Revolution and Social Upheaval Victor Hugo

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image banks
--l'assiette au beurre
 --La Vision de Hugo
 --Zola au Pantheon

 --Les Quatre Saisons de la Kultur


From: Ninety -Three

 Among these men full of passions were mingled men filled with dreams. Utopia was there under all its forms,—under its warlike form, which admitted the scaffold, and under its innocent form, which would abolish capital punishment; phantom as it faced thrones; angel as it regarded the people. Side by side with the spirits that fought were the spirits that brooded. These had war in their heads, those peace. One brain, Carnot, brought forth fourteen armies; another intellect, Jean Debry, meditated a universal democratic federation.
 Amid this furious eloquence, among these shrieking and growling voices, there were fruitful silences. Lakanal remained voiceless, and combined in his thoughts the system of public national education; Lanthenas held his peace, and created the primary schools; Revellière Lépaux kept still, and dreamed of the elevation of Philosophy to the dignity of Religion. Others occupied themselves with questions of detail, smaller and more practical. Guyton Morveaux studied means for rendering the hospitals healthy; Maire, the abolition of existing servitudes; Jean Bon Saint-André, the suppression of imprisonment for debt and constraint of the person; Romme, the proposition of Chappe; Duboë, the putting the archives in order; Coren Fustier, the creation of the Cabinet of Anatomy and the Museum of Natural History; Guyomard, river navigation and the damming of the Scheldt. Art had its monomaniacs. On the 21st of January, while the head of monarchy was falling on the Place de la Revolution, Bézard, the Representative of the Oise, went to see a picture of Rubens, which had been found in a garret in the Rue Saint Lazare. Artists, orators, prophets, men-diants like Danton, child-men like Cloots, gladiators and philosophers, all had the same goal,—progress. Nothing disconcerted them. The grandeur of the Convention was, the searching how much reality there is in what men call the impossible. At one extreme, Robespierre had his eye fixed on Law; at the other, Condorcet had his fixed on Duty.
 Condorcet was a man of reverie and enlightenment. Robespierre was a man of execution; and sometimes, in the final crises of worn-out orders, execution means extermination. Revolutions have two currents,—an ebb and a flow; and on these float all seasons, from that of ice to flowers. Each zone of these currents produces men adapted to its climate, from those who live in the sun to those who dwell among the thunderbolts.

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