« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Sect. IV., which gave to the parliaments and the states demeanour, and her aversion to every thing that
general, a zeal and decision commensurate with bore the name of liberty, exposed her to general
while dauphiness, ple; they were also oppressed by their more had obtained the respect of the nation by re- opulent brethren, for the prelates had continued fusing to countenance the licentiousness of the to throw the burden of the voluntary gift upon court of the reigning monarcb; and her beauty the great body of the priesthood, whose comhad long commanded the admiration of the capi- plaints had long proved unavailing, but whose tal. But her levities had now sunk her into dis resentment, at a subsequent period, by inducing esteem; and her enormous expences, her haughty them to join the third estate, produced a schism
in the church, and put an end to the established While the deputies, incapable of making any Sect. V. hierarchy. '
resistance, stood ‘aghast, the citizens of Paris Among the other changes that had taken were taking measures to alter the destiny of the place, that of the liberty of speech was not the assembly, the monarch, and the empire. They least conspicuous. Writings were every where began by carrying in triomph the busts of Necker read and created against the weight, number, and the Duke of Orleans, each of whom 'had inequality, and misapplication of the taxes; the been, at different times, the victim of despotism. vexations of the farmers-general; the venality of Being attacked by a patrole of the Royal Alleoffices; the imperfection of the oriminal code; "mande, several persons were wounded, but the and those arbitrary and illegal imprisonments guard was at length obliged to take refuge in the produced by tettres de cachet." There was a Thuilleries. general outcry against the 'tributes paid to the It was at this critical period, that Gorsas, then pope, the wealth of the clergy, and the profusion a school-inaster, and afterwards a deputy,' with a with which pensions were assigned on an ex stentorian voite, continued to harangue a large hausted treasury.
body of citizens in one quarter; at the same time The Bastile, and a variety of subordinate that Camille Desmoulins, a celebrated advocate, prisons, had always opened their dreadfu) dun with a pistol in each hand, addressed an eloquent geons at the voice of an absolute prince; a free oration to the surrounding multitude in another; press, which leaves to a bad minister the choice and after being exhausted with fatigue, and of his duty or his dishonour, was still unknown; rendered unable to proceed, still contrived to and lettres de cachet, sold publicly towards the articulate the words" To arms! to arms !" end of the late reign, had been granted during While the women and children, terrified at the early part of the present, with scandalous the first appearance of the troops, rent the air impunity.
with their shrieks and lamentations, the aların The bulk of the people was overburdened bell was rung in every parish; the theatres were with taxes, many of which were rather oppressive shút; cannons were fired by way of signal; some than productive : offices conferring nobility were of the citizens barricadoed their houses, and prepublicly bought and sold; while the nobles were pared to defend themselves against the assailants; exempt from the operation of imposts, and the while the multitude, unprovided with any certain clergy contributed only wbat they pleased under means of annoyance, rushed into, and seized all the name of a benevolence.
the arms to be found in the shops of the gun· The occupations of the merchant and the siniths · and armourers, and then proceeded farmer were considered as discreditable , the ple towards the town-house. beians were excluded from all the high offices of In this eritical moment, when every thing the state, and the profession of arms, alone depended on the conduct adopted by the French honourable, was consecrated to the enjoyment guards, the Marquis de Valadi, formerly an of a particular cast : to conımand a regiment, or officer in that corps, repaired to the barracks, a man of war, it was necessary to be a noble. and contrived to excite their passions, arouse
The people being thus left destitute of redress their ambition, and subdue their fidelity. At or protection; the royal authority paramount and nine o'clock in the evening, they accordingly unbounded; the laws venal; the peasantry op sallied out, when being joined by patroles of pressed; agriculture in a languishing state; armed citizens, as well as by a mob, many of commerce considered as degrading; the public whom carried torches, they attacked and dispersed revenues farmed out to greedy financiers, the a company of the Royal Allemande. The fugitives public money consumed by a court wallowing in having retreated to the main body of their regiluxury, and every institution at variance with
ment posted in the Place de Louis XV, twelve justice, policy, and reason ;-a change became hundred of the guards repaired to the Palais inevitable in the ordinary course of human events, Royal, where they held a council of war, and at and like all sudden alterations in corrupt states, length determined, though destitute of both officers was accompanied with evils and crimes, that made and artillery, to give battle to the foreign troops. many good men look back on the ancient des. They accordingly commenced their march, potism with a sigh.
obtained a complete victory, obliged them to
retreat, drove them before them to the Boulerards, SECTION V.
at length forced all the regular troops to
evacuate Paris, and withdraw to Versailles, where FROM the contemplation of the various and they spread dismay and consternation among the multiplied causes that produced the destruction adherents of the court, whose projects had been of the monarchy of France, it is proper to turn to thus anticipated and disconcerted, the evening of a review of the events that attended and flowed the 14th of July, having been the day fixed for from the revolution in that country.
an attack on the capital.
