Marat Attacks the Nobility

In this article, Marat characteristically expresses his concern that, although new governmental institutions had been created, they remained under the control of aristocratic influences, hostile to the Revolution. This fear that those in power were themselves lacking in sincerity and devotion to the people would become more pronounced in Marat’s articles as the Revolution continued.


The plots and conspiracies are multiplying at an alarming rate. Scarcely does a week go by without another explosion. This is not surprising, however, ever since the stupid People have been content with breaking up the conspirators instead of executing them, ever since the People have allowed them to gather two steps away from where they had just been rousted, ever since the People let them hold their secret meetings in broad daylight, ever since the People have respected those who have declared themselves to be inviolable. I am tired of repeating it, but as long as the conspirators are not killed, the conspiracies will not end. By dint of hatching new plots against public liberty, they will eventually succeed in destroying it.

Through underhandedly sapping liberty, these aristocratic conspirators are working today to overthrow it. They are doing this by filling the administrative bodies and the courts with their kind, by hiring only reactionaries of the old regime, by enlisting the services of all bureaucrats, and by corrupting the poor through bribing armies of informers, cutthroats, and bandits. By deluding the People and by winning them over with kindness, promises, and gifts, the nobility will succeed in putting them back in chains and bringing about the counterrevolution.

Their last plot that was just exposed consisted of arming the People against the People, and of having the Friends of Liberty's throats slit by the very hands of the poor who they are feeding. This horrible plot had been prepared at leisure. For a long time now, the ministers, and their agents in the provinces, have attracted to the capital a large number of the destitute, the dregs of the army, and the scum from every city in the kingdom.

Source: L'Ami du Peuple, no. 422 (7 April 1791), 5–7.