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with which it communicated ; but as the outer wall of the donjon was thirty-six feet in height, and exposed to a flanking fire from the towers, which were forty-six feet in elevation, the place was considered impregnable, except by regular approaches; and so it was, if it had been regularly garrisoned and provisioned.
Belon and Thuriot,1 being satisfied that no offensive measures were intended by the governor, withdrew, and endeavoured to persuade the crowd that their alarm was groundless. But the capture of the fortress had been resolved on, and the multitude, every instant increasing, surged round the whole walls. While the whole attention of the garrison was fixed on the principal gate, two old soldiers, named Louis Tournay and Aubin Bonnemère, mounting on the roof of a house which rested on the ramparts, contrived to reach the top of the parapet, and descended into the court where the governor's house stood, which they found deserted- -as the garrison, with the exception of the guard at the outer gate, had all been withdrawn into the keep. Seizing a hatchet, which they found lying in the court, these brave men succeeded in cutting the chains of a littledrawbridge which admitted foot-passengers from the outside, and thus gave an entry to several of the insurgents, who speedily cut. the chains of the principal bridge, which fell with a terrible crash.. Instantly the crowd rushed in; the governor's house was immediately inundated ; and pillage had already commenced, when Delaunay ordered a fire of musketry from the top of the walls of the donjon into the court, which was filled with people, and the ditches. Several of the assailants fell; the court was cleared in an instant; but the combat continued round the drawbridge, and a sharp fire of musketry was kept up on both sides. Still the governor declined to fire the great guns on the top of the castle, which, loaded with grape, and discharged down on the dense crowd in front of the fortress, would have occasioned a frightful loss of human life, but must speedily have driven back the assailants.
Matters were in this state when a battalion of the Gardes Françaises arrived, with part of the guns taken that morning from the Invalides. This powerful reinforcement, and still more the skill which they communicated to the assault, had a decisive effect. Their first care was to station a large part of their number on the roofs and at the windows of the adjoining houses, who kept up a heavy and well-sustained fire on the ramparts ; while, at the same time, the guns began to batter the exterior walls. Meanwhile the crowd, who had broken into the outer court, returned, under cover of the fire of the cannon, and set fire to the governor's house, which was speedily in flames.
1 A deputation from the crowd.
After the conflict had continued in this manner for above three hours, without the guns of the fortress being once fired, the besieged repelling the attack with musketry only, a deputation from the Hotel de Ville, preceded by a flag of truce, and headed by Ethys de Corny, arrived at the principal gate of the Bastile. They were admitted into the first court; but Delaunay, perceiving that the pillage of his house and the conflagration of the buildings around it continued, and that the attack on the inner drawbridge went on with undiminished vigour, ordered the fire of musketry to be renewed, which, without injuring any person, drove the deputation back out of the court. At the same time, one of the great guns, the only one which was fired during the assault, was discharged from the top of the towers down the Rue Saint Antoine, but did very little damage. Two other deputations afterwards arrived, but they returned to the Hotel de Ville without even entering the fortress, alleging they could not do so for the fire of the garrison. Meanwhile Delaunay was sorely beset—the French Invalids, swayed by seeing the uniforms of the Gardes Françaises among the assailants, vehemently urging him to surrender ; the Swiss, who, though only thirty in number, had alone been hearty in the cause, with the heroic constancy of their nation insisting that he should hold out. Finding the outer gate carried, he withdrew the garrison into the inner court or keep of the castle, hoping he would be able to hold out till the Baron de Besenval, who commanded the troops in the Champ de Mars, should send forces to his succour, as he had promised. But Besenval had himself received no orders from the Duke de Broglie that day, though three successive couriers had been sent soliciting them : his previous orders were not to fire on the people. The disposition of his troops was more than doubtful ; and he had found that acting with energy at Reveillon's riot only brought him into obloquy with the court. In these circumstances, after remaining for some hours a prey to the most cruel irresolution, he took the determination of retiring with his whole troops, which he did first to Sèvres, and before night to Versailles.
1'You see,' said Delaunay to his soldiers, 'this deputation is not from the town; it is a white flag of which the people have got possession, and with which they seek to surprise us. If they had been really deputies, they would never have hesitated, after the promises you made them,
to have come forward to make us acquainted with the intentions of the Hotel de Ville.'-Deux Amis, ii. 322, 323. The letter which they bore was in these terms, to which Delaunay could never have acceded : The permanent committee of the Parisian militia, considering that there should not be in Paris any military force which is not under the control of the town, charges the deputies, whom it sends to M. le Marquis Delaunay, commandant of the Bastile, to inquire of him whether he is willing to admit into the place the troops of the Parisian militia, to keep guard jointly with his troops, who are to be at the disposal of the civic authorities. -14th July 1789; DE FLESSELLES, Prévot des Marchands ; Ibid. ü. 326.
