The Reign of Terror of the French Revolution (The Play)

by Franc

-Written by Franc Jabier Rodríguez

Dramatis Personae ix

ACT I

ACT II

ACT III

ACT IV

ACT V

(Dramatis Personae)

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE-The most influential figure associated, with the French Revolution.

BERTRAND BARÈRE-A prominent member of the National Convention during the French Revolution.

JEAN PAUL MARAT-A French political theorist, physician, and scientist that championed the cause of the Sans-culottes.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND- A leader of the Girondist faction.

MADAME ROLAND-The wife of Jean Marie Roland.

FRANÇOIS BUZOT-A Girondist.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT-A French Jacobin leader and street orator of the Revolution.

PIERRE VIATURNIEN VERGNIARD-A Girondist.

GEORGES DANTON-A former Jacobin and Montagnard.

ADRIEN DUPORT-A Girondist.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT-A Girondist.

CAMILLE DESMOULINS-A Montagnard.

LOUIS ANTOINE SAINT-JUST-A Montagnard.

GEORGES COUTHON-A Montagnard.

THOMAS PAINE-A Girondist sympathiser.

ARMAND GENSONNÈ-A Girondist.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI-A Girondist.

RAYMOND DESÈZE-The attorney of Louis XVI.

NICOLAS DE CONDERCET-Marquis and Girondist.

LAZARE CARNOT-A Technocrat.

PAUL BARRAS-A Thermidorian.

JEAN-JACQUES BRÈARD-A Thermidorian.

PIERRE JOSEPH CAMBON-An original Jacobin.

Scene-During the years of the Reign of Terror, from 1793 to 1794 in Paris, France.

ACT 1

SCENE I.

At the chamber of the National Convention in Paris, France.

The presiding members of the convention have gathered to address the issue of the violent effects and disruption of the French Revolution.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Members of the convention present. Today, I stand before you to address the immediate concern of the unruly nature of the violence perpetrated of recent occurrences throughout the city.

JEAN-JACQUES BRÉARD.

I have witnessed this mayhem in person and am outraged, by the disturbing nature of this uncivil manifestation expressed by the commoners.

GEORGES DANTON.

I too have experienced this unsettling event, and I must attest that if something is not done to abate it, the chaos will transform into complete madness afterwards.

CHARLES BARBAROUX.

What do the members of this convention suggest be the course of action taken?

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Due to these sporadic developments, I must prescribe that we make terror the order of the day!

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

What exactly are you implying, Monsieur Barère?

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

We must be determined to avoid street violence, such as the September Massacres of 1792 by taking violence into our own hands, as a viable instrument of the representation of government.

NICOLAS DE CONDERCET.

That would signify a constructive form of chirocracy or oligarchy, as a prime example of a government.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Messieurs! It may appear to us as something of that nature, but what we have endured throughout this century in the form of the monarchy has been proven to be a reckless disaster to France. Law and order must be imposed and enforced always.

PIERRE-JOSEPH CAMBON.

How do we instruct this fundamental process in its composition or entirety?

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

If we impose the enforcement of a government of the populace on to the city of Paris, then the plausibility of its acceptance should be receptive.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

And the will of the people, if they reject this government? Have you not conceived that ominous contingency?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I believe I speak on behalf of the majority of the actual Parisians, when I exclaim that the monarchy is completely finished!

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

I agree with Monsieur Robespierre. There is no other course of action that is justifiable in its relevance.

GEORGES DANTON.

We must be always prudent, in our justification messieurs.

NICOLAS DE CONDERCET.

And what of the basic principles that we shall aspire that are embedded in the revolution?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The virtue and honour of the general will. The core principle of a democratic government: virtue, as Montesquieu once declared so eloquently.

GEORGES DANTON.

Virtue? How does one apply this characteristic, upon the general masses that are the vulgar populace?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

How you enquire? It is simple, we must be the actual partisans of justice.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

I agree, and let the source of enlightenment serve that genuine cause and purpose!

GEORGES DANTON.

Until when?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Whatever government be installed, there must be the firm hand of jurisprudence, within the law and order that is prevalent in its immediate application.

SCENE II.

At the prison in Paris, France, where Louis XVI is being confined to.

The former king must face the controversial members of the National Convention. His attorney Raymond Desèze speaks to him in privacy, in front of his cell.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

We must proceed with the course of action of your defence, by means of political persuasion or rhetoric.

LOUIS XVI.

Nay! I do not want to play on their sentiments, with such feckless bravura displayed.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

With all due respect my lord, you must be prepared, for the eventuality of an implication of your presumable guilt. Therefore, we must proceed with the utmost prudence applied.

LOUIS XVI.

Presumable guilt? I have done nothing to be deserving of that unfair conviction assumed.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

It is not merely, a matter of innocence or guilt, instead, whether we can convince the members of the National Convention of your manifest influence to the cause of the revolution.

LOUIS XVI.

Precisely, but how do we accomplish that significant task convincingly?

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

We must be convincing in our presentation and defence. Thus, we must be precise in every detail elaborated of your case. If not, we shall fail, in our considerable attempt.

LOUIS XVI.

How can these foolish ingrates of this National Convention accuse me and then condemn me wrongfully, like a common criminal?

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

There is not much time to waste, on such trivial arguments, my king. We have to be very efficient in your defence and presentation, if we are to prevent your certain condemnation.

LOUIS XVI.

Are you not being precipitous in your direful analysis?

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

I would rather concede to the notion that I am not than to realise afterwards of my categorical mistake.

LOUIS XVI.

I must confess that your admirable resolution is to be commended and I have now fully comprehended the point of your argument.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

I am appreciative of your apparent understanding, my lord. However, the matter at hand is of a portentous and grave concern to easily dismiss its consequence.

LOUIS XVI.

Understood counsel! I shall permit your instruction and agree to your effective approach.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

Excellent! Then let us proceed to the endeavour of your immediate release.

LOUIS XVI.

There is nothing more that, I would fancy than the immediacy of my liberation, from this wretched place of total confinement and isolation. I have been imprisoned here like a common thief, for four horrendous months and have had to endure the unflattering appellation of Citizen Louis Capet.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

I shall attempt to have you released from this terrible place, once I have achieved your freedom, my king.

LOUIS XVI.

And when shall that occur?

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

Perhaps soon, if we are definitely triumphant.

LOUIS XVI.

And what will happen to me, if we are not?

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

I am afraid only time will tell. But I shall do my best, my king!

SCENE III.

Outside of the lone chamber of the National Convention in Paris, France.

The leaders of the Reign of Terror that formed the National Convention attempted to address the call for radical, revolutionary aspirations, whilst at the same time trying to maintain great control, on the de-Christianization movement that was threatening to the evident majority of the still devoted Catholic population of France. The tension sparked by these conflicting objectives laid a foundation, for the "justified" use of terror to achieve revolutionary ideals and rid France of the religiosity that revolutionaries believed was standing in their way.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

How do we separate the leeches of Catholicism, from the forefront of this glorious nation?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

By ridding their predictable influence, upon the general populace.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

It will not be an easy task to achieve, since it will require tremendous persuasion on our behalf.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Exactly! That is where we must procure to convince the majority of the members of the National Convention, with our reasonable argument.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

The National Convention is bitterly split at the moment, between the Montagnards and the Girondins.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Unfortunately, their resolve is, not of an impassive nature to be dismissed.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Indeed! We must display a measure of cautionary discretion.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I believe that we must be prepared, for the audacious action taken, by the distinctive members of the National Convention; in particular the Girondins.

GEORGES COUTHON.

