Hébert calls for the execution of the king (1792)


In November 1792 the journalist Jacques Hébert, writing in Le Père Duchesne, called for the execution of King Louis XVI:


“Just think, damn it, how surrounded we are with false brothers. All the conspirators were not at Orleans and the Abbey; their accomplices are still in our midst.

These worthy men… still dwell in Paris. They are concealed by another mask; but at heart they breathe only blood and slaughter. There is not one good citizen who does not have one of these bad angels at his heels, who poisons him with his advice, while waiting his chance to plunge a dagger into his heart…

Yes, damn it, the traitor Louis, shut up like an owl in the Temple tower, would not be so complacent there if he did not have a strong following in Paris. Already, damn it, they have tried more than one surprise attack to release him. The courtesans, who sneak themselves in everywhere, have more than once got into that famous tower by greasing the paw of some of his keepers.

It is fortunate that we have some sturdy chaps at the Commune, who have their eyes everywhere, and who know all that is going on. Without our agents, damn it, that tbrood of howling toms would have made off for Coblenz long ago.

It must not happen that the greatest scoundrel that has ever been should remain unpunished. It is good that the sovereign people become used to judging kings. Oh what a the great day, how I would have hugged myself for joy if our victorious armies had cleaned up all the crowned brigands. If the Mandarin of Prussia and the little Austrian twerp, chained like wild beasts, had been dragged back to Paris by Dumouriez!

What a splendid sight to see three guillotines placed in a row with the horny head of paunchy Capet, and those of Frederick and Francis, held in the trap and ready to fall at the one time!”