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of the Bastille—had been the triumph of the middle class, from being iinpeded in its course, would rush forward more though it was won by the very lowest. The constituency rapidly than ever to regeneration; M. Barnave laughing was its assembly; the national guard its armed force; the with him whilst streams of blood were flowing around us; mayoralty its popular power. There was another party the virtuous Mounier miraculously escaping from twenty equally monarchical, differing essentially from Mirabeau, assassins who were anxious to make an additional trophy in that it would maintain a reformed aristocracy, in a second of his head. These were they which made me swear never chamber. The heads of this party were Mounier, Lally- more to set foot in that cavern of anthropophagi, where I had Tollendal, Duport, Barnave, and Alexander Lamethe. no longer strength to raise my voice; where, for the last six Duport planned their measures, and Barnave and Lamethe weeks, I had raised it in vain. I, Mounier, and all virtuous supported them in the assembly. Such now was the state men, were of opinion that the last effort we had to make for of parties. On the royal side were the emigrants, the queen the public welfare was to leave that assembly. A man may looking to Austria, and hoping to escape to the army under | brave death once-he may face it many times when his Bouillé, in the Austrian Netherlands; the king with no courage can be of use to his country—but no power under determinate views; and Necker struggling to carry on the heaven, no public or private opinion, shall condemn me to government, but, as a statesman, wholly incompetent to the suffer uselessly a thousand deaths a minute, and to perish crisis. On the revolutionary side, ranged, in various ranks, of despair and rage in the midst of triumphs and curses and with various views, Mirabeau, La Fayette, Barnave, which I have been unable to prevent. They will proscribe Lamethe, &c.; and beyond them the vast mass of the lowest me; they will confiscate my property ; but I will dig the people, incited by such men as Robespierre, Marat, Danton, earth for my bread, and will see them no more!" Desmoulins, and others, soon destined to assume a more These noble and honourable men have been blamed for hideous and gigantic shape.
their desertion of the cause of the revolution ; but what The assembly having received repeated assurances of the reason could be advanced for this contrary to that which tranquillity of the city, and that it could exercise perfect they gave? Their efforts were useless, and history confirms independence of vote, bad removed to Paris, and taken this assertion by showing that, had they remained, it would up its sittings for the time in the abandoned palace of the only have been to perish under the guillotine, as so many of archbishop of Paris. But in this locale it showed but as a their compeers did, in the general and mutual butchery fragment of its former self. There was a great diminution which followed. of the noblesse and the clergy, who had withdrawn after the La Fayette, spite of the scenes of the 5th and 6th of scenes they had witnessed, and especially the last. Mounier, August, which had driven away these patriots, spite of Lally-Tollendal, the abbé Maury, and Cazalés, a captain of his having seen himself compelled to follow the ferocious and dragoons, but one of the most eloquent men of the assembly, almost cannibal mob, still blinded by his vanity, flattered had disappeared. Cazales and Maury had retired soon after himself that he could divert the storm of the revolution. the 14th of July, but they soon resumed their places again; / Two days after the bringing of the king to Paris, Governeur but Mounier and Lally-Tollendal never more. Mounier Morris, the American, who was watching the revolution as retired to his native Dauphiny, horrified at the sanguinary a spectator, and therefore saw more of its tendency thau scenes of the 5th and 6th of August. He assembled the the actors themselves, wrote to La Fayette to warn him states of the province, but a decree of the assembly caused it against aiming at too much by his own exertions, and to be dissolved without resistance. Mounier, however, had to induce him to try and unite the greatest number of men henceforth lost the confidence of the people; and, being of talent and virtue in the affairs of government, and suspected by the assembly of fresh designs against it, he was in defence of the king and constitution. He warned him compelled to quit France, and became a teacher of French that the men he was proposing to put into the nsinistryin Germany. He wrote a book “On the Causes which Malesherbes, as keeper of the seals, and La Rochefoucauld, have prevented the French becoming a free People," in which as minister of Paris—though virtuous men, were incapable it has been well observed that he omitted the chief, if not of the duties of those offices. There was one man of talent the only, cause—the character of the nation. Lally against whom he warned him, on account of his bad Tollendal sought safety in England, and there published a character, Mirabeau ; but he assured him that he must have "Letter to a Friend," in which he also enumerated the causes talent, and must