It will be very challenging, but not impossible.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

There is transparent chaos persisting amongst the members of this Convention, elected by universal male suffrage and charged with writing a new constitution. They have become the new de facto government of France. It is true that the monarchy has abated and a republic has been declared, but there must be a bold leader, in the absence of the sovereign rule.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Who exactly are you suggesting?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

If I made the brash presumption of my own inclusion in the selection, I would be considered a tyrant, but the real tyrants are those who resist the government and fight, against the virtue and honour of the general will. As leaders we are compelled to sense the ideal version of government is threatened from the inside and outside of France, and terror is the only way to preserve the dignity of the Republic created, from this French Revolution.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

And what shall we do, with Jacques Pierre Brissot?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The terror will not subside, until the agents of moderation like Jacques Pierre Brissot are dealt with accordingly. He no longer shares the principles of the National Convention.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

And the present opposition? Will they concede to that grandiose vision of yours also?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE

I am aware that this will led to a political contest, between the more moderate Girondists and the more radical Montagnards inside the Convention, with rumour used as an effective weapon by both sides. The Girondists have lost ground, when they seem too conciliatory. But the pendulum will swing again and after Thermidor, the men who have endorsed the massacres will be denounced, as tyrants. The Revolution will become a tradition, and republicanism an enduring option. These words will prevail, over the injustice of the previous monarchy.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Really? Do you think that the prospect of an actual republicanism will sway the nobility as well, as the populace?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Of their allegiance, that I do not doubt! However, it is the gentry and the intellects that concern me at the present moment.

GEORGES COUTHON.

The gentry are mostly monarchists at heart, but the intellects are more aligned to the cause of the republicans.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Perhaps! Yet, I cannot afford to underestimate their influence and capacity or forget that the vulpine Hébertists have put pressure, on the National Convention delegates and contributed to the overall instability of our beloved France.

SCENE IV.

At the main chamber of the National Convention in Paris France.

The Girondins were partial to keeping the deposed king under arrest, both as a hostage and a guarantee for the future. Members of the Commune and the most radical deputies, who would soon form the group known as the Montagnards, argued for Louis's immediate execution. His trial had begun, with his defence.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

Messieurs, the charges against the king are invalid, under the terms of the enacted constitution. Therefore, I must enquire, how can the National Convention dare to represent the judge and jury? Finally, I demand the rejection of these unfounded charges, in the acte enonciatif drawn up, by the constitution. The royal king has been active at the forefront of the revolution, as the restorer of French Liberty.

The king ascended the throne at the age of twenty, and at the age of twenty he gave to the throne the example of character. He brought to the throne no wicked weakness, no corrupting passions. He was economical, just, and severe. He showed himself always the constant friend of the people. The people wanted the abolition of servitude. He began by abolishing it on his own lands. The people asked for reforms in the criminal law...he carried out these reforms. The people wanted liberty: he gave it to them. The people themselves came before him in his sacrifices. Nevertheless, it is in the name of these very people that one today demands....Citizens, I cannot finish...I stop myself before history. Think how it will judge your judgement, and that the judgement, and that the judgement of him will be judged by the centuries.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I must commend you Monsieur Desèze on your eloquent speech. You speak of the people and these superb accomplishments of your client. However, I must remind you that we are here, for the present arraignment of Citizen Louis Capet and not the king of France.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

What are you implying, with those indiscreet words? Am I to interpret your words overtly, as a warning?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Pardon my indiscretion and choice of words monsieur, but we the members of this convention are not concerned, with these acts of piety and generosity. Instead, with the failure of this king to acknowledge his once subjects and now, his growing adversaries.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

I doubt that much and believe you are referring to his envious detractors, if I am not mistaken in my analysis.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

There is no absolute doubt in my mind or in the mind of the majority of the members of this convention that your client is clearly guilty of the act of conspiracy.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

Conspiracy? You are fully aware of the grave nature of the accusation charged and presented?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Of course! We are here seeking accountability, for the recorded crimes committed, by your noticeable client.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

I shall address these imputable charges, by declaring to the members of this convention that my client is innocent and should be exonerated of any unproven claim of guilt.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I beg to differ, with that pronounced statement, and I shall prove without a singular doubt of the absolute guilt of the accused.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

Whatever alleged crimes that my client has committed do not merit the accusations that are presently being applied against him.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Surely, even you must realise the consequence of the failure of the prior monarchy. Must I remind you of his indecisiveness and conservatism that led some elements of the people of France to view him, as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime, and his popularity had deteriorated progressively. His disastrous flight to Varennes is enough to convince us all of his reckless actions and decisions taken lightly.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

I fail to understand the validity of your intrepid argument, when it is clear that no crime has been committed that I am aware of its existence.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

According to the members of this convention your client, through his surquedry has committed the worse of all treacheries, treason!

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

The charge of treason is of a serious nature. Whatever the accusation be made does not deserve the blatant charge of treason! I exhort upon the members of this convention, my esteemed client's impunity.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

In this case, the charge is befitting of his treason. If found guilty, his just punishment shall be expedited.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

Once more I asked, by whose authority shall the king be judged and condemned afterwards?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Naturally, by the convocation of the present members of this convention.

RAYMOND DESÈZE.

Hereon, my solemn duty is now discharged!

After the prosecution has presented its case, the former king addresses his accusers, the members of the National Convention.

LOUIS XVI.

Messieurs, you have heard my defence, I would not repeat the details. In talking to you perhaps for the last time, I declare that my conscience reproaches me with nothing, and my defenders have told you the truth. I never feared the public examination of my conduct, but my heart is torn by the imputation that I would want to shed the blood of the people and especially that the misfortunes of August 10th be attributed to me. I avow that the many proofs that I have always acted from my love of the people, and the manner in which I have always conducted myself, seemed to prove that I did not fear to put myself forth in order to spare their blood, and forever prevent such an imputation.

Robespierre's rebuttal.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I speak of the vivid discontent, amongst the members of France's middle and lower classes that have resulted in strengthened opposition to the French aristocracy and to the absolute monarchy, of which Louis and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, are viewed as clear representatives of this oppression. There are some, who will ask by whose authority do we condemn the former king? I say, by that authority granted by the greater will of France.

Consequently, Louis XVI is found guilty of high treason, and in a momentous event that led to international condemnation, he was executed in January 1793 afterwards.

SCENE V.

At the home of Robespierre in Paris, France.

Robespierre invites one of the prominent leaders of the known Girondins Jacques Pierre Brissot to his residence to discuss the role of the new government.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

It is good that you accepted my noble invitation.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

At first, I was hesitant, but after further contemplation, I decided to come after all.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I am glad that you made the decision to speak to me in person.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Monsieur Robespierre, I came, because I cannot forget my duty, as a citizen of France to serve the cause of the nation.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

It is precisely the reason, for your direct involvement in the cause.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

What are you alluding to, monsieur?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Your vision and enlightenment can inspire our movement and government, as Voltaire has with his eloquence.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Voltaire once said, "We cannot blatantly ignore the will of the people." I warn you and the rest of the members of the National Convention to not overlook that point.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Do you not realise that some of his ideas have inspired the justification of the Revolution and the remonstrance, against the Catholic Church.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I am fully aware of his writings!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

In the words of Voltaire, the justification for anti-religious reforms is absolutely necessary.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

True, but we must recall his words, "We are all steeped in weakness and error; let us forgive each other our follies; that is the first law of nature" and "every individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of his opinion, is a monster."

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Monsieur, the hour of tyranny has forced to react and enact justice, against the tyrants that have suppressed the citizens of France. They are the true monsters.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

And the demonstrative jacquerie of the people? What will become of their cause and voices? What will become of democracy?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The justice of the law must prevail and be urgently established. It is my intention to see the necessary procurement of that task.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

At the cost of more unnecessary blood spilt of our innocent brethren?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Regrettably, within the clamour of a revolution, there must be bloodshed and sacrifice made.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I hope that it does not lead to the adverse effect of corruption or worse a civil strife in the city, amongst the Parisians.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The Parisians are with us. The king is dethroned and dead, the Catholic Church nullified, the nobility sequestered and the bourgeoisie elated.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Until when shall the voice of the people not be silent?

