of the revolutionary court.
It is said that Athénaïs was the mistress of Brotteaux and was used by Brotteaux in his treachery. They quote, with absolute seriousness, the ironical comments that Brotteaux had made about the Tribunal - Page 211 :
 - "Le Tribunal Révolutionnaire ressemble à une pièce de Guillaume Shakespeare, qui mêle aux scènes les plus sanglantes les bouffonneries les plus triviales.
He is accused of being an atheist and of saying that an army general would one day become the tyrannical ruler.
The accusation against Mme. de Rochemaure (probably true) is that she was involved with speculators, that she was in correspondence with the English and that she attempted to corrupt her judges while in prison.
The priest Longuemare is falsely accused of living with Athénaïs.  He is called a Capucin (he’s a Barnabite) - and is accused (rightly) of giving out propaganda.
Athénaïs is accused of being a prostitute and thus offending the modesty of the people.
Brotteaux knew hardly one else oamong the other 54 accused in his batch who were supposed to be his collaborators.
(Humour) When Brotteaux curtly denies the charges, the Judge is so shocked that he should seek to contradict the wisdom of the tribunal - Page 213:
- Tu vois: tu conspires encore en ce moment contre le Tribunal.

The bigotry of the revolutionaries, who are genuinely shocked that others have different opinions
Madame de Rochemaure makes a feeble attempt to defend herself.
Longuemare forgets all the long defence he has prepared and the only point that he contends is that he is a Barnabite.

Athenais makes a touching tribute to Brotteaux.
Athénaïs makes a simple, effective little speech in favour of Brotteaux's fine character- Page 214 :
- Monsieur Brotteaux, à ma connaissance, n'a fait que du bien. C'est un homme comme il en faudrait beaucoup et comme il n'y a pas meilleur.
Finally she screams abuse at them all.
All are found guilty except the two spies who had reported on Brotteaux in the prison. The accused are not even led back into the court to hear the verdict.

They are to be executed the same day.

Brotteaux reads his Lucretius quietly. He tries to joke, saying that he regrets that there is no afterlife, and so he will not have any means of proving to Father Longemare that he was in the wrong. But Brotteaux almost faints.
Longuemare seeing himself, who is less brave, more steadfast in the face of death, thinks that it is he who sees the light.
Brotteaux says the reason for his emotion is that he has more to regret - Longuemare's life has been like death.
Pathetically Father Longemare thinks he must have failed somewhere in his observation of the obligations of his faith, because God is refusing him the last sacraments at his death.
They are all put onto the carts. Rochemaure who had in vain invented an excuse of pregnancy is still hoping for a saviour to emerge from the crowd.
The crowds are indifferent - but are horrified to see the child Athénaïs going to the scaffold.At her request Father Longemare gives Athénaïs absolution.
The priest begs Brotteaux to pray to God for his sake. But Brotteaux recites his poetry and looking at the white bosom of Athénaïs he regrets the passing of the light of day.
Page 218
– À son côté, Athénaïs, fière de mourir ainsi que la reine de France, jetait sur la foule un regard hautain, et le vieux traitant, contemplant en connaisseur, la  gorge blanche de la jeune femme, regrettait la lumière du jour.

As his turn comes to go to the guillotine, Brotteaux regrets the passing of the good things that life affords.

Chapter XXVI

As the others are being taken to their execution, Évariste, in the Garden of the Tuileries muses on the success of the terror - the sacred terror.

 To Gamelin the Terror is holy.  
Now the army is strong and well trained. -Now there is peace in the Republic.
The ruthless single minded dedication of the Jacobin leadership, led to military success for the French armies.

There are no factions in the Republic - Federalism is defeated.
He exclaims to himself- Page 219:
« Terreur salutaire, ô sainte terreur! L'année passée, à pareille époque, nous avions pour défenseurs d'héroïques vaincus en guenilles, le sol de la patrie était envahi, les deux tiers des départements en révolte. Maintenant nos armées bien équipées, bien instruites, commandées par d'habiles généraux, prennent l'offensive, prêtes à porter  la liberté par le monde'. La paix règne sur tout le territoire de la République... Terreur salutaire! Ô sainte terreur!

