At this pivotal point in our account, the sequence of argument needs to be restated. Bailly, as a "member of the Three Academies" and royal pensioner, was no less an aristocrat of the Old Regime than many members of the privileged estates who made their bow to politics during the earlier, more liberal phases of the Revolution; the status of the intellectuals, in relationship to the grands, had changed conspicuously since 1750. Unlike most of the gens de lettres, he had stepped forward. But his political instincts and inclinations were moderated by his prior elite experience. His style of politics was indebted to his natural reverence for the monarchical institution and to the lessons of statesmanship gleaned in an academic environment. While believing in enlightenment, he was far from worshiping the people. He was both a political product of the usufructory model and a politician well bound to consensualist convictions and rhetoric. His administration of Paris reflected his political understanding. Both it and the distinct markings of his previous career made him suspect to the radicals of the lumpenintelligentsia and, by 1791, a foe to be crushed. Marat and others were asking for his head well before July 1791. It is plausible, on the grounds just mentioned, that they would finally have had it even if the Champ de Mars episode had never taken place, although it is obviously impossible to prove this. Although one might imagine that Bailly's academic aloofness and detachment, his willingness to trust scientific proof and experiment, would have served him well in a political confrontation, and that the failure of that training betrayed him, my contention here is that the opposite is more likely to have been the case. For science -- including the science of administration -- was as much to be defended against the passions of unthinking mobs as against the conceivable errors of the investigator. Priestley's scientific equipment was destroyed by a mob in England. Bailly could not countenance a similar fate for his administrative apparatus: rightly or wrongly, he acted like a scientist defending his instruments. He also acted like an academician defending his prerogatives and amour-propre: the two cases melt into each other, and yet are distinct. The Jacobin onslaught on the academy at large will be described in the next chapter.
When Bailly was brought to trial in November 1793, he was convicted on two counts: (1) connivance with Lafayette and others in the escape of the royal family from the Tuileries; and (2) responsibility for the fusillade