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of the nobles and clergy, surrendered some of the privileges Louis now became painfully sensible how little power which had belonged to their orders from feudal times, but was left to his supporters, and he was anxious to come to which now seemed inconsistent with the state of public some definite arrangement with the popular party, by which opinion.
his situation would become less irksome, and his country About this time a fête was given at Versailles, in which less distracted by intestine commotions. It is supposed some adherents of the court, more zealous than prudent, that there was an intention to make Mirabeau, the most denounced the popular party, trod the popular cockade under distinguished member of the popular party, a means for foot, and vowed to bring about a counter-revolution. The bringing about an adjustment of differences; but if such news of this fête was conveyed to Paris, and the mob became were the intention, the death of Mirabeau put an end to all inflamed to the highest degree, their passions being further hopes in this respect. excited by an alarming scarcity which then prevailed at In the following April a circumstance occurred, which Paris. A body of persons, amounting to thirty thousand, placed the royal family in a position little better than that proceeded on the 5th of October to Versailles. A dreadful of state prisoners. The royal family had a palace at St. scene of bloodshed took place: the mob broke into the Cloud, near Paris, to which they were about to go for a palace, and would have murdered the queen, had she not short sojourn; but they had scarcely entered their carprecipitately made her escape. The tumult was stopped by riage when the tocsin sounded from a neighbouring church, the consent of the royal family to accompany the people to and an assemblage of persons collected in the Place du Paris. From this moment the fate of this unfortunate family Carousel, with the determination not to permit the was sealed: Louis and his family were doomed to a constant departure of the royal family. Lafayette and Bailly, two succession of insults and injuries, terminated by awful influential men of the popular party, used every endeavour deaths. The king, the queen, Madame Elizabeth, the dau- to induce the people to disperse; but the latter not only phin, and two deputies, were all put into one coach, and persisted, but were aided by the national guards, who redriven to Paris, where the king took up his residence at the fused to disperse the people, Under these circumstances, Tuileries. As far as it is possible to discern motives in all the unfortunate king and his family were compelled to rethis, it would seem that there was an opinion among the turn to the palace, people, that if their king were to reside at Paris, they might But a still more painful manifestation of the supremacy obtain more ready and ample concessions, than if he were of the popular over the regal power occurred in June. In surrounded by his courtiers at Versailles,
the latter mouth, Louis and his family endeavoured to esThe national assembly, which had held their sittings at cape altogether from France; and for that purpose arranged Versailles, soon followed the king, and on the 19th of a plan of operation with the Marquis de Bouillé, military October, held a sittiog, for the first time, in Paris. During commandant of nearly all the territory from Paris to the the greater part of the next two years, the assembly held Netherlands. It was agreed that at midnight of the 30th its meetings in a building near the Tuileries. The royal of June, the whole family should leave Paris. As it was family were now very little better than prisoners in the well known that any application for passports would not Tuileries; and the popular party were levelling, one by one, only have been refused, but would have subjeeted the king the institutions which separated the nobility from the mass to further distrust and suspicion, fictitious passports were of the people. On the 2nd of November, 1789, the national obtained from the minister at war, for the family of a Rusassembly declared the possessions of the church to be the sian baroness, consisting of herself, two children, a female property of the nation, and soon after this, their confisca- servant, a valet, and three footmen. The king dressed himtion was decreed. Early in the following year, all religious self as a valet, the queen and the Princess Elizabeth perorders and monastic vows were abolished. In May, it was sonated the baroness and her maid; and the two younger decreed that the national assembly should have the right of children were to pass as the children of the baroness. making war or peace, the king having only the power of After many unfortunate delays, the party left the Tuileries proposing measures to the assembly. This was shortly by a private entrance, separating themselves into smaller parfollowed by the suppression of the hereditary nobility, coats ties in order to avoid notice. They walked a few hundred of arms, and all distinctions of rank. All these revolutionary yards, to the Place du Petit Carousel, where a vehicle was proceedings were not the work merely of the national assem- ready to convey them to the Barrière St. Martin, outside bly: there were numerous political clubs at Paris, calling which a large travelling coach was stationed. But the queen, themselves “Friends of the Constitution,” » Jacobins," &c., who had a guide to lead her, who appears to have at these clubs various violent measures were proposed and been as ignorant of the streets of Paris as she herself carried, and then recommended to the national assembly, was, mistook her route, and wandered about for a full hour which was in many cases forced to yield.