Now Jacobin unity and strength reign- Page 220:
- Maintenant l'unité jacobine étend sur l'empire sa force et sa sagesse... »

But his thoughts become sombre. The choice was not to win or die but to win and die.
Page 220 :
Il songeait : « Nous disions : Vaincre ou mourir. Nous nous trompions, c'est vaincre et mourir qu'il fallait dire. »

The people around him were only interested in their everyday affairs. Évariste wondered where the passion had gone- page 220:
Que s'était-il donc passé? Comment à l'enthousiasme des belles années avaient succédé l'indifférence, la fatigue et, peut-être, le dégoût

People were now crying "enough" of the guillotine.

Gamelin cannot understand why the mood of the country is turning against them

But the Convention had still to be purified. Fouquier himself was intriguing against Robespierre.
Gamelin calls on Robespierre to arise from his inactivity -Page 221
Tu dors, Robespierre, tandis que des criminels ivres de fureur et d'effroi méditent ta mort et les funérailles de la liberté. Couthon, Saint-Just, que tardez-vous à dénoncer les complots?
He bids Robespierre to let us drown ourselves in blood and save the country-Page 221 – Noyons- nous dans le sang et sauvons la patrie... »

History: Robespierre was suffering from exhaustion, and hesitated to react to the threatening situation

Élodie comes. He tells her he has asked her to come so that he can bid her goodbye forever. Gamelin is convinced that the Jacobins are now doomed like the previous leaders when history moved on. He is going die hated and infamous - their love must end -Page 222
Il fit une vingtaine de pas et poursuivit, très calme :
« J'ai fait à ma patrie le sacrifice de ma vie et de mon honneur. Je mourrai infâme, et n'aurai à te léguer, malheureuse, qu'une mémoire exécrée... Nous aimer? Est-ce que l'on peut m'aimer encore?... Est-ce que je puis aimer? »
She argues with him but she knows that he is right. Gamelin regrets nothing.  However, he despairs that the more traitors one destroys the more appear.
Élodie had begun to feel uneasy at the pleasure she felt with her bloody lover.
Page 222 –
Il se tut. Faite pour goûter de paisibles jouissances, Élodie depuis plus d'un jour s'effrayait de mêler, sous les baisers d'un amant tragique, aux impressions voluptueuses des images sanglantes : elle ne répondit rien.

Gamelin maintains that he was born sensitive and tender - what he did, he did for the public good. At that moment a child running with his hoop, runs into Gamelin and falls. He picks up him up saying that the child's freedom and happiness were owed to the cruel hated Gamelin -Page 223
Enfant!  Tu grandiras libre, heureux, et tu le devras à l’infâme Gamelin.  Je suis atroce pour que tu sois heureux.        
As he moves away from her for the last time, Élodie chases him shouting madly. She tells him to guillotine her as well and she gets a sensual pleasure from the idea.
« Eh bien! moi aussi, mon bien-aimé, envoie-moi à la guillotine; moi aussi, fais-moi trancher la tête! »
Et, à l'idée du couteau sur sa nuque, toute sa chair se  fondait d'horreur et de volupté.

Mention again of the unhealthy,sexual stimulus of violence.

Chapter XXVI
One day in Thermidore (July/August 1794)

Évariste sees Robespierre walking in the park. The latter also is also worn and tired.

Robespierre's health was never robust. Now, as well, he is a disappointed man

Gamelin gives to him the thoughts he himself has had and wonders whether he too feels that he has made a pact with death -Page 224:
Pense-t-il qu'il a fait un pacte avec la mort et que l'heure est proche de le tenir? Médite-t-il de rentrer en vainqueur dans ce Comité de salut public dont  il s'est retiré, las d'y être tenu en échec, avec Couthon et Saint-Just, par une majorité séditieuse ?

