Fear > Storming of the Bastille > Report of the British Ambassador
John Frederick Sackville, third Duke of Dorset, was ambassador extraordinary from Great Britain to France from 1783 to 1789. His account of 14 July, 1789, directed to the Duke of Leeds, British Foreign Secretary, is of interest for his interpretation of the significance of the events of that day. The spelling and punctuation of the original have been followed.
The general wish now is that the King would come to Paris and it was hoped yesterday that His Majesty would be induced to shew Himself here on this day, but it is said that He is prevented coming by indisposition: it is thought difficult to foresee what measures the people will have recourse to: the general idea however is that an armed Body of Citizens to the number of at least 50,000 will go to Versailles and forcibly bring their Sovereign to the Capital. The disposition of the people at this moment is so unfavorable to the Court that I should not be surprised if the States-General, by appearing to give too much credit to the King's professions, should lose the consideration in which they have hitherto been held by the Nation.
The Populace will not easily forgive the removal of M. Necker; for they seem determined to push their resentment to the utmost lengths; but God forbid that should be the case, since they have already got the upper hand, for who can trust to the moderation of an offended multitude?
The regularity and determined conduct of the populace upon the present occasion exceeds all belief and the execration of the Nobility is universal amongst the lower order of people.
Everybody since Monday has appeared with a cockade in his hat; at first green ribbons were worn but that being the color of the Comte d'Artois' livery, red and white in honor of the Duc d'Orléans have been substituted.
Thus, My Lord, the greatest
Revolution that we know anything of has been effected with, comparatively speaking,
if the magnitude of the event is considered, the loss of very few lives; from
this moment we may consider France as a free Country, the King a very limited
Monarch, and the Nobility as reduced to a level with the rest of the Nation.
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