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claim a hundred years of nobility in his family. Then agri- toinette, radiant with joy, received them holding her daughter culture was still to lie crushed under the mountain of feudal by the hand, and presenting to them the little dauphin in insolences and fetters. What these were has been well de- her arms, said, "I confide in the noblesse !” But in the midst scribed by Alison, an historian certainly of not too liberal of this triumph shouts were heard, and every one ran to ascertendencies :-—“The most important operations of agriculture tain the cause. De Brézé had brought word to the king that were fettered or prevented by the game-laws, and the re- the tiers were still sitting in the hall, and requested his strictions intended for their support. Game of the most orders. Louis, who did not participate in the joy, for the destructive kind, such as wild boars and herds of deer, were silence of the people had fallen heavily on his heart, after permitted to go at large through spacious districts without walking about uneasily for some time, said, “ Well, let them any inclosure to protect the crops. Numerous edicts sit !". existed which prohibited hoeing and weeding, lest the young But in his terror Louis had sent for Necker, entreated partridges should be disturbed ; mowing hay, lest the eggs him to retain his portfolio, saying, “ As for this declarashould be destroyed; taking away the stubble, lest the birds tion, I have no faith in it." Necker, who still believed that should be deprived of shelter ; manuring with night-soil, nothing could go on without him, at once consented to lest their flavour should be injured. Complaints for the infrac- remain, and hastened down into the court to appease the tion of these edicts were all carried before the manorial courts, | indignant people collected there, and this was what the where every species of oppression, chicanery, and fraud was queen and the nobles saw when they ran to the windows prevalent. Fines were imposed at every change of property Necker, going amongst the people, who fell on their in the direct and collateral line-at every sale to the pur- knees and kissed his hands as their saviour, whilst he conchasers ; the people were bound to grind their corn at the tinued to address them, “ Yes, my children, yes, my childlandlord's mill, press their grapes at his press, bake their ren, I remain, compose yourselves," and then he rushed bread at his oven. Obligations to repair the roads, founded away, to burst into tears in his cabinet. And this was not on custom, decrees, and servitude, were enforced with the all: the court had to learn that the tiers had remained most rigorous severity; in many places the use even of immovably in their seats after the king and the nobles had handmills was not free, and the seigneurs were invested retired. De Brézé, as master of the ceremonies, said, with the power of selling to the peasants the right of bruising “Gentlemen, you have heard the orders of the king." buckwheat, or barley, between two stones. It is in vain to Bailly replied, “I am going to take the orders of the attempt to describe the feudal services which pressed with so assembly; ” and, turning to his colleagues, he said, “ It much severity in every part of France."
seems to me that the assembled nation cannot receive an These were the abominable tyrannies which had reduced order." the whole of the rural population of France to a condition On that remark Mirabeau rose, and assuming his most of the most abject misery, such as Arthur Young, who terrible aspect, and fixing his flashing eyes on De Brézė, travelled on an agricultural mission in France just before exclaimed, in a voice of thunder, “ Yes, sir, we heard what the revolution, describes in such gloomy colours :-" Their has been suggested to the king ; but for you, sir, you are no houses dark, comfortless, and almost destitute of furniture; organ of communication with the assembly; you, who have their dress ragged and miserable ; their food of the coarsest no place, nor voice, no right, to speak here, are not authorand most repulsive kind; the burdens piled on them by ised to remind us of it. Go, tell those who sent you that their feudal superiors almost without limit, and certainly we are here by the will of the people, and that nothing but without mercy.” This was the state of things which caused the bayonet will force us hence." Brézé, confounded at Madame Roland, on a visit to England, to gaze with such this address, retreated backwards from the assembly, as he wonder on the homes and the comforts even of our labourers, was accustomed to do from the presence of royalty, and and which made her, amongst other things, so ardent a carried to the court this formidable intelligence. The court revolutionist. Yet all these curses were to be preserved was as much confounded as poor De Brézé. In its foolish intact. It was clear who had concocted “the king's confidence it had sent workmen to remove the benches, but intentions."
