The Tennis Court Oath, June 20, 1789, by which deputies of the new National Assembly vowed to write a Constitution. This celebrated depiction by Jacques- Louis David well illustrates the spirit of ’89 and the extraordinary fervor with which patriots supported the Revolutionary changes. The president Bailly stands on a table to administer the oath. One can distinguish the abbé Sieyès, sitting just beneath Bailly; Mirabeau (right foreground, in a dark coat, striding forward); Barnave ( just behind Mirabeau); Robespierre (right of center, baring his breast with his two hands); Pétion in front of Robespierre with his back turned; Barère (sitting at left, writing his newspaper); and the trio of the Protestant Rabaut Saint-Etienne, the priest Grégoire, and the monk Dom Gerle (center foreground).
This museum, dedicated to the history of Paris, has an immense collection about the French Revolution, including famous paintings & documents, like David’s Tennis Court Oath (1), the Declaration of Rights of Men and the Ciitzen (2) or Demachy’s
Festival of the Supreme Being (3),
portraits or busts of contemporaries, like Robespierre (1), Danton (2), Desmoulins (3) or Marat (4)
other wonderful things, like Couthon’s wheelchair (1), a mini-Guillotine (2), a model of the Bastille (3) or a revolutionary pocket watch (4)
What had you been thinking about the face studiously bloodied heaven blotted region I go on loving you like water but there is a terrible breath in the way all of this You were not elected president, yet won the race All the way through fog and drizzle When you read it was sincere the coasts stammered with unintentional villages the horse strains fatigued I guess … the calls … I worry
the water beetle head why of course reflecting all then you redid you were breathing I thought going down to mail this of the kettle you jabbered as easily in the yard you come through but are incomparable the lovely tent mystery you don’t want surrounded the real you dance in the spring there was clouds
The mulatress approached in the hall—the lettering easily visible along the edge of the Times in a moment the bell would ring but there was time for the carnation laughed here are a couple of “other” to one in yon house The doctor and Philip had come over the road Turning in toward the corner of the wall his hat on reading it carelessly as if to tell you your fears were justified the blood shifted you know those walls wind off the earth had made him shrink undeniably an oboe now the young were there there was candy to decide the sharp edge of the garment like a particular cry not intervening called the dog “he’s coming! he’s coming” with an emotion felt it sink into peace there was no turning back but the end was in sight he chose this moment to ask her in detail about her family and the others The person. pleaded—“have more of these not stripes on the tunic—or the porch chairs will teach you about men—what it means” to be one in a million pink stripe and now could go away the three approached the doghouse the reef. Your daughter’s dream of my son understand prejudice darkness in the hole the patient finished They could all go home now the hole was dark lilacs blowing across his face glad he brought you
The National Assembly taking the Tennis Court Oath (sketch by Jacques-Louis David).
The Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly, an assembly not of the Estates but of “the People.” They invited the other orders to join them, but made it clear they intended to conduct the nation’s affairs with or without them. Louis XVI ordered the closure of the Salle des États where the Assembly met, so the Assembly moved their deliberations to a nearby indoor tennis court, where they proceeded to swear the Tennis Court Oath (20 June 1789), under which they agreed not to separate until they had given France a constitution.
“Tell me about the revolution!” or “Tell me about the civil war!” - Please say American Revolutionary War or the American Civil War, because otherwise I’m just going to start talking about Cromwell or the Tennis Court Oath just to fuck with you. “So about the Middle Ages…”
- I NEED A BALL PARK HERE. A century? ok what country? C’mon now.
“Oh you love Thomas Jefferson! You must hate all this hype about Hamilton.”
- I LOVE HAMMY. SHUT UP. I WILL FIGHT YOU.
“The French are cowards.”
*STARTS FOAMING AT THE MOUTH*
And finally, my fellow Americans….we would’ve lost the American Revolutionary War without the French navy, we lost the War of 1812, no the North is not the “hero” or “the good guys” of the American Civil War, we fucked up Reconstruction, we shouldn’t have bombed Japan, we lost the Vietnam War, and we all need to stop being so goddamn proud of ourselves.