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Laws,” showing the material influence of soul and body on The fact was well known that at that moment he could not cich other. On the commencement of the revolution, he have sold his property, and that there was no money in the began a paper called L'Ami du Peuple, in which he treasury to pay him. It was well for him to be able to vented his inextinguishable fury against all classes in the escape scatheless ; and, obtaining a passport from Bailly, and state except the veriest scum of the population, who read another from the king, he set out towards Switzerland along and admired his ferocious writings. In his person, Marat the road which, so short a time previous, he had traversed was as ugly an] deformed as his soul was. His very aspect amid the frantic plaudits of the people, and with the elating terrified children ; and such was his cowardice that, whilst idea that he was destined to retrieve the finances and save launching daily his denunciations against others, and when the country. Now not a voice was raised to lament his he became president of the convention, as he did, bringing departure, and he was not allowed to quit the country their heads to the guillotin, he slept in a cave in the pro- without a serious alarm. He had arrived at Arcis-sur-Aube, foundest secresy. All this, however, did not save him from accompanied by his wife and four friends, when the national the avenging dagger of Charlotte Corday.
guard of the place arrested the whole party, and would not Robespierre, another chief monster of this revolution, was allow them to proceed until they had obtained the permission the son of a barrister at Arras. He was educated at the of the national assembly. Though Necker had passports college of Louis le Grande, in Paris, and, like his father, from the municipality of Paris and from the king, he had adopted the profession of law. He was sent from Artois to not one from the assembly, and, without that, the zealous the national assembly as their deputy. For some time, his officials thought the others worthless. The assembly, notinsignificant person, his weak voice, and defective vision, withstanding some of its members proposed that he should rendered him of little influence in the assembly ; but by be brought back and examined as to the state of his accounts, perseverance, and by assuming a character of mildness and sent him permission to proceed, and he got safely to Copet, humanity, and by defending the poor and denouncing on the lake of Geneva, where he survived till 1804, contemcorruption, he gradually, won popularity, and was called plating the course of the revolution, which swept away so ** The Incorruptible.” He was closely associated, however, many now playing a prominent part in it. with the jacobin club, and the bloodhounds, Danton and The ministry of France was now reduced to the utmost Marat; and, no sooner did he obtain the opportunity, than insignificance, and St. Priest and Latour du Pin soon after he showed himself to be one of the most sanguinary wretches resigned, being in danger of being impeached by the that ever disgraced the name of man.
assembly for keeping up a mischievous correspondence with The assembly, pressed by exhaustion of the public the emigrants and the military chiefs. Count Montmorin revenue, again put a large quantity of the church property alone remained in his dangerous post, and was one of the into the market, and issued eight hundred millions of first victims of jacobin vengeance in the massacres of Sepassignats upon the strength of it. Talleyrand made an tember of the following year. For the present, Montmorin, elaborate speech showing the certain consequence of so Molleville, Malouet, and a few others formed a sort of privy immoderate an issue of paper-money ; its depreciation ; the council, and concerted plans in the vain hope of strengthenconsequent hoarding of gold, and the direct rise of price in ing the monarchy. Duport du Tertre was made keeper of all articles of life. Mirabeau, on the contrary, supported the seals, and Duportrail, at the recommendation of La the issue. Necker opposed the measure in vain, for Necker Fayette, was made head of the war department in place of was now become a mere cypher with all parties. He never Latour du Pin. Duportrail soon showed himself more had the diplomatic genius which he believed himself to inclined towards the popular party than his predecessor, possess. He had won the favour of the people by being the and one of his first acts was to deprive Bouillé of the indemeans of calling together the states-general ; but the king pendent liberty, which the king had conferred on him, of and his fellow-ministers had no confidence in him, and the disposing the troops as he thought best-a power which jacobins and Cordeliers had long ago ruined his fame Bouillé was anxious to employ in favour of the king's with the once idolising people. Danton and Marat had escape. not hesitated to accuse him of