at a word of the president they desisted, and stayed to These exciting atrocities having been announced as "royal listen. A deputy proposed on the morrow to discuss the benefits,” the king added, “I may, without flattering my- resolutions of the king; but Camus exclaimed, “The séance self, say that never did any king so much for any nation.” is only a ministerial act, the assembly maintains its decrees." He continued, “Reflect, gentlemen, that none of your Barnave, a young native of Dauphiny, said, “You have projects can have any force without my special approbation; declared what you are; you depend on no one's sanction." and if you abandon me in this beautiful enterprise, I will The Breton Glezen added, “What! the sovereigu speaks seek the good of my people alone; I will consider myself as as a master, when he ought to consult!” Petion, Garat, their real representative." He then commanded them to Gregoire-men whose names were soon to possess a deep withdraw, and to meet the next day in their separate significance-spoke out with equal decision, and Abbé Sieyes chambers to continue their sittings. He then departed, completed the conversation with a laconic symplicity: followed by the nobles and the minority of the clergy. “Messieurs, you are to-day just what you were yesterday." The courtiers were convinced that they had now given the The assembly then, on the motion of Mirabeau, declared its death-blow to the assuming tiers. They ran to congratulate members inviolable, and that whoever should lay a hand on the count d'Artois on the success of his plans for the king's any one of them was a traitor, infamous, and worthy of conduct, and thence they hastened to the queen. Marie An- ! death. Nor was this resolution the result of empty boast,
The gardes-du-corps were drawn up at this moment in line were totally inconsistent with the materials of which it was in front of the hall, and it was whispered that sixty of the composed; and that the worst thing that could happen to deputies were that night to be arrested.
them would be to grant their wishes." Lafayette professed “ Thus," says Thiers, " was effected the first revolution. to believe this; declared the people mad, but still asserted The tiers état had recovered the legislature, and its adver- that he would die with them. Morris told him that he had saries had lost it by attempting to keep it entirely to them- better try to bring them to their senses, and live with them. selves. In a few days, this legislative revolution was com- But all such advice was lost on Lafayette, , who could not pletely consummated.” But it was not consummated live out of the air of popularity; and who, with all his prowithout a violent fermentation of the populace. The fessions, as in America, took care to keep out of the way on privileged orders, as is the nature of such bodies, had not occasions of most peril. At this moment Paris was in one known when it was absolutely necessary to yield. They general ferment of revolutionary mania ; and the Palais believed the world made expressly for themselves, and they Royal, where Orleans lived, and where the mob orators were not able yet to conceive that the rest of the world harangued, was the centre of it. could or would reclaim its rights by force. By their On the 24th of June the tiers assembled in their hall, insensate counsel to the king, they had fearfully aggravated which they now found left free to them. The majority of the public temper, and injured irrevocably not only them- the clergy, paying no attention to the command of the king selves, but the crown. On the night of this unfortunate to deliberate in their own chamber, again joined the tiers. coup d'etat of the 23rd of June, Mirabeau said to his friend The minority maintained their separate sitting; but even Dumont, “This is the way kings are led to the scaffold.” amongst them a fresh defection appeared; and those who The only person, besides the members of the assembly, who demanded to go over to the tiers compelled the archwas popular was Necker, who was supposed to have made a bishop of Paris, a worthy man, but a great stickler for far greater opposition to the will of the court than privileges, as well as the popular archbishop of Bourdeaux, he bad. The archbishop of Paris was attacked, and his to accompany them. The very same day the same transition carriage windows dashed in. The same fury pursued every took place in the chamber of peers. A fierce agitation bishop, priest, or noble who had applauded the king on this arose ; D'Espréménil proposed to prosecute the tiers, and occasion; the count d'Artois was especially denounced as that the attorney-general should be instructed to do it. the head of the evil counsellors of the king, and the queen On the other hand, Clermont-Tonnerre moved that they was execrated in terms too foul to repeat. The clubs