before she succeeded in reaching the other members of her In the early part of 1791, occurred a day known in the family, and was reduced to the hazardous necessity of asking revolutionary history as La Journée des Poignards,-the day a sentinel to direct her on her way. At length they all took of the poignards. There was a palace at Vincennes which their places in the travelling coach, and departed from was at that time undergoing such repairs as might fit it for Paris. It was, however, unfortunate that the royal fugitives a prison; and a riotous assemblage of persons determined had delayed their departure beyond the time fixed upou by to demolish it; for the people had now acquired such a de. the Marquis de Bouillé as being the most opportune; and gree of impudence, that they scrupled not to demolish any every step they took showed the bad consequences of the buildings against which their ire was directed. Santerre, delay. Whenever it was necessary to stop, the king acted the commandant of the faubourg in which the mob as bis part of the valet badly; suspicion began to be excited; sembled, headed the insurgents, while Lafayette, at the head and at length, when the carriage reached Varennes, the of the national guards, did all he could to quell the tumult. civic authorities refused to admit of further progress. Lafayette was several times nearly assassinated; and news
THE ROYAL PREROGATIVE SUSPENDED. arriving at Paris of what had occurred, the royal family were thrown into great alarm, as it was feared an attack The result of this discovery was, that the unfortunate was meditated on the king. A large number of nobles and family were again carried back to Paris. The first act others attached to the king's cause, armed themselves with of the assembly was to suspend the power of the king, swords, pistols, hunting-knives, and daggers,-proceeded and to keep him and the rest of the royal family in close to the Tuileries, and offered to defend the king, whose life custody. The next act was to form a constitution, differing they believed to be in danger. The king's person was greatly from the ancient mode of government in France, protected by the national guards, placed there by the popu. but which the king was willing to sign, under the hope that lar party, and as there was great distrust between them and it might put an end to the troubles of his country. He the nobles, the king felt that however sincere their intention went to the assembly on the 13th of September, and might have been, this manifestation of it was very unfortu. signed the new constitution, after whiel he was obliged to pate :-indeed, throughout his reign, Louis frequently suf- sit in the assembly as an undistinguished individual. fered from the imprudence of others. He ordered his For the next nine months, the king was very little better friends to lay down their arms and retire, saying, “ I am in than a cipher; and even the national assembly which had perfect security in the midst of the national guards." La gained the victory over him, was doomed to be overpowered fayette entered at this time, expostulated warmly with the by a second, in which violent republican principles were nobles, told them the king's life was not in danger, and dominant. The king was forced to accept a ministry comordered them to deliver up their arms. They at first re- posed of the republican party; and when, in June, 1792, sisted, but the king supported Lafayette, and they yielded he made an effort to escape their control, a scene occurred their arms, and had to leave the palace, amidst the hootings which showed how powerless he had become. When the and insults of the national guard.
popular ministers were dismissed, crowds collected in the
Faubourg St. Antoine; and there was evidently a disposition sole occupation was to listen to the debates and the personal on the part of the city authorities to let the mob have their own abuse of the members, and they were allowed but a few way; and the latter certainly took advantage of the permis. minutes for taking refreshments occasionally. As it seemed sion. On the 20th they proceeded to the hall of the assembly, decided that the king should be a state prisoner, it was a and a mob-orator made a speech, censuring in the most question how to dispose of him and the rest of the royal audacious terms the president and members for not proceed family. After much debate, it was decided that the uning more rapidly in the march of anarchy. The tumultuous fortunate victims should be consigned to the Temple, with assemblage, consisting of nearly a hundred thousand men, a guard of twenty men. women, and children, then proceeded to the palace, into Thus was completed one more step in the descent from which, after a feeble resistance from the guards, they gained monarchy to anarchy; and the hatred for royalty seems to admission. The humiliating scenes that followed are too have spread through all the lower and even middle classes sickening to be dwelt upon: for several hours the royal with great rapiditý. Dr. Moore, who was in Paris at the family were the victims of insult:-the king was compelled time, says, that a day or two after these events, "the to put on a red cap, (a favourite symbol with the mob,) to epithet royal, which was formerly so profusely assumed, is drink their healths, and to hand the bottle round to them; now carefully effaced from every shop, magazine, auberge, and the queen was subjected to similar treatment. At or hotel; all those also who were so vain of announcing over length, the municipal authorities interposed; and the mob their doors that they were the tradesmen of the king or dispersed by about 'eight o'clock.
