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name of assignats. The King had already re The King addressed the assembly by letter, Secr. V. paired to the assembly, and given the sanction on the 13th of September, and stated that he had of his name to the new constitution : and the given his sanction to the constitution : on the suc
1791 nation, almost frantie with joy at its deliverance ceeding day, he repaired in person to the ball, and from regal and feudal bondage, celebrated the affixed his signature; a decree was accordingly anniversary of the capture of the Bastile, on the issued, by which it was enjoined that the King's } 4th of July, the epoch whence France now solemn declaration should be preclaimed throughdated her liberties, in the Champ de Mars, at out the empire, and that all prisoners contined for which appeared the King, the representatives of debt should be set at liberty. the nation, deputations from all the military and Soon after this the legislature having connaval bodies in the kingdom, in addition to cluded the object of its mission, and afforded a 300,000 spectators of both sexes : and at the prospect of freedom to the nation, dissolved itself close of which, the monarch, the national assem on the 30th of the same month, the president bly, and the armed citizens, took a solemn oath having proelaimed, “ that the national assembly to maintain the constitution.
declares its power to be at an end, and that it The spirit of anarchy and disorganization will sit no longer.", continued however to spread over the kingdom of Thus ended the labours of the first, comFrance, and the discontents of the nobility and monly called the Constituting Assembly, which clergy at the new order of things, rose to such possessed a number of distinguished members, a height, as to produce an insurrection and a and a collection of talents scarcely to be surcivil war in La Vendée.
passed in the annals of any nation upon earth. 1791.–The King, Queen, their children, Amongst these were a number of persons who and Madame Elizabeth, fled from the capital, on trave since distinguished themselves in the varithe 20th of June, and took the road to Mont ous periods of the war, and some of whom have medy, her Majesty personating the Baroness de outlived the events that expelled the Bourbon Knoff, and her
consort the superintendant of her race of kings from the throne, and witnesssed a family. No obstacle intervened until their arri revolution still more extraordinary, by which the val at Varennes, when Louis was recognized by sovereigns of that house have again been restored Drouet, the post-master of St. Menehould, and to the throne of France. Amongst these are detained in consequence of his zeal. Paul le found the name of the ABBE Sieyes, a catholio Blanc, and Joseph Poncin, two national guards, priest, at once a profound metaphysician, and were the first to stop the carriage, which was an adept in the formation of constitutions : TALdrawn by six horses, and accompanied by three LEYRAND, who by living in habits of familiarity out-riders. After some delay, the King and bis with the most celebrated men of the age, had family were re-conducted on their way back to enhanced his own reputation ; yet at the period the capital, in the face of a large body of the in question, acquired less notice by his talents in Royal Allemande. His Majesty's brother, Mon the pulpit and the tribune, than by his activity sieur, was, however, more fortunate, for he fled in the committees, and his facility in the penning nearly at the same time, and arrived at Mons, popular addresses to the nation ;_and the ABBE without experiencing any interruption.
Maury, since invested with the Roman purple, At length, the royal family approached the and who had acquired considerable preferment, capital, conducted by the citizens of Varennes, by the splendor of his clerical talents. Such howand surrounded by an immense body of national ever was the attachment of the abbè to the ancient guards. More than half a million of spectators government, that he wished to countenance its filled the streets and squares as the captive very abuses. Possessed of a ready wit, he was monarch passed along to the Thuilleries, but indebted for his life to a joke :* and his happy neither reproaches nor murmurs were heard this talent at unpremeditated oratory, rendered him day, on the contrary, a sullen silence prevailed; the second man in the assembly. MIRABEAU was not a single hand was uplifted to express joy; assuredly the first. every head remained covered ; and the sovereign At the first meeting of the second, or Legiswas already dethroned in the hearts of his lative Assembly, the constitutional act was introsubjects.