in should join the commons; Lally-Tollendal seconded him, Paris, and especially the Breton Club, which (Lafayette and Lafayette and all his party voted for the measure. had so essentially helped to establish, were in the utmost The duke of Orleans voted too, though he had the day activity as agencies of revolution, nor were the means they before promised Polignac that he would not. The motion proposed at all marked by moral scruples. The duke of was lost by a large majority against it; but, notwithstandOrleans was in full communication with them, and from ing, forty-seven members, headed by Clermont-Tonnerre, him, it was declared, flowed much of the money by which went to the tiers, and were received with acclamation, these societies propagated their own spirit and views. “We yield to our consciences,” said Clermont-Tonnerre, Orleans was, with all his professions of liberty, a thorough but it is with pain that we separate from our colleagues. debauchee, and, as he soon showed, a mean and selfish man, We have come to concur in the public regeneration ; each of who would have been glad to step over the bodies of his us will let you know the degree of activity which his mission royal relations to the throne. The most strange thing is allows him." that Lafayette, with his professed attachment to the mon- Every day the members and influence of the assembly archy, and to the royal family, and great advocate of sound increased. Its doings and sayings were spread over all principles, as he was, as well as of reform, was fully cognizant France, by means of a system of corresponding committees, of the dark doctrines and unprincipled proceedings of these which Sieyes bad organised. The most enthusiastic feelings clubs. But Lafayette. was a vain man, fond of riding on everywhere prevailed. In many towns the people were the crest of the ocean of public opinion, of being treated as armed, especially at Grenoble and Marseilles, to support, the hero of popular freedom. This vanity led him into if necessary, the commons against the aristocrats. Cries of gross inconsistencies.
"Death to the aristocrats!" began to be heard, and noSieyes had more principle and more strength than either where more than in Versailles. The very servants of the of them. He was so much disgusted by what he saw and court were knocked down in the streets, with the royal heard in some visits to the clubs, that he exclaimed, “I will livery on their backs. Addresses poured in from all go no more amongst these men; theirs are cavern politics ; I quarters. Mounier presented one from Dauphiny; there they propose crimes as expedients !"
was one from Paris, and its great political hotbed, the As for Lafayette, , he did not want for solemn warnings Palais Royal, sent another, which the assembly received, to from one of his old American coadjutors. Governeur Morris. I avoid giving offence to the multitude. “At that time,” This gentleman, having no national interest in this conflict, says Thiers. “it did not foresee the excesses of the populace; could now perceive all the mischievous tendencies of demo- it had need, on the contrary, to presume its energy, and to cracy, when unrestrained by perfect enlightenment and hope for its support.” The most violent animosity still moral worth. He says, “ I told him that I wås opposed to raged in the chamber of the nobles. Amid the menacing democracy from regard to liberty; that they were going features of the truce without, many became terrified, and beadlong to destruction; that their views of their nation counselled union with the tiers and their brethren.
The king alarined, too, wrote to them, counselling them to multitudinous theories afloat in men's minds, but no pregive way, and follow to the common hall. “The junction cedents, at least, of French growth. The deputies, indeel, will be transient,” said the most obstinate; “troops are had, from every quarter, brought with them written in approaching, let us give way and obey the king." Simul-structions for the demands which they were to make on taneous with this decision, which took place amid much behalf of the nation. They had unanimously prescribed uproar, was that of the remaining clergy. They all went monarchical government; hereditary succession from male together. “We are come,” said the duke of Luxembourg, to male; the exclusive attribution of the executive power "to give a mark of respect to the king, and of patriotism to to the king; the responsibility of all agents; the concurrence the nation.” “The family is now complete," observed of the nation and king in making of laws; the voting of the Bailly; " we can now attend, without intermission and taxes, and individual liberty. But they were divided on without distraction, to the regeneration of the kingdom and the subject of one or two chambers of legislature; on the of the public weal.”