queen, or in any way employed by them, have removed every Demands now arose from various quarters for the word, emblem, or sign, which could revive the remembrance dethronement of the king: the proposition was first made of such a connexion; and at present a tailor would rather in the national assembly by Brissot, on the 9th of July, and advertise that he was breeches-maker to a sans-culotte, was supported by many others. The assembly itself was be than to a prince of the blood-royal." ginning to lose power; for there were established Jacobin and It may naturally be supposed, that the removal of the other clubs, the members of which wished for nothing less royal family to the Temple, which was a kind of prison, than republican institutions, and who reckoned among their was the forerunner of an imprisonment only to be terminated members, Santerre, Robespierre, Danton, and others, whose by death. While the king was in prison, the National names afterwards became so terrible. These ruffians Assembly gave way to the National Convention, a body planned an attack on the Tuileries, which was put into differing from the former chietly in being more immediately execution on the 10th of August, accompanied by such under the control of the people. The convention immecircumstances of horror, that that day was long regarded diately began to make preparations for bringing the king to as a marked epoch in the history of the revolution. The trial, and as it seemed not very easy to say what crimes he king was aware that something of the kind was impending, could be accused of, the violent party made the most of the but did not know the precise day on which it would take contents of an iron chest which was about that time displace: and, although he was able to collect a considerable covered in the Tuileries; this chest is said to have con. guard, he was not fully prepared for the storm. About three tained various' documents relating to the attempts of the in the morning the insurgents ranged themselves on differ- king to check the progress of the revolution. Some persons ent sides, of the palace, as appeared most advantageous for have supposed that these papers were forged by the Jacobins, the attack. The king was entreated by some of his adherents on purpose to obtain articles of accusation against him; but to save himself and family by taking refuge in the hall of whether this were the case or not, the members of the conthe assembly;--a proposition at which the queen was at first vention did not fail to make use of them. indignant, but to which she ultimately yielded, as being the only means of avoiding a ferocious attack. The hall of the TRIAL, CONDEMNATION, AND EXECUTION OF THE KING. assembly was near the palace, and the royal family proceeded On the 11th of December, the king was called to the bar thither by the garden entrance; but it was with difficulty to take his trial, and was hurried from his apartment in such that the populace would allow them to proceed. When they haste, that he had to crave a morsel of bread before he could reached the hall, they were all put into a box at one side, enter the hall. He stood uncovered on the hall floor, while and reinained many hours, compelled to listen, not only to the President, seated on a kind of throne, questioned him the debates, but to gross personal insult from the more
in the rudest manner. The king answered these questions violent members. Among the proceedings of the day were, in a mild but dignified manner; and after an examination the convocation of a national convention; the suspension of of three hours he retired. About a fortnight afterwards, the power of the king; and the appointment of a new minis. he was again brought up, in order to make his defence. try, in which the most violent Jacobins were to hold This he had intrusted to MM. Desèze, Malesherbes, and situations.
Tronchet; the first of whom made an eloquent and fearless But while these proceedings were going on at the hall, address in behalf of the unfortunate monarch. Then sucthe palace was the scene of most dreadful slaughter. The ceeded an adjourned debate of several days' duration, on troops left behind by the king seem to have been ignorant the question whether or not the king was guilty; and it was that he had left the palace; and they continued to defend it not until the 15th of January, 1793, that the vote was given when, in fact, there was but little to defend. It was about in the affirmative. It was then debated whether death nine o'clock when the people began the attack, and the should be the punishment; and this also was decided in the Swiss guards ai first made fearful havoc among them; but affirmative, although by a small majority. an order arriving from the king that they should lay down Early in the morning of the 17th, sentence of death was their arms, they submitted, and were conducted to the passed, and Malesherbes proceeded to the Temple, to inform guard-house. These, however, were only a sort of advanced ihe royal victim of the result. He found him prepared guard; and there still remained within the palace about for the worst, but not able to resist a pang, when told eight hundred Swiss troops, besides numerous other persons, that his relation, the Duke of Orléans, had voted for his The inmates were soon forced to yield, and then commenced death; nor able to forget the desolate position in which one of the most sanguinary massacres on record :-not only his death would leave the queen and her children. Maleswere all the troops, but also valets, servants, and the herbes, an attached friend to the king, was not allowed to humblest members of the household, stabbed without visit him a second time; and he saw no one but persons mercy: the dead bodies were even stabbed over again, as if connected with the convention. On Sunday, the 20th, a the taking away of life was not sufficient to glut the cruelty deputation from the convention acquainted him that he of the mob. By two o'clock in the day, all the guards and was to be executed within twenty-four hours: he received servants were killed, to the number of about eight hundred the information without emotion; and gave them a paper -stripped naked,- and thrown in heaps in the court-yard containing a request, that he might have three days to pres in front of the Tuileries. Yet in the midst of these horrors, pare himself for another world.