Monday, July 14, 2003

14 JULY

Today is a major holiday in France. On this day the French Republic celebrates a mob attack on a local jail incited by the Marquis de Sade. The mob was able to liberate 4 forgers, two lunatics there for observation, and a dissolute aristocrat who harangued the rioters with liberal platitudes and was carried off by them in triumph. Several of the prison staff were murdered, including three officers, two of the disabled veterans who comprised the warder staff, and the prison governor, the enlightened liberal M. de Launay, who had invited the rioters into the prison and was horribly tortured by them until one of them cut off his head with a kitchen knife.

Modern liberal republics celebrate the most astonishing things.