ACT 2.

SCENE I.

At the chamber of the National Convention in Paris, France.

On 10 March 1793 the National Convention creates the Revolutionary Tribunal. Amongst those charged by the tribunal, about a half were acquitted, although the number dropped to about a quarter, after the enforced enactment of the Law of 22 Prairial.

Robespierre and Saint-Just discuss the next course of action.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

We shall we do once the Girondins are ousted, about the obvious influence of the Hébertists and the Sans-culottes?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The Committee of Public Safety and General Security are in charge of that task.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Please explain, so that I can fully comprehend those words!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Of course! We shall establish price controls on food and other items, abolish the unjust system slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic Church and create a secular Republican calendar as our own.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

And the dogma of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We must crush the enemies of the revolution-let the laws be executed, and let liberty be saved.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Forgive me for interjecting, but you are aware of the distinction of the people and their uncertain loyalty.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I am, but I cannot allow anyone to be lawless and reckless in their actions against the revolution and above all, the National Convention.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Of course! The principles of the revolution and the preservation of the republic are what are extremely important.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We must never forget that the tyrants fighting against the virtue and honour of the general will are our foes. As the leaders of this revolution and belief, we must protect our ideal version of government from any threat, from the inside and outside of France, and terror is the only way to preserve the dignity of the Republic created, from the essence of the French Revolution.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

You understand that if the Hébertists or Sans-culottes influence more control on the National Convention, they shall begin to demand even more radical measures than the Girondins.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The Montagnards could be effected. I know and the split between the other factions cannot interfere, with the just cause of the revolution.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

There is much to be done and so little time afforded to us.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Unfortunately, time is of the essence and we must be prudent in our decisions. However, we have the upper hand, as long as we control the people and the government.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

For how long can we control the masses, until they rebel against us in the end?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

At the present time, they are on our side. I shall not concern myself with them, until the occasion arises.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I must depart, since we would be seen contriving, against the Hébertists or the Girondins.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I too must occupy my time, on another significant matter that is pending.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

We shall meet again to discuss the issue of the involvement of the known outsiders.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Whatever involvement they shall have, shall not influence our actions taken.

SCENE II.

At the steps of the building of the National Convention in Paris, France.

Members of the National Convention reproach Robespierre's policies.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

I came to speak to you, about the course of this new government.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

What are you alluding to monsieur?

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

The sans-culottes, the scrappy, urban workers of France, have agitated us enough to inflict punishments on those, who oppose the interests of the poor. The sans-culottes' violent demonstrations pushing their demands, has created constant pressure for us to enact any real measure of sustainable reform.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Yes, I have been apprised of their doings.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

The sans-culottes have fed the frenzy of instability and chaos by utilising popular pressure, during the revolution. For example, the sans-culottes have sent letters and petitions to the Committee of Public Safety urging them to protect their interests and rights, with absurd measures such as taxation of foodstuffs that favour workers over the rich. They advocate for arrests of those deemed to oppose reforms against those with privilege, and the more militant members would advocate pillage, in order to achieve the desired equality sought.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We shall deal soon with the sans-culottes and their mischiefs.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

And Jean Paul Marat and the other members of the Jacobins?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall deal with them as well, but in due time monsieur.

PIERRE-JOSEPH CAMBON.

But the resulting instability has caused problems that have made forming the new Republic and achieving full political support even more critical. Marat's placards are inciting to murder.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I know the thinking of the Jacobins and know how to deal with Marat.

FRANÇOIS-NICHOLAS VINCENT.

They shall not acquiesce so easily to the authority of the new government.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Verily, I did not expect them to.

FRANÇOIS-NICHOLAS VINCENT.

Then what expectation do you have about them?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

As long as they comply with the law, I can care least, if their principles are compromised, by their greed and ignorance.

JOSEPH LE BON.

And our just principles? When shall the leaders of the National Convention, not only take into consideration our demands, but the petitions of the people?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Now is not the time for this argument, since we would only be defeating the purpose of the revolution.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Have you forgotten the warnings of Voltaire?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Voltaire? No I have not!

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Then may I suggest that you remember what he foresaid, and that we represent the constituencies of Paris.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Voltaire may be the voice of enlightenment and may share innovative ideas that I share, but I am the leader of this movement.

SCENE III.

At the home of Jean Paul Marat in Paris, France.

Marat meets in person, with Hanriot.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

I came at once, when I received your message.

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

I am glad that you came now, because we must speak about the issue of the growing radicalism of the Girondins and Robespierre's power.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

Precisely, what are you referring to?

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

We both know that as one of the principle leaders of the revolution and Jacobins, Robespierre, no longer is aligned passionately to our noble cause in reality. He has sold his soul to the Devil.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

You realise the serious nature of your argument. His influence is paramount to the position that he holds in the National Convention.

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

I am fully aware of his persuasion and that I do not doubt, but he is quickly growing in authority and will sooner or later, no longer require our assistance or presence.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

Surely, you are not suggesting that we get rid of Robespierre? On whose behalf are you speaking?

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

I speak on the behalf of the sans-culottes that I represent and the several members of the Jacobins that wish to remain anonymous.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

If I may query, do I know the names of these particular individuals?

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

Perhaps! If you are expecting for me to reveal their identities, then I shall not disclose that information for now.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

At least tell me that these members are not planning a conspiracy to overthrow the National Convention.

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

For the moment, all that I can reveal is their dissatisfaction and disproval, with Robespierre.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

I warn you that Robespierre will exact revenge upon his enemies. And it is better to be on his side than as his foe for the nonce.

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

I do not fear Robespierre, and it is he who shall be fearful of his plentiful enemies.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

I ask monsieur, do you consider yourself one of his foes?

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

That I cannot answer with a genuine reply.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

If I were judging by your gesture, the insinuation alone would signify that conclusion.

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

Monsieur, you are free to believe in what you wish to believe.

FRANÇOIS HANRIOT.

I must go now, but we shall remain in contact.

JEAN PAUL MARAT.

Good! Au revoir!

SCENE IV.

At a secret location in Paris, France.

On 10 March 1793 the National Convention creates the Revolutionary Tribunal. Amongst those charged by the tribunal, about a half were acquitted; although the number dropped to about a quarter, after the enactment of the Law of 22 Prairial. Robespierre's power has suddenly increased and his enemies and other influential members of the National Convention are becoming restless and concerned, including Jean-Baptiste Treillard, Armand Gensonné and Adrien Duport and Jacques Pierre Brissot, who belong to the Girondins.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

It is good that you were able to meet me at this clandestine place.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Why, the surreptitious nature of this meeting?

JEAN-BAPTISTE TREILLARD.

I also am curious to know that specific reason.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I have summoned you to address the disturbing issue of Robespierre's manipulation.

ARMAND GENSONNÉ.

What are you talking about Brissot?

ADRIEN DUPORT.

I believe that he is referring to the recent actions taken by Robespierre.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Robespierre has become a definite dictator and is worse than the former monarchist he replaced.

ARMAND GENSONNÉ.

You forget that the dictatorship imposed, by the Committee of Public Safety of which Robespierre installed, we are a part of that. And worse, we have directly contributed to his ascent of power.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I have not forgotten at all that unfortunate incidence or coincidence.

JEAN-BAPTISTE TREILLARD.

There cannot be any doubt that Robespierre has gained tremendous authority, but what do you suggest we do?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

We must eliminate him, before he proceeds to eliminate us!

ADRIEN DUPORT.

What you are recommending is a very serious action.

