Was it worth it? That is a question I seem to be asking myself a lot lately. Was the deconstruction of our current monarchy the proper thing to do, only to have it lead to a reign of terror and the rise of an even stricter monarch in its place? Were those few months of freedom and independence what was best to prelude total control of everything in an even more controlled setting that when we first started to get fed up? My answer for a long time was “I don’t know.” It was not an end I thought of when I marched on Bastille. I asked for the king to release some of his iron grip, to keep his starving people alive, but I did not know the chain reaction it would cause would shake the country to its foundation and set it on a path of assured destruction. Those few months of Freedom were great, though. We ruled the country by ourselves (more or less) and had to answer to no one but our neighbors for our actions and activities. Of course, the fool Robespierre had to go and spoil it by killing his opponents for power, causing the reign of terror. I was lucky not to be selected for guillotining myself during that time. Things didn’t get better after he died either. My prediction came true as Napoleon rose to power through the triumvirate and had himself crowned Emperor. The truly dark days, I saw in my mind’s eye when I met him in Croatia have arrived worse than I predicted. Hell has come to France, and his name is Napoleon. This brings me back to my original question: was it worth it? After much consideration, I have now come to the answer of yes. It may not have worked perfectly for my country, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work for other countries in the future if they try, and I encourage them to try. Eventually, someone will succeed, and when that happens, the world will be a better place. I depart into history knowing that that is what I have left to the new world.
It was the year 1783. I was on the run from the French army for taking part in the storming of Bastille, and I had taken refuge in Croatia. One night, on my way home, I saw an average-height man in a French army officer uniform being chased by a small mob. By a stroke of fate, he happened to turn down the alley I was hiding in and tripped right over my outstretched foot. Once he had picked himself off the ground, I discovered he was, in fact, the great Napoleon, on leave back in his native country. I had seen some British newspaper comics about him and I could not resist using the “Short” joke at any possible opportunity during the conversation that ensued. He was (and still is) a very intelligent man and he could see that the royals were not going to win this fight. He was interested to hear about my connections with the Jacobeans, and asked about contact information I had on their leaders. I agreed to give him what I had, in exchange for calling the army off my back about the Bastille thing. I could see the wheels turning in his head as he started to formulate a plan to the top of their organization, and I can clearly see him succeeding. He would be a dangerous man to have power, possibly a threat to the whole world. I hope he never gets it.
This link is to a letter by the Marshal de Broglie, the head of the army, telling the leader of the Bastille to make some changes to how the prison operated due to an increase in unrest. Some of the changes he suggested were implemented, but they did not halt the aggression. Led in part by my character (and spurred on by a certain shouting prisoner), a mass mob of poorly armed French third estaters smashed and destroyed the prison, freeing prisoners and stealing weapons and ammo. This proved once and for all to the royals that the commoners were not to be messed with, and the demand for respect resonated to spur the more open major killing bit of the French Revolution.
As a general update, all of my practicing with Josh is paying off. We connect really well and our meetings are always productive. I believe our methods are effective, and I have learned much from them. My skill as a banjo player has advanced significantly over the last few weeks, and I feel (mostly) ready for the upcoming in-depth night. My main plan is to do a performance of the popular banjo song, cripple creek, but I am also planning to have a small learning center about the history of the instrument and possibly writing a short essay on the topic, to be submitted as proof of research. It is a bit much, but I think I can pull it off pretty well. I don’t have a whole lot after school, so this should fill the void, and I have already started. I would never be able to summarize my learning in two minutes, anyway. Until next time,