corruption and public pillage. The king had studied carefully and anxiously the history of The mob, who once hailed him as the saviour of the country, the English revolution and the fate of Charles I. As he now howled at nights under his windows, and menaced him saw that Charles's taking arms to maintain his authority with the lanterne. Necker seized this opportunity of being against the parliament had led to his execution, after a civil overridden by the assembly, in the matter of the second war, Louis—who had nothing of the spirit of Charles Stuart issue of the assignats, to tender his resignation, and to get - had acquired a deep dread of anything which might lead to away in safety to his native mountains. His resignation civil war. He regarded the attempt to escape, if unsuccesswas accepted with pleasure ; and Necker addressed a ful, as fatal to himself and family ; if successful, as the characteristic letter to the assembly to announce his immediate cause of a civil war, the issue of which no man departure. He assumed the same air of patriotic vanity could foresee. He, therefore, more and more recoiled from which he had always worn. “I leave,” he said, “as the all schemes of escape. But the queen took very different guarantee of my administration, my house in Paris, my views. She regarded it as certain that to remain in France country house, and my funds in the royal treasury, which, was to ultimately perish. The refugees she had no faith in, for a long time, bave amounted to two million four hundred and was averse to receive reaction at their hands, certain thousand livres, and ask only to withdraw the four hundred that, should they succeed, they would become masters thousand livres which thestate of my affairs renders necessary." I in their turn. Yet every day it was becoming more and
more evident that the clubs, and through the clubs the mob, with it all his power for any purpose. He, in consequence, were gaining in power and audacity. The leaders of the depended much more on the escape of the king to some place clubs, Robespierre, Danton, Marat, and Desmoulins, taught out of the reach of the assembly than on any efforts within the utmost contempt and execration for all ranks and classes that body. He therefore proposed that means should be above the mere rabble. She felt that it could not be long devised for the king and royal family to escape to the army ere the assembly itself would be overwhelmed by the under Bouillé, but that Louis should not place himselt fanaticism of the republicans, and that there must be a entirely in the power of Bouillé, but should take up his deluge of bloodshed, in which the royal family would dis- residence at Lyons, whilst Bouillé should encamp at Montappear first. During the sojourn of the court at St. Cloud, medly. From Lyons he proposed that the king should, by a in the autumn of this year, she, therefore, entertained many proclamation, express to the nation his real views and feelplans of escape. The king would listen to none. Driven ings regarding the new constitution, which he never could
fanaticism of those people would be a bit could not be long
alnıost to despair, Marie Antoinette, catching at the faintest do but at the risk of his head, so long as he was in the hope of rescue, now resolved on what she had hitherto power of the assembly and of the mob. Mirabeau had artrecoiled from, an interview with Mirabeau.
fully drawn from most of the deputies their private views, in This extraordinary man had for the greater part of the writing, of the constitution, and in comparing them, he year been receiving a prodigal pension from the court, for found that each one condemned some particular article, and his services in maintaining the royal cause in the assembly, thus, taken altogether, the body of deputies in reality conand in devising and assisting in a plan of escape for the demned every article in it. He proposed that these private king. It was not only as a lover of monarchy, but as a confessions should be appended to the king's proclamation greater lover of the assembly and the people, that Mirabeau as the most telling reason why he did not approve more or could, under the circumstances of the country, hope to effect less of the constitution, which was thus altogether conanything. A little too much enthusiasm on behalf of the demned by the whole of the assembly which had passed it. monarch, and he would have lost all his popularity, and This plau had been communicated to Bouillé by a foreign
jrince on behalf of the court, and Bouillé had been so much indulged in all the licentious pleasures possible ; he lived on struck with it, that he recommended that every means the freest terms with madame Jay, the wife of his publisher ; should be used to secure the zealous exertions of Mirabeau and, besides, kept a number of opera-girls, with whom he in carrying out the plan, and he engaged himself to support passed all his leisure hours. All this time he knew that the it by all his power with the army.
