« ZurückWeiter »
and ambitious power thus aggrandised and extended from women, and children, who were indiscriminately butchered the Baltic to the Mediterranean-from Siberia to Greece ; | by the orders of Suvaroff, who said to his soldiersyet Pitt continued as selfishly inactive as if there were no “Brothers, no quarter to-day, for bread is scarce.” Every danger at all, and the same blind policy actuated Holland horror possible in war, especially between barbarians, was and Prussia. The least support given by these powers at perpetrated by the Russian hordes in Ismael, who were this time to Gustavus of Sweden would have effectually guilty of the most diabolical atrocities, such as burning of checked the Russian designs on the east, and have raised | whole streets, mosques, and serais. Suvaroff sate down and Sweden into a power capable of always acting as a dead wrote in Russian rhyme the words quoted by lord Byron in weight on Russian aggression. By very little aid Gustavus “Don Juan,” “Glory to God and the Empress, Ismael is would have been able to recover all the territories on the ours." When Sir Charles Whitworth, the British ambaseastern side of the Baltic which had been wrested from Sweden sador, next saw Catherine, she said, in allusion to some strong by Russia, and would thus have kept a formidable power remonstrances from England and Prussia, which took care always, as it were, at the very gates of Petersburg. But not to go beyond remonstrances, which were cheap—"Since Gustavus was left, with his brave heart but very circum- the king, your master, wishes to drive me out of Petersburg, scribed forces, to contend with Russia alone. He kept I hope he will permit me to retire to Constantinople." down his disaffected nobles by cultivating the interests of That was a bitter and an ominous speech, could Pitt, the the people at large, and maintained a determined struggle so much-lauded minister of England, have felt or perwith Russia. He sent over the prince of Anhalt with a small ceived the real force of it. army of about three thousand men at so early a season this Since the commencement of the year 1790, the agitation year that the ground was covered with ice and snow. The in Paris had become greater than ever. The soldiers of the prince pushed on boldly towards Petersburg, and made national guard mutinied for pay. They assembled in the himself master of the strong forts and defences at Karnom- Champs Elysées to the number of a thousand, but La koski, on the lake Saima, within two days' march of that Fayette, so far from yielding to them, hastened to the spot capital. In April, they were encountered by ten thousand with better-affected troops, dispersed them, bayoneted others Russians under the command of general Ingelstrom, whom on the spot, and took about two hundred prisoners. This they defeated after a desperate battle, leaving two thousand spirited conduct had the effect of cowing the mutineers and Russians dead on the field. But the prince of Anhalt was their allies of the rabble, who on various occasions of late killed, and the Swedes were not able, with such a handful had appeared with arms concealed under their coats, and bail of men, to advance on Petersburg, which was in fearful thus compelled the municipal authorities to raise the red flag panic. But Gustavus was more successful at sea. He and as the symbol of martial law. There were, at the same his brother, the duke of Sudermania, fought the Russians time, many rumours of plots against the assembly and the with a very inferior force of ships off Revel, and afterwards municipality, the supposed ringleader of which was the off Svenskasund. A considerable number of English officers marquis de Favras. This marquis de Favras had served in were serving in the Swedish fleet, amongst them one the army in the Netherlands, and in Holland, at the time of destined to rise to high distinction, Sydney, afterwards Sir the insurrection against the stadtholder. He was a man of Sydney Smith. After two days' sanguinary fight at the dissipated habits, a gambler, and full of intrigues. The latter place, Gustavus beat the Russian admiral Chitschakoff revolution had stopped his income, as it had done that of 80 completely that he took four thousand prisoners, destroyed thousands of his order. He married the only daughter of several of the largest Russian ships, and took or sunk forty-five the prince of Anhalt-Schaumburg; but his wife, it would galleys. Catherine was now glad to make peace, which was seem, was a natural child, for he had been in Germany concluded at Warela, near the river Kymen, but with very endeavouring to get her legitimatised, by which she would different results to what would have been obtained had acquire a handsome fortune. He had been first lieutenant Gustavus found that support which it was the obvious of Monsieur's guards, which gave him the rank of colonel. interest of the whole civilised world to afford him. He It was now communicated to La Fayette and Bailly, by a agreed that each power should retain what it possessed spy of the name of Houdart, that Favras was plotting to before the war, thus conferring on Russia the provinces torn have them both assassinated, to carry off the king to Veronne, from Sweden. Gustavus complained bitterly of his treat for which he had twelve hundred horse ready. The mayor ment, and with great cause.
