Jean-Paul Marat 1792
Source: L'Ami du Peuple, No 631 April 16, 1792;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.
Forced into exile for a few months, upon his return Marat placed the following notice from the Cordelier Club, presided over by the leader of the working class – the sans culottes – Jacques Hébert, at the head of the first two weeks’ worth of issues of L’Ami du Peuple.
Club des Cordeliers
Society of the Friends of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
From the proceedings of the meeting of April 7, 1792, the 4th year of freedom:
The Society of the Friends of the Rights of Man and the Citizen testified to the Friend of the People, the severe and courageous Marat, its wish that he once again take up his journal.
Ever devoted to the Fatherland, this writer has decided to take up his pen again, sharpened by crime and tyranny’s new maneuvers. More than ever, Marat will pierce crime through the heart, support the friends of freedom, encourage and enlighten the people, astonish slaves, and make the evil blanch.
How painful it was for the Friend of the People to flee to a foreign land when, proscribed, his death sworn to by the court and Lafayette, he left thousands of victims defenseless, struck by the same blow as him! But what could he have done in those times of horror when most of the popular writers were cowards or had sold out? Would it have served the cause of humanity to continue his journal when the most peaceful citizen couldn’t pronounce the name of the Friend of the People without being dragged to a prison cell?
Now that the Catilines only infest this city at intervals, today when others are perhaps forming but when there is still time to put off the storm, Marat is going to take up his pen again! Among a recently freed people patriotic writers should not allow the ambitious to wear a mask. They should whole-heartedly rain infamy down upon the traitors; they should pitilessly denounce those shameless representatives who prostitute themselves to the executive power or who insult the majesty of the people by not recognizing their rights.
The Cordelier Club hastens to make the intentions of the Friend of the People known to the patriotic societies so they can second him and assist him in strengthening the constitution and the indestructible foundations of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.
All citizens are thus advised that it is truly Marat who has taken up the pen again.
The Cordelier Club has named to carry this decree to the societies: MM Vincent, Dubois, Salbert, Baron, Berger, and Machaut.
Signed: Hébert, President