not expect altogether faultless possessors of of his abandoning that revolution of which he had been so it. He afterwards wrote to him a letter of very excellent effectual a promoter. "I was no longer able," he wrote. advice. With a remarkable foresight, he told him what "to endure the horror I felt at the sight of that blood in would be the fate of the assembly and of himself, unless Versailles- those heads—that queen nearly assassinated ; that great and immediate measures were used. But could any king carried off as a slave, entering Paris in the midst of his measures have prevented the frightful course of the revoluassassins ; that cry of · All the bishops to the lanterne !'attion, urged on by such a people? “I am convinced," he the moment the king was entering his capital with two pre- said, “that the proposed constitution cannot serve for the lates of his council with him ; that musket which I saw fired government of this country ; that the national assembly, into one of the queen's carriages, and then M. Bailly calling late the object of enthusiastic attachment, will soon be that a glorious day; the assembly having coolly declared in treated with disrespect; that the extreme licentiousness of the morning that it was incompatible with its dignity to go your people will render it indispensable to increase the and surround the king; M. Mirabeau observing, with im. royal authority ; that, under such circumstances, the freedom punity, in that assembly, that the vessel of the state, far and happiness of France must depend on the wisdom,
integrity, and firmness of his majesty's councils, and, thickest of the mob, with a sabre in his hand. Others consequently, that the ablest and best men should be added ' declared that he had been recognised in the marble court, in to the present administration.” He added that the moment a great riding-coat, and with his hat slouched over his face, was critical, and, if not seized, would produce the most directing the mob the way to the staircase leading to the irreparable mischiefs. For himself, he warned bim to keep' queen's chamher. These stories were, no doubt, merely out of the ministry, but to keep himself to his command, myths, but were believed for a time. It was said that it which was almost more than enough for one man. “Your had been agreed betwixt them, that Orleans should be present command," he said, “must, of necessity, engross lieutenant of the kingdom and Mirabeau minister. La your time, and require undisputed attention, and, in Fayette, though probably aware of the falsehood of these consequence, you must fail in the duty either of minister or rumours, yet regarded the duke of Orleans as dangerous general.” After showing him the embarrassments such to the royal cause, and, if in nothing more, yet in giving a double appointment must inevitably bring, be added, occasion to so many reports, and thus furnishing pretexts * The jealousy and suspicion inseparable froin tumultuous for disturbances. He therefore resolved to have hiin away revolutions, and which have already been maliciously pointed from Paris. He had an interview with him, and insisted against you, will certainly follow all your future steps, if on the necessity of his withdrawing from the kingdom for a you appear to be too strictly connected with the court. time. The king, who was equally desirous that Orleans The foundation of your authority will thus crumble away, should absent himself, pretended to be forced into the and you will fall, the object of your own astonishment." measure, and wrote to the duke, saying it was absolutely How wise must these counsels lave appeared to La Fayette necessary for him or La Fayette to withdraw; that the years afterwards, when he was overwhelmed with calumnies, people would not consent to La Fayette retiring, and and driven from his country for his best exertions ! Now, therefore he must, and he gave him a commission to La Fayette seems to have taken the advice so far as to England. The duke's friends, incensed at being deprived refrain from being in the ministry, but ever after growing of their head, went to Mirabeau, and entreated him to distant to the adviser.
denounce the force thus put upon Orleans by La Fayette. The party of the duke of Orleans was strongly suspected Mirabeau was about to consent, for he hated La Fayette, of having excited the late march to Versa nes, with the but his friends showed him the folly of meddling in the design of getting the king into their hands; some said to matter, by which he would, more than ever, be charged have the king assassinated, and out of the way. This party with being in league with Orleans. Mirabeau, therefore, of the duke was always one of the mysteries of the revolution, remained silent, and the next morning, hearing that Orleans much talked about, but little or nothing known of it. The had agreed to go, exclaimed, “ The fool is not worth the duke had, indeed, his particular kpot of friends, amongst trouble that is taken about him!” Orleans withdrew to whom was the marquis de Sillery Genlis, the husband of England. madame de Genlis, the well-known novelist; and Laclos, Mirabeau, disgusted, like Mounier, Lally-Tollendal, and who was the duke's secretary, a man of infamous character, others, with the excesses of the people, had too