duced with great ceremony, and every deputy in The assembly acted upon this occasion with succession ascending the rostrum, and placing his great magnanimity, and an act of oblivion took hand on the original, swore to maintain the conplace. In order to prevent further tumult, it stitution decreed during the years 1789, 1790, declared, that “ the Revolution was complete :" it also revised its former decrees, completed the constitutional act, removed the suspension im
* "Ah! Messieurs, quand vous m'aurez mis a la lanposed upon his Majesty, and left him at full liberty have put me into the lanthern, do you think you will see any
terne, y verrez-vous plus clair ?"-Ah! Sirs, when you either to accept or refuse it.
lv. and 1791. Previous to the appearance of the the prince; but an immense multitude of national
King, the mode in which he was to be received guards, faithful alike to their interests and their 1791
and addressed underwent a long discussion; and oaths, were determined to maintain their newit was determined that the expression of “ Sire,” born liberties at the expence of every thing dear should be omitted, as partaking of the feudal to them. The ascendancy of the metropolis, forms, and that of “ Majesty," as incompatible now become the joint residence of the assembly .with a limited menarchy.
and the King, contributed also to give a decided The emigration now became greater than preponderance to the patriots, while the astobefore, and the roads were covered with the nishing influence of the press scarcely admits of nobles and priests who fled in all directions : calculation. Every printing-house in the capital some repaired to England, others reached Aus teemed with productions; and, in addition to trian Flanders, and the Electorates, but the innumerable hand and posting bills, journals, and chief place of rendezvous was Coblentz. The regular periodical works, it has been estimated French princes resorted to that city: the ancient that, during the first years of the revolution, no household troops of the King were re-established fewer than one hundred and fifty pamphlets issued there, all the ceremonial of Versailles was prac weekly from the shops of the booksellers. tised, and the Prince of Condè actually began Newspapers of all kinds, sizes, forms, and to assemble an army of malcontents.
prices, from two duodecimo pages to two sheets, On this the assembly passed a decree, (Oc- and from a halfpenny to a livre, were regularly tober 14th) declaring Louis Stanislaus Xavier to published to the amount of about forty: The have forfeited his eventual right to the regency royalists possessed a few; the democratical party if he did not return within the space of two a multitude; the constitutionalists countenanced months : by another, all the French thus assem two or three; the ministers also had their hled were proclaimed traitors; wluile a third, favourite papers; and the King himself was drawn up in the form of a manifesto, renounced persuaded to waste his civil list, to obtain the in future all wars for the sake of aggrandisement support of a few of the editors. But neither did the two first of these, nor a law LANJUINAIS, a deputy to the states-general, passed against the non-juring clergy, receive the and a president of the national assembly, was the sanction of the King, who opposed his reto, by founder of a political society called the Jacobin the advice of Lameth and Barnave, members of Club, which discussed a variety of important the former assembly, whom he was pleased to questions, and investigated the means of ensuring consult upon this critical occasion.
the safety and prosperity of the state. It origiIn fine, although Louis XVI. had made nated in 1789, under the denomination of the many sacrifices, he had not regained his popu Breton Club, in consequence of having been first larity: and it is only necessary to take a superfi established by the representatives of Brittany; cial view of the kingdom at this eventful period, when it was afterwards frequented by several of in order to prognosticate some of the various the deputies from the other provinces also, the evils that speedily ensued.
members assumed the appellation of “The
Friends of the People :” but they were at length SECTION VI.
better known by the place where they assembled,
which was called the hall of the jacobins, from FRANCE at this moment was divided into, having formerly belonged to a fraternity of Doand distracted by contending parties. The King minicau friars, whose patron saint was of that was averse to constitution to which he had name. The most celebrated orators, patriots, reluctantly sworn. Around the royal standard and politicians, for some time after its institution, appeared to be assembled a remnant of the considered it as an admirable engine for the susancient nobility, and all those devoted by place, tenance of the public cause. All the zealots of sentiment, attachment, or prejudice, to the crown. democracy, all the decided enemies to the court, On the other hand, the popular cause was sus all the foes to the privileged orders, and many of tained in the assembly by a decided majority; the most virtuous and moderate members of the Paris, Bourdeaux, Marseilles, all the great cities assembly, at first appertained to it. Its ascennow participating in a municipal jurisdiction, dancy was not confined to Paris ; with every city were devoted to it; and as it had as yet been and with almost every village in France, it kept uncontaininated by excess, a large portion of up a constant intercourse, by means of twenty the population of Europe beheld the new order thousand affiliated clubs, which looked up to the of affairs with a favourable eye. Many of the central meeting in the capital as a mother society, troops of the line, indeed, still entertained a imbibed all its potions, diffused all its opinions, secret enmity to a constitution, which, while it and propagated all its alarms. Such was its was calculated to benefit the people, and even influence, that the legislative body was often themselves, lessened the power and influence of guided by its decisions, the soldiers were permit .