FRANÇOIS BUZOT.

And the immediate ramifications could be deadly for us in the end.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Although, I may have my differences with Robespierre, I cannot conceive the notion of murdering him, if that is what you are implying we do.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Messieurs, I repeat that it is either him or us, in the grand scheme for total authority.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

I am convinced of his tyrannical presence, but not of his murder.

JEAN-BAPTISTE TREILLARD.

Let us say for the sake of the argument, how are we to effectuate his murder?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Simple, one of us will murder him!

JEAN-BAPTISTE TREILLARD.

Are you jesting, monsieur?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Nay, I am not!

SCENE V.

At the home of Brissot in Paris, France.

In March a rebellion erupts in the Vendée, in response to mass conscription, which has developed into a civil war that lasts, until after the Reign of Terror.

Robespierre's authority is challenged and it is the perfect occasion, for his enemies to speak out and discredit him, in particular from several members of the Girondins that included Jacques Pierre Brissot and Jean Marie Roland. They met in secrecy, with the American activist Thomas Paine.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Monsieur Paine, we are honoured to have you here with us in Paris.

THOMAS PAINE.

And I am thankful and honoured to be here with you gentlemen.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

We as Frenchmen are inspired, by the principles of the American Revolution. It has inspired our great revolution, with a tremendous effect.

THOMAS PAINE.

The seed of any revolution is manifest, in those societies that stand on just principles and democracy.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Unfortunately monsieur, we are dealing with a more complex issue, the bitter divisions, between multiple factions.

THOMAS PAINE.

That is something that must be clearly settled, among the civility of men.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

If only that was necessary. You see Monsieur Paine, the people of France want to aspire the cause of liberty than the civility of nobility.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

There is so much to contemplate, but I am afraid so little time to accomplish all that this revolution needs to be relative and relevant. We must first deal with the likes of the Montagnards and the Sans-culottes.

THOMAS PAINE.

And of Robespierre? What will become of him?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Robespierre must be evicted from his position!

THOMAS PAINE.

And Barère and Barras?

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Barère is a madman, but Barras can be reasoned.

THOMAS PAINE.

How, if I may enquire?

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

We must expose him to the members of the National Convention.

THOMAS PAINE.

That will not be easy to accomplish.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

I understand that argument.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Then, what do you propose?

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

We must seek the assistance of the other dissatisfied Jacobins.

THOMAS PAINE.

Will they concede to the idea of deposing Robespierre?

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

If we are careful and discreet, then we should convince them that it is in their benefit to assist us.

ACT 3.

SCENE I.

At the rue Saint Honore in Paris, France.

Robespierre is joined, by the other members of the Jacobins.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Messieurs, we have no other option, but to silence the voice of the radical Hébertists and begin the purge of the Girondins.

GEORGES DANTON.

When?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Sooner than later, because I suspect that they are planning, at this moment, our demise.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I do not doubt their unpredictable nature, yet I cannot imagine, what the National Convention will be, without these two bickering factions.

GEORGES DANTON

I too am sceptical, about the serious consequences of this supposed action.

GEORGES COUTHON.

Monsieur Robespierre, please explain to us this exact need!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

All of us, who are present know of the influential power of these two rival factions.

GEORGES COUTHON.

And what about them?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Their factions will be dissolved entirely!

GEORGES DANTON.

They will not allow themselves to be silenced so abruptly.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I have taken that into strong consideration, nevertheless, I shall not allow myself to be threatened, by their visible presence.

GEORGES DANTON.

I hope for the sake of the country and the National Convention that division amongst us, not be the downfall of the revolution or this convention for that matter.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We have come too far to allow any members of the Girondins, the Hébertists or Sans-culottes to disrupt our revolutionary cause.

GEORGES COUTHON.

I agree, but we cannot be reckless, in our position and decisions. Thus, we cannot destroy the sans-culottes for the moment.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

For all practical purpose, the Sans-culottes will assist us to oust the majority of the Girondins, from the National Convention.

GEORGES COUTHON.

There is much to be accomplished, if we are to achieve our practical demands.

GEORGES DANTON.

I grow extremely weary and restless, with the daily tension displayed, in the National Convention.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We must demonstrate messieurs with our plurality, the will and perseverance to be ultimately successful. Hitherto, there is no turning back!

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I ask you messieurs, will the elimination of the Girondins be enough?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We shall have our answer shortly.

GEORGES DANTON.

Whatever must be done, I shall approve that necessary action, if it is in the interest of the National Convention. However I warn you Robespierre, do not attempt to beguile me or the other members of the Montagnards.

GEORGES COUTHON.

I as well, if it is warranted of course!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Let us abate this conversation and head to the National Convention.

SCENE II.

At the home of Robespierre in Paris, France.

Robespierre has invited his close associates in the Reign of Terror, Louis Antoine de Saint Just and Georges Couthon to speak to him in privacy.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Messieurs, you are here, because we must address a very delicate and urgent matter forthwith that I could not discuss in front of the other members present.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

What matter is so delicate that you were urging to see us?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The death sentences for Brissot, Hébert and Danton.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I shall not inquire the reason, instead, the method of their execution.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I have not yet chosen the method of their execution.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Could I suggest the splendid death of the guillotine?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Exactly! You have served me well on the Committee of Public Safety and then, as the President of the National Convention. I cannot doubt your allegiance to the cause and to me.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I have followed your lead and the revolution faithfully, and I shall continue to do that, as long as I am alive.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

If only more men were as loyal and obedient as you in their thinking, my friend.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I am certain that there are, but we must know, who from the active participants is friend from foe.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Exactly, and that is the reason that we must be very meticulous in our decisions; even though our actions may appear with urgency.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Agreed! All I need to know is when do you propose these specific actions be taken?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

At once, I shall inform you then of the day of the commencement of the eventual purge.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

It will be a pleasure to assist in ridding ourselves of these scandalous traitors to the revolution.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Once more, all that matters is the dissolution of these factions, even if it means sending these men to the guillotine.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

There is no better and efficient mean of immediate execution, then the guillotine. Its terror enthralls my sheer fascination at will.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I admit that this morbid form of execution was once against my conviction, but it is sufficient for the purpose of which it serves indeed.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

It has been received by the people and is the forcible symbol of absolute terror.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

It has been decisive, in its implementation and effectiveness.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

The revolution must proceed its relative course and continuation.

SCENE III.

At the home of the marquis in Paris, France.

On 6 April the Committee of Public Safety is created, which gradually becomes the de facto war-time government. The Committee will oversee the Reign of Terror. During the Reign of Terror, at least 300,000 suspects are arrested; 17,000 are officially executed, and perhaps 10,000 dead in prison or without trial. The Marquis de Condorcet, Paul Marie Roland, his wife and Jacques Pierre Brissot meet to discuss the disturbing developments.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

The creation of The Committee of Public Safety has only given Robespierre more power and authority.

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

At the sake of the innumerable commoners and our sake as well.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are faced, with the terrible predicament of what are our options.

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

I am afraid that at the moment, our options are limited and scant to say the least.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I have reached the same conclusion, nevertheless there must be an option that is best suited, for our selection.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Unless we rid ourselves of the influential power of the National Convention starting with Robespierre himself, then we shall most likely meet the same fate, as the others.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

You mean at the hands of the dreaded guillotine?

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

To be precise, with my words of candour. Yes, indeed!

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Then, if there is no other recourse, thus we must proceed with the course of action decided.

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

Agreed! We must remember that we cannot afford to be imprudent in this action at any moment.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Rest assure, I shall not be overtly foolish, in my actions or thoughts.

MADAME ROLAND.

There is much at stake messieurs. We must be always conscious of that sudden reality.

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

Let us procure the motive and execute the action, with such effectiveness and brilliance.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Of course!

