“It was three-quarters of an hour past midnight, August 10, 1792, when the bells of Paris began to ring. They were church bells, whose primary purpose was to call the faithful to worship, but now the churches were empty and dark, and only the bells sounded. At first some of them tolled slowly, but others quickened the pace – ringing and rising, ringing and rising, until it was an almost continuous ear-splitting ding-ding ding-ding, and this was the tocsin, the city alarm, the call to arms, which it was a capital offense to sound without orders from the government.”