THE D'ORSAY BARRACKS
It was half-past three.
The arrested Representatives entered into the courtyard of the barracks,
a huge parallelogram closed in and commanded by high walls. These walls
are pierced by three tiers of windows, and posses that dismal appearance
which distinguishes barracks, schools, and prisons.
This courtyard is entered by an arched portal which extends through all
the breadth of the front of the main building. This archway, under which
the guard-house has been made, is close on the side of the quay by large
solid folding doors, and on one side of the courtyard by an iron grated
gateway. They closed the door and the grated gateway upon the
Representatives. They "set them at liberty" in the bolted and guarded
"Let them stroll about," said an officer.
The air was cold, the sky was gray. Some soldiers, in their shirt-sleeves
and wearing foraging caps, busy with fatigue duty, went hither and
thither amongst the prisoners.
First M. Grimault and then M. Antony Thouret instituted a roll-call. The
Representatives made a ring around them. Lherbette said laughingly, "This
just suits the barracks. We look like sergeant-majors who have come to
report." They called over the seven hundred and fifty names of the
Representatives. To each name they answered "Absent" or "Present," and
the secretary jotted down with a pencil those who were present. When the
name of Morny was reached, some one cried out, "At Clichy!" At the name
of Persigny, the same voice exclaimed, "At Poissy!" The inventor of these
two jokes, which by the way are very poor, has since allied himself to
the Second of December, to Morny and Persigny; he has covered his
cowardice with the embroidery of a senator.
The roll-call verified the presence of two hundred and twenty
Representatives, whose names were as follows:--
Le Duc de Luynes, d'Andigné de la Chasse, Antony Thouret, Arène, Audren
de Kerdrel (Ille-et-Vilaine), Audren de Kerdrel (Morbihan), de Balzac,
Barchou de Penhoen, Barillon, O. Barrot, Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire,
Quentin Bauchard, G. deBeaumont, Béchard, Behaghel, de Belèvze,
Benoist-d'Azy, de Benardy, Berryer, de Berset, Basse, Betting de
Lancastel, Blavoyer, Bocher, Boissié, de Botmillan, Bouvatier, le Duc de
Broglie, de la Broise, de Bryas, Buffet, Caillet du Tertre, Callet, Camus
de la Guibourgère, Canet, de Castillon, de Cazalis, Admiral Cécile,
Chambolle, Chamiot, Champannet, Chaper, Chapot, de Charencey, Chasseigne,
Chauvin, Chazant, de Chazelles, Chegaray, Comte de Coislin, Colfavru,
Colas de la Motte, Coquerel, de Corcelles, Cordier, Corne, Creton,
Daguilhon, Pujol, Dahirel, Vicomte Dambray, Marquis de Dampierre, de
Brotonne, de Fontaine, de Fontenay, Vicomte de Sèze, Desmars, de la
Devansaye, Didier, Dieuleveult, Druet-Desvaux, A. Dubois, Dufaure,
Dufougerais, Dufour, Dufournel, Marc Dufraisse, P. Duprat, Duvergier de
Hauranne, Étienne, Vicomte de Falloux, de Faultrier, Faure (Rhône),
Favreau, Ferre, des Ferrès, Vicomte de Flavigny, de Foblant, Frichon,
Gain, Gasselin, Germonière, de Gicquiau, de Goulard, de Gouyon, de
Grandville, de Grasset, Grelier-Dufougerais, Grévy, Grillon, Grimault,
Gros, Guislier de la Tousche, Harscouët de Saint-Georges, Marquis
d'Havrincourt, Hennequin, d'Hespel, Houel, Hovyn-Tranchère, Huot, Joret,
Jouannet, de Kéranflech, de Kératry, de Kéridec, de Kermazec, de
Kersauron Penendreff, Lèo de Laborde, Laboulie, Lacave, Oscar Lafayette,
Lafosse, Lagarde, Lagrenée Laimé, Lainé, Comte Lanjuinais, Larabit, de
Larcy, J. de Lasteyrie, Latrade, Laureau, Laurenceau, General Marquis de
Lauriston, de Laussat, Lefebvre de Grosriez, Legrand, Legros-Desvaux,
