Ramblings & ephemera

Fouche proud of terror, expanded

From Napoleonic Literature’s “The Court and Camp of Buonaparte: The Ministers: Fouche“:

But whatever might be the merit of his services at Nantes, it was far eclipsed by those he had soon afterwards the happiness to perform at Lyons. On his arrival there with Collot d’Herbois, he announced to the terrified citizens the reward they were to expect for having dared to resist the majesty of the people, and especially for having put to death some revolutionary agents. “The representatives of the people will be impassive in the execution of their mission. They have been intrusted with the thunderbolt of public vengeance, which they will not cease to hurl until the public enemies are crushed. They will have the courage to march over countless tombs of the conspirators, to traverse boundless ruins, that they may arrive at the happiness of nations,–at the regeneration of the world!” He wrote in like terms to his employers at Paris: “Nothing can disarm our severity: indulgence, we must say, is a dangerous weakness. We never cease to strike the enemies of the people; we annihilate them in a manner at once signal, terrible, and prompt. Their bloody corses, thrown into the Rhone, must appear both on the banks and at the mouth of that river, a spectacle of fear, and of the omnipotence of the people! Terror, salutary terror, is here in truth the order of the day; it represses all the efforts of the wicked; it divests crime of all covering and tinsel!

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