The awareness that they are about to make the continuum of history explode is characteristic of the revolutionary classes at the moment of their action.
The great revolution introduced a new calendar.
The initial day of a calendar serves as a historical time-lapse camera. And, basically, it is the same day that keeps recurring in the guise of holidays, which are days of remembrance.
Thus the calendars do no measure time as clocks do; they are monuments of a historical consciousness of which not the slightest trace has been apparent in Europe in the past hundred years.
In the July revolution an incident occurred which showed this consciousness still alive.
On the first evening of fighting it turned out that the clocks in towers were being fired on simultaneously and independently from several places in Paris.
An eye-witness, who may have owed his insight to the rhyme, wrote as follows:
Who would have believed it!
we are told that new Joshuas
at the foot of every tower,
as though irritated with
time itself, fired at the dials
in order to stop the day.