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June 20, 1789 Every day was another day in perdition with endless hunger patched onto the empty stomach. The clergies and nobles played above the laws as we played in their hands. The constant rumbling of my son's stomach was guilt that became a burden on my shoulders. Dangling, hanging, and rotting, the door opened up with a slight pull, into my 'home'. Droplets of rain welcomed me through the tattered ceiling as they fell on my forehead. Walking across the squeaking floor boards, Aïcha handed me a piece of ripped bread as the fire started dancing again under Aïcha’s attempt of making the house warmer. "Was that enough money to buy bread?" I asked as I devoured the bread, chewing and gulping, forcing it down the dry corridor of my throat. Astrid face froze for a second as her faint smile disappeared. Tears falling, head shaking, Astrid slowly sat on the wobbling chair. "The prices of bread increased again, there is no way we would be able to feed the kids. The country's debt is getting higher and higher. There's just no way…" Astrid ranted exhaustedly, as the bags under her eyes were now visible. The country’s debt was a chain to us. It was the cause of poverty, harsh labors and perennial hunger. all happened after the American Revolution. France had to pay for the cost of Revolution and we never got our earn of money. The First and Second Estate, too full of themselves never bothered to work. Making us a slave to the country, an endlessly working horse for the avarice pigs. "I know, don't worry the deputies of the Third Estate formed a National Assembly. I'm part of it. We're going to talk to the King. He assembled the Estates-General for the first time after 175 years." I comforted her in a soothing tone smothered with lie. A lie so deceiving, that I used it to fool myself from the approaching wave of fear. Just to save myself from drowning. But deep down there was a question attempting to float that colored my thoughts. ‘Will the King listen?’ With the question ringing in my head, I slowly walked out the door with a little taste of bread still lingering inside my mouth along with the lurking responsibility now attached onto my shoulders. After walking a few miles mindlessly, I stopped dead in my tracks by the mass of people being kept out of the Versailles. I quickly joined the group and grabbed onto the nearest person. “Excuse me, can I ask what’s happening?” I asked desperately as anxiety started to climb up my neck, choking me ever so slightly. Jean-Sylvian Bailly turned around as he glanced at me. Then he hollered out to the rest, "We're locked out!"


Silence. Silence turned into whispers and whispers turned into shouts as everyone glanced at one another in dismay. The unspoken truth spreaded to anger that filled the empty air. “We aren’t going to stay here all day, are we?" Bailly continued to shout out to the crowd. Nodding upon his words, everyone followed each other's tails towards an available space in Versailles. Salle du jeu de paume - An Indoor Tennis Court. Around 576 members glanced at each other as they signed the paper spread across the table that was written by Emmanuel Sieyès. Every time a new man signed, people applauded in glee. Everyone except one person, Joseph Martin d’Auch, the deputy of Castelnaudary, refused to sign the oath. The Oath that would be long remembered. "We will not separate, and will reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom is established!"

Figure 1: The National Assembly gathered in the Tennis Court after being locked out from where the Estates-General meeting was held.


July 14, 1789 It was a pleasure to destroy. It was a special pleasure to see a great crowd equipped with muskets, swords and various impromptu weapons gathered around the Bastille through the tranquil dawn tinted with a various shade of orange. Stretched towards the empty sky, the Bastille stood ignorantly as King Louis XVI’s absolute power. Bernard-René Jourdan de Launay, a persistent protector who refused to surrender, was the military governor of the Bastille. Hands sweating, heart pounding, I grasped on to the handle of the cutlass sword that protected my life. As anger continued to rage on, the sun started to rise from its hiding. A shade of blue dominated the orange sky, slowly changing it to a duplication of the ocean. At that moment, a delegation was sent from Hôtel de Ville to see Launay. Later that day, it was revealed that the delegation traveled to obtain the surrender of powder, cannon and the Bastille. Unknown to the situation happening inside, as Launay withdrew the cannon from the embrasures everybody tensed up, fearing that Launay was loading it. The clock dinged noisily, screaming that it was 12:00. After several minutes, one of the delegates, Thuriot de La Rozière returned to the Hôtel de Ville through the pushing crowd. The long wait due to the delegations only angered us, pushing each other into the inner courtyard that was undefended, we cut the chains that were holding the drawbridge. Along with a crash and cacophony, the bridge fell down, instantly killing one of the attackers. Blood oozed out from under the bridge as the hand lay motionlessly. Without a blink of an eye or hesitation, everybody stormed across the bridge.

Figure 2: The Storming of the Bastille turned bloody after Launay's soldiers started to fire.

The panicked soldiers of de Launay’s, puzzled and startled, quickly took up a defensive position. But the thrill of adrenaline only powered us. The remaining people outside tried to lower the second drawbridge. That was when I heard Launay screaming for open fire, drowning out the loud mumbling with a hint of trepidation laced in his quavering voice. As if a curse was lifted, by the end of Launay’s orders, muskets started to fire. People started to collapse, only to be rolled around by the feet of the people rushing into each other for victory. The smell of blood attacked the atmosphere as an estimated number of hundred friends and members were killed or wounded.