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

I must go now, for the hour of the meeting of the National Convention is shortly, and we cannot afford to arrive later.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

It would appear totally suspicious, on our part.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Before we abate this conversation, I request that this matter remain, between us.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

It shall remain a matter of absolute privacy.

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

I thank you for that and shall be anxiously awaiting, any new tidings.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Whatever those tidings are, you shall gladly be informed.

MADAME ROLAND.

Messieurs, may the revolution live on in our principles.

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

Indeed! Au revoir!

SCENE IV.

Inside the building of the National Convention in Paris, France.

On 2 June, the Parisian sans-culottes surround the National Convention, calling for administrative and political purges, a low fixed price for bread, and a limitation of the electoral franchise to the sans-culottes alone. With the backing of the National Guard, they persuade the convention to arrest twenty-nine Girondist leaders. In reaction to the imprisonment of the Girondins deputies, some thirteen departments started the Federalist revolts, against the National Convention in Paris, which will be ultimately crushed.

Robespierre is joined in the corridor, by the fanatical Bertrand Barère.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

The clamour of the sans-culottes seems to have been silenced, for the time being.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The Federal revolt must be dealt with. I fear that the arrest of the Girondins will not appease for long, the sans-culottes. Their vengeance will not be sated, until they have succeeded in overthrowing the National Convention.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Who will be the next to follow? Will it be one of us by chance?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Although it may appear to be the case, I shall not permit this unthinkable occurrence.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

How dare the sans-culottes defy the National Convention, with such reckless impudence!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Indeed their brazen demonstration displayed today will not go unpunished.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

But they have been able to influence the National Convention, with their intrepid action. Where and when will they stop?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Unlike you, I must conceal my rage towards these commoners. However, I tell you that the sans-culottes will eventually be held accountable, for this act of insolence.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

What is noticeably conspicuous is the fact that there appears to be a conspiracy unfolding.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Indeed! I believe that to be the case.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

I cannot rest, not knowing, what the sans-culottes will do next, and the reprisal of the remaining members of the Girondins that have not yet been imprisoned. Must I be worrisome of the Montagnards?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We must worry more, about the course of the National Convention.

BERTRAND BARÈRE

What do you mean by that statement?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I think we both know that, unless we offer more initiative for the people, they will not be content.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

And the sans-culottes?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall deal with them soon!

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

On whose terms, if I may ask?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Naturally, on my own terms!

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

If they do not acquiesce? You cannot afford to be weak. If so, then I shall be forced to give my allegiance to another more powerful influence.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall make them acquiesced, in one form or another.

SCENE V.

At the chamber of the National Convention in Paris, France.

On 24 June, the convention adopts the first republican constitution of France, the French Constitution of 1793. It is ratified by public referendum, but never will put into force.

Robespierre has managed to temporally quell the different factions of the National Convention, including the sans-culottes.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Now that the Constitution is ratified, by public referendum, we can proceed forth, with our campaign of reform.

GEORGES DANTON.

Truly, I do not know, how much longer the National Convention will be able to restrain the force of change that the people demand. Your form of politics is failing monsieur.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

For as long as possible!

GEORGES DANTON.

And what if we fail in our endeavour to implement the Constitution?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Then, we shall duly impose the Constitution on to them!

GEORGES DANTON.

And your opponents, such as the sans-culottes?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall make them pay, for their foolish mischief! The sans-culottes' violent demonstrations and demands have created constant pressure, for the Montagnards to enact reform. The sans-culottes are feeding the frenzy of instability and chaos, by utilising popular pressure during the Revolution. I grow weary of their calls for social and economic equality, and popular democracy.

GEORGES DANTON.

The sans-culottes have sent letters and petitions to the Committee of Public Safety urging them to protect their interests and rights, with measures such as taxation of foodstuffs that favour workers over the rich. They advocate for arrests of those deemed to oppose reforms against those with privilege, and the more militant members advocate pillage, in order to achieve the desired equality they demand. Let us hope for the sake of the National Convention and the stability of the nation that this Constitution will survive.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

It will, as long as I can outwit them all, with my astute intelligence.

GEORGES DANTON.

Until when? I cannot forget this repulsive act that occurred or trust my safety to them. Your indecisiveness makes you appear unsteady, monsieur.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Are you saying that, we are in jeopardy of being the next victims?

GEORGES DANTON.

Surely, you have contemplated that ominous feasibility?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Whatever be the fate that awaits us, we shall not concern ourselves, with the minutiae.

GEORGES DANTON.

I cannot foretell the future, but it does not appear that the situation will become apparently resolved any time sooner.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

That is the main reason, for the new Constitution.

GEORGES DANTON.

But I doubt that it will suffice in the end. Thus, I remain sceptical.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

It will, if we are cognisant of the changes and wiser in our decisions.

GEORGES DANTON.

But can we be that certain of our decisions and actions?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

No more than our brash opponents. However, there is clear distinction.

GEORGES DANTON.

And what is that distinction?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We are in charge of the National Convention.

ACT 4.

SCENE I.

At the home of Robespierre in Paris, France.

On 13 July the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat, a Jacobin leader and journalist-results in a further increase, within Jacobin political influence. Barère, Saint-Just and Robespierre discuss the assassination.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

There is a tremendous commotion, amongst the rank members of the Jacobins, with the death of Marat.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Marat's obstinacy led to his downfall. I regret his death, for despite our differences, he was a remarkable politician, physician, and scientist. However, who was more than a fanatic he or the woman that killed him?

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

I do not regret his untimely death, because he was a definite threat to the cause. He should have remained a narrow-minded journalist instead.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Whatever threat that he presented, it was eliminated. Now, we can concentrate on other matters.

LOIUS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

We cannot afford to underestimate our opponents any more.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We shall not I tell you!

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

We must be more punitive in our actions and deliberations. The guillotine is the only effective method of execution. Hébert must be next!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Indeed, it has served the purpose well.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Until now, but for how long?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Until, we have eliminated the enemies of the revolution.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

And Danton? What shall become of him?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Regrettably, he must be removed from the committee. His contribution as the leader of the August 1792 uprising against the king will not be forgotten, but that is the past. I shall belong to the Committee of Public Safety.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

How do you plan on achieving that, if there from amongst the National Convention, some members of the Montagnards along with the powerful force of the sans-culottes?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall make them submit to my demands, if necessary.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Acquiesce by force, I suspect, if I am not mistaken.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Of course!

LOIUS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Ever the death of Marat, the influence of the Jacobins in the National Convention has been altered.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Hitherto, we have purged the vain detractors and traitors from the party and convention.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

There are still some daunting members that remain a viable threat.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I am fully aware of that present reality and situation.

SCENE II.

At the chamber of the National Convention in Paris, France.

On 27 July 1793, Robespierre officially becomes part of the influential Committee of Public Safety. He is confronted by Danton, about his recent allegiance, with the sans-culottes and elements of the radical Montagnards.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Monsieur Danton, is there something that displeases you?

GEORGES DANTON.

Your position has radically changed so abruptly. Why, if I may enquire?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

What reason I may have is of no concern to you, at the present moment.

GEORGES DANTON.

Monsieur, must I remind you that I am still an active member of the Jacobins?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

That I have not forgotten, but must I remind you of my great influence in the party?

GEORGES DANTON.

I shall remit to the principles of the revolution, for my justification and rebuttal. I do not need to display my justice, within any uncivilised form of retribution.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I urge you to concentrate on maintaining control of the faction of the Montagnards, whilst I do the same with the sans-culottes.

\

GEORGES DANTON.

The Montagnards? Will you betray their allegiance?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

For the moment, the Montagnards are the least of my concerns.

GEORGES DANTON.

True, but for how long will you be able to placate their deliberate demands, with the form of mere appeasement?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Sufficiently, until I am certain of their deliberations.