--that he might have a two circumstances seemed in some degree to mitigate the priest to attend him,--that there might be a relaxation of guilt of the ruffians: one was, that the female domestics the strict watch kept over his every action,--that he might were all allowed to depart unhạrmed; and the other was, that see his family,—and that, after his death, they might be perrobbery and pillage were not countenanced for an instant; mitted to leave France without molestation. In the evenfor ope man, who was detected in an act of stealing in the ing he obtained for answer, that he might have a priest palace, was instantly put to death by his companions. to attend him, and might see his family: his request for a
The king and the royal family were confined in a small postponement of the execution was Hatly refused. At room adjoining the hall of the assembly on the night suc about eight o'clock, the royal family were admitted to him, ceeding this dreadful day,—to be succeeded by another day and remained about an hour and a half: what passed at similarly spent in the hall, and then by a third. 'Their this agonizing interview may be conceived, as the following
morning was to be the last of the unhappy king's life. The hall. The twenty-five members whose heads had been queen, dauphin, &c., then left him; and he passed two demanded now vehemently exclaimed against the proceedhours with his confessor; after which he retired to rest. ings of the popular party, and denounced the more violent
On the following morning he rose at four, took the members as wishing to substitute confusion for regular sacrament at six, and prepared himself for the last government. On this, as well as a former occasion, Legenmournful act. The ruffian Santerre, with some of the dre signalized himself by answering arguments with blows. gensdarmes, came for him at nine o'clock. The king had A deputation from the mob came into the hall, and reiteon the previous day prepared his will, and handing it to rated their demand for the heads of the twenty-five obnoxiJacques Roux, a priest who accompanied Santerre, he said, ous deputies; but the latter, in order to save their lives, con“I request that you will give this paper to the queen-to sented to resign their seats, by which the convention became my wife." Tho priest refused to take it, and said, “That still more under the power of the people. is no business of mine; I am here to conduct you to the
COMMENCEMENT OF THB REIGN OF TERROR. scaffold." The insulted monarch then prevailed on one of the other members of the deputation to take charge of the Constitutional order was now destroyed: moderate mer paper, and they proceeded to the place of execution. were expelled from the convention; and from this day.
We shall hereafter, in our description of Paris, have to commenced a period which for horrors has rarely had a speak of the Place Louis XV.: this was an open square parallel in the history of civilized nations. From the 2nd which afterwards became the scene of the butcheries June, 1793, till the 27th July, 1794, when Robespierre perpetrated by Robespierre. The king and his confessor was exccuted, constituted the period known as the reign of were put into a carriage, and driven slowly to this place, terror. Without touching on the external politics of France, through streets lined with armed citizens, and preceded our subject requires that we should take a rapid view of by drums, which were played loudly to avoid any cries the events of this dark period. in favour of the king being heard. When the carriage The ruling man in the convention was now Robespierre: stopped, the king was conducted to the scaffold: he was the other members had little else to do than to register the dressed in a private suit, and was ordered to take off his decrees which he proposed. A revolutionary tribunal was coat the better to enable the executioner to perform his bloody established, for the summary trial of offences: a committee office. He wished to address the people; but the authori- of public safety, and a committee of insurrection, were ties ordered the drums to be beaten all the more loudly, in also established, ---the latter for the purpose of planning order to drown his voice; and the only words he was heard and concocting insurrections, if necessary. Should the to utter, were, “People! I die innocent! Gentlemen, I am reader ask what was the state of religion at this terrible innocent of all they accuse me of; may my blood cement period, he will see from the following details. The taint of the happiness of Frenchmen !' He was interrupted by infidelity had extended so far, that, impelled by fear, the some ruffians, dragged to the axe: decapitated in a few archbishop of Paris, together with a great number of other seconds, and his head shown round to the people. Cries of ecclesiastics, went to the convention in November, 1793, "Vive la République !" were soon raised; and thus ended and formally renounced Christianity, and gave up their the tragedy.
