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were disarmed, the fortifications strengthened by palisades, tyranny and injustice; they proclaimed their entire inde and every means of defence resorted to.
: pendence, and ordered a levy of twenty thousand men. But in October the patriots of Breda surprised the forts Trautmansdorff now hastened to conciliate in earnest. of Lillo and Liefonskoeck, on the Scheldt. Dalton dis. He issued two-and-twenty separate proclamations, made patched general Schröder with a strong force, who re-took all kinds of fair promises, restored the arms of the citizens, the forts; but on Schröder's venturing to enter Turn. and liberated the imprisoned patriots. But it was too hout, after the insurgents, a body of three thousand of late. The insurgents, under Vander Mersch, were fast them, under Vander Mersch, armed with pitchforks, advancing towards Brussels, and Dalton marched ont to bludgeons, and staves, attacked and drove him out. Ge- meet them; but he was confounded by the appearance of neral Bender, who had been dispatched against the insur- their numbers, and entered into an armistice of ten
gents at Tirlemont, was driven out in the same manner. days. But this did not stop the progress of insaneda General Arberg was compelled to retreat behind the Scheldt, in Brussels. There the people rose, and resolved to and the people were victorious in Louvaine, Ghent, Bruges, the gates to their compatriots without. The women Ostend, and most towns of the district. Both Joseph and children tore up the palisades, and leveled the entre his governor and commander in the Netherlands now fell ments. The population assumed the national cadde into the utmost alarm. The news which Marie Antoinette and the streets resounded with the cries of "Long live the sent from Paris to her imperial brother, only rendered this patriots !” “Long live Vander Noot!" Dalton retreaded consternation the greater. Joseph, with that sudden revnl- into Brussels, but found no security there. The rol sion which he had manifested on other occasions, after began to desert. The people attacked those who stood te eqnally astonishing rashness, now issued a conciliatory pro- their colours, and Dalton was glad to seenre his retalla clamation, offering to redress all grievances on the condition capitulation. In a few days the insurgenta from Bands of their laying down their arms. But the Netherlanders entered, Trautmansdorff having withdrawn at their were not likely after former experience to trust any such proach, and the new federal union of the Netherlands promises of Joseph. On the 20th of November the states of completely established. The state of Luxemburg ms the Flanders assumed the title of the High and Mighty States; only one yet remaining to Joseph, and thither Dalton they declared the emperor to have forfeited the crown by retired with his forces, five thousand in number.
But Joseph did not live to see the full extent of the who preached up the equality of the human race, had broken alienation of the Netherlands. He had dispatched count through their ancient subserviency, and were palling down Cobenzel to Brussels on the failure of Trautmansdorff's all the old constituted powers, all ranks and distinctions, efforts. Cobenzel was an able diplomatist, but all his offers with a rapidity and a ferocity which electrified the whole were treated with indifference. On the last day of 1789 world. They had destroyed the great state prison, the the states of Brabant, in presence of the citizens of Brussels, Bastille; they had brought the king and queen in triumph swore to stand by their new freedom an act which was from Versailles to Paris, where they kept them in the palace received by the acclamations of the assembled crowds. They of the Tuileries as mere state prisoners, and, by the agency soon after ratified their league with the other states, and of the National Assembly, were proceeding to still more were in active negotiation with the revolutionists of France startling deeds. Already they had decreed that orders and for mutual defence. On the 20th of February Joseph titles of nobility should cease ; already they had compelled expired, leaving a prospect full of troubles to his brother the nobles and the dignified clergy to take their places in Leopold, the new emperor.
the assembly with the commons; already they had confiscated the property of the clergy, and the plate of the churches,
had abolished the old divisions of the kingdom into proCHAPTER XII.
vinces, and divided France into eighty departments. They THE REIGN OF GEORGE IIL.-(Continued.)
