"Who are we," they say by the voice of their Alderman-Colonel, "that we should not be overpowered if we attempt to cope with social anarchy, our rifles taken from us and used against us by the mob, and we, perhaps, robbed and beaten ourselves?
Even as I am writing to you, my pen is shaking with terror, for I hear the tumbrel come jolting along, and I know that it is loaded with innocent men and women who are going to the guillotine; and I know also that it is accompanied by a mob of dreadful creatures mostly women for I hear them singing no, screaming in a kind of rage, "Ca ira les aristocrates a la lanterne!"
But I found he quite agreed with me in thinking that there was a visible nucleus of something like military organisation in the mob of that day, which was overborne and, as it were, smothered by the mere mob element before it came to trying conclusions with the police.
"New York couldn't get along very well without clocks, could it?" commented Christopher, as he looked down upon the maelstrom of hurrying humanity. "Not very well," laughed his companion. "I suppose the majority of this rushing mob is aiming to arrive somewhere at a specified time.
The most of those who were left alive of the Spaniards and their allies had crossed the second canal upon a bridge made of the dead bodies of their fellows mixed up with a wreck of baggage, cannon, and packages of treasure. Now the fight was raging beyond it. A mob of Spaniards and Tlascalans were still crossing the second breach, and on these I fell with such men as were with me.
Did he, standing there, with the heat of his struggle on him yet, look like a man that would acknowledge any demand of a mob as a reason for a ruler's compliance? It is the coward's plea. How many ecclesiastics and statesmen since then have had no better to offer for their acts! Such fear of the Lord as shrivelled before the breath of popular clamour could have had no deep roots.
Ives in Cornwall there was a great uproar, but Wesley went amongst the mob and brought the chief mischiefmaker out. Strange to say, the preacher received but one blow, and then he reasoned the case out with the agitator, and the man undertook to quiet his companions. Thus Wesley went fearlessly from place to place. He visited Ireland forty-two times, as well as Scotland and Wales.
"I have only just learned the situation of your majesty," said Pétion. "That is very astonishing," replied the king, in a tone of deep indignation, "for it is a long time that it has lasted." Pétion, mounted on a chair, then made several addresses to the mob, without inducing it to move in the least.
Already most of the shops had been sacked, and many of the principal inhabitants murdered by the mob. Those who had so far escaped, thanks in some instances to the protection afforded them by Sepoy officers, saw that their trade was ruined, their best customers killed, and themselves virtually at the mercy of the mob, who might again break out upon the occasion of any excitement.
Eight or ten shots were fired from the crowd, and the bullets whistled over the heads of the horsemen, but fortunately none were hit. "Lay down your arms!" he shouted again. "Men, unsling your carbines. Level." As the carbines were leveled, the bravery of the mob evaporated at once.