By Franz Kafka, a cura di Max Brod
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But patriots form factions to fight each other, and so divide a party which with all its combined strength is hardly enough to overthrow the hydra of counterrevolution. Among a strong and virtuous people Robespierre and Brissot would have sacrificed their private differences and embraced the general interest. Themistocles and Aristides, as well as two famous Romans, offer them a magnificent example. . Brissot and Robespierre, if you carry your hatreds and actions into the assembly that is to decide our destinies, can we consider you to be among the sincere defenders of the people?
I see that he lacks our tenderness of feeling, but I like to think that he wishes well to the human race, more from justice than from affection. . In March the war again took a bad turn for the Republic. Losing the battle of Neerwinden, the French army withdrew from Belgium; its commander, Dumouriez, attempted to turn the army against Paris, dissolve the Convention, and thus crush the Montagnards; the army refused to follow him, and Dumouriez defected and fled to the Austrians. This “treason of Dumouriez” stigmatized the Girondins.
She is disillusioned by both Girondins and Montagnards. She thinks that instead of quarreling they should unite to uphold the Republic. Disenchanted with politicians, she still believes in the goodness of the people, Rousseau, the Greeks and Romans, the Revolution, and divine providence. Paris, . . May 1793 The ship is beaten by the most awful storms, and our pilots, driven by human passions, far from struggling against the winds, far from joining forces to bring the ship into port, divide against each other and present the crazy spectacle of sailors who fight each other at the very moment when the waves are about to engulf them.