had taken from the king the title of the "King of France." OUTBREAK OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION — The Causes of this Revolution long and given him that of the King of the French," preparatory
accumulating in the History of France - Various preceding Revolutions in Franco, all having the same Bloody and ferocious Character, though
to leaving him neither a crown nor a head to wear it. To less in degree-The Elements of this mingled Levity and Ferocity inherent enable the reader to comprehend, in some degree, the causes in the French Nature-Age of Louis XIV.-Its Licentious Tyranny, and
of this fierce and frightful phenomenon, we must take a brief sanguinary Repression of Religious Progress-Extermination of Protest
retrospective glance at the past history and constitution of antism-Consequent universal ascendancy of Priostcraft and Ignorance -The Regency-Louis XV.-Louis XVI. and his family-Ministry of France, and at the character of the people. De Brienne-Bed of Justice-Duke of Orleans banished-Returns
The French people had, through their whole history, never Assembly of Notables-Cour Plenière-Resignation of De Brienne, and
acquired any constitutional liberty. We have seen how, in Ministry of Necker-Proposes the Meeting of the States-General-Unpopularity of the Queen -License of the Press --Assembly of States our own country, the commons had gradually assumed a General-Tiers Etat double in number to the other Orders-Refuses to substantial place in the legislative life of the nation. Rising act till the other Orders sit with It-The Aristocracy and Clergy com
steadily and strongly, the commons of England have, indeel pelled to join the Tiers Etat-The National Assembly-Its ProceedingsBurning of Reveillon's Manufactory-Duke of Orleans, Lafayette, Mira
become the chief power in the state. In the house of beau, Necker &c.-Conduct of the National Assembly and of Parisian commons, all the great questions of reform and enfranchisMob-Necker resigns-Conflict betwixt the People and Soldiery-Seduc
| ment have arisen, and there chiefly been fought out. Duri; tion of Gardes-Françoises-National Cockade - The Bastille taken-King goes to the Assembly - Necker recalled-More Bloodshed - Destruction
the commonwealth, the commons completely extinguished the of Privileges-Rights of Man-Proceedings at Versailles-Arrival of the house of peers and the crown. After that, though the nobis Mob-Attempt to assassinate the Queen-The Royal Family compelled managed to reintroduce royalty, the commons, uniting wit to go to Paris-The Jacobin Club-Proceedings at the Chatelet-Famine,
the peers, drove out the monarch who would have destropas Riots, Law against Tumalts-New Division of the Kingdom - Abolition of Parliament. Lettres de Cachet-Armorial Bearings, Titles, Liveries,
the popular liberties, and fixed the general freedoin on a :* &c., abolished-Suppression of Monasteries and Seizure of the Property and firmer basis by the Bill of Rights. Since then, thu of the Clergy-Other Reforms-Commotions in the Provinces-Execu
freedom, the power, and the wealth of the mass of the tion of Favras-Issue of Assignats-Views of the French Revolution in England-Burke denounces it-Admiration of it by Fox, Priestley, Price,
nation have been constantly augmenting under the protet". &c.—Proceedings in the English Parliament -Differences with Spain tion of these great constitutional guarantees. regarding Nootka Sound - Slavery Question -- Hastings' Trial – Irish . But very different was the case in France. The Frede. Affairs-War in Belgium with the Austrians, in Turkey with RussiaGeneral Swearing in Paris to maintain the New Constitution-Danton,
people are, for the most part, a Celtic race. With t. Desmoulins, and other Paris Democrats-Proceedings of the National exception of the people of Normandy, and a certain infusis Assembly-Abbé Maury defends Church Property-Anacharsis Clootz of German blood through the Franks, they are almu The Fête of the Federation in the Champs de Mars-Marat- The Mode
wholly of the Celtic family, lively, excitable, prone to fits! rates attempt to put Limits to the Revolution-The Royal Family seek for Flight-Interview of the Queen with Mirabeau at St. Cloud-Charges
terrible cruelty and massacre, but wholly, so far as the against the Duke of Orleans and Mirabeau-Revolt of the Troops at history yet demonstrates, incapable of self-government, ab! Nancy against the Assembly -Suppressed by Bouillé-Necker resignsAtrocious Writings of the Jacobins, Marat, Danton, Carra, Desmoulins,
therefore of the maintenance of social and political int&c.--Federation of the Friends of Truth-Growing Ascendancy of Marat
pendence. Though the names of states-generals ani and Robespierre-Suppression of the Insurrection in Belgium-War in parliaments present themselves in French history, the peop..
