Sometimes a revolution turns into an actual government, or at the very least an actual way of life that contrasts with days past like blood on snow. Such was the case in France, where even as the guillotine released a steady river of gore, Royalist insurrections were suppressed by what had become a sophisticated military.In Toulon, the Royalist insurrection in 1793 led to an actual siege by republicans, spearheaded by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. The Royalists in Toulon, supported by the British and Spanish, were feared by the republicans as an existential threat to every hope and promise of the revolution. For months there were bombardments, cannon fire that made the windows in the prison tremble.
They call me a tyrant . . . One arrives at a tyrant's throne by the help of scoundrels . . . What faction do I belong to? You yourselves. What is that faction which, since the Revolution began, has crushed the factions and swept away hireling traitors? It is you, it is the people, it is the principles of the Revolution.
But here I should imagine the most terrible part of the whole punishment is, not the bodily pain at all—but the certain knowledge that in an hour, then in ten minutes, then in half a minute, then now—this very instant—your soul must quit your body and that you will no longer be a man—and that this is certain, certain!