Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"O Liberté, que de crimes on commet en ton nom!"

"Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!"
- Madame Roland

Stated before placing her head on the guillotine block to be executed. 

La Mort est Proche (Death is Near)

November 8, 1793
It was a cold, dark, and dreary morning on June 1,1793, the signs that something bad is near. A band of armed men entered my apartment and presented to me the order for my arrest. After the read it to me I knew that it was over. I was to be sentenced to death. I have been accused of being a traitor to France. After hoping that all the accusations about me would disappear, they have caught up with me. It's over. I will never see the day that France is free from its own chains. I will never see peace in my dear country. I will never see the loving face of my dear husband. I will never see my lovely daughter, Eudora, grow up into a beautiful young lady. It's done. After all the effort that I put into my nation to change it for the better it repays me by sending me to the guillotine. Upon leaving my apartment, I planted one last kiss on the face of my daughter. They sent me to jail, however, I am still allowed to write, and for this I am grateful. I have completed my memoirs here in this dreary cell, Appel à l'impartiale postérité. Today is the day that I am sentenced to die, but I will not cower in fear. I will hold my head up high, for I am dying for France. I can look back upon my life and say that I did everything in my power to improve my country.

La Fin de mon Pouvoir (The End of my Power)

They say all good things come to end. I never realized till now the amount of truth that this statement holds.  After the letter than I had written to the King grew in popularity, I believed that my husband and I’s domination in the political scene would be never-ending, but this all changed once my husband decided to finally speak for himself rather than say what I wanted. My dear husband has taken it upon himself to openly argue about the excessive of the Revolution, and although I agree with him, I know when to hold my tongue. The Jacobins have increased in power and continue to imprint fear in the hearts of many and have decreased the influence of the Jacobin party.  The Reign of Terror has descended upon us in the most unfashionable manner. Men, women, and children and slaughtered if they do not outwardly express their support of the Revolution and members of the Girondist party are being arrested because they do not support the acts of the radicals.  The accusations continue to fly towards my husband and I and we continue to grow more and more unpopular. Some say that we do not support the Revolution while others have even accused me of infidelity (SERIOUSLY?!?) and I had to appear to the Assembly and repeal the falsehood of my accuser. I just want all of these accusations to end. Not only is it harming my rep, but it also threatens my family. However, I will continue to hold on to hope because I am positive that change will come. I continue to have hope in France and this hope will never leave me.

Lettre au Roi (Letter to the King)

June 21, 1792
“...Love, serve the Revolution, and the people will love it and serve it in you. Ratify the measures to extirpate their fanaticism. Paris trembles in view of its danger. Surround its walls with an army of defence. Delay longer, and you will be deemed a conspirator and an accomplice. Just Heaven! hast thou stricken kings with blindness? I know that truth is rarely welcomed coined at the foot of thrones. I know, too, that the withholding of truth from kings renders revolutions so often necessary. As a citizen, a minister, I owe truth to the King, and nothing shall prevent me from making it reach his ear...

Soon after this letter was delivered to the King, my husband was removed from office. However my letter was read to all members of the Assembly and it was received with an abundance of applause. The letter was eventually read by all of France and has even spread to Europe. As a result, it has put my husband and me at the top of the reform and our popularity continues to grow!


Problèmes à Paris (Problems in Paris)

So much has occurred since the last time that I wrote! The Revolution continues to unfold before my eyes and I cannot say that it has been for the better. However, I will start from where we left off. As my salon continued to thrive I thereafter began to accompany my husband to National Assembly meetings. Although I did not speak, I listened intently to the debates that occurred and watched as the group continued to split even more deeply into a more radical side and a more conservative one (my husband and I being more conservative continued to mingle with this group). However throughout France, especially in Paris, the death toll continues to rise as more and more people are being murdered. The blood of the French people stains are narrow cobbled roads. As for the King Louis XVI, he rules but in name and has yielded his power to the Girondist party and has called upon MY husband to be the Minister of the Interior. I cannot conceal the happiness that I have for my husband; however I know that there are many risks that come with this position. The greater the danger, the more the heroic act, right?  We soon moved into an apartment in Versailles and my husband continues to correspond with the king. However we soon saw the potential threat of the King attempting to create and lead an emigrant army to regain his power. To make matters worst, the radical Jacobin party continues to cause problems in the city and continue to threat any form of potential stability to occur in France. Their only goal is to destroy the monarchy and that king (and by destroy the king I mean KILL him). The Girondist party begged my husband to write an earnest letter to the King, which would express the concerns. However, I took matters into my own hands and produced a powerful letter that will surely make the King think twice about fleeing Paris.


Monday, December 13, 2010

"Plus je vois les homes, plus j’admire les chiens”

"The more I see of men, the more I admire dogs,"
-Madame Roland

Nouvelle vie à Paris (New Life in Paris)

As my family’s time continues to pass in Paris, the heartbeat of the Revolution continues to beat stronger and louder here. Upon our move here to Paris, I opened a salon at the Hotel Britannique and since then I have watched with the upmost joy as it has become stronger and stronger. My salon began, at first, as a meeting place for my husband and his colleagues to discuss the progress of the Revolution but now it has become the hotspot for noted politicians to come and express their ideas and views. I may sound a bit smug, but do not think that many women can brag and say that the likes of Robespierre, the voice of the Revolution, and Brissot have EVER entered their salon. Although I have much to say during these meetings, I choose rather to watch and listen, so to not make a spectacle of myself. I have learned through time that a man will show more respect towards a woman if she does not try to ‘exalt her rights’. I choose rather to speak after the meetings. Through my salon the Girondist party has emerged, with my husband and Brissot as the leaders. The men have begun to trust me and at times even ask me for advice. The Girondist party has decided to meet in my salon four times a week. My salon! This will ensure my husband and I's dominant position in the political scene! As my husband continues to realize that the men have grown to respect me he has even allowed me to write many of his letters and correspondences to his fellow revolutionaries. Through these I express my ideas, not my husband’s. Through these letters, I hope that my expressed desires of a monarchy that works for the people will be recognized and implemented in the French government. I know this may appear sneaky but this is the ONLY way that my views can be expressed fully. My salon continues to grow in its prominence and I am confident that it will continue to remain on top!