ted to leave their barracks in order to frequent its land, was the creature of the two former, who Sect. VI. galleries, while the red cap of the president was not unfrequently protected him from well-merited seen by turns encircling the brows of the mayor punishment, and directed both his pen and his
1791 of Paris, elected by the people, and the minister
Vengeance, of state, nominated by the king.
Such were the present leaders of that famous But although its power had greatly increased, club, destined in a short time to regulate the fate its character was manifestly on the wane.- The of an empire: but they would never have been incendiary motions, the outrageous proceedings, suffered to acquire so fatal a pre-eminence, had it and the equivocal characters of many of the ruling not been for the open hostility of the court to the members, had cast an indelible stain upon a society, new constitution : the impolitic and insulting which, after counter-balancing the influence of the interference of foreign powers : and finally, a war court, and efficaciously serving the public cause, equally hostile and repugnant to the pride, freeby the talents and zeal of those who had acquired dom, and independence of a great nation. for it a dangerous pre-eminence, was likely, at no While the present leaders of the jacobins distant period, to endanger the fabric of national scarcely concealed their wishes to dethrone the liberty, by its unqualified violence. The greater king, and either nominate a new dynasty to the part of the deputies, and some respectable private throne, or erect a republic on its ruins, a rival individuals, had accordingly, withdrawn, while society existed, the members of which, under a the names of many of those most conspicuous for name" (Constitutionels) expressive of an implicit their virtue, patriotism, or oratorical powers, were attachment to the new constitution, were desirous erased from the list of members, and the com of a legislature consisting of two houses ; many mittees were now regulated, and the chair filled, of them also had now made their peace with the according to the secret suggestions of two or three court, and were even devoted to it. In couiseambitious and aspiring individuals.
quence of a schism among the friends of the But when it was abandoned by most of the people," Talleyrand, then Bishop of Autun; other deputies, MAXIMILIAN ROBESPIERRE, one of Emery, a member of the assembly; the Dukes de the six who remained, acted frequently as presi Rochefoucault and Liancourt; the two Lameths; dent, and at length acquired a complete ascend La Fayette, and many others, had left that celeency.
Gloomy, vindictive, ferocious, and at brated society, and determined to found another. once replete with cowardice and malignity, such They at first assembled in the magnificent hotel was his matchless hypocrisy, that he concealed belonging to the younger Crillon, son of the conhis real character until he had triumplied over his queror of Minorca; and when they became more enemies; and such bis unabating envy, that he numerous, assumed the appellation of “ The Club eonsidered all those as enemies, whose superior of 1789:" but they were afterwards better known talents and virtues had procured them a place in by the name of the convent of the Feuillans, which the public esteem. As yet his reputation was they hired, because the hall being large and spaunstained by crimes, but even now he appeared cious, was calculated for their debates, to be secretly contemplating an original and While these two formidable societies evinced monstrous species of dominion, unknown before a rooted hatred to each other, and were both in in any age or country, and alike alarming on their turn detested by the royalists ; the legislaaccount of its novelty and atroeity. The jaco tive assembly, neither equal in point of talents bins were the engine by which he purposed to nor of energy to the states-general, began to be execúte the suggestions of a gloomy ambition ; split into parties, and at times exhibited some and crimes which a Nero or a Caligula would presages of that intolerant spirit which, soon scarcely have dared to dream of, (although after the convocatiou of the convention, involved invested with the inperialpurple, and surrounded France in blood and calamity. The power and by the satellites of despotism,) were at length influence of the court, however, still contributed achieved with facility by a private individual, and to produce a certain degree of apparent union, that too in the name of a liberty !"