India with Tippoo Sahib-Proceedings in the British Parliament. up to the time of the Revolution of 1789, had little or rAt the period at which we are now arrived, France was in concern in them. It was only in the states-general tha: a state of the wildest and most awful convulsion. A revo- | the tiers état, or commons, appeared at all, and there. lution had broken out, more terrible and furious than had such a humble and equivocal shape as to give them no r. ever yet appeared in the history of nations. The French influence. Their business was to vote money, and not people, so long trodden down by their princes, their aristo- | legislate. The power of the crown, indeed, far surge cracy, and their clergy, and reduced to a condition of the power of the states-general in their collective capa...", wretchedness and of ignorant brutality, almost unparalleled, and they were rarely called together except to sanction sa seizing the opportunity of the distresses of the impoverished extraordinary measures which the difficulties of the s government, and encouraged by a new race of philosophers, reign rendered necessary for them.
HISTORY OF STATES-GENERAL AND PARLIAMENTS IN FRANCE.
The very earliest even of these states-general took place justified his invasion of France by exclaiming, “God has only in 1302; and then, instead of having their separate led me hither by the hand to punish the sins of this land, houses, like our parliament, they all sate together, thus and to reign in it like a king. There is now no king, no giving the two orders of the nobility and clergy the preva-government, no law in France !" lence over the commons. Still the commons did not omit to Charles VIII., in 1483, assembled the states-general at seize favourable opportunities to demand redress of griev- Tours, and there introduced the innovation of resolving the ances, and the concession of just rights; but they never three orders, not into three chambers, but into six nations, displayed the solid and temperate spirit of the English according to the original nations of Old France. In these commons, which would have enabled them to gain perma- nations, however, the three orders continued to sit together. Dently their object; but they fell to butchering and massa- In 1558 Henry II. introduced a fourth estate into the statescreing the upper classes, and continually lost everything general, called L'Etat de la Justice, the members of it conagain.
sisting of the chief magistracy of the country. The last Thus, when the dauphin, after the battle of Poictiers, time that a states-general was convened previous to that of which left king John a prisoner in the hands of the English, 1789, was by Louis XIII. ; but this monarch took care called the states-general together to demand moneys for the that the people should derive no benefit from their assemransom of his father, and for the relief of the humbled bling. The moment they prepared to present demands of government, the states demanded a full redress of griev- reform, he dismissed them, and Louis XIV. never called ances before granting the supplies. These must have been them together at all. He declared, “ L'etat c'est moi !" conceded, and the grievances were enormous; but the states “I am the state;" and he and his successors ruled as they fell to quarrelling and massacreing each other, and the pleased, only making a show of consulting parliaments. dauphin was compelled to dismiss them. In dismissing These parliaments--which appear only first to have been them, however, he could not dismiss his necessities; and, on introduced by Louis IX., in the thirteenth centurycalling them together in the spring of 1357, the demands did not include a representation of the people at all. The were renewed and complied with. But, as was the case in nembers were merely summoned by the crown at its own the great revolution which we are about to narrate, this dictation and discretion, and were originally almost entirely excitable people did not know where to stop. Instead of selected from the clergy. By degrees, the clergy gave way being satisfied with its proper advantages, its leaders in the to lawyers, and the parlement was, in fact, merely a more atates, Stephen Marcel, the Prevôt des Marchands, and Robert extensive royal council, the chief business of which was to la Cog, made the most unwarrantable attempts on the rights register the royal decrees. Some of these decrees were of the nobles and of the crown. These were resisted, and amongst the most disgraceful facts in French history. The led to the most sanguinary massacres and conflicts. Marcel parliament of Paris registered the edict establishing the informed a league with the king of Navarre, who would fain quisition, and those which condemned to death, as Proteshave snatched the government from his brother-in-law, the tants, Anne du Bourg and admiral Coligny, which sancdauphin, murdered two of the courtiers in the very presence tioned the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and the of the dauphin, and, seizing the person of the dauphin, massacre of St. Bartholemew. When a weak monarch or exhibited him as a prisoner to the exulting mob of Paris. I a woman was at the head of government, these parliaments Marcel took possession of the palace of the Louvre, but was often became very presuming and refractory, and then what soon after butchered himself; and these events introduced were called lits de justice and séances royales were resorted that terrible condition of anarchy called the Jacquerie, in to, in order to compel them to obedience. There were which the people, both in town and country, rose against the special visitations of the parliaments by the sovereign, moper classes, and massacred their lords and their families attended by the princes of the blood, the peers of the realm, with unheard of atrocities, burnt their mansions, and and the chief of the clergy, including cardinals, archbishops, maviged their estates, in their turn to be attacked, hunted and bishops, besides the great officers of the state-altodown, and exterminated by the aristocracy.
