Jacques Hébert 1793

Jacques Hèbert

On the Confiscation of Chateaux

Source: Le Père Duchesne, No. 350;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.

The great joy of Père Duchesne on the subject of the famous decree that confiscates the chateaux, palaces and all the belongings of the drunken good-for-nothing bastards and upon seeing that the scum who had their palms greased so they’d ask for the prisons to be opened have failed. His good advice that we throw into the hold all the loudmouths and journalists from Coblentz, and that we send them with the rest of the devil’s cargo that’s leaving for the Mississippi.

In this world everyone has his supporter. Each one has his coterie, and each coterie wants to come out ahead of the others. This, fuck, is the cause of all the disputes, of all the quarrels of three quarters of all men. Instead of following the route that reason has traced for them, they seem to seek out stones they can break their necks on, and all the cliffs they can fall over. They forge a thousand chimeras, they build castles in Spain; they all want to be happy, yet they turn their backs on happiness. They detest slavery, and all they do is forge chains. Always the dupes of charlatans and knaves, they hold in contempt those who offer them good advice, and they yawn when they are spoken to of reason. They seek the truth, yet they cover their eyes when its flame lights their way they’re deaf to its voice.

I pardon these defects, all these vices in poor buggers stupefied by slavery, but, fuck, I’m beside myself when I see republicans dispute amongst themselves about nothing. I’m furious when I think of all the misfortunes their divisions are capable of causing, and I want to strangle with my own hands all the worthless bastards who fool them and lead them astray. There are scoundrels who only seek out wounds and bumps; there are monsters who only breathe murder and carnage in order to fatten themselves like crows on the cadavers of the Sans-Culottes.

These birds of prey had disappeared for a while, fuck, and as long as terror was the order of the day, they remained hidden in their holes. The people began to breathe, there were goods in abundance, assignats were at par, and the patriots, with reason, looked upon the holy guillotine as the philosopher’s stone. But, fuck, since the renegades from the Sans-Culotterie proposed the opening of the prisons and the setting free of all the brigands, the knaves and conspirators once again are champing at the bit and they have dared to raise their heads more than ever. Good for nothing bastards, who we don’t know from Adam, have fallen like clouds on the sections and popular societies, wearing red bonnets and wide pants. They have blown hot and cold and found a way to confuse things and to set citizens on each other like cats and dogs. The best patriots have been attacked, dragged through the mud by the vilest of good for nothing bastards; naked buggers who have never strayed since the taking of the Bastille have been thrown into dungeons. No one knows who to listen to, or what branch to grab on to. The knaves who build their fortune on public ruin have profited from this disorder so they can fish in troubled waters. Fuck, while the patriots were obliged to defend themselves, no one thought about the other ones, and they had a moment of respite.

Great gods, they won’t take it with them to hell, and their joy will be cut short before much time has passed. Already, fuck, all the true republicans are reawakening. They won’t be fooled by appearances much longer. It’s in vain that an attempt is made to treat with consideration both the goat and the cabbage, and that people seek to save the scoundrels who have conspired against liberty. Justice will be done, despite the bores who want to have us walk backwards. Now we know where we’re being struck. Order, security, abundance, the salvation of the Republic depend upon our courage and energy. This last sign of life that the aristocrats just gave us will only hasten their punishment. The people know their true enemies despite the masks with which they over themselves. They have them in their sights and, fuck, at the first signal they’re going to be exterminated. Not a one will escape the punishment he has deserved. The Sans-Culottes won’t allow themselves to be had by schemers. They were burned last year by having remained with their arms folded while the infamous Dumouriez cooked up his schemes with the Brissotins. The buggers who today want to resuscitate federalism, the worthless bastards who accuse the Sans-Culotte generals and who use all means to put at the head of our armies certain rascals who we all know; these schemers, all this game for the guillotine will fail miserably and, like the Brissotins, will finish by doing the big tip-over into the guillotine.

What’s more, I’m at peace, fuck. The Convention, in the midst of all these storms and surrounded by all kinds of intrigues is still on the right path. While writing I have learned that it has just rendered a decree that’s going to have all the enemies of the people chewing their nails and put the conspirators on notice. Bravo, fuck, bravo, the scoundrels who drink till they’re drunk will never soil the land of freedom. The hell with all the notions of Coblentz and all the phillipotins, the hell with the clemency tribunal: the great judgment of the people on all suspects will be executed. It’s been decreed, fuck, that at the signing of peace they’ll all be embarked for the Mississippi, and their chateaux, their palaces, all they own is to be confiscated for the profit of the republic. How many good-for-nothings have had their provisions cut off. All those scribblers that they buy off, all those brigands whose palms they grease in order to starve us will hang up their fangs. In this way, fuck, this salutary decree will return peace to the interior and will procure new resources for the Republic for combating its enemies and to reward its brave defenders. It’s fucking maddening that we didn’t immediately deliver ourselves of such a plague because, fuck, as long as that bugger of a canaille breaths among us we must expect to always be on the alert. The parents, the friends of these rogues will still fight, they’ll intrigue in all possible ways to prevent this devil’s cargo from arriving in the Indies. But we won’t fall asleep, fuck, and whoever will dare take up their defense will, like them, be thrown deep into the hold.

Courage, brave Montagnards, continue to deserve the benedictions of the people by every day rendering such decrees. Strike while the iron is hot and never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Just a few more days and all the crowned brigands will be at your feet. While with one hand you hold the lightning to crush the despots and their vile slaves, offer the other to the unfortunate, ensure work for all citizens, give assistance to the elderly and the infirm and, to crown you labors, promptly organize public instruction. This will be your masterpiece for, fuck, without instruction there is no freedom, fuck.