Or is Robespierre ready to go back into the Convention and face his enemies?
Robespierre talks kindly to a child playing in the park. He then calls his dog.     
Out of respect, Gamelin does not approach him, but in his mind he delivers to him an oration of sympathy and support to the slight figure of Robespierre as he disappears in the distance:
Gamelin feels he has read the message in Robespierre's eyes and that the virtuous leader is determined to end the terror, - to end the civil discord and the fraternal hatred, to make the executioner a gardener who cuts off the heads cabbages and lettuce alone.  However, this will be done by wiping out all the conspirators and traitors- Page 226:
….. je préparerai avec mes collègues du Tribunal les voies de la clémence, en exterminant les conspirateurs et les traîtres. Nous redoublerons de vigilance et de sévérité. Aucun coupable ne  nous échappera. Et quand la tête du dernier des ennemis de la République sera tombée sous le couteau, tu pourras être indulgent sans crime et faire régner l'innocence et la vertu sur la France, ô père de la patrie!»

Irony; The violence of the Terror will end only by using increased terror.

Two men mutter complaints when Robespierre is at a safe distance - Page 227
« Le voilà donc, le roi, le pape, le dieu. Car il est Dieu. Et Catherine Théot est sa prophétesse. ‑
Robespierre's dog moves towards to them and they hurry off.

Chapter XXVII

This chapter opens with an invocation to Robespierre, telling him that he is sleeping).

After the days of delay. mentioned above, when Robespierre stayed away from the Convention and opposition to him built up, he finally returned to address the Convention

Finally on the 8th Thermidor Robespierre went to the Convention and denounced his opponents. However he refused to give the names of the traitors he denounced. As a result 60 men in the Convention now lived in fear of their lives and were forced to take desperate action to save their lives.. Robespierre's hesitation to name names meant that he was now the one under attack. - Page 228:
 — On en comptait soixante qui, depuis quinze jours, n'osaient coucher dans leur lit. Marat nommait les traîtres, lui; il les montrait du doigt. L'Incorruptible hésite, et, dès lors, c'est lui l'accusé...

That night Robespierre gives the same speech to the Jacobin Club. They are enthusiastic, whereas the Convention earlier had given him a cold reception. The Jacobins make dramatic declarations that they will drink hemlock to die together but they do nothing.
Évariste, unaware of the situation, is able to sleep peacefully in the manner of the disciples in the garden of Olives. He goes as usual to the tribunal the next day.
Here the proceedings are interrupted by the news that Robespierre and 4 other Jacobin leaders have been indicted. The tribunal breaks up. There is general alarm. The Revolutionaries go into hiding.

Évariste is determined to join the Conseil Général at the Hôtel de Ville, where the supporters of Robespierre are gathering. He kisses his mother goodbye. Élodie tells him not to go as the Revolutionary sections have turned against Robespierre.  She knows because her father has been involved.
Élodie persuades him to linger with her for a moment, but Évariste finally breaks away.  Elodie stays faithful to Gamelin He tells her that by being with her he has dragged her into his terrible destiny -
Page 231:
Évariste Gamelin saisit la main d'Élodie et aussitôt la rejeta brusquement :
«Adieu! Je t'ai associée à mes destins affreux, j'ai flétri à jamais ta vie. Adieu. Puisses-tu m'oublier!

She offers to hide him but he refuses and goes to the Town Hall. Here the Conseil Général of the Commune votes in favour of Robespierre and the other men who had been outlawed by the vote of the Convention.. Outside their supporters are massed.  They prepare a coup d’état against the Convention.
But the masses are no longer on their side. The people present are all the middle class - what the Jacobin purges had left.