gether a great and imposing train-supported by whom, the Similar scenes were enacted in 1380, twenty-two years king compelled the parliament to register the decrees which Later, when Charles VI. was a minor, and his uncles called he had submitted to them. Such monarchs as Louis XIV., together the states-general. The same demands of redress however, had no need of lits de justice-his word was enough; were made, and in part conceded; but the same bloody and, on one occasion, hearing, whilst hunting at Vincennes, fury again possessed them, and the Maillotins, or Malleters, that the parliament hesitated to register some edict or other, of Paris, who beat out people's brains with wooden clubs ; he rode off to Paris, and, entering their chamber in his and the Tuching, or peasants, in the country, committed | boots and spurs, and with his hunting-dress on, and his the most frightful massacres. Again in 1413, the states- hunting-knife at his side, put an end to their deliberations. general being called together when Charles VI. was afflicted Louis XV., who had not the vigour of his predecessor, was with insanity, the people, instead of securing their privileges compelled twice to banish them; but Louis XVI, recalled by firmness and wisdom, broke out under Catoche, a butcher; them, and found them tolerably submissive till 1785. mand, under the name of Catochiens, insisted, amidst blood Besides the states-general of Paris and the parliament of and rapine, on domineering over the aristocracy and crown. Paris, there were also provincial states-general and proThe country, at the same time, was rent to pieces by the vincial parliaments ; and there was also what was called the factions of the Bourguignons and Armagnacs; and, such assembly of notables. This body was only called together was the general anarchy and horror, that our Henry V. Ion rare occasions, in crises of particular embarrassment. They were, as the name implies, “ men of note" and dis- scene of diabolical fury and carnage as the Revolution of tinction for rank, ability, and wisdom, who were called 1789 could ever have taken place. But all real and active together as a temporary council, to offer their advice to the religious inquiry and influence were crushed. There crown, but possessing no legislative or executive functions. remained a nominal hierarchy, administering the outward Such an assembly appears only to have been summoned from rites of the Romish church, but perpetuating the moral time to time in the history of France, previously to 1789— darkness of the people as a system. The nobility and the namely, in 1558 and 1596, in 1617 and 1626. This concise clergy possessed all the property, and power, and privilege sketch of the legislative and governmental institutions of in the country, and the people sank lower and lower in France may enable the reader to comprehend the events indigence and vice, till it was clear that nothing but some which were now taking place in 1789.