Lemaire, Emile Leroux, Lespérut, de l'Espinoy, Lherbette, de Linsaval, de
Luppé, Maréchal, Martin de Villers, Maze-Saunay, Mèze, Arnauld de Melun,
Anatole de Melun, Merentié, Michaud, Mispoulet, Monet, Duc de Montebello,
de Montigny, Moulin, Murat-Sistrière, Alfred Nettement, d'Olivier,
General Oudinot, Duc de Reggio, Paillat, Duparc, Passy, Emile Péan,
Pécoul, Casimir Perier, Pidoux, Pigeon, de Piogé, Piscatory, Proa,
Prudhomme, Querhoent, Randoing, Raudot, Raulin, de Ravinel, de Rémusat,
Renaud, Rezal, Comte de Rességuier, Henri de Riancey, Rigal, de la
Rochette, Rodat, de Roquefeuille des Rotours de Chaulieu, Rouget-Lafosse,
Rouillé, Roux-Carbonel, Saint-Beuve, de Saint-Germain, General Comte de
Saint-Priest, Salmon (Meuse), Marquis Sauvaire-Barthélemy, de Serré,
Comte de Sesmaisons, Simonot, de Staplande, de Surville, Marquis de
Talhouet, Talon, Tamisier, Thuriot de la Rosière, de Tinguy, Comte de
Tocqueville, de la Tourette, Comte de Tréveneue, Mortimer-Ternaux, de
Vatimesnil, Baron de Vandoeuvre, Vernhette (Hérault), Vernhette
(Aveyron), Vézin, Vitet, Comte de Vogué.
After this list of names may be read as follows in the shorthand report:--
"The roll-call having been completed, General Oudinot asked the
Representatives who were scattered about in the courtyard to come round
him, and made the following announcement to them,--
"'The Captain-Adjutant-Major, who has remained here to command the
barracks, has just received an order to have rooms prepared for us, where
we are to withdraw, as we are considered to be in custody. (Hear! hear!)
Do you wish me to bring the Adjutant-Major here! (No, no; it is useless.)
I will tell him that he had better execute his orders.' (Yes, yes, that
The Representatives remained "penned" and "strolling" about in this yard
for two long hours. They walked about arm in arm. They walked quickly, so
as to warm themselves. The men of the Right said to the men of the Left,
"Ah! if you had only voted the proposals of the Questors!" They also
exclaimed: "Well, how about the _invisible sentry_!" And they laughed.
Then Marc Dufraisse answered, "Deputies of the People! deliberate in
peace!" It was then the turn of the Left to laugh. Nevertheless, there
was no bitterness. The cordiality of a common misfortune reigned amongst
They questioned his ex-ministers about Louis Bonaparte. They asked
Admiral Cécile, "Now, really, what does this mean?" The Admiral answered
by this definition: "It is a small matter." M. Vézin added, "He wishes
History to call him 'Sire.'" "Poor Sire, then," said M. de Camas de la
Guibourgère. M. Odilon Barrot exclaimed, "What a fatality, that we should
have been condemned to employ this man!"
This said, these heights attained, political philosophy was exhausted,
and they ceased talking.
On the right, by the side of the door, there was a canteen elevated a few
steps above the courtyard. "Let us promote this canteen to the dignity of
a refreshment room," said the ex-ambassador to China, M. de Lagrenée.
They entered, some went up to the stove, others asked for a basin of
soup. MM. Favreau, Piscatory, Larabit, and Vatimesnil took refuge in a
corner. In the opposite corner drunken soldiers chatted with the maids of
the barracks. M. de Kératry, bent with his eighty years, was seated near
the stove on an old worm-eaten chair; the chair tottered; the old man
Towards four o'clock a regiment of Chasseurs de Vincennes arrived in the
courtyard with their platters, and began to eat, singing, with loud
bursts of merriment. M. de Broglie looked at them and said to M.
Piscatory, "It is a strange spectacle to see the porringers of the
Janissaries vanished from Constantinople reappearing at Paris!"