Deserted thus in his last extremity by the external aid on which he had calculated, with a garrison of eighty wavering French, and only thirty Swiss on whom he could rely, in the midst of fifty thousand insurgents and two thousand French Guards, the brave Delaunay took the only resolution which a high sense of military honour permitted—he resolved to perish rather than submit. Seizing a lighted match from one of the gunners on the ramparts, he rushed towards the magazine, which contained two hundred and fifty barrels of powder, with the design of blowing the whole fortress into the air ; but he was seized, and forcibly withheld by the soldiers. With piteous entreaties he besought these men to give him one barrel of powder ; but they sternly repelled him with the bayonet at his breast. “Let us then,' said he, at least, reascend the towers ; and since we must die, let us die with arms in our hands, bury ourselves under the ruins of the Bastile, and render our death fatal to our implacable enemies.' But the French soldiers, crowding round him, all declared that they would no longer fight against their fellow-citizens, and that they insisted on a capitulation. Well then,' said Delaunay at last, “beat a parley, hoist a white flag, and see if you can obtain a promise that you
shall not be massacred! Upon this M. de Flue, a Swiss ensign, wrote on a piece of paper these words : We have twenty thousand barrels of powder; we will blow up the Bastile and all the adjacent quarter of Paris, if you do not agree to a capitulation, and guarantee our lives. With some difficulty, one of the insurgents, named Maillard, got possession of this writing, which was pushed on the end of a pike over the drawbridge, and being brought to Elie and Hullin, officers of the Gardes Françaises, who commanded the assailants, they exclaimed : “On the honour of French soldiers, no injury shall be done to you. Upon this assurance, Delaunay lowered the drawbridge leading to the inner tower, and the infuriated multitude instantly rushed in.
THOMAS CARLYLE: 1795Carlyle studied for the church, but, after a short period spent in teaching,
he embraced literature as a profession. His first efforts were contributions to The Edinburgh Encyclopædia, and a Life of Schiller and a translation of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister. In 1833—1834 appeared in Fraser's Magazine his Sartor Resartus (The Tailor Done Over), professedly a review of a German work on dress, but the hero of which is made to illustrate the transcendentalism of Fichte. Of his subsequent works, the most important are his History of the French Revolution, Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, and The History of Friedrich II, of Prussia, called Frederick the Great. He has also issued The Life of John Sterling, and several lectures and political tracts.
LABOUR. From Past and Present.
For there is a perennial nobleness, and even sacredness, in work. Were he never so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works : in idleness alone is there perpetual despair. Work, never so mammonish, mean, is in communication with nature; the real desire to get work done will itself lead one more and more to truth, to nature's appointments and regulations, which are truth.
The latest gospel in this world is, Know thy work and do it. Know thyself :' long enough has that poor self' of thine tormented thee; thou wilt never get to know' it, I believe! Think it not thy business, this of knowing thyself; thou art an unknowable individual: know what thou canst work at; and work at it, like a Hercules ! That will be thy better plan.
It has been written,' an endless significance lies in work;' a man perfects himself by working. Foul jungles are cleared away, fair seed-fields rise instead, and stately cities; and withal the man himself first ceases to be a jungle and foul unwholesome desert thereby. Consider how, even in the meanest sorts of labour, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony, the instant he sets himself to work! Doubt, Desire, Sorrow, Remorse, Indignation, Despair itself, all these like hell-dogs lie beleaguering the soul of the poor day-worker, as of every man; but he bends himself with free valour against his task, and all these are stilled, all these shrink murmuring far off into their caves. The man is now a man. The blessed glow of labour in him, is it not as purifying fire, wherein all poison is burnt up, and of sour smoke itself there is made bright blessed flame !
Destiny, on the whole, has no other way of cultivating us. A formless chaos, once set it revolving, grows round and ever rounder; ranges itself, by mere force of gravity, into strata, spherical courses ; is no longer a chaos, but a round compacted world. What would become of the earth, did she cease to revolve ? In the poor old earth, so long as she revolves, all inequalities, irregularities, disperse themselves; all irregularities are incessantly becoming regular. Hast thou looked on the potter's wheel-one of the venerablest objects; old as the prophet Ezekiel, and far older ? Rude lumps of clay, how they spin themselves up, by mere quick whirling, into beautiful circular dishes. And fancy the most assiduous potter, but without his wheel; reduced to make dishes, or rather amorphous botches, by mere kneading and baking! Even such a potter were destiny, with a human soul that would rest and lie at ease, that would not work and spin! Of an idle unrevolving man, the kindest destiny, like the most assiduous potter without wheel, can bake and knead nothing other than a botch ; let her spend on him what expensive colouring, what gilding and enamelling she will, he is but a botch. Not a dish ; no, a bulging, kneaded, crooked, shambling, squint-cornered, amorphous botch-a mere enamelled vessel of dishonour! Let the idle think of this.
Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness. He has a work, a life-purpose ; he has found it, and will follow it! How, as a free-flowing channel, dug and torn by noble force through the sour mud swamp of one's existence, like an ever-deepening river there, it runs and flows ;-draining off the sour festering water gradually from the root of the remotest grass-blade; making, instead of pestilential swamp, a green fruitful meadow with its clear-flowing stream. How blessed for the meadow itself, let the stream and its value be great or small! Labour is life : from the inmost heart of the worker rises his god-given force, the sacred celestial life-essence breathed into him by Almighty God; from his inmost heart awakens him to all nobleness—to all knowledge, 'self-knowledge and much else, so soon as work fitly begins. Knowledge ? The knowledge that will hold good in working, cleave thou to that ; for nature herself accredits that, says Yea to that. Properly thou hast no other knowledge but what thou hast got by working: the rest is yet all a hypothesis of knowledge ; a thing to be argued of in schools, a thing floating in the clouds, in endless logic-vortices, till we try it and fix it. "Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended by action alone.