The news comes that all the Jacobin leaders indicted have been freed and are themselves coming to the Hôtel de Ville.
When Robespierre arrives he speaks to the gathering at length, but does not give the command for the attack on the Convention.and they realise he is a man of words not of action
News comes that the Convention has outlawed everyone who supports Robespierre, meaning instant execution by the guillotine. At this the crowd disperses as a shower of rain falls on them. The hall of the Hôtel de Ville empties.

Troops loyal to the Convention arrive and force their way into the building. Robespierre shoots himself through the jaw, but survives.
Gamelin tries to stab himself, with his old penknife and gashes his chest and fingers.
The Dragoon Henry now puts himself at the forefront of the movement against Robespierre.  He says that the Tyrant is no more.
A doctor patches up Gamelin so that he will be in a fit state to be guillotined and he is carried on a stretcher to the Conciergerie prison.

Chapter XXVIII
10th Thermidor

Paris felt a new dawn at the downfall of Robespierre. Page 234 —
Paris, en sa grâce et son immensité, souriait au soleil; l'espérance renaissait au coeur des prisonniers; les marchands ouvraient allégrement leur boutique, les bourgeois se sentaient plus riches, les jeunes hommes plus heureux, les femmes plus belles, par la chute de Robespierre. Seuls, une poignée de jacobins, quelques prêtres constitutionnels et quelques vieilles femmes tremblaient de voir l'empire passer aux méchants et aux corrompus,

The sudden change of mood in Paris with the downfall of Robespierre.

The guillotine was moved back to the place de la Revolution so that more people could see Robespierre and fellow outlaws die.

What was then called the Place de la Revolution is the Place de la Concorde

For an instant death sentence, all that was required was identification by any two French citizens in the tribunal revolutionnaire
The next day Évariste, who had regained some strength and could almost stand on his own two feet was pulled from his cell. in the Conciergerie.

He was brought before the Tribunal with 70 others, mainly members of the Commune, but others jurors like Gamelin. He sees the place where he once sat as a juror, undergoing the fixed gaze of Jacques Maubel. His neighbours in Paris, Remacle the porter and Dupont senior, the carpenter, add to the 100 sols earned for betraying Brotteaux another 100 sols each for identifying Gamelin. However as he had been their friend, they found it hard to look him in the eye.

Neighbours denounce an old friend for pocket money . A picture of human disloyalty

Gamelin struggled to get into the cart for the condemned. His wound gave him intense pain .The crowd insults him as they had insulted all the other waves of victims.

The fickle mob turn against them, just as they had turned previously against each successive wave of victims

Des femmes qui reconnaissaient Gamelin lui criaient : Va donc! buveur de sang! Assassin à dix-huit francs jour!... Il ne rit plus : voyez comme il est pâle, le lache! " C'étaient les mêmes femmes qui insultaient naguère les conspirateurs et les aristocrates, les exagérés et les indulgents, envoyés par Gamelin et ses collègues à la guillotine.

Évariste draws a lesson from this. He and his comrades have been too weak. Like Robespierre, he has been too soft.
Nous avons trahi la République. Nous avons mérité notre sort. Robespierre lui-même, le pur, le saint, a péché par douceur, par mansuétude; ses fautes sont effacées par son martyre. A son exemple, j'ai trahi la République; elle périt : il est juste que je meure avec elle. J'ai épargné le sang : que mon sang coule! Que je périsse! je l'ai mérité... »
  The ironical illusions of Gamelin as he faces execution
As he passes Élodie’s shop, a hand with a silver ring drops a red carnation from her window.  He remembers the love of Élodie. Tears fill his eyes. Charmed by this goodbye, Évariste faces the blade of the guillotine.

An unexpected sweetness at his end

Chapter XXIX

December 1794/Jan. 1795 - It is a cold winter’s day. The pictures in the shop, the "Amour Peintre" show Robespierre as a monster.
Jean Blaise prophetically asks Desmahis for pictures of glorious military victories (shades of coming military dominance in political life).
Desmahis has seen a painting by Gamelin in a second hand shop - it is on sale for someone to use as a canvas to paint over.  It is a painting of Orestes.