An extraordinary circumstance occurred at to the Parisians, was put to death in his way to
These events, which had been carefully con-
acquainted with the sitaation of the
jutrusted the command of the national guard to
to be already decided.
* 1 Tavernier,
5 De Whyte, supposed to be were at length forced, the besiegers entered, and
3 La Roche, a castle was taken by storm in less than four
6 La Caurege, and
4 TheCountdeSolages 1 7 Bechade.
It appears clearly from the annals of the Bastile, that
secret imprisonment; of the seven prisoners enumerated De Launay, whose name had been long odious above, two were actually sent to a mad-house.
uncertain of its own fate, and that of the nation, 9. Every man being presumed innocent until he has Sect. V. it determined in case of the worst, to leave
been convicted, whenever his detention becomes indispensabehin d it a monument of its patriotism and zeal.
ble, all rigour to him, more than is necessary to secure his 1789 The following celebrated « DeclarATION OF
person, ought to be provided against by the law. Rights," the ground work of the new consti
10. No man ought to be molested on account of his
opinions, not even on account of his religious opinions; tution, was accordingly voted, after three different provided his avowal of them does not disturb the public plans had been submitted by La Fayette, Mou order established by the law. nier, and Sieyes, and presented to the King on 11. The unrestrained communication of thoughts and the 3d of September, 1791, and at length ob- opinions being one of the most precious rights of man, every tained the sanction of his Majesty.
citizen may speak, write, and publish freely, provided he
is responsible for the abuse of his liberty in cases determined “ The Representatives of the French people, formed into by the law. a national assembly, considering that ignorance, forgetful 12. A public force being necessary to give security to ness, or contempt of the Rights of Men, are the sole causes the rights of men and citizens, that force is instituted for the of public grievances, and of the corruption of government, benefit of the community, and not for the particular benefit have resolved to exhibit in a solemn Declaration,
the natural, of the persons to whom it is intrusted. Unalienable, and sacred Rights of Man, in order that this
13. A common contribution being necessary for the Declaration, ever present to all the members of the SOCIAL
port of the public force, and for defraying the other exBody, may incessantly remind them of their Rights and of their Duties; to the end, that the acts of the Legislative
pences of government, it ought to be divided equally among Power and those of the Execụtive Power, being able to be
the members of the community according to their abilities. every moment compared with the end of all political institu
14. Every citizen has a right, either by himself or bis tions, may acquire the more respect ; in order also, that the
representative, to a free voice in determining the necessity remonstrances of the citizens, founded henceforward on
of public contributions, the appropriation of them, and their siin ple and incomestible principles, may ever tend to main;
amount, mode of assessment, and duration. tain the Constitution, and to promote the general good.
15. Every community has a right to demand of all its “ For this reason, the National Assembly recognizes, and
agents an account of their conduct. declares, in the presence of, and under the auspices of the 16. Every community in which a separation of powers Supreme Being, the following Rights of Men and of Citizens': and a security of rights is not provided for, wants a consti
tution: 1. Men were born, and always continue, free, and equal in respect to their rights'; civil distinctions, therefore, 17. The right to property, being inviolable and sacred, can be only founded on public utility.
no one ought to be deprived of it, except in cases of evident 2. The end of all political associations is, the preserva,
public necessity, legally ascertained, and on condition of a tion of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man ; and
previous just indemnity. these rights are liberty, property, security, and the resistance * The NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, desirous of establishing the of oppression.
French Constitution on the principles which it has just now 8. The nation is essentially the source of all sove recognised and declared, abolishes irrevocably those insti. reignty ; nor can any individual, or any body of men, be
tutions, which are injurious to liberty, and equality of entitled to any authority which is not expressly derived
rights. from it.
" There is no longer any nobility, nor peerage, nor here4. Political liberty consists in the power of doing what
dilary distinctions, nor difference of orders, nor feudal goever doth not injure another.' The exercise of the natural
vernments, por parimonial jurisdiction, nor any of the titles, rights of every man, has no other limits than those which denominations, and prerogatives which are derived from are necessary to secure to every other man the free exercise
them; nor any of the orders of chivalry, corporations, or of the same rights ;'and these limits are determinable alone
decorations, for which proofs of nobility were required; nor by the law.
any kind of superiority but that of public functionaries, in
the exercise of their functions. 5. The law ought only to prohibit actions hurtful to society. What is not prohibited by the law should not be “No public office is henceforth hereditary or purchaseable. hindered; nor should any one be compeiled to that which "No part of the nation, nor any individual, can hencethe law does not require.
forth possess any privilege or exception from the commun 6. The law is an expression of the will of the cousi rights of all Frenchmen. munity. All citizens have a right to concur, either personally “ There are no more wardenships or corporations in or by their representatives, in its formation. It should be the fessions, arts, or trades. same to all, whether it protects or punishes; and all being " The law recognizes no longer any religious von's, equal in its sight, are equally eligible to honours, places, and nor any other engagement which would be contrary to employments, according to their different abilities, without
natural rights, or to the Constitution.” any other distinction than that created by their virtues and talents.