GEORGES DANTON.

I admire your inquisitive nature and resolution, but I am not convinced.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

And I admire your constant diligence. Then I suggest that you put your trust in the ruling men of the revolution.

GEORGES DANTON.

Let us not forget the principle that the revolution is greater than one man, including you and I, monsieur.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

We have been at odds with our idealism and pragmatism. I shall not forsake the principles of the revolution, for any individual, including myself if necessary.

GEORGES DANTON.

I shall take the pledge before you and in front of the other members of the National Convention that I shall not forsake those principles, but will you do the same?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

You are always demonstrative, with your intellectual discourse. You have been the symbol of the revolution, ever since the beginning. I would regret your ousting from the party.

GEORGES DANTON.

Is that an idle threat directed at me, or of a serious nature that I must take it to mean, as an effrontery on your part?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I would not necessarily state it in that manner. However, if you must know, it will not be me that can oust you, instead, the members of the Jacobins. Remember in our country we want to substitute morality for egoism, honesty for honour, principles for customs, duties for decorum, the rule of reason for the tyranny of custom, the contempt of vice for the contempt of misfortune, pride for insolence magnanimity for vanity, love of glory for love of money etc.

GEORGES DANTON.

I am confident that the members of the Jacobins will not dismiss me so plainly.

SCENE III.

At the building of the National Convention in Paris, France.

Georges Danton, the symbolic leader of the uprising against the king is removed, from the committee. The remaining members of the Girondins then convene to discuss the recent developments.

PIERRE VICTURNIEN VERGNIAUD.

Danton had to be removed from the committee and Marat murdered. Now Robiespierre must be dealt with.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Mademoiselle Corday was a devoted follower of the revolution and a sympathiser to our cause. We are gathered here in fear, whilst a brave patriot was sent to the guillotine.

JEAN-BAPTISTE TREILLARD.

Unfortunately, within a revolution, there is nothing or no one that can be greater than that cause.

ARMAND GENSONNÉ.

We have taken the pledge as members of the Girondins to uphold the solemn duty of our membership.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Indeed, but we cannot allow the party to be disrupted suddenly, by any internal or external force.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I have summoned this consultation, so that we can discuss the matters of the recent developments.

JEAN-BAPTISTE TREILLARD.

Now that Dalton is no longer influential in the Montagnard party, then who will replace him in that current position?

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

I am extremely eager to know the specificity of that answer.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

If I must be specific in my reply, then allow the courtesy to contemplate that decision, before I choose in my selection.

THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET.

For how long shall we have to wait, for that decision to be revealed?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Not long I imagine, but there are pending matters to deal with that require the utmost regard.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

The Montagnards are in charge of the Revolutionary Tribunal.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Indeed, nevertheless, we must address other issues.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

And the the Federalist revolts? We cannot forget the lingering influence of the sans-culottes or the Héberists.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

We shall deal with them in due time.

ARMAND GENSONNÉ.

We must continue to remain stringent in our actions and deliberations. We cannot demonstrate weakness to our opponents. The philosopher Habermas argued that the dominant cultural model in 17th century France was a "representational" culture, which was based on a one-sided need to "represent" power with one side active and the other passive. That is the form of idealism that men should aspire to obtain its fruition.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Have we forgotten that the majority of the French population was starving? Many were so destitute that they couldn't even feed their families and resorted to theft or prostitution to stay alive. Meanwhile, the royal court at Versailles was isolated, from this wretched reality and quite indifferent to the escalating crisis that had unfolded.

ARMAND GENSONNÉ.

We must never return to those grim and weary days of the monarchy.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

Robiespierre is a Royalist, Marat was the main agent of the British, and other Montagnards are crypto-Orléans. The Montagnards aspire nothing more than to reign as a bloody dictatorship. The Girondins cannot compromise with the royalists to stay in power.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Not if we remain obedient to the cause of the revolution and loyal to the party.

SCENE IV.

At the chamber of the National Convention in Paris, France.

On 23 August, the National Convention decrees the levée en masse. The members share a discussion about the subject.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The young men shall fight; the married man shall forge arms and transport provisions; the women shall make tents and clothes and shall serve in the hospitals; the children shall turn all lint into linen; the old men shall betake themselves to the public square in order to arouse the courage of the warriors and preach hatred of kings and the unity of the Republic.

GEORGES COUTHON.

There must be a certain provision that provides a solid basis of order and laws to govern the nation and its citizens, with the documentation of the National Convention.

CAMILLE DESMOULINS.

We can enact more laws and implement more provisional measures, but until we have achieved our goals, then the administrative duties beholden unto us will not maintain for long, the fervour of the populace I fear.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

We cannot permit the sans-culottes to impose their dauntless will upon us, if we are to be successful in our endeavours.

CAMILLE DESMOULINS.

I know the sans-culottes well, and they are impossible to tame, with mere changes in law.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

For now, we shall appease their needs, until we can fully demonstrate their blatant guilt and treachery.

GEORGES COUTHON.

You are cognisant that the more we appease them, we enable them to impose upon us their will and demands?

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

I would vote to eradicate the sans-culottes as well, but it is not that simple.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Of course not! Messieurs, we are sensible men of the Jacobins. Let us not continue this discourse on the sans-culottes. I shall make certain that they do not derail our initiatives in no form.

CAMILLE DESMOULINS.

I am more concerned, with the rabble of the revolters that are growing, by the day.

GEORGES COUTHON.

As we speak, these revolters are gathering to plot against us.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Perchance, but their desires and conspiracy will meet the contrivance of death that is the guillotine.

CAMILLE DESMOULINS.

Surely, we cannot kill all of these ruffians of nature, with the device of the guillotine.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Why not? It has served us well, at the present moment.

GEORGES COUTHON.

There must be another effective method of punishment that is perhaps less bloodless.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

There is none more effective than the guillotine. Messieurs have you forgotten the violence perpetrated, by senseless villains and criminals, against the laws we have established?

GEORGES. COUTHON.

Nay, but we must procure the need for justice, instead of injustice.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Are you insinuating that we are unjust, and the criminals charged and judged, the just monsieur?

GEORGES COUTHON.

You have said those words and not me. Yet I must admit with candour that the just can easily become the unjust and vice or versa.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

So eloquent is your rhetoric that I applaud that admission. However it does not change anything. We are in absolute control and our authority is supported, by the members of the National Convention and Committee.

GEORGES COUTHON.

I shall be there to see the outcome of our actions. I pray that the effect of the consequences not doom France in such pitiless haste.

SCENE V.

At an undisclosed location in Paris, France.

The trial of the accused members of the Girondins commences and they will be executed afterwards, on the 31th of October. After the deliberations, the remaining influential members of the Girondins are secretively invited by Brissot to an unknown residence, within one of the arrondissements of the city.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I am glad that you members were able to come at once.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

After the injustice committed on our members accused and the frivolous trial, I was indeed ready to discuss the recent development.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

It was precisely, why I have requested this improvised meeting between us today.

JÉROME PÉTITION.

What limit does Robespierre and the Montagnards have, before they become unstoppable in the end?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

If we do not halt their progress, I fear that they will become too powerful to stop afterwards. Good God the reign of terror has spread and the frenzy of the mobs' thirst for blood is evidently patent.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

I have witnessed manifold occurrences of that sort. But tell me, what can be thus recommended?

JÉROME PÉTITION.

I believe the hour to remove Robespierre from power has finally arrived.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

What do you imply, by that ambiguous remark?

JÉROME PÉTITION.

Have we not learnt anything, from the terrible fate of the fallen enemies of Robespierre?

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Indeed, we have!

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Then am I to assume that we are all in concurrence that we must remove Robespierre from power forthwith?