length of their sessions, and the periods of their meeting; on Thus the union of the deputies of all ranks was con- the political existerice of the clergy, and of the parliaments : summated after this great battle; the triumph of the on the extent of the liberty of the press. In reducing these commons was perfected; but the most obstinate of the nobles great questions into constitutional form, the national diversity still could not amalgamate with the tiers without a struggle of mind was sure to produce vivid conflicts, and wide diverwith their pride. They continued to come in after the gences of opinion. But beyond this, the state of the popuopening of the sitting, and to stand behind the president, as lation out of doors added infinitely to the dangers and representing their own body. Bailly wished them to be the difficulties of the process. seated; they declined ; but Bailly respectfully persisted, and The people were starving in the provinces, and ready, in they took their seats. But no sooner was this done, than their excitement, for mischief everywhere. The assembly they demanded that a new president should be elected; it was anxious to do something to relieve ihe distress; but in was gall to their proud hearts to sit under a plebeian so doing they must encroach on the duties of the executire. president. The motion was contemptuously rejected by the They were yet without a constitution, and therefore could tiers, who were the majority, and Bailly retained his proud only act on their own authority. They had been invited pre-eminence. The nobles and the hierarchy, or that by the clergy to join them in seeking a way to furnish the portion of them which stood out for their privileges, must means of existence to the people, the clergy Dow eitting with have felt their utter impotence, when once merged into the them; they proposed to carry out this desirable object in assembly. A large section of them, the curés and the some manner. They appointed a committee, which put itself liberal nobles, were one with the tiers, and the tiers alone into communication with the ministers, asking information were equal to the whole body of clergy and the noblesse. as to the best machinery for the purpose ; and the ministry Thus, therefore, supported by numbers from the privileged informed them of what they themselves had attempted to ranks, they could outvote the recalcitrant nobles and do. The assembly then proposed to order provisions to be prelates by a large majority on all questions. From that conveyed to the quarters most destitute, and to vote a lane moment the privileged classes, in truth, were at an end for the necessary funds, to be assisted by charitable contriYet not patiently did the nobles submit to their fate. They butions. Lally-Tollendal moved that they should issue à insisted that, though sitting together, they should vote not decree for this purpose, but Mounier replied that such by head but by order. This motion was rejected by a wild decree would require the sanction of the king; and, in the acclamation, which was echoed by a more appalling thunder present absence of a constitution, there would be difficulties from the galleries. Undaunted by that evidence of subjec- in procuring this sanction. The assembly was paralysed by tion, the cardinal archbishop, De Rochefoucauld, protested in the necessity to legislate without any basis on which to the name of the order ; but the liberal archbishop of Vienne legislate. Meantime, Paris, only twelve miles distant, wa reminded him that he was in a minority, even in his order, in constant attention to all that passed in the assembly and and had, therefore, no right to speak in the name of that at court. Messengers were continually passing to and fro, order. Mirabeau said, sternly, that it was strange that any and every movement of the assembly produced a corre one should protest in the assembly against the assembly ; spondent sensation. that he must either recognise its sovereignty or retire. The electors assembled in sixty districts, having discharged
It was under such circumstances of conflicting spirit their functions, ought to have retired into the mass of that the assembly began to construct a constitution : an citizens, but they were too fond of the new exercise of power, enorrrous task, and to be executed amidst the most distract- and they continued to retain their elective character, and to ing and explosive materials within and without. France, meet on the plea that it was necessary, under such extraunlike England, could not be said ever to have had a con- ordinary circumstances, to instruct and support their stitution. It had had its king, and its parliament, its deputies. The ministers naturally represented that their states-general, but all of an arbitrary caste; without any political life was at an end for the present, and refused fixed times for assembling, and without any laws to secure them admittance to their place of meeting. Like the the responsibility of the agents of power, any guarantees for national assembly, they sought another, and found one in the liberty of the subject, of the press, or any liberty of the the miserable but large room of an eating-house in the Rue general body. It was necessary to clear the ground of the Dauphine. This was their Jeu de Paume; but they deterpoisonous rubbish of despotism before beginning to erect an mined to remove thence, and take possession of the Hôtel de orderly fabric of constitutional government. There were Ville, which they did, and there acted as the organ of Paris,
