In their own persons, Lafayette and Talleyrand embodied the split personality of the French Revolution. For while it is commonplace to recognize that the Revolution gave birth to a new kind of political world, it is less often understood that that world was the product of two irreconcilable interests -- the creation of a potent state and the creation of a community of free citizens. The fiction of the Revolution was to imagine that one might be served without damaging the other and its history amounts to the realization of that impossibility.
Citizens: a Chronicle of the French Revolution. p. 15, author Simon Schama.
"The rat problem became so serious that local residents found their own houses colonized by the raiding parties sent out from the elephant." - p. 4