ordered his arrest, and he was consigned to the Chatelet for During this campaign, Catherine had made great progress trial. The Chatelet had been erected into a court for the in her road to Constantinople. Suvaroff had reduced trial of all causes arising out of the revolution. This court Ismael, a remarkably strong place, which was the key of was conducted on more liberal principles than the old ones. the lower Danube, and the only obstruction of any import- The accused were allowed counsel for their defence, and it ance to the Russian advance to the Balkan mountains and was proposed soon to introduce juries. The baron de to Constantinople. This city had been taken by storm, Besenval had been tried at the Chatelet for his conduct at after a most desperate defence, on the 25th of December, the time of the assault on the Bastille, and had been acquitted. and when, with a little more resistance, the Russians would Favras was said to be the secret agent in this plot of high have been compelled to quit the field by the severity of the personages, and it was stated that he had received money season. The carnage on this occasion was of the most from Monsieur. A letter, indeed, was found on Favras frightful kind. The Russians themselves lost nearly ten which favoured that belief. La Fayette showed this letter thousand men, and the Turks thirty thousand people-men,' to Monsieur, who was so greatly affected by it, that he
determined to go to the Chatelet and clear himself. occupied. Suddenly there was a cry, “ The king is coming!” Accordingly, he appeared there, and read a very able and Louis entered. The assembly rose, and received his defence, supposed to have been written by Mirabeau for with applause. Louis XVI., standing, read a long and him. In this Monsieur declared that he had been always very admirable address to the seated assembly. He referred a friend of the revolution, and referred the judges to to the exertions which had been made, not only during the bis conduct throughout it; and these allegations were sitting of the assembly, but previously in the parliaments, apparently quite true. The gist of the whole speech is to allay the troubles which had fallen on France, and to couched in one remarkable passage: “As to my private supply the wants of the people. He begged them to sentiments, I shall speak of them with confidence to my remember that, ten years ago, and before a public call fellow-citizens. Ever since the day that, in the second was made for a states-general, he had recommended such assembly of notables, I declared my views respecting the a step, and that, since the meeting of the assembly, he fundamental question which divided people's minds, I have added, to use his own words, “I have seconded, by all not ceased to believe that a great revolution was at hand; the means in my power, that grand organisation on which that the king, by his intentions, his virtues, and his supreme depends the welfare of France; and I think it necessary rank, ought to be the head of it, since it could not be beneficial to observe, that I am too attentive to the internal condition to the nation without being equally so to the monarch. In of the kingdom, my eyes are too open to the dangers short, that the royal authority ought to be the rampart of of all kinds by which we are encompassed, not to be the national liberty, and the national liberty the basis of the deeply sensible that, in the present disposition of minds, royal authority. I challenge you to produce a single one of and considering the actual state of public affairs, it is my actions, a single one of my expressions, which has con- requisite that a new order of things should be established, tradicted these principles, which has shown that, in what or the kingdom may be exposed to all the calamities of circumstances soever I have been placed, the happiness of anarchy. No doubt,” he added, “those who have relinthe king and that of the people have ceased to be the sole quished their pecuniary privileges, those who will no longer objects of my thoughts and my views. I have, therefore, a form, as of old, an order in the state, find themselves subright to be believed on my word. I have never changed my jected to sacrifices; but I am persuaded that they will have sentiments and principles, and I never will change them." generosity enough to seek an indemnification in all the Monsicur's speech was received with enthusiastic applause, public advantages of which the establishment of national and he was escorted back to his residence.