Almost at the same moment a staff officer informed the Representatives on
behalf of General Forey that the apartments assigned to them were ready,
and requested them to follow him. They were taken into the eastern
building, which is the wing of the barracks farthest from the Palace of
the Council of State; they were conducted to the third floor. They
expected chambers and beds. They found long rooms, vast garrets with
filthy walls and low ceilings, furnished with wooden tables and benches.
These were the "apartments." These garrets, which adjoin each other, all
open on the same corridor, a narrow passage, which runs the length of the
main building. In one of these rooms they saw, thrown into a corner,
side-drums, a big drum, and various instruments of military music. The
Representatives scattered themselves about in these rooms. M. de
Tocqueville, who was ill, threw his overcoat on the floor in the recess
of a window, and lay down. He remained thus stretched upon the ground for
These rooms were warmed very badly by cast-iron stoves, shaped like
hives. A Representative wishing to poke the fire, upset one, and nearly
set fire to the wooden flooring.
The last of these rooms looked out on the quay. Antony Thouret opened a
window and leaned out. Several Representatives joined him. The soldiers
who were bivouacking below on the pavement, caught sight of them and
began to shout, "Ah! there they are, those rascals at 'twenty-five francs
a day,' who wish to cut down our pay!" In fact, on the preceding evening,
the police had spread this calumny through the barracks that a
proposition had been placed on the Tribune to lessen the pay of the
troops. They had even gone so far as to name the author of this
proposition. Antony Thouret attempted to undeceive the soldiers. An
officer cried out to him, "It is one of your party who made the proposal.
It is Lamennais!"
In about an hour and a half there were ushered into these rooms MM.
Vallette, Bixio, and Victor Lefranc, who had come to join their
colleagues and constitute themselves prisoners.
Night came. They were hungry. Several had not eaten since the morning. M.
Howyn de Tranchère, a man of considerable kindness and devotion, who had
acted as porter at the Mairie, acted as forager at the barracks. He
collected five francs from each Representative, and they sent and ordered
a dinner for two hundred and twenty from the Café d'Orsay, at the corner
of the Quay, and the Rue du Bac. They dined badly, but merrily. Cookshop
mutton, bad wine, and cheese. There was no bread. They ate as they best
could, one standing, another on a chair, one at a table, another astride
on his bench, with his plate before him, "as at a ball-room supper," a
dandy of the Right said laughingly, Thuriot de la Rosière, son of the
regicide Thuriot. M. de Rémusat buried his head in his hands. Emile Péan
said to him, "We shall get over it." And Gustave de Beaumont cried out,
addressing himself to the Republicans, "And your friends of the Left!
Will they preserve their honor? Will there be an insurrection at least?"
They passed each other the dishes and plates, the Right showing marked
attention to the Left. "Here is the opportunity to bring about a fusion,"
said a young Legitimist. Troopers and canteen men waited upon them. Two
or three tallow candles burnt and smoked on each table. There were few
glasses. Right and Left drank from the same. "Equality, fraternity,"
exclaimed the Marquis Sauvaire-Barthélemy, of the Right. And Victor
Hannequin answered him, "But not Liberty."
Colonel Feray, the son-in-law of Marshal Bugeaud, was in command at the
barracks; he offered the use of his drawing-room to M. de Broglie and to
M. Odilon Barrot, who accepted it. The barrack doors were opened to M. de
Kératry, on account of his great age, to M. Dufaure, as his wife had just
been confined, and to M. Etienne, on account of the wound which he had
received that morning in the Rue de Bourgogne. At the same time there
were added to the two hundred and twenty MM. Eugène Sue, Benoist (du
Rhône), Fayolle, Chanay, Toupet des Vignes, Radoubt-Lafosse, Arbey, and
Teillard-Latérisse, who up to that time had been detained in the new
Palace of Foreign Affairs.
Towards eight o'clock in the evening, when dinner was over, the
restrictions were a little relaxed, and the intermediate space between
the door and the barred gate of the barracks began to be littered with
carpet bags and articles of toilet sent by the families of the imprisoned
The Representatives were summoned by their names. Each went down in turn,
and briskly remounted with his cloak, his coverlet, or his foot-warmer. A
few ladies succeeded in making their way to their husbands. M.M. Chambolle
was able to press his son's hand through the bars.
