Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/182

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Entire families of Alsatians followed the army in its retreat. Many indeed still remained under the yoke, and after the fatal day which ended the campaign of 1792 by a shameful and inexplicable retreat, it is difficult to say which were the more unfortunate, those French people who left their country or those who remained there. In France nearly every family was devastated by death, which fell upon people of every rank and every age.

From the 10th August, 1792, until 9th Thermidor, 1794, no citizen, though he belonged to the temporarily dominant faction, was sure that he would sleep another night in his bed, and that he would not be led to the prison and the scaffold.

Outside France, after the retreat from Champagne, all the French emigres and their families may be said, generally speaking, to have made shipwreck of their hopes and prospects. Happy were they who found a place of refuge, and a stone on which they could lay their head. Europe did not suffice to accommodate these restless wanderers, as I discovered for myself