royal coffers, from which his extravagance was supplied, were The great difficulty lay in the repugnance of the queen to next to empty, and that the court itself was often at its wit's
enter into personal communication with a man of Mirabeau's | end for money. Though his father was dead, and the money debauched character. Mirabeau, with all his ambition, was that he received from the court was ostensibly to enable him the veriest slave of his passions. No sooner did he obtain the to clear off the debts from the family estate, that was the ample allowance from the king, than he quitted his obscure very last thing Mirabeau thought of. He was aware that to lodgings for a magnificent house in the Chaussée d'Antin, assist the monarchy would require not only all his talent which he fitted up most sumptuously. He had the most and sagacity, but all his most earnest thought, time, and elegant servants; he gave the finest dinner parties; he watchfulness; he never stinted his debaucheries till nature
sank under them. He was, in fact, now fast exhausting his thing.” “And, if they should not keep their word?" constitution by his excesses, and he knew it, and he knew too “Then," retorted Mirabeau, indignantly, “I will soon turn that he never could do anything for the court in return for them into a republic ! " the large sums that he received. At times, these reflections. This was wild talk, when we consider what was the state would burst in upon him, as they will on such passionate, of France at this moment—the close oi 1790. The national sensual natures, without the power of warning them to assembly was engaged in a fierce contest with the clergy, reform. “He felt," says his friend Dumont, "so well that, whom it proposed to make elective by the people, bishops if he had enjoyed personal consideration, all France would and all, and to impose on them an oath binding them to have been at his feet, that, in certain moments, he would approve of this institution, as well as of all other parts of have consented to pass through fire and flames to purify the the constitution. This was on a par with the government name of Mirabeau. I have seen him weeping, and half of king William in England, compelling the English clergy suffocated with grief, as he said, with bitterness, 'I cruelly to swear to his supremacy in ecclesiastical matters, and his expiate the errors of my youth.'” But they were not the title to the throne, which produced the schism of the nonerrors of his youth only, they were the vices of his whole jurors. In this case the French clergy became to a great life, that tyrannised over him.
extent non-jurors. The dispute was not terminated till the Such was the man whom Marie Antoinette, notwith- spring of 1791, to which date we shall refer the account of standing her deep repugnance, consented to meet and to it. But this dispute affrighted the timid conscience of the flatter, in the last vain hope of arousing him to do what he king, and from that moment he began to think in earnest ought to do for the escape of the royal family. The revolt of flying. Whilst the king and the clergy were thus both of the troops at Nancy had shown that no time was to be in renewed resistance to the constitution—the king secretly, lost, for the contagion might spread to the whole army. the clergy openly-the emigrants were plotting with parAccordingly, Mirabeau was admitted to the park at St. ticular activity, but were divided into a number of parties Cloud with the utmost secrecy, and the queen met him in amongst themselves. The emigrant court at Turin was a what is called les Hauteurs, or the Heights. She observed to scene of perfect anarchy. The princes and higher nobility, him, " that, with an ordinary enemy, with a man who had incapable of change, at once baughty and imbecile, looked sworn the ruin of the monarchy, without being capable of down on the gentry, who, in return, despised them. The appreciating its usefulness for a great people, the step she princes and nobles were for employing only foreign forces; was taking would be altogether improper and out of place; the gentry were for employing all the royalists of the south. but with a Mirabeau," &c. Mirabeau was easily attacked The gentry who raised troops in the south would call on the side of his vanity, and the charm of a woman like them royal militia ; the princes and bishops objected to that, Marie Antoinette made that flattery tenfold as impressive. He and insisted on calling them