emoluments, amidst the acclamation of the members. It We cannot detail the horror felt throughout Europe at then decreed, that liberty, equality and reason, this most inhuman proceeding. This was the first day of should be the only religion, and that all the churches should a republic under which France was governed or mis- be closed. But, demoralized as the people had become, it governed for many years. There were nearly one-half of was yet found necessary to rescind the last-mentioned the members of the convention who wished to save the life decree. The former however remained in force, and it may of the king, and who were less violent than the others; be conceived that the abolition of all religious restraint led but from the moment that a majority of the members ob- to the wildest excesses. Drunken men and abandoned tained the death of the king, the violent Jacobins gained women were to be seen everywhere trampling under their an ascendency in the convention which gradually led to feet every relic that could be called devotional ;-churches still more terrible scenes. The rabble of Paris, seeing were despoiled,-busts and images destroyed, and burlesque how much intluence they had acquired, resolved to push songs written and sung to dance-tunes, as parodies on matters to a still greater extreme, They often broke into hymns. A modern writer has said :-"The services of the the Tuileries while the members were sitting, and made Christian religion were universally abandoned, and the speeches, telling them what they ought to do in such and pulpits deserted, throughout the revolutionized districts; such cases, and throwing out threats as to what would the church bells were everywhere silent; sabbath was follow if the demands of the people were unattended to. entirely obliterated; baptisms ceased; the burial service On the 27th of May, nearly two thousand women collected was no longer heard; the sick received no consolation, the round the hall of the convention, and behaved like so dying no communion; and the rites of heathenism, blended many furies, but were compelled to disperse without doing with the profanities of the most fanatical infidelity, desemischief. The following day a scene occurred at the con crated the unhappy land, On every tenth day, atheism vention which may be cited as a not uncommon specimen of was publicly preached to the bewildered people by some the then existing mode of debate: a member began to revolutionary leader; and on all the public cemeteries was exclaim against the violent proceedings of the republicans, placed the inscription, 'Death is an eternal sleep.'” when a butcher, named Legendre, a man of ferocious Robespierre and Marat were now the two idols of the character, struck him a violent blow on the chest which people; and it is difficult to say which was the most ughallaid him prostrate. On one or two occasions, when the lowed ruffian: the former was permitted to afflict bis members were about to vote, the rabble broke into the country for fourteen months; but the latter, after a few hall, and gave their votes along with the members, thereby short weeks of triumph, was sent into the presence of that carrying every proposition. But it was on the 31st that the Creator whose existence he had so often denied. A young weakness of the more moderate party was fully shown. The woman, named Charlotte Corday, living at Caen, in Nortocsin beat to arms at five o'clock in the morning: the mem-mandy, having heard of the dreadful cruelties and enorbers hastened to the convention; and, shortly after, a rabble mities committed at Paris, chietly under the direction of appeared, headed by a man who assumed the office of spokes. Marat, conceived the idea of putting an end to his existence man. He demanded the heads of a certain number of the as one who was bringing crime and suffering on her counmore moderate members; and also proposed, that the work- try. She therefore proceeded to Paris, and sent a note to ing classes should be paid each forty sous per day while under Marat, professing to have some important state business arms. The latter proposition was immediately put from the to communicate to him. After some delay she was admitchair, and, many of the rabble mixing their own votes with ted to him, and in the course of conversation learned from those of the members, -was carried. The absurdity of such him that he intended shortly to have a number of refugees legislation as this would provoke a smile, were it not con in Normandy guillotined: at that instant she drew out a nected with a train of events more calculated to excite a long knife from under her robe, and stabbed him to the shudder.
heart. Marat died very shortly, and the woman permitted But on the 2nd of June, matters assumed a still more herself to be quietly taken into custody. On her examinaserious aspect. The Tuileries was surrounded by more tion she boldly owned that she had committed the deed, than forty thousand persons, armed with sticks, pikes, that she had taken his life, and was willing to sacrifice her bayonets, and other weapons, and as the several members own in order to save the lives of thousands of others. She proceeded to their places, they were loaded with insults. died heroically on the scaffold, in the Place Louis XV. When they had commenced their sittings, they found them Soon after this event, the convention declared that France selves prisoners, for the people would not let them leave the should remain a republic until peace was established with
the rest of Europe; and this decree was the forerunner of an early part of the revolution. The charges against her a series of butcheries, which lasted till Robespierre's death. were nothing but a mixture of frivolity and unmanly insult,
and she was condemned without being allowed to say a word EXECUTION OF THE QUEEN.
