"He’s so pathetic. Let me tell you something about Louis XVI. I recited a speech for him once, in Latin. I know, right? It’s so embarrassing. I don’t even… Whatever. So then after law school, I started caring about the poor people who were totally suffering and then I became inspired to advocate for them, and Louis was like, weirdly jealous of them. Like, if I would blow him off to read Rousseau, he’d be like, "Why do you support his anti-Divine Right ideas?" And I’d be like, "Why are you so obsessed with me?" So then, for the Tennis Court Oath, which was an all-men fight for change, I was like, "Louis, I can’t invite you, because I think you don’t believe in democracy." I mean I couldn’t have a king at my party. There were gonna be men there sans culottes. I mean, right? He was a KING. So then his wife wrote Charlotte and started yelling at her, it was so retarded. And then the king tried to run to Austria because no one would talk to him, and he came back to Paris, we cut all his titles off and he was totally weird, and now I guess he was guillotined.”
Maximilien Robespierre, 1793
OH. MY. GOD. I can’t stop laughing.
I’m a dreamer. I’m apt to retreat into my own little world, particularly if I’m on a stroll. It’s like I go into auto-pilot, my legs working without me, while I’m off in la-la land. So I was amused to find that Robespierre had the same habit.
This is never better illustrated than in an anecdote shared in Charlotte Robespierre’s - his sister’s - memoirs:
Let the extent that Maximilien was distracted be judged by the following incident: once we passed the evening together at the home of one of our friends, and we were returning home at a well-advanced hour, when all-of-a-sudden, my brother, no longer recalling that I was with him, doubled his stride, left me behind, arrived at the house alone, and withdrew into his study. I arrived some minutes after him. I had found his distraction so amusing that, seeing him taken in so rapid a stride, I had let him go without letting him know that I was with him. I entered his study, where I found him already dressed in his robe, and working very attentively. He asked me with an air of surprise from where I came alone so late. I responded that if I returned alone, it is because he left me in the middle of the street to come back precipitously. He then recalled this circumstance, and we, both of us, laughed at so comical an adventure.
My favorite anecdote involving Robespierre has him abandoning Charlotte in the middle of the night and then yelling at her when she comes home alone. It makes me giggle every time.