bourgeois corps, or citizen showed that she had saved the monarchy, as he took leave of militia. In this wrangling, an attempt was yet made to her; and, whatever hopes he might have excited in the raise an insurrection at Lyons, which it was proposed to queen, he certainly entertained the idea that he had only to make the capital instead of Paris, which had become odious secure the escape of the royal family to become the prime to the princes and nobles by its democracy. The insurrection minister and dictator of France. He was persuaded that failed at the end of 1790, and the princes then removel the king once out of their hands, the assembly would go to from Turin to Coblentz, on the Rbine, to be nearer the pieces, and that Paris would be compelled, by famine, to Austrians, whom they hoped to engage in their cause. submit to Bouillé. The nobles were all to be united by the They settled in the territory of the elector of Treves, whose restoration of their privileges ; the clergy would exert their authority they almost wholly usurped. Some few subordiinfluence over the people by regaining theirs ! Five of the nạte agents were left at Turin ; but even these were at southern provinces, he said, would be loyal to a man. variance. On the Rhine, too, the prince of Condé sepa
Dumont pointed out to him the folly of the whole scheme, rated from the princes at large, and formed a military camp The power of the clergy was gone, because the people were be- and corps, preferring the idea of fighting rather than of income atheistical, and had got the estates of the church; the triguing with foreign courts. The indignation at the fine nobles, were, as they ever had been, imbecile and impracti- put upon the clergy at this period augmented the tide of cable; and, worst of all, the king was destitute of the vigour of emigration Numbers flocked to take up arms under character to carry him through such a crisis. “But," inter- Condé; women, as indignant as the men, deemed it their rupted Mirabeau, "you forget the queen! she has a force of duty to quit the soil of France. It became a fashion to mind that is prodigous ; she is a man in courage !” Dumont emigrate; and Chateaubriand, in his Memoirs of the Duke reminded him of La Fayette and the national guards; but of Berri, draws a curious picture of these emigrants on the Mirabeau replied, that if La Fayette thought, under such Rhine :-“Many of the emigrants had joined the army in a circumstances, to play Washington, he would be swept to state of complete destitution; others were spending im. destruction. Last of all, Dumont bade him reflect that the providently the last relics of their fortunes. Several moment he had succeeded in liberating the court from corps, composed wholly of officers, served as private soldiers. danger, he himself would be the first object of its vengeance; | The naval officers were mounted; country gentlemen that the aristocracy would immediately claim their old formed themselves into companies, distinguished by the privilege of ruling everything, and that they would never names of their native provinces. All were in good spirits, forgive him either his genius or his past castigations. for the camp life was free and joyous. Some became “ But,” said Mirabeau, “the court has promised me every- | drawers of water, some hewers of wood; others provided
and dressed the provisions; and everywhere the inspiring family, and that seventeen of them had been served on himnote of the trumpet resounded; the camp, in fact, was a self. This brought down the applauses of the assembly ; perfect kingdom. There were princes dwelling in wagons, but it did not at all awe the journalists, or deceive the magistrates on horseback, missionaries preaching the Bible people, as to what was the real fact, that the count was reand administering justice. The poor nobles conformed with tained by the court. careless philosophy to this state of things, cheerfully endur- | La Fayette, Bailly, and all the chief municipal authorities, ing present privations in the sanguine expectation of were denounced as traitors. “ Those who are your enemies,” speedily regaining all they had lost. They confidently said Marat, in his Ami du People, " are not the nobles and believed that the end of autumn would find them restored the clergy so much as those who make the laws. Those to their splendid houses, to their groves, their forests, and to who head the band are the king's atrocious ministers ; are their old dovecotes !