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Most definitely!

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I must warn you that the risk that we take shall be of a heightened concern to all of us. We shall be exposing ourselves and could be sent to the gallows straightaway.

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

Agreed! We must display absolute discretion in this situation, if we are to succeed in this critical endeavour.

JÉROME PÉTITION.

I am deeply troubled with the recent developments of the barbarous deaths and horrific nature of the guillotine. How many more innocent persons can we allow to be executed so easily? Must we live, as prisoners trapped in our country?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I also find the guillotine to be a very appalling and unnecessary method. Robespierre and Bertrand have blood on their hands!

JEAN MARIE ROLAND.

I wonder are we to be blamed as well, for the injustice of the blade of the guillotines?

JÉROME PÉTITION.

How many more of our members will be murdered, before the madness is over at last?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

That is the daunting question that haunts my conscience day and night.

JÉROME PÉTITION.

I hope that the answer reaches us soon, before the guillotine does.

ACT 5.

SCENE I.

At the building of the National Convention in Paris, France.

On 8 and 13 Ventôse (26 February and 3 March), Saint-Just proposed decrees to confiscate the property of exiles and opponents of the revolution, known as the Ventôse Decrees. Robespierre agrees with the decrees, but he must convince the sans-culottes. He confers with Couthon, about the initiative of Saint-Just.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

What is your opinion on Saint-Just's decrees proposed on this day?

GEORGES COUTHON.

I have to agree with the degrees, since it would facilitate more revenue.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I am in charge of The Committee of Public Safety.

GEORGES COUTHON.

True, but the sans-culottes are growing and becoming stronger by the month. And we have practically finished, with all of the members of the Girondins. Those who are left are in hiding.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE

I have managed to divide the factions successfully of the Girondins. As for the sans-culottes, I shall execute them all, when they no longer serve our purpose.

GEORGES COUTHON.

Surely, the sans-culottes will not attempt to defy the authority of the Committee of Public Safety; although I do not doubt their savage nature.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Must I remind you of their defiant entrance, into the hall of the National Convention just recently?

GEORGES COUTHON.

How can I forget that act of public defiance?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

The sans-culottes will meet the same fate, as the treacherous Girondins.

GEORGES COUTHON.

And Danton? What will become of him?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

That is a good question that deserves an excellent reply. I have planned a devilish outcome for him.

GEORGES COUTHON.

And Brissot? Have you forgotten him?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Not at all!

GEORGES COUTHON.

What have you planned for him?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

You will know soon of my actions. All the Dantonists and Hébertists will be strongly dealt with.

GEORGES COUTHON.

The question that I pose to you is, where will we go from this point?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

To wherever our power takes us to in the end!

GEORGES COUTHON.

Of course!

SCENE II.

At the home of Brissot in Paris, France.

Duport, Paine and Brissot congregate at Brissot's residence. There the three intellectuals discuss the developing events.

By the end of 1793, two major factions had emerged, both threatening the Revolutionary Government: the Hébertists, who called for an intensification of the Terror and threatened insurrection, and the Dantonists, led by Georges Danton, who demanded moderation and clemency. The Committee of Public Safety took actions against both. The major Hébertists are tried before the Revolutionary Tribunal and executed on 24 March. Members of the Dantonists are arrested on 30 March, tried on 3 to 5 April and executed on 5 April.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

It is good messieurs that you were able to come at my request.

THOMAS PAINE.

The streets of Paris are full of the frenzy rabble and the square has become a bloodbath, for the condemned and innocent individuals.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

After the arrests and trials of the members of the Dantonists and Hébertists, I have grown more anxious, with the rampant instability surging in the city.

THOMAS PAINE.

I have never imagined before the wonderful city of Paris, in such unmatched terror and chaos. Is this the fruit of revolution?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I am ashamed to admit that our golden revolution has paled in comparison to your American Revolution.

THOMAS PAINE.

A revolution can never be effectuated, with the crimson blood of the unjust, who are being executed with a maddening passion. However, there is still hope for the clamour of the French people.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Amidst the madness, there is still indeed hope; even for our people. Do not let the burning flame be extinguished, my French compatriots.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I have never envisaged myself a patriot, in the vivid sense of its significance.

THOMAS PAINE.

Then, be that patriot, mon ami.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Patriotism may be overexaggerated in my opinion, when you surmise the state of the country, with its bitter division.

THOMAS PAINE.

Remember that from that division, there a diversity of opinions that must acquiesce to the common sense and betterment of the nation.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

If only that principle was facile to adhere to its practice.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Messieurs, the principles of any revolution are seeded, in the instrument of their voice.

THOMAS PAINE.

I totally agree and believe that, as long as there are noble men on this Earth, there is always a democracy to be born and discovered.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

It is comparative to the rise of the Egyptian Phoenix.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

I hope that it not be a premonition that augers more the terror that will continue.

THOMAS PAINE.

In the end, the tyranny of the Reign of Terror will not avail the tyrants.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

If the basis of popular government in peacetime is virtue, the basis of popular government during a revolution is both virtue and terror; virtue, without which terror is baneful; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the homeland, fatherland. So said Robespierre in his speech.

THOMAS PAINE.

And the fate of Maximilien Robespierre?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I aver that his downfall is imminent. The question is what will be his ultimate fate?

SCENE III.

At the corridor of the National Convention in Paris, France.

On 22 Prairial the 10 June, the National Convention passes a law that is proposed by Georges Couthon, known as the Law of 22 Prairial, which simplifies the judicial process and thus, accelerates the work of the Revolutionary Tribunal. With the new enactment of the law, the number of executions greatly increase, and the period from this time to the Thermidorian Reaction becomes vividly known as "The Grand Terror". Robespierre joins Couthon and Barère.

GEORGES COUTHON.

Now that the enactment of the 22 Prairial has taken in effect, I suggest that we finish with the Girondins and the sans-culottes all at once!

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

I must be in full agreement with Monsieur Couthon. We must advantage of the situation and be swift in our actions.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Messieurs think for a moment, if we rid ourselves of them, do you believe that no other faction or group will not voice their objection and be not against our authority? We now have to deal with the Thermidorians.

GEORGES COUTHON.

Perhaps, but at least we can rid ourselves of Danton and Barras.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

Yes! But how?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

By making them, become bitter rivals, towards each other.

GEORGES COUTHON.

How? Explain!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall elevate the terror, into a grand terror that will be of an imposing fright.

GEORGES COUTHON.

I still don't quite understand your explanation.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall have both Danton and Barras and let the people decide, who will be executed or spared by the guillotine.

GEORGES COUTHON.

But how is that going to make the two factions bitter rivals?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall make them believe that the other is to be blamed, for their arrest and ultimate execution.

BERTRAND BARÈRE.

A brilliant idea!

GEORGES COUTHON.

But surely, you are aware that we will be blamed for their arrest and execution. The Thermidorians will not forget.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Not entirely! You see, I will bribe one of them to accept a new position in the revolutionary government.

GEORGES COUTHON.

Who will you bribe, Barras or Danton?

BERTRAND BARERE.

It makes no difference in the end!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

True, but once I have made the selection, both of you will be apprised of that decision.

GEORGES COUTHON.

Excellent!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Messieurs, remember once more that I am in charge of the Committee of Public Safety and I shall eradicate soon, the moderates who completely oppose the revolutionary government.

SCENE IV.

At a secluded place in the city of Paris.

Brissot, Paine and Duport meet together for the final time. The ruthless tyranny of the Montagnards and the Committee of Public Safety has begun its most brutal phase of the Reign of Terror.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

It is only a matter of time, before we are sent to the guillotine.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

We need to act quickly, if we are to defeat the tyranny of the Montagnards and Robespierre.

THOMAS PAINE.