assemblies holds out a hope." Farras was put upon his trial, and defended himself ably. Louis added, " I, too, should have losses to enumerate, if, Two men, one of whom was the same Houdart who had amid the most important interests of the state, I could informed against him, deposed to the reality of the plot for dwell upon personal considerations; but I feel a compensathe assassination of La Fayette and Bailly, but they could tion that satisfies me, a full and entire compensation, in the bring no other evidence of these facts, and there appeared no increase of the national happiness; and this sentiment comes proof of the twelve hundred cavalry being in readiness, or from the very bottom of my heart. I will defend, therefore of the Swiss and Piedmontese army being in motion. La -I will uphold constitutional liberty, the principles which Fayette requested that the part of the charge respecting the public wish, in accordance with my own, has himself and Bailly might be left out of the trial, but the sanctioned. I will do more ; and, in concert with the court would not concede this. Favras demanded to know queen, who shares all my sentiments, I will early adapt the who was his original accuser : this, too, was refused. He heart and mind of my son to the new order of things which called his own witnesses, and the court refused to hear them, circumstances have brought about. I will accustom him, and Favras jastly denounced the court as no better than from his very first years, to seek happiness in the happiness the inquisition. In fact, the whole proceeding was most of the French, and ever to acknowledge that, in spite of the arbitrary and unjust. No clear proofs of his guilt were language of flatterers, a wise constitution will preserve him adduced, and Favras ought to have been acquitted ; but from the dangers of inexperience, and that a just liberty adds the populace had been exasperated at the acquittal of Besen- a new value to the sentiments of affection and loyalty, of val, and were furious for the execution of Favras. During the which the nation has for so many years given such touching whole trial, crowds surrounded the Chatelet, crying, “ A la proofs to its kings!” Linterne!" and menacing the judges if they did not condemn The manly sentiments of this speech were certainly folFavras; and it is but too apparent that the judges, fearing lowed by vehement applause, but, at the conclusion of this for their own lives, dared not to acquit him.
promise on behalf of the queen and the dauphin, the whole In the midst of the trial, the king suddenly appeared in assembly burst forth in thunders of acclamation, all hands the national assembly. The statements of the witnesses on were stretched towards the king, and there were loud cries the trial had again roused the suspicions of the public as to for the qneen and the royal infant. Louis concluded by
he designs of the court, and he was advised that it would calling on all who still kept aloof from a spirit of concord be well, by a decisive step, to dissipate these ideas. Accord that was become so necessary, to make a sacrifice to him of all ingly, on the 4th of February, the assembly, on meeting, were the recollections that afflicted them, exclaiming, “I will surprised to observe arrangements for a royal visit. The steps repay them with my gratitude and affection!” and the asof the bureau were covered with a carpet sprinkled with fleurs- sembly was in a rapture of delight. The king was conde-lis; the arm-chair of the secretaries was lowered, and the ducted back to the Tuileries by the multitude, shouting and president was standing beside the seat which he usually I rejoicing.