terrific tempest of human passion and vengeance could clear The reigning monarch, Louis XVI., was a very amiable the land of its miseries and tyrannies. and well-disposed monarch, weak and yielding in character, Thiers has presented us with the following picture of the but who, under a constitution like that of England, might condition of France at the commencement of the great have lived and died a beloved and popular prince. He was crisis :-" This condition, both political and economical, of a domestic and unambitious character, fond of mechanic was intolerable. There was nothing but privilege-priarts, and an excellent locksmith, but by no means under- vileges invested in individuals, in classes, in towns, in standing how to restore the disordered mechanism of his provinces, and even in trades and professions. Everything government and kingdom. He had married Marie An- contributed to check industry and the natural genius of toinette, the daughter of the great Maria Theresa of man. All the dignities of the state, civil, ecclesiastical, and Austria, and sister to Joseph II., a princess of great beauty military, were exclusively reserved to certain classes, and in and accomplishments, of most engaging manners, but with those classes to certain individuals. No man could take up a love of gaiety and pleasure which, amid a people suffer- a profession without certain titles and a compliance with ing the intensest misery, led to suspicions of her virtue, certain pecuniary conditions. Even the graces and favours which were, there is every reason to believe, most un of the crown were converted into family property, so that founded, but, at that crisis, most fatal.
the king could scarcely exercise his own judgment, or give Louis XVI. had inherited a kingdom crushed under the any preference. Almost the only liberty left to the sovereign maladministrations, the corruptions, and the wild military was that of making pecuniary gifts; and he had been reduced ambition of ages. The people, possessing no real voice in to the necessity of disputing with the duke of Coigny for the legislature, and incapable, from their ignorance and im- the abolition of a useless place. Everything, then, was made petuosity, of prudently obtaining one when circumstances immovable property in the hands of a few, and everywhere put it within their reach, were reduced to a condition of these few resisted the many who had been despoiled. The wretchedness and demoralisation inconceivable. No man burdens of the state weighed on one class only. The noblesse had done more to produce this result than Louis XIV., Le and the clergy possessed about two-thirds of the landed proGrande Monarque, as the French, in their foolish vanity, perty; the other third, possessed by the people, paid tar delighted to style him. By endeavouring to exterminate to the king, a long list of feudal droits to the noblesse, tithe protestantism, not only in France but throughout Europe, to the clergy, and had, moreover, to support the devastations and surrounded only by cardinals and priests, he had driven committed by the noble sportsmen and by their game. Th from his own territories and from the Netherlands thousands taxes upon consumption pressed upon the great multitude, of weavers and other artificers, with their trades, to increase and consequently upon the people. The collection of these the wealth and glory of free England. He had involved imposts was managed in an unfair and irritating manne: himself in wars with England, Holland, and Germany, the seigneurs, or lords of the soil, left long arrears with unwhich for awhile were successful, and witnessed with accla- punity; but the people, upon any delay in paying, we mation by his people, but which, through the exertions of harshly treated, arrested, and condemned to pay in this William of Orange, of Marlborough, and Eugène, eventually persons, in default of money or produce. The people, there overwhelmed France with ruin, poverty, and misery in fore, nourished with their labour and defended with the calculable. This heritage of woe descended to his suc blood the higher classes of society, without being able : cessors, and was only increased by the crimes and follies of | procure a comfortable subsistence for themselves. The bos:. the profligate regent Orleans and the feeble sway of Louis geoisie, or towns-people, or body of citizens, indastris, XV. It went down with a tenfold force from the moral educated, less miserable than the people, could, neverthelea. depravity and mental darkness which Le Grand Monarque obtain none of the advantages to which they had a ngai had perpetuated by his suppression of all freedom of to aspire, seeing it was their industry that enriched, and religious inquiry. We have had to relate the terrible their talents that adorned the kingdom. Public just:: dragonades by which he sought to massacre the whole race administered in some provinces by seigneurs, in the nor: of protestants, under the name of Huguenots, and especially jurisdiction by magistrates, who bought their places was his frightful extermination of the Cevennois, whom, for slow, often partial, always ruinously expensive, and, abov years, he pursued with sixty thousand soldiers, under the all, atrocious in criminal proceedings. Personal liberty w.. command of Marshal Villars and others of his ablest violated by lettres de cachet, the liberty of the free! generals. Had protestantism been permitted to take its royal censors." natural course, it would undoubtedly so have enlightened, The people, thus oppressed through long ages, ground & ennobled, and tempered the French people, that no such 'the dust, plunged in the grossest ignorance by negles, we