Gamelin is being erased from human memory
Desmahis talks of Gamelin's wasted talent as a painter and defends his character-
Desmahis remembers Gamelin, not unfavourably,before he became embroiled in revolutionary politics.

Elodie's father will have none of this: Page 240 :
Il avait l'âme d'un criminel! répliqua le citoyen Blaise. Je l'ai démasqué, à cette place même, alors que ses instincts sanguinaires étaient encore contenus. Il ne me l'a jamais pardonné... Ah! C’était une belle canaille.
Le pauvre garçon! il était sincère. Ce sont les fana­tiques qui l'ont perdu.
Vous ne le défendez pas, je pense, Desmahis!...  Il n'est pas défendable.
Julie arrives - she has changed her name from the shameful name of Gamelin. Now she is Jean Blaise's mistress but she still likes to dress as a man.
Élodie has become the friend of the actress La Thévenin, no longer the mistress of her father. Her lover now is a property speculator whom she had met in prison.
Mme. Gamelin has no-one to look after her. Gamelin's purpose in life had been to protect his widowed mother in her old age. His obsession with ideology had prevented this.

Élodie comes down dressed in the revealing fashions of the new age- Page 242 – 21 :
Élodie, peu de temps après l'arrivée de Julie â l'Amour peintre, descendit toute parée au magasin. Sous son manteau, malgré la rigueur de la saison, elle était nue dans sa robe blanche ; son visage avait pâli, sa taille s'était amincie, ses regards coulaient alanguis et toute sa personne respirait la volupté.

Reaction against the prudery of the Jacobins
They go to see La Thévenin at the house where her lover has installed her.
Desmahis is very attracted to Élodie, who intends to let him have his way with her.
La Thévenin is going to erect a monument to Brotteaux - Brotteaux is not forgotten- but in the next breath she is moaning the fact that she cannot get an orchestra for her dances.
At the theatre the elegant members of the audience booed a citizen who tried to sing the Revolutionary anthem, the Marseilles. They smashed the bust of Marat. Among these is Henry.

The clear character judgement of Elodie, but her sensual appetite prevails.
Desmahis makes a declaration of his love, and although she is ready to accept she shows in her witty reply that she has no illusions- Page 245:
-Vous croyez, Élodie, que je vous aime?
-Je  le crois, puisque vous aimez toutes les femmes.
-Je les aime en vous.
-J'assumerais une grande charge, malgré les perruques blondes, rousses qui font fureur, si je me destinais à être pour vous toutes les sortes de femmes.
A crowd of elegant men are burning an effigy of Robespierre. In another street an effigy of Marat is being strung up.
Élodie lets the insistent Desmahis into her room.
She breaks from his embrace to take off Gamelin's ring. With tears in her eyes she throws it into the fire.
Elle se décoiffa lentement devant la glace de la cheminée;  puis elle regarda, avec mélancolie, la bague qu'elle portait  à l'annulaire de sa main gauche, une petite bague d'argent/ où la figure de Marat, tout usée, écrasée, ne se distinguait plus. Elle la regarda jusqu'à ce que les larmes eussent brouillé sa vue, l'ôta doucement et la jeta dans les flammes.
Then she gives herself to Desmahis.

Gamelin's was a wasted life and on his death his place is taken..
When Desmahis leaves her in the morning, she uses the same words which she had used to Évariste.
« Adieu, mon amour... C'est l'heure où mon père peut rentrer : si tu entends du bruit dans l'escalier, monte vite  à l'étage supérieur et ne descends que quand il n'y aura plus de danger qu'on te voie. Pour te faire ouvrir la porte de la rue, frappe trois coups à la fenêtre de la concierge. Adieu, ma vie! adieu, mon âme ! »

Then she falls asleep happy and tired.