the deputies of the people, seduced by promises, or corrupted But, all this time, the aspect of things in Paris was grow- by presents. They are the Mirabeaus, the Montmorencys, ing more formidable to such dreamers. The mob, under the Clermont-Tonnerres, the Lanjuinais, the Chopeliers, the the inspirations of the fierce democrat journalists, Marat, Sièyes, the Thourists, the Torgets, the Liancourts, the Freron, Prudhomme, and others, was every day becoming Desmouniers, the Duponts, those vile and cowardly deserters more ripe for the execution of the most terrible deeds, and of their country; it is they who have rallied, with the for overriding all forms of order—even king, ministers, courtiers, the municipal administrators, and the staff of the assembly, and magistracy. The clubs and the demo- Paris national guard, round the
Paris national guard, round the king, to make the executive cratic journals overawed the assembly and the magis- power triumph, and to sacrifice the nation to one who is tracy, and the mob were, through them, the masters only its servant." of the country. In eighteen months the revolution | Thus was this sanguinary wretch already pointing out to had risen to the very point of making all France the mob its victims. La Fayette was obliged, by his office of one great blood-bath. The court of justice at the Chatelet commandant of the national guard, to take care that the was denounced by the clubs and the journalists as sold to court did not escape. He was responsible, and he was also the respectabilities, and as the sink of corruption; and the obliged to see the king and queen frequently ; and the assembly, in the spirit of compliance, proposed to abolish it, queen, though she put little confidence in La Fayette, as too and to erect a new court, to be called The High National much himself in the power of the people, and bound by his Court, to try all treasons against the nation, and five principles to a thorough reform, yet sometimes conversed judges were to be taken from the Court of Cassation, that is, with him on the state of affairs, and on the measures necesthe court of appeal, having power to casser, or break, the sary for the safety of the royal family. This was enough, in decision of all inferior courts. These five judges were to the eyes of the blood-hounds of the republican press, to preside in the new court, and to decide by a jury. Thus stamp him as a traitor. The revolution, on the crest of the assembly was actually playing into the hands of the which he and Bailly first rode, had now assumed that democrats-of such men as Marat and Robespierre, and furious current which would soon carry them on to the sharpening the axe with which they were to take off the rocks of perdition, if they were not fortunate enough to heads of all that they chose to proscribe. Barnave was escape from the hands of the once-applauded mob. To made president of the assembly in October ; but even conciliate the all-powerful faction, La Fayette and the Barnave did not escape the suspicions and denunciations of Feuillans returned to the jacobin club; but it was too late. Marat. Mirabeau was also denounced by Marat and his Marat howled in malignant triumph over this humiliation, confrères, who, by their mouchards, or spies, whom they for it was nothing less. “Now they have ruined the had everywhere, had detected his interview with the queen ; country," he wrote, “ these vile deserters have returned to and the fury of this blear-eyed monster was doubly whetted the jacobin club; and some imprudent journalists have against the orator through his own foolish ostentation. He celebrated their return as a reinforcement brought to the had been made one of the administrators of the department patriotic party. But will not these rogues, without virtue, of the capital, and also head of the battalion of the national without honour, without shame, continue to sell the interests guard to which he belonged; and he gave a grand dinner of the country, as they have always done? They want now to the officers of the battalion, followed by a ball and a fête, to take refuge in public opinion. Having passed their lives with illuminations and fireworks, said altogether to cost ten in shame, they would fain die on the field of honour." thousand livres. Marat asked the people, in his journal, The duke of Orleans also appeared at the jacobin club, where all this money came from with a man who, till lately, and introduced his son, the duke of Chartres (afterwards only existed by writing for the booksellers? Whether they Louis Philippe, king of the French), who made a patriotic did not know that it all came from the court, and from the speech, which was received with rapturous applause, and Austrian woman, by whom he was fee'd to betray them ? printed. This caused the furious journalists to flame with Mirabeau ascended the tribunal, and made a fiery protest indignation. They thought the jacobins themselves had against these attacks. He demanded whether such infamous learned little of the real principle of equality, to make this accusations were to be tolerated by the assembly against its adulatory reception of a ci-devant prince, instead of giving most patriotic members ? He enumerated his sufferings in the him some proper lessons on the occasion. Yet, so much cause of the people, recalling the fact of the numerous dungeons equality existed at the jacobin's, that the duke of Chartres of France he had been in under arrest by lettres-de-cachet, immediately after took his turn, like any other member, as declaring that he had seen fifty-four lettres-de-cachet in his one of the door-keepers of the club. About this time