in her own defence. She, like the queen, left the hall with It will be remembered that the king was beheadeil on a lighter heart than she entered it, fceling that death was the 21st of January; but no mention has since been made preferable to continued insult and injury. As she passed to of the other branches of the royal family. They were con the scaffold she saw a statue of Liberty near her, and exfined in the temple until the month of October, when the claimed "Oh, liberty! what crimes are committed in thy unhappy queen, Marie Antoinette, was doomed to follow name.'' her husband to the scaffold. The queen and her family It is a curse which almost invariably attends the wicked, occupied apartments over those in which the king had that they can seldom confide in one another: the republic had been imprisoned; and on the morning of the king's execu lost Marat, by the hand of Charlotte Corday, but there still tion the family had been anxiously awaiting one parting remained bold and unprincipled spirits to rule or misrule interview with him; but it was not till the firing of the the country. Among these were Robespierre, Danton, guns announced that all was over that they knew that the Hébert, Camille Desmoulins, Anarcharsis Clootz, and king had left the prison. After this they were confined others; and these men soon began to iook on each other as more rigorously than ever; and in a short time the queen rivals. The party split into factions; and it was now that suffered another pang in having her son taken from her Robespierre showed that while he possessed as much by order of the convention. In the month of August she cruelty as any of the others, he was less sincere in his was removed to the prison of the Conciergerie, and there republican principles than some, and more crafty than kept for two months, guarded by two soldiers so closely others. By degrees he contrived to bring all the most disthat never for an instant, day or night, was she left alone, tinguished of his contemporaries to the scaffold; and he and never had a female with her. At length, on the 14th seems now to have been actuated by some such feeling of of October, that death, to which she now looked forward as ambition as afterwards distinguished Buonaparte, but with the only relief from suffering and insult, appeared ap more cruelty and less talent. Hébert, and others of his proaching; but she was still doomed to the exposure of a party, called Hébertists, had helped to bring the innocent public (mock) trial, where not only were all kinds of poli- king and queen to the scaffold : Danton assisted Robestical crimes imputed to her, but others of a personal nature pierre to bring Hébert to the same end: and afterwards so diabolical, that, in the majesty of offended dignity, she Robespierre got rid of Danton in a similar manner. On turned to the females in the court, and asked if it were the 5th of April, 1794, Danton was executed, exclaiming, possible that she could be suspected of such crimes: this just before his last breath, “It is just a year since I caused appeal met with the only show of sympathy that ever the revolutionary tribunal to be instituted. I ask pardon relieved the tedium her sorrows. The trial lasted till of God and man for doing so; but I never imagined that four o'clock on the following morning, during which time it would become the scourge of humanity." she never left the hall for an instant, and an officer of gens. From the beginning of April to the end of July, 1794, darwes was dismissed from his situation for listening to
blood flowed in the Place Louis XV., to an extent that had her urgent entreaties for a drop of water to drink.
never yet been seen throughout the revolution. It was a At four in the morning of the 16th of October, she was dreadful period; for Robespierre had got rid of every one condemned to death, and seven hours afterwards was con who seemed to have the slightest wish to check the progress veyed to the scaffold. She was arrayed in white, her hands of anarchy. As far as his motives can be discerned, it tied behind her, and was conveyed in a carriage accom
would seem that he wished to trample under foot every one panied by her executioner and a priest; and as she passed who had a spark of love of justice and of country, and then ibrough the streets to the place of execution, the assembled to raise himself to despotic power. From the day of Danmultitude showered insults and indignities of every kind
ton's execution, there were generally about thirty persons, upon her head. After being paraded through the streets on an average, brought to the scaffold, in the Place Louis for an hour and a half, she was conducted to the scaffold, XV., every day; among whom were the Archbishop of and her injuries and sufferings were soon terminated. It Paris, General Dillon, Madame Desmoulins, Malesherbes, would seem difficult to account for the depth and intensity Chateaubriant, &c. Lavoisier, the great chemist, had renof the ferocity which could induce the populace not only to dered vast services to the country during the last year or clamour for her death, but to heap degrading insults on two, but he too was, on some frivolous charge, brought to her at the last moment. But there was an impression on the scaffold; and when he asked for a day's respite, in the minds of the lower orders of Paris, that she had stood order to finish some experiments, he was hurried off with in the way of the concessions which they had two or three the remark that the “ republic had no need of chemists." years before demanded from the king. It is evident, from On the 10th of May, the Princess Elizabeth, sister to the many passages in the history of these distressing times, murdered king, was brought to the scaffold, after a wearithat she had more strength of mind than her husband; some imprisonment in the temple of twenty-one months' and the people had probably felt that this strength had duration. She was conveyed to the scaffold with twentymore than once checked them in their course of violence. four other persons, some of them females, whom she endea
The violent members of the convention then turned their voured to console in the best way she was able. attention to the moderate members who had been expelled, By this time the inhabitants of the neighbourhood of the and also to others who belonged to the same party. These Place Louis XV. began to sicken of the scene of blood that were called Girondists, while the violent faction was called every day presented itself to their eyes. Desodoardes says, the Mountain; and in the month of October no fewer than “ The ground could not imbibe all the blood that was shed; 133 de puties of the Girondist faction were condemned to it tlowed off slowly, to mix itself with the waters of the death. About two-thirds of this number succeeded either river. For many hours after the executions, the feet of in leaving France, or in concealing themselves until milder those passing through the square left their impressions on times arrived; while the other one-third were brought to the bloody pavement. The fashionable walks of the Champs the scaffold. Twenty-one of the most distinguished were Elysées and the Garden of the Tuileries, were almost enguillotined on one day, the Ist of November: they were tirely deserted. Even the inhabitants of the streets along all men distinguished for their talents and eloquence, and which the victims were every day conducted to the scaffold it has been observed, that " Seldom, probably, has there began to complain, wearied by the heartrending sights which fallen at one time beneath the axe of the executioner so they were compelled to witness. I have seen many women great a number of eminent men as were this day sacrificed who, not daring to put themselves to death by their own together in the Place Louis XV."
