I kill one man to save 100, 000.
It is to you, the good people of France, that I must define the reasons for my actions. I am doing this, with the full knowledge that I will be soon in the quiet arms of Madame Guillotine, but this I must do. Jean-Paul Marat, by 5 o-clock noon tomorrow, shall be dead.
A man of no conscience and a desire not for peace, but only for power, Marat is the reason the innocent men of France are dead. He cares not for the people of France, but only his vision of the world. Deluded and afraid, this man has sent educated thinkers to the guillotine. Is France not dreaming of a nation of liberté, égalité, et fraternité? This rampage killing is not liberty, nor fraternity. Give it time, and the new world we have all been dreaming of will come, but let this new world not be built atop the rotting bodies of our friends! The murder of the people will not bring peace! The fear and ultimately, hatred, will split France in pieces as mercilessly as the blade of the guillotine until our county is completely destroyed. Until this man is silenced, you, my friend, will live in danger. A single sliver of a politically-wronged thought could send you, tortured and shamed, to your death.
My Girondin friends, if you are reading this, thank you for all you have taught me. I was once frightened for France; The Montagnards were terrorizing and executing not only those who opposed the Revolution, but those who did not believe the violence was necessary. But you taught me to believe the Revolution was still possible without the deaths of thousands. If we took a more moderate, more intelligent approach, France could still become a Republic. Marat’s conviction of using the guillotine will bring us nowhere. I hope France is able to understand the beautiful words you speak, and that you will save our country.
I will avenge the deaths of many innocent men and save the lives of many more. My hand will face no hesitation, and my knife will cut smoothly into his heart. When he is dead, I will stand patiently by his body, waiting for my death.
Let there be peace. Tomorrow, as the murderer Marat draws his last breath, there will be peace in France.
9 July 1793