and it was not until the royal family had been Danton, first the associate, then the victim made prisoners, and the monarchy itself disof Robespierre, and like him also an advocate by solved, that the blood of the advocates of liberty profession, seemed to be intended by nature for fiowed on the same scaffold that had received the tempestuous period in which he lived, and the the victims of aristocracy, and the founders of the bold and decisive character which he assumed. republic began to proscribe each other with an Open, daring, generous, and unreserved, he envenomed rancour, that admitted neither of comexhibited some good qualities in conjunction with promise nor of mercy. many vices, but he was consumed by a devouring The GIRONDISTS, so called from the departambitiou.
ment whence they were deputed, possessed great Marat, a native of Neufchatel, in Switzer influence in the legislative body at this period,
Sect. VI. and were equally celebrated for their talents ant! the marine department; DURANTON, an advocate,
integrity; but they were far better calculated to to the place of minister of justice; Claviere, a 1791 rule in the halcyon days of tranquillity, than to banker, and native of Geneva, to the administrapreside amidst the awful storm that was about to tion of the finances; and ROLAND, a member of
the jacobin society, to the home department.
Such was the administration selected at this
criticat moment for the government of France.
Most of the members were odious to the king : to the bar; he had been imprisoned in the Bas some were beloved by, and others suspected by the tile; and it was his singular good fortune to jacobins; but they were all alike abhorred by the have presented to him, as president of a com
feuillans. They were accordingly abused in the
cincts of royalty, that, if we are to believe one of
surrounded by a multitude of dangers and diffi-
culties, both domestic and foreign, whenre they times termed the Girondists, and sometimes the found it extremely difficult to extricate either their Brissotins, which, at the epoch we now allude to, country or themselves. The new body guard of maintained a steady preponderance in the legis
the king had been lately augmented from eighteen lative assembly, as well as in the city of Paris ;
hundred to year six thousand mei, by means of Petion, the mayor, and many of the municipal disaffected persons, commanded by officers who magistrates, being devoted to it.
had quitted their respective regiments becausethey
would not subscribe to the civic oath, and it was
with great difficulty that the king was at length
induced to promise bis acquiescence with the ing edifice of the monarchy. Louis XVI. had by wishes of the legislature to disband them. The turns employed the frivolous Maurepas, the vir
struggle was still greater on all occasions in
which the interests of the dissident clergy were
concerned ; por could he be prevailed upon to
withdraw his countenance from that body, which
was encouraged in its opposition by knowing that
the conscience of the monarch was regulated by
a ghostly director of the same principles.
In the mean time, a portentous cloud, now
collecting in the north, threatened to burst sudwishes than by their misconduct, to the revolution.
denly upon France, and overwhelm a distracted
nation with misery and despair. But it may here
be necessary to survey the European hemisphere,
in order to discover the quarter in which this
new storm was generated, and after making our
ness of the elements of which it was composed, minister for foreign affairs, had been a soldier of
endeavour to calculate its direction, and estimate
FRANCE, as we have already seen, had
limited the power of her kings, and established a
constitution for the nation, faulty indeed, like all
* Memoires du Général Dumouriez, ecrites. par lui.
human institutions, but certainly preferable to the prince, who languished for an opportunity of dis- Sect. VII. ancient despotism. In accomplishing this object, tinguishing himself by his exploits. But from the national constituting assembly only exercised some cause, stillinvolved in considerable obscurity,
1791 the aeknowledged right of internal regulation Gustavus III. fell by the land of a titled assasappertaining to every independent state ; but it sin,* leaving to a minor son an immense debt, as was soon apparent that these essential reforms well as an impoverished and distracted country. had given umbrage to several of the absolute The genius of one man civilized Russia, and, princes on the continent.