and corresponded with the deputies at Versailles. These the Palais Royal to learn the events of the day, and to electors were, for the most part, rich citizens, not without discuss them. The gardens of the Palais Royal were consome admixture of aristocracy. Two amongst them were tinually thronged. Not less than ten thousand persons of revolutionists of the most ardent description, with a certain one kind or another were frequently collected there. This tendency to mysticism, Fauchet and Bonneville. In an magnificent garden, surrounded by the most splendid shops, earlier age they would have been burnt as heretics; iu the and adjoining the palace of the duke of Orleans, was the nineteenth century they were enthusiasts in resistance of rendezvous of foreigners, of debauchees, of gamblers and the court, and Bonneville was the first to raise the cry, I loungers, but, above all, the most fiery agitators. In the
“ To Arms!” Fauchet, Bonneville, Bertolio, Carra, a coffee-houses, and in the open air, the most stimulating fiery journalist, made the most daring Lotions, such as harangues were continually being delivered. There might ought to have emanated only from the national assembly :- be seen an orator mounted on a table, and surrounded by a For a city guard ; for the immediate organisation of regular wild crowd, whom he was addressing in the most seditious communes, elective and annual; for an address to the king, language, and with the most perfect impunity, for there the praying for the removal of the troops ; for the freedom of mob was the sovereign power. The duke of Orleans was the assembly; and for the revocation of the coup-d'état of supposed to favour all this. His wealth was said to flow June 23rd.
freely amongst the incendiary orators and other agents. Whilst the assembly of electors were thus usurping the He had the ambition to place himself at the head of affairs functions of a real parliament of Paris, the Palais Royal through the favour of the people. If he did not find all the was exercising an influence on the population not less money used for the purposes of agitation, much was found, active. As no journals yet gave an account of the pro- and, no doubt, he contributed a liberal share. The duke ceedings of the national assembly, the people ran daily to bad been accused of being the head of a party, and the
was exercisinho journalai Assicu
newspapers of the day made free use of his name. Accord- seen to embrace common soldiers in their intoxication of ing to them, France would follow the example of England. delight at the union of these pariahs, as they called them, of The Stuarts had been expelled in favour of the prince of the ancient monarchy-these brave men, so maltreated by Orange; and the duke was become the ideal prince of the noblesse—with the rest of the nation. Then the soldiers Orange to the French populace. The thing was so often were treated, fêted, presented with money, and sate to repeated that the duke at last imagined that he might place listen to the patriot orators, who, on stools and tables, were himself at the head of a party, and become the leader of a harangning against the aristocrats. They were asked if they faction, without the qualifications for such an office. would ever again wet their hands with the blood of their
To add to the dangers arising from the proceedings of the fellow-citizens, and they cried, “No! Vive la nation !" electors and the agitation of the people, there were rapidly. And all this passed under the windows of the duke of growing symptoms of fraternisation taking place amongst Orleans—under the eyes of that court, intriguing, greedy, the French guards. This regiment, numbering three and unclean. Philip Egalité must have thought that bis thousand six hundred men, lay at Paris, four companies of day was rapidly approaching. He could not, indeed, conthem, by turns, doing duty at Versailles as the king's guard. ceal his joy. He thought the king lost, and that he should At the pillage of Reveillon's house they had shown no be soon called to take his place. hesitation in resisting the people; but since then they had An Englishman who had visited France for very different greatly changed. Their old colonel, Abiron, was dead, and objects—the peaceful inquiries of agriculture—the