hands, had called out Vive le Roi, and by that stratagem One week afterwards was executed the Duke of Orléans, thrown upon the revolutionary tribunal the task of termia royal prince, who had brought upon himself the disgust of nating their days; some that they might not survive a husall parties, even the republicans, by voting for the death of band, others that they might follow a husband or a brother." his relative, the late king. The pretence set up against But there are, in most courses of action, certain points him was, that he had aspirations towards the throne; and beyond which extravagance cannot go; when the feelings, it is not improbable that this was true; but the revolu- having been too strongly exercised in one direction, recoil, tionary tribunal did not care much for consistent evidence and undergo a reaction. Such was the case among the of the truth of a charge. He was condemned, and died Parisian people: terror and disgust were awakened by these with a firmness worthy of a juster cause.
continued executions, and whispers began to spread abroad, This execution was soon followed by that of Madame as to the necessity of getting rid of the head and chief of Roland, the wife of the minister who was so popular in these cruelties. But this was a task of imminent danger, for
Robespierre, who appears to have been a clever man as well conducted to the scaffold: the shops, windows, and houseas a cruel one, had so concentrated his power that any un tops, were crowded with spectators; and as the cart prosuccessful attempt to put him down would inevitably have ceeded, shouts of exultation were heard on every side. His brought those who made it to the scaffold. On the 8th of head was wrapped in a bloody cloth which bound up his June, Robespierre got up what he impiously called a grand shattered jaw, so that his pale and livid countenance was but festival to the Supreme Being. Bands of music, men bearing half seen. The mob stopped him before the house in which branches of oak, and women with bouquets, paraded the he had lived; and some mothers whose sons he had shortly streets, and then proceeded to the Tuileries garden, there before guillotined, poured down dreadful imprecations on his a sort of amphitheatre was built. Robespierre made an head. The executioner, when preparing for the performance, address, professing to be a commendation of a sort of reli- of his office, roughly tore off the bandage from the wound: gion, but little removed from atheism, which he proposed | Robespierre then uttered a dreadful cry, his under jaw fell to establish in France. There was then a symphony played from the upper, and the head, while he was yet living, exhiby the band, and a sort of allegorical play acted, together bited as ghastly a spectacle as when a few minutes afterwith other ceremonies.
wards the executioner, holding it by the hair, exhibited it to PALL OF ROBESPIERRE.
the multitude. Thus perished this monster of iniquity; but
it has been well observed, that "his fall was the triumph of At the profane exhibition just alluded to, Robespierre fear rather than of justice; and the satisfaction with which appeared dressed in a violet-coloured robė, and a hat adorned it must be contemplated is incomplete, because a few with plumes. Now as there had been a great deal of pro- monsters, even worse than himself, were among the fore. fession about "liberty and equality," the spectators natu most in sending him to the scaffold." rally thought this assumption of splendour very like an The violent party, though humbled by the death of attempt to raise himself to a kingly or dictatorial height. Robespierre, was not subdued; and every attempt of the Had they observed what has frequently occurred in the convention to introduce constitutional order met with violent world, they would have seen that those who talk the loudest opposition. A favourite law among the rabble was, that about liberty and equality, are often those who are most de there should be a marimum price for everything; that is, sirous of power over others, whose actions seem to say, that no dealer should be allowed to charge more than a "equality among all others, and supremacy for me." The day certain price for an article, whether plentiful or scarce: after this festival, Robespierre and his myrmidons caused nothing perhaps contributed more than this, to derange the a law to be passed in the convention, to sweep away every financial affairs of France: the law was allowed to operate form, delay, defence, or usage, when an accused was brought under Robespierre; and the removal of it afterwards was before the tribunal. The convention would have resisted one of the causes of the hostility of the lower orders of this, as placing their own lives at the mercy of the tyrant; people to the convention. On three different occasions, but Robespierre insisted, and they were forced to submit. between the death of Robespierre, and the establishment After this the massacres became, for a few weeks, more of the new constitution, the populace besieged the convennumerous than ever: they amounted to an average of fifty tion in the Tuileries. On the first of these occasions, a per day in Paris, and to a proportionate number in the ferocious body of persons, male and female, disarmed the smaller towns of France.