much perand author of a most infamous and obscene book, "Liaisons sonal ambition and necessities too pressing to withdraw Dangereuses ; " and other men of a like stamp. This man from the conflict. He must have his pleasures and the probably flattered Orleans with the idea that were the means of procuring them, and, though he wɔuld not sell royal family exiled or deposed, he, as next of blood, would himself to the duke of Orleans, or to any party contrary to succeed; but that the duke or his party coutemplated his principles, he was ready enough to sell his services, in or did a tithe of the things attributed to them, is wholly accordance with his own views, for a very good price. The unproved. On every occasion when a mob was raised, or a court was aware of tbis, and took measures to secure bim. monstrous thing done, it was whispered about that it was Hopes were held out through certain persons that, if he would through the agency of the duke and his party. Because he give all the support that he could by his eloquence in the was rich, and had shown bimself ready to take the side of assembly to the king, he might become minister. Mirabeau the people, it was believed that the duke's money was em- listened eagerly to these hints. These proposals were equally ployed to fire and stimulate all the agents and incendiaries acceptable on account of his ambition and his need of money. of mischief. There is no doubt that the duke was an As a minister, deprived of his opport:inies for oratorical disunprincipled debauchee, and would have been ready enough play, Mirabeau would have been ruined for ever; for there is to reap advantage at the expense of the royal family ; but every reason to believe that he would have made as indifthere is no ground for believing that he or his party had the ferent a minister as he was eminent as an orator. He was power or ability to concert and do a hundredth part of what an orator by nature, but he had not the careful calculation was continually attributed to them. Orleans, having a bad and the many qualities necessary for a successful niinister. reputation, and being wealthy, and a stickler for the The court, however, soon made advances, and Mirabeau revolution, may be said to have been the stalking-borse of immediately projected the abrogation of the bill which exall its movements; the truth being, that there needed no cluded ministers from the assembly. other Orleans than the ignorance, ferocity, and lawless. The first act towards the introduction of Mirabeau into passions of the French mob to accomplish all the horrors the service of the court was put in motion by Malouet, a that were perpetrated. At this time, Mirabeau was said to friend of Necker, who introduced Mirabeau to the minister. be in league with Orleans, and to have been seen at the Mirabeau met Necker with the full expectation that he was attack on Versailles, at four o'clock in the morning, in the I to receive some proposal from him; but either Necker wo3 not fully instructed in the object of the introduction, or did Mirabeau endeavoured to procure the alteration of the law not feel disposed, on closer acquaintance, to contribute to excluding ministers from the assembly. The popular party Mirabeau's elevation. He made no overture, and Mirabeau immediately took the alarm; the motion of Mirabeau was retired, indignantly muttering, “The minister shall hear of rejected, and Lapjuinis seized the opportunity to push the ine.” But the court now employed a more adroit agent. restriction further, and to make it illegal for any existing This was a foreign prince, connected with men of all parties. deputy to become minister. Mirabeau saw that the measure Mirabeau made it clearly known that he would make no was aimed directly at him, and proposed, as an amendment, sacrifice of principles; that, in fact, it would be ruinous to that the restriction should apply to no deputy but himself. bimself to do so, and useless to the king ; but that, if the This extraordinary mode of showing the assembly that he government would adhere to the constitution, which was I understood the drift of the proposal, did not prevent the
every way the best thing for both court and people— passing of the decree, and thus Mirabeau had only more Mirabeau would stanchly support these objects, and through completely closed the way to his ministry, except by the them the security and best interests of the crown. He made forfeiture of his place in the assembly, which was to ruin himit, at the same time, plain that, for him to be able to do this self utterly with the people; in fact, the object of his attempt effectively, he must be placed at his ease; his debts must be in the assembly becoming soon known, did him infinite paid, and he must receive a handsome salary. It was there. mischief with the public. The idea of his becoming minister fore arranged that his conditions should be accepted, and could not be endured. It appeared to the people sheer that his pension should be twenty thousand francs, or eight treason against their cause, and Mirabeau fell greatly, in hundred pounds a-month ; but these terms were not finally consequence, in their opinion. settled till a few months later, that is, at the commencement The assembly now settled at Paris, and strengthened in of the year 1790.