Suddenly a voice called out, "Oho! We are going to spend the night here."
Mattresses were brought in, which were thrown on the tables, on the
Fifty or sixty Representatives found resting-places on them. The greater
number remained on their benches. Marc Dufraisse settled himself to pass
the night on a footstool, leaning on a table. Happy was the man who had a
Nevertheless, cordiality and gaiety did not cease to prevail. "Make room
for the 'Burgraves!'" said smilingly a venerable veteran of the Right. A
young Republican Representative rose, and offered him his mattress. They
pressed on each offers of overcoats, cloaks, and coverlets.
"Reconciliation," said Chamiot, while offering the half of his mattress
to the Duc de Luynes. The Duc de Luynes, who had 80,000 francs a year,
smiled, and replied to Chamiot, "You are St. Martin, and I am the beggar."
M. Paillet, the well-known barrister, who belonged to the "Third Estate,"
used to say, "I passed the night on a Bonapartist straw mattress, wrapped
in a burnouse of the Mountain, my feet in a Democratic and Socialist
sheepskin, and my head in a Legitimist cotton nightcap." The
Representatives, although prisoners in the barracks, could stroll about
freely. They were allowed to go down into the courtyard. M. Cordier (of
Calvados) came upstairs again, saying, "I have just spoken to the
soldiers. They did not know that their generals had been arrested. They
appeared surprised and discontented." This incident raised the prisoners'
Representative Michel Renaud of the Basses-Pyrénees, found several of his
compatriots of the Basque country amongst the Chasseurs de Vincennes who
occupied the courtyard. Some had voted for him, and reminded him of the
fact. They added, "Ah! We would again vote for the 'Red' list." One of
them, quite a young man, took him aside, and said to him. "Do you want
any money, sir? I have a forty-sous piece in my pocket."
Towards ten o'clock in the evening a great hubbub arose in the courtyard.
The doors and the barred gate turned noisily upon their hinges. Something
entered which rumbled like thunder. They leaned out of window, and saw at
the foot of the steps a sort of big, oblong chest, painted black, yellow,
red, and green, on four wheels, drawn by post-horses, and surrounded by
men in long overcoats, and with fierce-looking faces, holding torches. In
the gloom, and with the help of imagination, this vehicle appeared
completely black. A door could be seen, but no other opening. It
resembled a great coffin on wheels. "What is that? Is it a hearse?" "No,
it is a police-van." "And those people, are they undertakers?" "No, they
are jailers." "And for whom has this come?"
"For you, gentlemen!" cried out a voice.
It was the voice of an officer; and the vehicle which had just entered
was in truth a police-van.
At the same time a word of command was heard: "First squadron to horse."
And five minutes afterwards the Lancers who were to escort the vehicle
formed in line in the courtyard.
Then arose in the barracks the buzz of a hive of angry bees. The
Representatives ran up and down the stairs, and went to look at the
police-van close at hand. Some of them touched it, and could not believe
their eyes. M. Piscatory met M. Chambolle, and cried out to him, "I am
leaving in it!" M. Berryer met Eugène Sue, and they exchanged these
words: "Where are you going?" "To Mount Valérien. And you?" "I do not
At half-past ten the roll-call of those who were to leave began. Police
agents stationed themselves at a table between two candles in a parlor at
the foot of the stairs, and the Representatives were summoned two by two.
The Representatives agreed not to answer to their names, and to reply to
each name which should be called out, "He is not here." But those
"Burgraves" who had accepted the hospitality of Colonel Feray considered
such petty resistance unworthy of them, and answered to the calling out
of their names. This drew the others after them. Everybody answered.
Amongst the Legitimists some serio-comic scenes were enacted. They who
alone were not threatened insisted on believing that they were in danger.
They would not let one of their orators go. They embraced him, and held
him back, almost with tears, crying out, "Do not go away! Do you know
where they are taking you? Think of the trenches of Vincennes!"
