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Sect. VII. was now actually formed against France; and in Nor onght it to be omitted here, that France

the place of Gustavus III. cut off by a sudden had experienced nearly eight years of repose 1791 and violent death, Frederick William II. became since the conclusion of a war during which her

the Agamemnon of the league. But although fleets had covered the ocean in both hemispheres,
the most numerous and best disciplined armies in and, in conjunction with those of her ally, had
Europe were actually destined for the undertak- actually lorded it for a moment over the narrow
ing, yet even at this period, in whatever point
of view France might be contemplated, her But it must be allowed that this specious
importance in the scale of European politics picture of prosperity was, in some respects, false
must be allowed to have been still immense. A and delusive; her territories, her cities, and her
central position: afforded great advantages in towns, still remained; but her population was
point of celerity and exertion. A salubrious beginning to be diminished by emigration, and
climate, and an excellent soil, were favourable to her strength seemed to be lessened by intestine
agriculture, trade, and manufactures. Her ter- divisions. Of her oops, some had declared for
ritories were at once compact and extensive, the people, and some for the king, while a large
consisting of 157,924 square miles, according to portion wavered between ancient principles and
the testimony of one author, and 160,000 of modern innovations. Her trade and commerce,
another. * . Her population, calculated at from acted upon by the general pressure, began to
24 to 25,000,000 of iuhabitants, was greater decay; the fine arts were in danger of being
than that of any other individual state on the entirely neglected : hermanufactures were already
old continent; she possessed upwards of one reduced to a languishing condition ; a national
hundred cities and large towns, besides two hun- debt, which even in 1784 was estimated at
dred navigable rivers, her provinces were inter- 3400,000,000 livres ; || and which, after undermin-
sected in every direction with spacious roads ; ing the superstructure of the monarchy, threatened
while an immense canal seemed to unite all the the new constitution with ruin; while the navy
advantages of two distant seas, on purpose to

was suffered to fall into decay.
embellish and enrich her empire. Part of her But on the other hand, a body of national
frontiers was at once defined and defended by guards, amounting to almost four millions of fight-
the Alps, the Pyrenean mountains, and a triple ing men, the spirit infused by a love of liberty,
chain of fortresses, either erected or improved by the energy produced by the collision of opinions,
the genius of Vauban. Her shores were watered the hope arising out of a better form of govern-
by the Ocean, the Mediterranean, and the Chan- ment, and even the despair incident to such a
nel, which seemed to unite the commerce of the novel and disastrous situation, operated as so
Levant, the Atlantic, and the Narrow seas ; while many resources, unknown to the ancient
her ports and harbours, some of which were monarchy. To these considerations may be
formed by the hand of nature, and others by the

added the well known fact, established upon unceasing industry of art, conferred great and the testimony of history, that associations for inestimable advantages.

the purpose of conquest prove in general less Nor did she appear less formidable in ano- fatal to the state against which they are directed, ther point of view : for her revenues amounted to than to the powers in whose behalf they are 18,000,000 pounds sterling,+ while her standing formed. army, at a peace establishment, was estimated at It was assuredly the interest, and appears 136,000 effective men, I and her navy consisted also to have been the general wish of the French, of seventy-two sail of the line.

after they had attained their liberties, to cultivate

the inestimable blessings that arise out of freedom * The following are the different estimates, the lowest

and tranquillity. But this happiness was interof which has been quoted in the text:

dicted. Several of the great continental powers Extent of France.

clearly indicated by their movements that numer157,924 square miles according to Necker

ous armies would soon be brought into action; 160,000


and those Frenchmen who had either fled or 163,000

Statistische Uebersicht

been driven from their native country, already Population.

appeared in arms as the precursors of their ven24,800,000 inhabitants Necker 25,300,000


geance. 26,000,000

Busching f The gross amount of the public revenue was estimated :150,000 men; and it appears, that in 1784, she actually by M. Necker at 600,000,000 livres, a sum equal to possessed a total of 212,924, if we are to credit a work 25,000,000 sterling; and the whole of the public expendi- entitled “ Etat Milit. de France, par Roussel, pour ture at 610,000,000 livres; but the Compte Rendu states the 1785." pet produce at only 18,000,0001. sterling.

11 See“ A Collection of State Papers relative to the | The army of France has been generally calculated at War with France."



At this momentous period, the court of Vi- indignation was generalon hearing the terms exact- Sect. VII. enna judged it expedient to interfere in certain ed in the name of the emperor; it was asked, by domestic negociations carrying on between France what right did the court of Vienna pretend to

1791 and the German powers, for an indemnity on interpose, either in the internal affairs of an indeaccount of their claims on Alsace; and in the pendent nation, or in a dispute about a territorial course of these vegociations, the emperor, by possession between France and the pope, or France his minister Cobentzel, insisted on the re-estab- and the German princes? All exclaimed that it lishment of the French monarchy, as it was in was necessary to maintain the glory of their counJune, 1782; the restitution of the property of the try; and the idea of hostilities, hitherto so much clergy : the reinstatement of the German princes dreaded, became at length popular. in their feudal claims on Alsace ; and the resto- Negociations were now at end. The fatal ration of Avignon and Venassin to the sovereign decision of all the hostile parties was taken ; and pontiff. The minister for foreign affairs now Europe had to witness one of the most sanguinary deemed it incumbent on him to deliver a report to wars ever recorded in her annals, attended by a the assembly, containing an account of the pro- succession of political events, that, by the rapiceedings of this cabinet, and inferred, from the dity of their occurrence, and the magnitude of hopeless state of the negociations, that the nation their consequences, stand unparalleled in the ought to consider itself in a state of war, The history of the world.

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