In every revolution there is one man with a genuine vision to lead his people into the glory of the future. Anyone of you Messieurs could be that visionary man today or tomorrow.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

I do not know if I qualify to be or become that man, but I shall gladly volunteer my knowledge, wisdom and service to France, my beloved nation and its people always.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

I too shall make that same pledge to France and to its people.

THOMAS PAINE.

Then, let today be the day that the French people be freed of the overbearing yoke of the tyranny.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Yes! We shall abate the tyranny for good and make the members and exploiters of that tyrannical oppression be arrested and judged according to their unjust crimes.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Just retribution is necessary. They must pay with their lives. Send them to the gallows messieurs.

THOMAS PAINE.

And be unjust like them?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Monsieur Paine is absolutely right! If we send the oppressors to the guillotine, then we shall become as ruthless and bloodthirsty as them.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

I can understand your point argued monsieur, but I must warn you that the Montagnards will not go away so easily.

THOMAS PAINE.

I suspect that the Montagnards are aware of your desperation and determination to succeed.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

We must expose Robespierre, before the members of the Committee of Public Safety and the National Convention.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

But how do you suppose we accomplish the difficult task of exposing him? Surely, he will be expecting our actions.

THOMAS PAINE.

Of course the decision taken will not diminish the difficulty of that particular action.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

If I may interject messieurs, I think I have a method that we can employ in this case.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Will it be effective enough to work?

THOMAS PAINE.

Tell us, what is your idea and what does it consists of?

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

We shall use from the Law of 22 Prairial one of the charges against him, so that, after his abrupt fall, he will be seen as advocating abusive power that would reflect in his lawful terror that would be interpreted as adopting the policy of a convicted enemy of the republic, putting the advocate's own head at risk.

ADRIEN DUPORT.

Indeed, that would condemn him. However, will it ultimately function? How can we be certain of that possibility?

THOMAS PAINE.

Perhaps, if we bring the voice of Robespierre's opponents to the forefront.

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Qui messieurs, this can definitely work!

ADRIEN DUPORT.

We can make the sans-culottes and the other factions intimidate the members of the National Convention and the Committee of Public Safety, with their presence. They have done it before!

JACQUES PIERRE BRISSOT.

Let us go now, since time is not on our side for the moment.

SCENE V.

At the home of Robespierre in Paris France.

On the 27 July 1794

Saint-Just arrives to inform Robespierre that the Committee of Public Safety have sent the gendarmes to arrest him.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Monsieur, you must leave at once. Escape Paris, before it is too late!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

What in heaven's name are you saying? Why should I flee the city like a coward?

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Good God! There is no time to waste. You must believe me!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

On what charge have they charged me with?

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

With treason against the new government.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Damn the new de facto government of France, the National Convention, and the Committee of Public Safety! But I still have the populace on my side.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Nay monsieur, for they are claiming for your execution at the public square.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Damn the populace then! I shall not implore the people of France with any rogation or needed appeasement. How dare they forget the leaders of the revolution!

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I repeat you must go now!

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall do exactly what you suggest!

As Robespierre escapes the bustling streets of Paris, he takes refuge in the municipal Hall of Paris, where he is afterwards accompanied, by his personal friends, including Saint-Just. It is a measure of extreme desperation on his part. Unfortunately for him, he is arrested by the gendarmes and then taken to prison. Saint-Just is arrested as well.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

We are doomed to the inscrutable fate of the guillotine.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Nay! I cannot accept that unbearable fate that potentially awaits me.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

How can we escape from this cell and prison, when the guards are, as corrupted as the Dantonists and Hébertists?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

In my possession, I bear a concealed pistol that is prepared.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

Prepared for what?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

Monsieur, we have only two reasonable options, either attempt to escape or thus commit the honourable act of taking our lives.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I am afraid I must agree! Will you do me the honour?

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I shall only give you the weapon, but I shall not take your life. You must have the courage to execute that task.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

What if we are executed by the guillotine? Hark the voices of the frenzied mob. They clamour for our execution.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I tell you that I shall not offer my head to the filthy blade of that damned contrivance. Each of us must decide, what manner to die. I choose it to be in a dignified manner.

LOUIS ANTOINE DE SAINT-JUST.

I do not know, if I am capable to display that courage at the hour of my death.

MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE.

I am too much of an impeccable and eximious man, whose reputation shall not be besmirched, with this inconsequential occurrence or aftermath.

SCENE VI.

At the Place de la Révolution in Paris, France.

While in prison Robespierre attempted to perhaps commit suicide by shooting himself, although the bullet wound he sustained, whatever its origin, only shatters his jawbone. Alternatively, he may have been shot by a gendarme. In any case, Robespierre survives the wound, but is found guilty of his charges and sent to the guillotine in the Place de la Révolution the next day, along with Danton and Saint-Just. Paine and Louvet de Couvrai meet at the home of the politician to discuss the execution of Robespierre in its aftermath.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

The craven has met his maker, and the raven has reaped his impure soul to the abyss of the Abaddon.

THOMAS PAINE.

Thank God, the vile corruption of Robespierre is finally over and the crimes he committed will be attached to his name forever. I regret that my freedom be at the cost of such great and fallen men, such as Brissot, Duport, Gensonné, Vergniard, Roland, his wife, Buzot, along with many others whose names remain unknown.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

I must be candid in my admission, when I say that nothing gave me more satisfaction than to see his once superbious mien die, with his supercilious smirk.

THOMAS PAINE.

I also share that same sentiment, even when death is so near.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

Death is never far away. It merely bides it's time for our demise.

THOMAS PAINE.

Then you approve of the guillotine after all?

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

I once was ignorant to allow myself to accept the argument for its practical usage, but I no longer agree and must interpret the method, as an illogical proposition.

THOMAS PAINE.

We are born intellectual beings, but succumb to our ignorance unwittingly.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

Truly, we have all been persuaded in one fashion or the other to believe in the principles of justice. However, in this case, we have erroneously been mistaken, in our continual interpretation of that justice. On the accountability of our association to the reign of terror, we must perish as well.

THOMAS PAINE.

Indeed we have perpetuated injustice in some form, but what Robespierre and his followers have committed is a gross interpretation of misjustice. We cannot forget the deaths of Brissot, Roland and Duport.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

Brissot was one of those innate intellectual men of great knowledge, but his indecisions disqualified him from confronting the foes of the revolution. I wonder, what shall become of us? What shall become of my beloved France?

THOMAS PAINE.

France will continue to exist long after, when we are dead and buried. As for us, we shall either meet the same fate as Robespierre at the hands of the guillotine or become the inspiration for a new revolution and republic that is called democracy. Long live France!

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

Oui, vive la France! Monsieur, I do not want to be a martyr, but I fear that history will deem me as one. And the terrible bloodshed? When will that cease to happen?

THOMAS PAINE.

When men and women become civilised people once more in the democratic society, but I shall be either dead or alive to see the effects of that change.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

Indeed that is easier said, then done in my opinion.

THOMAS PAINE.

Only history will tell, if we are correct in our fundamental assumption.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

I can think of nothing more than the eventuality of that prospect. And what of the legacy of Robespierre?

THOMAS PAINE.

I believe history will record his criminal deeds and his misfortune and inevitability to escape the madness of the guillotine and the Reign of Terror that was the evidence of his machination or cavillation.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

What is the lesson we must learn and the moral of the story?

THOMAS PAINE.

Divine dispensation exists in the end, as a successive order of law and justice. The moral of the story that I surmise is more justice must be given then received.

JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUVET DE COUVRAI.

Then what you are conveying is the argument that the people have been receiving more injustice than justice?

THOMAS PAINE.

Precisely! Let us not forsake the essential principles of the revolution to the Reign of Terror again, even if means the deaths of the few in compared to the manifold.

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