The Representatives, having been summoned two by two, as we have just
said, filed in the parlor before the police agents, and then they were
ordered to get into the "robbers' box." The stowage was apparently made
at haphazard and promiscuously; nevertheless, later, by the difference
of the treatment accorded to the Representatives in the various prisons,
it was apparent that this promiscuous loading had perhaps been somewhat
prearranged. When the first vehicle was full, a second, of a similar
construction drew up. The police agents, pencil and pocket-book in
hand, noted down the contents of each vehicle. These men knew the
Representatives. When Marc Dufraisse, called in his turn, entered the
parlor, he was accompanied by Benoist (du Rhône). "Ah! here is Marc
Dufraisse," said the attendant who held the pencil. When asked for his
name, Benoist replied "Benoist." "Du Rhône," added the police agent; and
he continued, "for there are also Benoist d'Azy and Benoist-Champy."
The loading of each vehicle occupied nearly half an hour. The successive
arrivals had raised the number of imprisoned Representatives to two
hundred and thirty-two Their embarkation, or, to use the expression of M.
de Vatimesnil, their "barrelling up," which began a little after ten in
the evening, was not finished until nearly seven o'clock in the morning.
When there were no more police-vans available omnibuses were brought in.
These various vehicles were portioned off into three detachments, each
escorted by Lancers. The first detachment left towards one o'clock in the
morning, and was driven to Mont Valérien; the second towards five
o'clock, and was driven to Mazas; the third towards half-past six, to
As this business occupied a long time, those who had not yet been called
benefited by the mattresses and tried to sleep. Thus, from time to time,
silence reigned in the upper rooms. In the midst of one of these pauses
M. Bixio sat upright, and raising his voice, cried out, "Gentlemen, what
do you think of 'passive obedience'?" An unanimous burst of laughter was
the reply. Again, during one of these pauses another voice exclaimed,--
"Romieu will be a senator."
Emile Péan asked,--
"What will become of the Red Spectre?"
"He will enter the priesthood," answered Antony Thouret, "and will turn
into the Black Spectre."
Other exclamations which the historians of the Second of December have
spread abroad were not uttered. Thus, Marc Dufraisse never made the
remark with which the men of Louis Bonaparte have wished to excuse their
crimes: "If the President does not shoot all those among us who resist,
he does not understand his business."
For the _coup d'état_ such a remark might be convenient; but for History
it is false.
The interior of the police-vans was lighted while the Representatives
were entering. The air-holes of each compartment were not closed. In this
manner Marc Dufraisse through the aperture could see M. du Rémusat in the
opposite cell to his own. M. du Rémusat had entered the van coupled with
M. Duvergier de Hauranne.
"Upon my word, Monsieur Marc Dufraisse," exclaimed Duvergier de Hauranne
when they jostled each other in the gangway of the vehicle, "upon my
word, if any one had said to me, 'You will go to Marzas in a police-van,'
I should have said, 'It is improbable;' but if they had added, 'You will
go with Marc Dufraisse,' I should have said, 'It is impossible!'"
As soon as the vehicle was full, five or six policemen entered and stood
in the gangway. The door was shut, the steps were thrown up, and they
When all the police-vans had been filled, there were still some
Representatives left. As we have said, omnibuses were brought into
requisition. Into these Representatives were thrust, one upon the other,
rudely, without deference for either age or name. Colonel Feray, on
horseback, superintended and directed operations. As he mounted the steps
of the last vehicle but one, the Duc de Montebello cried out to him,
"To-day is the anniversary of the battle of Austerlitz, and the
son-in-law of Marshal Bugeaud compels the son of Marshal Lannes to enter
a convict's van."
When the last omnibus was reached, there were only seventeen places for
eighteen Representatives. The most active mounted first. Antony Thouret,
who himself alone equalled the whole of the Right, for he had as much
mind as Thiers and as much stomach as Murat; Antony Thouret, corpulent
and lethargic, was the last. When he appeared on the threshold of the
omnibus in all his hugeness, a cry of alarm arose;--Where was he going to
Antony Thouret, noticing Berryer at the bottom of the omnibus, went
straight up to him, sat down on his knees, and quietly said to him, "You
wanted 'compression,' Monsieur Berryer. Now you have it."
 Michel de Bourges had thus characterized Louis Bonaparte as the
guardian of the Republic against the Monarchical parties.
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