The sound of firing, screaming and roars of glory clashed creating a concoction of euphony. After a few minutes of struggled fight, Launay raised a white flag over his head. People gathered around taking Launay and his men to custody. The gun powder and canons were seized, and the seven prisoners that were locked up were also freed. When Launay was taken to HĂ´tel de Ville, he met his last moment. He was whisked away with his head later on cleanly cut off his neck. He was the trophy of victory as his head was stuck in a pike with a horrid squelching noise. It was a day of party after the attack on the Bastille. With the head of Launay in hand, people marched around showing our victory. Throughout the march there was a silence consensus that rang out through Paris. This was just the start of the Revolution.


July 28, 1794 The past years were a bedlam filled with anger and joy. They have been terrible, and I have lived diligently over those few years. In fact, too busily that I never got a chance to record the events in my journal. In short, after a tedious war with Austria, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette was executed by the guillotine. Everyone was excited when they gathered around to watch the head of the former king and queen being chopped cleanly off their neck and dropped into a basket. Today had the same tension and atmosphere. The start was when the Jacobins won in the National Convention. Maximilien Robespierre, the leader of the Girondins was not the most popular vote after the Reign of Terror. When King Louis Xvi was executed, Robespierre naturally rose to power. We thought that he would be different, we expected him to be a better ruler. But he was the same or even worse than Louis XVI. After tasting power, Robespierre became full of cupidity and killed everyone that refused to follow him. Many people died during his bloody reign. At the end, he also whisked away the lives of my wife and son. It was a horrible thought, but a thought that I couldn’t stop letting it enter my head. There was a lingering sense of happiness when I left the empty house to watch the execution of Robespierre along with his 21 followers. Just like the death day of King Louis XVI, happiness and excitement filled the ambiance. Children in hand, there were families that gathered around as if they came on a picnic. After a few minutes of the crowds cheering and shouting, Robespierre appeared dressed in pure white, contrasting to his hands that were bloodied from the lives that he took. Hands and body tied down to the guillotine, his head was placed under the shining blade as people continued to shout as if they were watching an exciting show. The blade aiming for its prey was loosed from its hold as it fell gracefully, whisking through the air. As if a knife was cutting butter, the head was cleanly chopped off, rolling into the basket placed Figure 3: Robespierre awaiting his death after his followers have been executed. neatly under the guillotine. For a while there was silence as the shouts died out, focusing on the execution of Robespierre. And as if nothing happened, people started leaving the area until I was the only one standing around the guillotine. Million thoughts passed through my head as I stared around the empty area. ‘Was this really the end of the Revolution?’ Life did immensely improve after we paid the prices of the revolution. The idea of First and Second Estate no longer existed, and I was living a more convenient life after the Church


properties were confiscated. But there was this itching feeling that remained. After all, I heard a name that was silently whispered into the ears of people. “Napoleon.� That was the name.


July 28, 1794 The past years were a bedlam filled with anger and joy. They have been terrible, and I have lived diligently over those few years. In fact, too busily that I never got a chance to record the events in my journal. In short, after a tedious war with Austria, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette was executed by the guillotine. Everyone was excited when they gathered around to watch the head of the former king and queen being chopped cleanly off their neck and dropped into a basket. Today had the same tension and atmosphere. The start was when the Jacobins won in the National Convention. Maximilien Robespierre, the leader of the Girondins was not the most popular vote after the Reign of Terror. When King Louis Xvi was executed, Robespierre naturally rose to power. We thought that he would be different, we expected him to be a better ruler. But he was the same or even worse than Louis XVI. After tasting power, Robespierre became full of cupidity and killed everyone that refused to follow him. Many people died during his bloody reign. At the end, he also whisked away the lives of my wife and son. It was a horrible thought, but a thought that I couldn’t stop letting it enter my head. There was a lingering sense of happiness when I left the empty house to watch the execution of Robespierre along with his 21 followers. Just like the death day of King Louis XVI, happiness and excitement filled the ambiance. Children in hand, there were families that gathered around as if they came on a picnic. After a few minutes of the crowds cheering and shouting, Robespierre appeared dressed in pure white, contrasting to his hands that were bloodied from the lives that he took. Hands and body tied down to the guillotine, his head was placed under the shining blade as people continued to shout as if they were watching an exciting show. The blade aiming for its prey was loosed from its hold as it fell gracefully, whisking through the air. As if a knife was cutting butter, the head was cleanly chopped off, rolling into the basket placed Figure 4: Robespierre awaiting his death after his followers have been executed. neatly under the guillotine. For a while there was silence as the shouts died out, focusing on the execution of Robespierre. And as if nothing happened, people started leaving the area until I was the only one standing around the guillotine. Million thoughts passed through my head as I stared around the empty area. ‘Was this really the end of the Revolution?’ Life did immensely improve after we paid the prices of the revolution. The idea of First and Second Estate no longer existed, and I was living a more convenient life after the Church


properties were confiscated. But there was this itching feeling that remained. After all, I heard a name that was silently whispered into the ears of people. “Napoleon.� That was the name.

Revolutionary Voices Journal: French Revolution  
Revolutionary Voices Journal: French Revolution  
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