The assembly voted thanks to the king and queen; and, excellent opportunity presented itself. The officer of the as Louis had voluntarily vowed to uphold the constitution, national guard on duty was secretly in their favour. All it declared that it was fitting for the deputies to do the same. was made ready, relays of horses were provided, the queen Every deputy, therefore, took the civic oath to be faithful had packed up her jewels; but the king continued playing at to the nation, to the law, and to the king; and to uphold, whist, and, at last, said he could not consent to be carried with all his power, the constitution. The supplementary off. That high - spirited and beautiful woman must be members, the deputies of communes, desired also to take the dragged down to the block by her slug of a husband! As oath; the tribunes and galleries followed their example, and Louis would not escape, many of his friends thought he on all sides nothing was heard but the words, “I swear it!" ought now to put himself heartily into the revolution, and do The Hôtel de Ville followed the example of the assembly; all in his power to secure the favour of the national asall swore there, and so commune after commune throughout sembly. On the contrary, the American, Governeur Morris, France did the same. Rejoicings were ordered, which anxiously recommended that the king should remain quiesappeared to be general and sincere. Here, then, surely cent, and let things take their course. He argued, and he was a foundation for a permanent harmony in any country wrote to the queen, urging this view of affairs, that matexcept France. If the king was honest, if the people had ters were becoming so miserable for the people, that, ere any appreciation of sincerity, nothing could be so easy as long, they would grow sick of the revolution, and return to the future progress of constitutional reform. But in this the king for his guidance and protection, when it would be strange capital and country, a very few days had dissipated in his power to form a proper constitution. this ardent ebullition of sentiment; the court had fallen But no such salutary effects were to be expected from back into its old suspicions of the people, and the people studied inaction on the part of the king. The assembly and into theirs of the court.
the people were determined not to stop short of a complete The trial of Favras went on, and he was condemned to be and democratic revolution. They had no confidence in the hanged in the Place de Grève, to show the equality of all men. court, and the court had none in them. The queen's party Favras prophesied to his judges, that if life could be taken looked to Austria for support, and numbers of the courtiers on evidence like that brought against him, no man would long were in correspondence with the count D'Artois and the be safe. But the fact appears plain that the judges did not royalist refugees, who were actively mustering forces and dare to acquit him. The mob demanded his life ; and the exciting disaffection in the south. Another great depen. lives of judges who should dare to acquit him would not have dence of the court was on the marquis de Bouillé, who had been worth much. Favras was conducted to the Hôtel de the command of the army at Metz, where he extended his Ville, and was hanged at night by torch-light, and amid authority over a vast extent of frontier. Bouillé was firmly the yells and jeers of the populace. He declared that his attached to the royal cause, and was ready to risk his life to whole crime was that of receiving a hundred louisd'ors to serve it. But he had no confidence in his relative, La endeavour to dispose the public favourably towards the Fayette, the commandant of the national guard, whom he king; but there must have been more than this, for the held to be too deeply committed to the revolution for them queen expressed much uneasiness lest he should disclose par- to work at all together. Whilst La Fayette, therefore, ticulars which would be dangerous to them in his last wrote earnestly to Bouillé to co-operate with him in support moments. He once, indeed, asked whether, if he gave the of the throne, Bouillé only returned a cold answer to La names of those with whom he had acted, he could he saved ? Fayette, of whom the queen, at least, was suspicious; for but the answer was not satisfactory, and he said he would when La Fayette urged the king and queen to go heartily carry his secrets along with bim. The rumour of these into the revolution with the assembly, in order to be able things deepened the suspicions of the court; and the folly to moderate it, they received his advice with impatience, of the friends of Favras dreadfully aggravated them. On though the king declared him an honest man. the Sunday after the execution, “ as the royal family were So far, therefore, from the king being able to produce an dining in public, and members of the officers of the national advantage to himself by quietly waiting, he was losing guards present, the widow and child of Favras were presented influence every day by the jealousies which the partisans of to Marie Antoinette. The queen was confounded ; did the court excited in the assembly and the people. The not venture to take any notice of the widow and her son ; party of the refugees was divided in itself. It had Calonne and, as soon as