by erecting a capital on the shore of the Baltic, SPAIN, feeling indignant at the late memorable rendered his native conntry a preponderating events, and the court acting under the influence power in the scale of European politics. In CATHAof the queen and a favourite, disposed CHARLES RINE II. was found a successor, in many respects, IV. to depart from those principles of sage neu worthy of bimself. This ambitious female, followtrality, which had long regulated his conduct. ing the track prescribed by her illustrious precurPORTUGAL, following the train of Great Britain, sor, had conceived the gigantic enterprise of was not yet stimulated to war. SARDINIA, under chasing the Turks from Europe, substituting the the government of the house of Savoy, united to Greek cross for the Turkish crescent on the walls the royal family of France by a double marriage, of Constantinople, and creating a new empire in was of course alive to the interests of the Bour the east. The revolution which had recently bon family on that throne, and disposed to support occurred in France, made her pause however in such measures as might be thought conducive to the midst of her victories : Sweden was permitted the security of the sovereign and his family, and to breathe from slaughter; and the Ottoman calculated to re-establish the splendour of his Porte now found itself more indebted to her pocrown. Pius VI., now sovereign pontiff, mourned licy than to her moderation for its existence. over the schisms of the Gallican Church, and But it was from another quarter that France launched forth the thunders of Rome against her was doomed at this period to be assailed. While undutiful children. FREDERICK IV. listened to his employed in the extension and security of her family coónections rather than the interest of his liberties, amidst the struggle with a reluctant subjects, and involved the kingdom of Naples in monarchi, a discontented priesthood, and a hostile a quarrel foreign to her interests.
nobility, she was menaced at the same time by a ENGLAND, at this period, seemed to be con sudden and portentous combination of two great scious of the immense advantages arising to a military states-Prussia, under the dominion of great manufacturing and commercial state, from FREDERICK WILLIAM, and Austria, under the the adoption of a wise and rigorous system of EMPEROR LEOPOLD, brother to Marie Antoinette, neutrality. Many obvious motives enforced the Queen of France. policy of peace. An immense national debt called Affected by the situation of the king, alarmed aloud for a system of economy, and the pressure for the fate of a sister, and perhaps desirous also of the existing taxes seemed to render any increase to signalize his reign by some brilliant exploit, burdensome to the nation. Many of the people too Leopold seems to have determined on a war, had bitherto rejoiced at the progress of liberty in
which, unable to prosecute in his own person, he France, and felt a generous indignation against was forced to bequeath as a legacy to his son and those princes, who presumed to meddle in her successor, Francis II. While visiting his Italian internal disputes; while a king, now finally seated dominions in 1791, he is said to have concerted a on the throne of the Stuarts, was indebted for the plan with the envoys of two great powers,t for elevation of his family, to a revolution founded; intermeddling with the internal concerns of a like the present, on the rights of a nation.
third, I and soon after the celebrated interviews The court of COPENHAGEN, while it beheld took place between his Imperial Majesty and the its king reduced to a state of the most deplorable King of Prussia, at Pilnitz; in consequence of imbecility, experienced a rare instance of good which, measures of an alarming nature were said fortune, in having its affairs conducted by an ami to have been adopted relative to France; and, if able regent, and a sagacious ininister. Wholly we are to give credit to assertions, the dismemintent on the happiness and prosperity of those berment of that kingdom was actually determined committed to their charge, the Prince Royal, and upon. It is proper, however, to observe, that the the Count de Bernstorff, were averse to inter authenticity of the treaty has been denied, and meddling in the internal polity of other nations. that no positive proof of its reality has ever yet
It was far otherwise with another of the been publicly adduced. But it can no longer be Baltic powers, though but just released from the denied, that a formidable and hostile combination burden of a disastrous war. SWEDEN, which by turns has enjoyed liberty, and suddenly relapsed
* Ankerstroem. + Lord Elgin and M. Bischofswerder. into servitude, was now under the dominion of a
Tableau Histor: 'et Polit. de l'Europe, &c. par L. P.