its popular unity by the flight or retirement of so many Meantime, while still appearing to oppose the court, aristocrats, prosecuted the formation of the constitution
with increased rapidity. All the financial schemes of Necker as a formal dreamer and fanatic; but the historians of France had failed. The state was destitute of funds; but it could entertain a very different opinion of him. Mignet says, not be considered bankrupt, for it had large assets not “ Sieyes was one of those men who, in ages of enthusiasm, only in the right of taxation, but in crown and church found a sect, and in ages of intelligence, exercise the lands. The assembly had abolished the feudal system ; it ascendency of a powerful understanding. Solitude and determined now to sell the church property, and give philosophic speculation bad ripened it for a happy moment. salaries instead to the clergy. It is remarkable that the His ideas were new, vigorous, various, but little systematic proposition came from a churchman and a bishop-from Society had in particular been the object of his observaTalleyrand, bishop of Autub—but what a bishop! Talley- tion; he had followed its progress, and decomposed its rand was of an old and illustrious house, and had already machinery. The nature of government appeared to him displayed the shrewdness and sagacity which afterwards led less a question of right than a questioi of epoch. Although him to the highest place in the diplomacy of the age, and cool and deliberate, Sieyes had the ardour which inspires the terminated in his receiving rank as a prince, after having investigation of truth, and the fearlessness to insist on its been alternately bishop, representative in the assembly, and promulgation. Thus he was absolute in his notions, despismerchant in America. Mirabeau had already discovered his ing the ideas of others, because he found them incomplete, and, profound talents, and his instinctive insight into character, in his eyes, embodying only half the truth, which was error. and had foretold his diplomatic eminence. Talleyrand Contradiction irritated him ; he was little communicative; was the only bishop ever appointed by the choice and at the he would have wished to make himseli thoroughly underreqnest of the clergy of France. Notwithstanding his high stood, but he could not succeed with all the world. His birth, Louis XVI. hesitated to make him a bishop; but the disciples transmitted his system to others—a circumstance general assembly of the clergy made a direct request to the which gave him a certain air of mysteriouness, and rendered king, and the then abbé of Perigord became the bishop of him the object of a sort of adoration. He had the authority Autun. Little did the clergy foresee what he would do. which complete political science bestows, and the constituThe outcry of the clergy at Talleyrand's proposition was tion could have sprung from his head all armed, like the wild and fierce. The abbé Maury denounced what he Minerva of Jupiter, or the legislation of the ancients, if, in termed this sacrilegious robbery with all his eloquence, and our times, every one had not wished to assist in it, or to warned the aristocracy that it was but the prelude to their judge of it. Nevertheless, with some modifications, his destruction. Talleyrand, on the other hand, proved the plans were generally adopted, and he had in the committees justice and propriety of the measure, and showed the great far more disciples than fellow-labourers." advantages that would result from it to the state. The The assembly determined next the franchise, and all clergy made a vigorous resistance, but in vain; Talleyrand, political rights of the citizen. These were included in the Thouret, and Mirabeau demolished all their arguments, and simple payment of one silver mark on arriving at the age the assembly, on the 2nd of December, decreed the appro- of twenty-five. This payment måde, a man of full age priation and sale of all ecclesiastical property. From that was qualified to vote for a member of any body, from moment the hatred of the clergy, hitherto partly concealed, the commune to the national assembly, and he was equally in the hope of preserving its wealth, broke forth in full eligible as a candidate. Such was the basis laid for all display against the new régime. Salaries were appointed to political action; and the nobles and clergy now exercised the curés, which were not to be less than twelve hundred their liberty in obstructing the business of the assembly. francs, with a parsonage and garden. All conventual vows They supported the military commandants against the were declared null, the property of all monastic establishi- people, the slave-traders against the negro slaves; they ments confiscated, and the inmates were to be pensioned. opposed the admission of protestants and Jews to the Political pensions were also reduced to a low standard, and enjoyment of equal rights. We cannot give a more lively many abolished.
picture of the state of parties in the national assembly, and Another churchman, tbe abbé Sieyes, then proposed a of the conduct of the clergy, at the close of the year 1789, very important topographical alteration. This was to than that drawn by M, Ferrieres : "In the national abolish the ancient names and boundaries of provinces which assembly there were not more than about three hundred were associated with old feudal principles, and with laws, really upright men exempt from party spirit, not belonging privileges, and customs contrary to each other, and to the to any club, wishing what was right, wishing it for its own new ideas and constitution. This was to annihilate all the sake, independently of the interest of orders or of bodies, ancient demarcations of the provinces, and re-divide the always ready to embrace the most just and the most benekingdom into departments, which should all have the same ficial proposal, no matter from what quarter it came, or by laws, the departments being subdivided into districts, and the whom it was supported. These were the men worthy of the districts into municipalities. Each of these divisions was to honourable function to which they had been called, who be governed by their councils, which were to be elective, and made the few good laws that proceeded from the constituent subordinate one to the other. The department was to make assembly; it was they who prevented all the mischief which the assessment of taxes upon the districts, the districts on was not done by it. As for the nobles and clergy, they the municipalities or communes, and the communes on aimed only to dissolve the assembly, to throw discredit on individuals. This was carried, and was one of the many its operations; instead of opposing mischievous measures, benefits conferred by Sieves on his country through the they manifested an indifference on this point which is inconrevolution. Some of our historians have represented Sieyes ceivable. When the president stated the question thes