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The French Revolution - Volume 3
written by "Taine, Hippolyte, 1828-1893"
... his survival depend on this, either as employee or pensioner."—In the Maison-Commune section, most of the auditory are masons, "excellent patriots," says one of the clubbists of the quarter:3324 they always vote on our side; we make them do what we want." Numbers of day-laborers, cab-drivers, cartmen and workmen of every class, thus earn their forty sous, and have no idea that anything else might be demanded from them. On entering the hall, when the meeting opens, they write down their names, after which they go out "to take a drink," without thinking themselves obliged to listen to the rigmarole of the orators; towards the end, they come back, make all the noise that is required of them with their lungs, feet and hands, and then go and "take back their card and get their money."3325—With paid applauders of this stamp, they soon get the better of any opponents, or, rather, all opposition is suppressed beforehand. "The best citizens keep silent" in the section assemblies, or "stay away;" these are simply "gambling-shops" where "the most absurd, the most unjust, the most impolitic of resolutions are passed at every moment.3326 Moreover, citizens are ruined there by the unlimited sectional expenditure, which exceeds the usual taxation and the communal expenses, already very heavy. At one time, some carpenter or locksmith, member of the Revolutionary Committee, wants to construct, enlarge or decorate a hall, and it is necessary to agree with him. Again, a poor speech is made, full of exaggeration and political extravagance, of which three, four, five and six thousand impressions are ordered to be printed. Then, to cap the climax, following the example of the Commune, no accounts are rendered, or, if this is done for form's sake, no fault must be found with them, under penalty of suspicion, etc."—The twelve leaders, proprietors and distributors of civism, have only to agree amongst themselves to share the profits, each acco...

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