The attention of the assembly was now sud7. No man should be accused, arrested, or held in confinement, except in cases determined by the law, and ac
denly diverted from the formation of a constitucording to the forms which it has prescribed. All who pro
tional code, to the unhappy situation of the empire mote, solicit, execute, or cause to be executed, arbitrary in consequence of the anarchy that succeeded the orders, ought to be punished: and every citizen called upon extinction of the ancient despotism, and for which or apprehended by virtue of the law, ought inmediately to it was found difficult to administer any immediate obey, and be renders himself culpable by resistance.
8. The law ought to impose no other penalties than * The Constitution drawn up upon the bases here, such as are absolutely and evidently necessary; and no one subjoined, being much too voluminous to appear in this mugit to be punished but in virtue of a law promulgated place, will be given at full length in an appendix to this before the offence, and legally applied.
Sect V. or effectual relief. It is truly lamentable, that particularly by the Abbè Sieyes, but the Archbi
among the many ills originating from, or inherent shop of Paris at length consented in the name of 1789 in slavery, it renders its victims long unfit for the himself and his brethren.
enjoyment of the very blessings they have panted The next object that engaged the attention
All the great cities were at the same time popularity was daily increasing both in the capital agitated by the dread of famine, and the necessi and the provinces. Between the assembly and ties of the populace, fanaticised by the spirit of the court considerable jealousies existed, which the times, unfortunately mistook' licentiousness were heightened by the introduction of a corps for liberty, while Paris, the cradle of the revo of Swiss guards into the metropolis ; and while lution, contained a prodigious number of indivi affairs were in this situation, the inhabitants of duals, whose daily subsistence arose from fraud Paris, goaded on by famine, were thrown into a and violence alone. The peasantry, but too long state of violent agitation. The commotion began oppressed by their lords, seemed to consider this among the women, who ran about the streets, as a favourable opportunity for making reprisals: crying out “Bread ! Bread !” on the morning of unhappily they were not content with the libera the 5th of October. Seizing on a person of the tion of themselves and children from manual ser name of Maillard they forced him to become their vitude. Many of the castles of the nobles were conductor; and being joined hy a multitude of accordingly attacked, pillaged, and burned; armed men, and followed by a company of the while they themselves, with their wives and their volunteers of the Bastile; and several cannon, offspring, by a sad reverse, were now exposed to they set out for Versailles, the residence of the the insults, the menaces, and sometimes even the Royal Family. The national guards, actuated vengeance of the unhappy villagers. Many, by a similar impulse, insisted on marching thither however, were the instances in which a generous also; and La Fayette, after obtaining the sancoblivion ensued, and only in a few cases did the tion of the municipality, deemed it prudent to good and beneficent landholder experience ingra accede to the proposition. He was unable, howtitude as a retribution for his benevolence.
ever, to prevent the events that ensued; for some The assembly, fully impressed with the ne of the mob, having burst into the castle, sacricessity of restoring peace and tranquillity, passed ficed two of the body guards to their fury, and a decree on the evening of the 4th of August, en the life of the Queen was perhaps saved by the joining the taxes to be paid as usual, and enforc- gallantry of a third, called Miomandre. The ing the law for the security of persons and of pro guards now, for the first time, placed the national perty. But in the course of that celebrated night cockade in their hats, and supplicated for mercy. a memorable measure was proposed and carried, On this the popular fury seemed to subside, but and to the honour of the nobles, it must be ac the cry of " To Paris ! to Paris !" clearly intiknowledged to have originated with them. This mated their intentions, and his Majesty thought measure was no less than the abolition of the proper to comply. The King accordingly repaired feudal system :-that system of privileges and thither, on the 6th of October, preceded by an exemptions to one class of the community, and of executioner, between two wretches each carrying oppression and tyranny to the other, was abolish a bloody head on a pike, accompanied by an imed, and it was declared that henceforth in France mense mob, a deputation of two hundred memthere should be only one law, one nation, one bers of the national assembly, the troops of Paris, family, and one honourable title--that of a French and the French guards, who had prevented much citizen.
violence and bloodshed. On the succeeding day it was suggested, that 1790.-In the midst of this disorder, a national as tithes operated in the manner of a premium bankruptcy was apprehended, to avert which the against agriculture and a tax upon industry, territorial possessions of the clergy were declared that they should be immediately suppressed; this at the disposal of the nation, and written assignawas at first strenuously opposed by the clergy, tions were given on this fund, which obtained the