dinner was over, hurrying to her private for its minister at Turin, but he was no more able to unite apartment, she exclaimed to madame Campan that they were the court factions than he had been, when minister of the undone ; that the people would believe that the widow and realm, to induce the nobles and clergy to submit to taxation. child in deep mourning had been presented to her at her The high nobility insisted on none but foreign aid being request, and that the royalists would censure her for not employed for the recovery of the ancient power of the court, taking notice of them. Whilst, however, complaining that and this from their jealousy of the provincial noblesse, and the folly of their own friends were ruining them, the queen 'still more of the bourgeoisie. On the contrary, the petty privately sent relief to the widow, for Favras died poor. nobles, and the citizens who had emigrated and made up the
Every day made the queen and her friends the more sensible second party, were for calling out all the catholic and that their only safety was in flight; and Marie Antoinette, royalist population in France to put down the revolution, had it depended on her, would soon have accomplished this which was based partly on atheism and partly on protestantescape. Plan after plan was passed, but the inertness of the ism, according to M. Fromont, who urged this plan upor king rendered them all abortive. At this very moment, an' them, and to renounce all reliance on foreign aid; they were
to stifle a strong passion by a still stronger ; religious zeal made, or should make hereafter, presented an awful view of was to stifle the republican mania. In fact, the catholic the overwhelming power of the assembly to those un. royalists had seen, with resentment, toleration conferred on favourable to the revolution. Accordingly, there was an the protestants, and they trusted to arouse the spirit of attempt made in April to put an end to the term of the fanatic intolerance in their behalf. This party proving present members. It was represented that the people were the stronger, the clergy, furious at the confiscation of their about to meet to elect their magistrates ; that the term property, were only too ready to second these views. They for which the deputies had been elected, which was in most took advantage, during the solemnities of Easter, to preach cases only for one year, was near expiring, and that the people up persecution of the protestants, who had shown, as was, from might as well be authorised to elect the new deputies at the a mere principle of gratitude, natural, a zealous support same time. They had met in May, 1789, and it was now of the assembly and the revolution. In consequence of this April of 1790. bigot crusade of the clergy, and the active exertions of the The abbé Maury was chosen to introduce this motion. emissaries of the refugees at Turin, there were popular out. He said the new organisation of the kingdom was complete ; breaks at Montpellier, Nismes, Montaubon, and other places the nation had assumed its sovereignty, and he asked by what in the south, and the rage of the catholics was turned against right the assembly put themselves in the place of the nation, the protestants and the revolution. Charles Lameth com- and prolonged powers that were but temporary. By what plained, in the assembly, that the festival of Easter had been right they had invested themselves with sovereign attributes ? abused to excite the people against the new laws. The It was replied that they continued to sit in a legislative clergy started to their feet, and threatened to quit the capacity, and to complete the constitution ; but Maury said assembly in a body if such a charge were admitted. Dom that legislative and constitutional power were only the same, Gerle, a carthusian, proposed that the catholic religion unless there was no other government in a country. If should be declared the religion of the state. The clergy and they were a sovereign convention, then they bad only to a great number of catholic deputies raised a clamorous depose the king, and declare the throne vacant. A vociferacclamation. The president adjourned to the next day. ous indignation drowned the voice of the speaker at these A vast crowd collected, and La Fayette thought it prudent words, and Mirabeau arose. “We are asked," he said, to double the usual guard. A violent debate, amounting to "since what time the deputies of the people have become a an actual tumult, took place, but the motion was rejected. national convention? I answer, from the day when, finding But the commotion in Paris was followed by an equal com- the entrance to their seats encompassed by soldiers, they went motion in the provinces. The patriots attributed all these and met in the first place where they could assemble, to save excitements to the instigations of the refugee court at Turin. or to perish rather than betray and abandon the rights of the The national guards turned out, and actual fights took place nation. On that day, the nature of our powers, whatever betwixt royalist and revolutionist parties. At Marseilles, they were, was changed. Be the powers that we have the national guards drove the royalist officers out of the castle exercised what they may, our efforts, our labours, have and forts, and made the troops swear to the constitution. legitimated them. The adhesion of the whole nation has At Valence, on the Rhine, the viscount de Voisins, the sanctified them. All of you recollect the expression of that commandant, was murdered; all the old antipathies of great man of antiquity, who had neglected the legal forms those regions betwixt catholic and protestant were let loose, for saving the country. Called upon by a factious tribune and the brother of Mirabeau announced in the assembly that to say if he had observed the laws, he replied, 'I swear that civil war had begun, and that all the south was in flames. I have saved the country!' Gentlemen," continued Mira
