who, as Garat said, had as many pistols about them as pockets. The Evêché was a strange mixture,—a mixture both cosmopolitan and Parisian, which is not a contradiction, for Paris is the place where the heart of nations beats. There was the great plebeian incandescence. Compared to the Evêché, the Convention was cold, and the Commune lukewarm. The Evêché was one of those revolutionary formations, like volcanic formations. The Evêché was made up of everything: ignorance, stupidity, integrity, heroism, anger, and the police. Brunswick had agents in it. There were men in it worthy of Sparta, and men worthy of the galleys. Most of them were mad but honest. La Gironde, through the mouth of Isnard, temporary president of the Convention, had uttered this monstrous prediction,—
"Be on your guard, Parisians. There will not be left one stone on another of your city, and people will one day search for the place where Paris stood."
This speech created the Evêché. There were men, and, as we have just said, men of all nations, who had felt the need of gathering close about Paris. Cimourdain joined this group.
This group reacted against reaction. It was born of that public need of violence, which is the terrible and mysterious side of revolutions. Strong in this force, the Evêché began its work immediately. In the commotion of Paris, the Commune made use of the cannon, the Evêché sounded the tocsin.
Cimourdain believed, in his implacable ingenuousness, that everything is right in the service of truth; this fitted him for ruling the extreme parties. Rascals felt that he was honest, and were satisfied. Crimes are flattered to be presided over by a virtue. It both restrains them and pleases them. Palloy, the architect, who planned the destruction of the Bastille and sold the stones to his own profit, and who, when appointed to whitewash Louis XVI.'s dungeon, in his zeal covered the wall with bars, chains and iron collars; Gonchon, the suspected orator of the faubourg Saint-Antoine, whose receipts were afterwards found; Fournier, the American, who, on the seventeenth of July, fired a pistol at Lafayette, which it was said Lafayette had paid for; Henriot, who came out of Bicêtre, and had been valet, mountebank, thief and spy