celebrated M. Du Châtelet, their new one, was a rigid disciplinarian. Arthur Young, just then entered Paris. The silence and This new colonel found that the marquis de Valady, who desertion of the streets astonished him; not a vehicle was had formerly been an officer in the regiment, but who had to be procured-scarcely a man to be seen. All Paris become a most ardent democrat, had been going amongst seemed concentred in one spot, the Palais Royal, where its the men of this as well as of other regiments to indoctri- life raged like a furnace. Directing his steps thither, he was nate them with the revolutionary spirit. He had not only confounded. Ten thousand men seemed speaking at once ; talked with them, but left them printed addresses on their ten thousand lights blazed from the windows-the people duty to their country. These had produced their effect: seemed gone mad with the news of some great victory. there had been for some time secret societies formed amongst Fireworks were flashing, and guns firing in all directions. them, and they had sworn never to act contrary to the He retired in bewildering amaze. orders of the assembly. The coup-d'etat of the 23rd of June The colonel of the guards seized eleven of the ringleaders had greatly incensed them, not only on account of the of the men who had thus been fêted at the Palais Royal, and indignity offered to the national assembly-their admira- shut them up in the Abbaye prison. It was rumoured that tion-but by the emphatic declaration of the king, that he they were to be transferred to the Bicêtre. A young man would never consent to the alteration of the institution of mounted a table at the Palais Royal and cried, "To the the army-that is to say, that there should never be an Abbaye! Let us release those who have refused to fire upon avenue of promotion for the common soldier ; that a common the people!" Soldiers offered themselves; the citizens soldier he must live and die ; he could never become an thanked them, but went alone. The crowd increased till six officer, whatever his merit. To appreciate this phrase, the thousand appeared before the gates of the prison, which they "institution of the army," it is necessary to understand that burst open, and they then brought out the captive soldiers. of the military revenue of the French army at this time the They were met returning by bodies of hussars and dragoons, officers received forty-six millions of francs, the soldiers only in full trot, with their swords drawn; but the people seized forty-four millions. It is necessary to know that such men their bridles, and explained ; the hussars and dragoods were as Jourdan, Joubert, Kleber, who had been common soldiers unwilling to attack the deliverers of their fellow-soldiers; in it, had quitted it because it presented an impossible they put up their swords, loosened their casques, and taking barrier to advance. Augereau was a subaltern officer of the wine offered them, drank to the king and the nation. In infantry; Hoche, a sergeant of these French guards; Moreau, addition to the fifteen French guards, the people delivered a common soldier. Such, under the Bourbons, they might an old soldier who had lain for years in the prison, and could for ever have remained. Even the miserable pay of the no longer walk. They carried him on their shoulders, and, privates, they declared, they did not wholly obtain ; that altogether, soldiers, citizens, prisoners, marched to the Palais the officers, under one pretext or other, kept a considerable Royal, where they regaled the rescued men. There citizens, portion of it, and spent it amongst themselves.
| rich and poor, hussars, dragoons, French guards, mingled It was easy to persuade the soldiers of such an army to together, and cried, “ Vive la nation ! " listen to the new philosophy of liberty, equality, and a This was an alarming spectacle for the aristocracy; brilliant chance for all men. The colonel of the guards had alarming news for the court. If the soldiers revolutionised, kept them closely confined in their barracks, to prevent on whom were they to depend ? Early in the morning, their further corruption by popular agents ; but on the news a band of young men went to Versailles to carry the news of the determined conduct of the national assembly, they to the assembly. That body was struck with consternation. broke out on the 25th of June, and hastened to the A military insurrection was more than they were prepared Palais Royal to join in the common joy of the people. for; it might make them suspected of encouraging it, if they They were received with acclamation; they were embraced, seemed to approve. They debated the matter, declared that almost smothered, by caresses from the ardent patriots, both it belonged to the king ; that they were desirous of preserve men and women. Ladies of family and distinction were / ing public peace and order, and advised that the deputa