It was from this state of warfare in the south, and beau, “I swear that you have saved France !” especially in the valley of the Rhone, that the famous federa- At this magnificent oath, says Ferrières, the whole tions, destined to produce such decided influence on the assembly, as if under the influence of a sudden inspiration, revolution, took their rise. Fearing attacks from the closed the discussion, and resolved that the electoral body fanatic catholics and their allies, the refugees, the municipal should not proceed to the new election of deputies. The authorities, the national guard, and the people of Etoile took scheme for putting an end to the present assembly was thus an oath to be true to the constitution and to one another frustrated, but it was by a most dangerous and unwarranted towards the close of the year 1789. The neighbouring town assumption. The assembly bad voted itself, in fact, indeof Montélimart immediately followed the example, and also pendent of the people. Such things can be done only in made a federation with the people of Etoile. The practice revolutions, for at any other period they would constitute spread all over the towns of the south, which swore, “in the a revolution. It was thus that the Long Parliament of fice of God and their country," to be true to one another, England acted; and the national assembly could only have to liberty, and to the national assembly, even unto death. done it from the consciousness that they should receive the The people of the country joined those of the towns, and full sanction of the people at large, which was equally bent from the south the federations spread northward, and towns on violating all forms and all rights but the right to federated with towns, districts with districts, departments establish their freedom in defiance of the schemes of the with departments, till France was one universal federation. aristocracy.
These acts of federation were celebrated by music and firing But there was another power which threatened to tranof guns. The national assembly and La Fayette applauded scend even the assembly in the favour of the most revoluthe movement. This close union of a whole armed nation, tionary of the populace, and this was the Jacobin Club, hinding itself to support all the laws which the asscnlly had which sate almost constantly in the Rue St. Honoré, close
to the Grande Salle de Manège, or Riding School, to which who were accustomed to higher-seasoned politics and the assembly had now transferred itself. This, as we have speeches. Soon after the establishment of the Feuillans, said, was founded on the Breton club, but it had now they celebrated their foundation and the 17th of Juno embraced determined revolutionists of all parts of France. together, that being the day on which the states-gener The Lameths were at the head of it, but numbers of the declared itself a national assembly. They had a gran) most outre electors and of the members of the assembly dinner in the Palais Royal, and amongst them were Sièges, itself were its regular frequenters. Robespierre was a Talleyrand, Chapelier, count Mirabeau, the brother of the constant attendant, and Mirabeau was as often at the club orator, Bailly, La Fayette, and general Paoli, the Corsican as at the assembly. The president had his fauteuil, and his patriot. They sate with open windows, so that the people hand-bell to ring for order, just like the president of the in the Palais Royal might hear the music and the speeches ;
assembly, and the club had its journal to record all its and they presented themselves on the balcony, and bowed transactions and its speeches. In fact, it was a self- to the people, and received a deputation of the dames de la clected and hotter assembly, acting as a spur to that body, halle. But all this would not do ; the tone of the populace, ind possessing more of the esteem of the mob, from whom it which ruled the country, was far ahead of their politics, and Jrew its animus. La Fayette and Bailly, to neutralise its the Feuillans died gradually out. formidable influence, established another club, called the club On the other hand, a still more fervid club than even the of the Feuillans, from sitting in the convent of the monks of Jacobins grew and won the popular regard universally. that order. The members of this club were men whom La This was the club of the Cordeliers, also taking its name Fayette and Bailly deemed the most enlightened—that is, from the convent of the monks of that order, where it sate. they were men of moderate and constitutional principles. At this club, Desmoulins frenzied with revolutionary fire But they sought in vain to win the favour of the multitude, Danton, at the commencement of the revolution a briefless