Jacques Hèbert 1791 [?]
Source: Le Père Duchesne, [n.p.] [n.d. 1791?];
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor.
You can’t do anything without a bunch of fucking asses finding a reason to complain. Fuck, the most patriotic women constantly do whatever they can to serve the revolution and a thousand venomous tongues set out to poison their efforts. What is so wrong about going to look for the King so as to tell him that his aunts are crazy to want to undertake a ridiculous trip, a trip that alarms all good citizens because they don’t trust the people around them? Fuck! If I had in my hands one of these buggers who speak ill of beautiful national acts it would be my pleasure to give them a fucking hard time. As for me, when I meet these brave women who, when it comes to virtue, are as good as the Maid of Orleans I run up to them, I take them in my arms and I’ll be fucked if we don’t share bacchic libations in honor of the fatherland. What’s so bad about this? You should have seen the other day, when they defended the Tuileries, how I gave them my hand and complimented them on the beautiful speech they made to the King. Père Duchesne, they said to me, here is a copy of our speech, and since you’re a good patriot we ask you to publish it in your marvelous writings. We know you well enough to know that you’re a man who’ll punch out all the fucking asses who hearts won’t be moved when they read it. So it’s in order to keep the promise that I made to these brave women that I am going to give it to you exactly as Thousand-Tongue Marie pronounced it.
“Sire, we love you like a good father and we have come here to show you our sorrow at the way your family is abandoning you on all sides. We already came to see you to ask of you the return of the princes. We had hoped that they wouldn’t put up for so long with the pain of being far from you. We beg of you again, sire, to recall to them the sentiment that their blood must have given them, to recall them to your side. We will celebrate this as soon as they appear alongside your dear person, and our love for you will also touch them. Let your good majesty not suffer that your aunts, who have always been do dear to you, abandon us again. If they wound your heart and if they obtain from your respect for the Declaration of the Rights of Man a decision (under the name of permission) calling for their absence, they can leave peacefully and no one will forget that you allowed this. But if they are pursued by remorse for having left you, let them remember that we tried to save them from this. And then sire we, your people, we will take the place of your family: you will always find us so, we who will never abandon you, who will always be faithful to you.”
This, fuck it, is what is called real eloquence, which comes from deep down in the heart; that which is cooked up in the Academy is not worth as much as this one. Only that of M. Bailly comes close to this, and even so I don’t like his theatrical gestures; he looks like he’s crying when he speaks to us when in reality he laughing at our good faith. At a performance, fuck it, all he has to do is show up and our arms fall; his face has on us the same effect as sunrays. We close our eyes and we don’t dare say anything else; we listen to him in silence and with our mouths hanging open we look like fly traps.
I don’t know if the speech of the ladies of the Halle and the flower girls of the Palais Royal has an effect. But, fucked if I don’t hear anyone talking about anything else; thousands of aristocrats haven’t stopped yammering that these women are mixing themselves in stuff that doesn’t concern them, that they’d do better to sell their fish rather than soiling the palace of the Kings with their presence. Oh these fucking asses! Isn’t anyone of whatever position a citizen? And doesn’t he or she have the right to speak to his king, especially when he says he’s the father of his subjects? And fuck, you do all you can to ruin commerce and you want them to stay in their place, yawning the day away? But as for you buggers, when you were in your time of splendor at the court, whenever there arrived an interesting moment for the kingdom – either the marriage of a prince or a great victory – it didn’t bother you when they came to compliment you and they provided you with amusement, even more because they were simple and new to you. Their witticisms, their frank and daring repartee filled your worn out hearts with joy, but today, when they go to speak to our good King, whose fate interests you but little, since you have let him drop, this no longer pleases you. I am mad about this, and my dear women of les Halles, of the Saint Martin market and of the Place Maubert are no less good patriots for all that.
So put you ill humor aside, don’t pout any longer, return to your homes to live among us and you will see them come to salute you, ask you how you are doing, and compliment you that you haven’t allowed the fact that you are aristocrats suffocate you. They are good people, have no rancor, and the great majority of the people allow themselves to be led by their influence. Believe me, fuck, the revolution is made in my head, and that about says it all. You can form plans all you want to come back the way you were, you’ll end up like those little lead toys who, when you out them down on their heads, fall on their asses. Fuck! Think well on the advice of Père Duchesne, return home like good citizens as if nothing has happened and don’t slander the women of Les Halles and the flower sellers of the Palais Royal.