guards of the convention, forced the doors, and entered But now the immediate associates of Robespierre began to the hall where the members were sitting. One or two mobsplit among themselves: he, St. Just, and Couthon, advocated orators started up and addressed the assembly; and for one line of policy; Billaud de Varennes, Collot-d'Herbois, four hours a scene of riot and confusion presented itself, and others, advocated another, and the latter were too during which the lives of the deputies were in imminent powerful for Robespierre to bring over to his side; he there. | danger. At length the members contrived to give notice to fore planned their destruction, -his usual course in such the national guard of the state of durance in which they were cases. He caused 3000 persons to be ready to do his bidding, placed; and this led to the clearance of the hall without and went to the convention to ascertain the state of feeling any actual shedding of blood. among the members. Sufficient passed on that occasion to The commotion of the 20th of May was more serious, show him that the tide was beginning to turn against bim. On this, as on the previous occasion, a body of infuriated He left the hall, and proceeded to the jacobin club, which women forced their way into the hall of the convention, and was composed almost entirely of his creatures. It was im- reviled and insulted the deputies. After a vain endeavour mediately resolved that nearly the whole of the members to pacify them, a small body of troops removed them of the convention should be assassinated the next day. from the galleries; but this was only an inducement to The convention knew the peril in which they were placed, them to force their way into the hall, which they did with and continued their sitting during the whole night, arrang- irrepressible violence, aided by a body of men armed with ing and debating how they might best defeat the plans of hatchets and hammers. The deputies were almost overRobespierre. It was a fearful time; for they felt that thrown in the tumultuous rush, and were forced to the hindereither they must get rid of him, or be murdered.
most seats of the hall. Soon after this, a body of armed On the following day, July the gth, all the members ap- citizens entered by another door, commenced an attack of peared at the convention; and St. Just one of the creatures the rabble, and drove them out. But the ferocious multiof Robespierre, ascended the tribune and began to make a tude returned to the attack, armed with pikes, swords and speech. He was interrupted by one of the opposite party, guns, and commenced a dreadful assault on the deputies, who ended by accusing Robespierre of bringing all sorts of one of whom was shot, dragged by the hair into a kennel, misery on the country by his cruelties. The accusation was and then decapitated. For many hours a scene of tumult supported by others, and carried by a majority, in the midst presented itself in the hall
, the national guard not being of violent tumult. Robespierre and his chief associates sufficient in strength to drive out the insurgents; and it were sent to prison, with the intention of being guillotined was not till nearly midnight that a strong body of armed the next day; but the jacobin rabble rescued them, and citizens were enabled to restore peace. An incident occurred thereby gave rise to a dreadful series of contlicts during the on this occasion, which showed how much the scenes of blood night: some of the soldiers aiding one party, and some the to which the Parisians had been exposed, had deadened the other; bul happily the enemies of Robespierre prevailed; commonest feelings of humanity. After the head of the and on the loch he was led to execution. His last moments deputy had been cut off by the rabble, it was set on a pike, were passed in an agony of body and mind which has perhaps and paraded through the streets: and afterwards, being been rarely exceeded; for, in addition to the rage and dis- deposited in the Place Louis XVth, it was kicked about as appointment which almost gave to his features the appeare a football by children! ance of a demon, his under jaw had been shattered by a On the 5th of October, the revolutionary adherents pistol shot with which he had vainly endeavoured to put an resolved on a formidable attack on the Tuileries, where end to his existence when he found that escape was im- the convention held its sittings. At three o'clock in the possible. As it was at first supposed he had killed him- morning drums were beat, summoning the people to the self, his body was thrown into a ditch, where it remained attack, and 30,000 men were speedily assembled. The some hours; but when it was found that he still lived, he convention had provided themselves with troops, of which was carried to the hall of the convention, and his jaw bound | Barras was the leader, and Buonaparte, then in the morning up with a slight dressing. There he lay on one of the of his public career, second in command. The insurgents, benches, and in his agony, clenched one of his thighs too, were no longer a promiscuous rabble, but were ordered through his torn clothes with such force that his nails and commanded by general Dancian; so that it was evident entered the flesh, and were stained with blood. He was something like a regular battle would ensue in the streets of then placed in a cart between Henriot and Coutlıon, and Paris. In the afternoon the contest began in earnest :