Fear of Aristocratic Politics

In this article from April 1791, Fréron, a journalist allied to the radical Jean–Paul Marat, focuses on foreign enemies.


What is, tell me, the goal of the new alliance treaty between Spain, Austria, Russia, Naples, Turin, and Venice, a treaty orchestrated by your own ambassadors sick with aristocracy? . . . Why do you wait, sovereign nation, to recall these detestable "excellencies"? Is it not evident that our neighboring countries are awaiting only a signal to attack the kingdom? Leopold, King of Hungary, keeps at the ready a formidable army as he negotiates day and night to make peace with Turkey and Prussia, to make them his good brothers, so they can together sap the foundation of our constitution. . . .

French people, look for a moment beyond your own frontiers and you will see everywhere . . . the long chains which originate from the Tuileries and which hold at their ends the aristocrats, vomited up by the nation. . . . An intense correspondence between them links together this band of sworn foes [of the Revolution]. Their plan is made; they burn to carry it out: the capital [of France] buried in mountains of blood and fire, the National Assembly removed, and despotism again raising its hideous head.

Within the kingdom . . . the priests kindle the torches of fanaticism, blessing the daggers which . . . will slit the throats of our brothers and finish them off by crucifixion. . . .

All of this, citizens . . . must they not give rise to all the horrors of civil war . . . ? Arise then, form up in ranks, unfurl your flags, and led by La Fayette and animated by liberty, you will be invincible!

Source: Orateur du Peuple, vol. 1, no. 6 (April 1791), 44–45.