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very next morning the national assembly, instigated by the have a veto on the acts of the chamber. The popular districts, passed a resolution declaring the motion of the chamber was to legislate, the king to execute. Mirabeau Hôtel de Ville null, and that the baron de Besen val must be was a party in himself. He mixed with all parties and detained. It was fortunate for Besenval that he was not learned all their objects; but he still, in reality, stood alone liberated, for he would have been assassinated, such was sometimes agreeing with one party, sometimes with another; the animosity of the multitude against him; but, fortunately sometimes opposing both, but always denouncing the arisfor him, he was ordered to be kept in safe custody at Brie- tocracy, whom he hated for their rejection of him ; but he Compte-Robert, where he was seized. But Necker was lost, was always for maintaining the monarchy. He hated the as Bailly told him he would be, if he recommended an brutal and ignorant tyranny of mobs as much as that of amnesty. The districts had not merely sent to the assembly nobles; but he tolerated the excesses of the people, that at Versailles, warning them against sanctioning the amnesty, through them he might destroy the aristocrats. His genius, but they menaced more bloody work than ever if the am- his ambition, his vices, and his poverty were hurrying him nesty were not annulled. The assembly complied, and towards an unknown future; but while floating towards his Necker was no longer the hero of the mob, but detested as own destiny, he controlled more than any other man the a traitor for procuring the amnesty. This was the profound destinies of France. statesman who thought he alone could save the country; this. It was time that the assembly should settle something, for has the amiable people whom he thought he could so easily everything in town and country was unsettled and running lead. Never was popular idol lifted so high, and debased so fast towards universal anarchy. The people of Paris had low in a single day! Bailly bad warned Necker of the con- shaken off their fetters, and the impulse thus given had sequences, and refused to sign the decree for an amnesty when acted on all the country. Strange rumours were spread, as it was voted. He knew the people better than Necker. He it was supposed, from the coteries in Paris, to induce the knew that they would never rest till they had satiated their people everywhere to arm themselves. It was declared that vengeance on their old oppressors. He declared it useless, bands of lawless men were traversing the country, treading dangerous, and unconstitutional. Necker ruined himself down and cutting the corn before the harvest, so as to by his act, which was in appearance humane, but which produce universal famine. These brigands were expected would have been more so, because more effectual, had he, everywhere, and seen nowhere ; but the result was the one instead of a free pardon, called for a proper tribunal to desired—the people had everywhere armed themselves. With try every one before condemned. As it was, Mignet says arms in their hands, they now put in practice all that their very truly, “He unchained the people against himself, with- atheistic philosophers and novelists — the Voltaires, Rousout obtaining anything, and let loose the districts upon the seaus, Diderots, &c.—had taught all France. They refused electors. From that moment he began to wrestle with the to pay any feudal obligations; they turned upon the landrevolution, which he believed he could master, because, for holders, burnt down their mansions, ravaged their fields, and a moment, he had been the hero of it. But a man counts made, in razing their houses, an especial quest after all titlefor very little in a revolution which moves the masses ; the deeds, to prevent the possibility of future reclamation of movement either drags him on, or leaves him behind; he property. An accident furnished a pretext for indulgence must either precede it, or fall. Never was there a time that in the most diabolical cruelties towards these ancient made more evident the subordination of men to things. possessors of the soil. The lord of Quincey, the sieur de Revolutions employ many chiefs, but when they give them- Mesmai, one of the judges of the parliament of Besançon, selves up to it, to one alone." This could only be eventually gave a fête in the grounds of his château ; the peasantry stopped by a man with military power to support him. were assembled there, and enjoying their dances, when a
The great event of the reduction of the Bastille, and the barrel of gunpowder exploded and killed several of them. A disturbed state of Paris since that great day, the 14th of cry was immediately raised that it was designed, and the Jaly, had suspended the activity of the national assembly, story soon ran, with ample exaggerations, all over the but now these very events stimulated it to renewed action. country. De Mesmai proved, by the testimony of numbers Consternation had seized the court and the aristocracy; of persons there, that the explosion was purely accidental; they were ready to make enormous sacrifices to avoid utter but the mischief was already done. The château of Do spoliation; but the assembly, too, was in augmented fear of Mesmai was reduced to ashes, his estate ravaged, the houses the people, and it was divided in itself. The chief advocate and property of his neighbours soon suffered the same fate, of the aristocracy there was a young captain in the queen's and the calumny, bearing terror and destruction, spread with dragoons, named Cazales; the abbé Maury was the great the wings of hatred and vengeance. The work of destruction defender of the church ; the national party was split into ran riot throughout Burgundy, Franche Comté, Dauphiny, several factions. Mounier, Lally-Tollendal, Malouet, and Champagne, Alsace, Brittany, and other provinces. The others were advocates of a constitution resembling that of plunder and destruction were attended by all the horrors Bogland, consisting of a house of commons, a house of peers, which cruelty, lust, and devilry could invent and perpetrate. and the king as the ultimate umpire on all great questions. The details of these horrible ferocities are too vile for deThey went with Necker. A set of young men, Barnave, an scription. The mobs — as French mobs in all ages have advocate of Grenoble, Duport, a young councillor to the been-were excited to a frenzy of ferocity and obscenity farliament, and the two Lamethes, were for a far more which hell itself could not surpass. The proprietors, men, democratical constitution-only one chamber; the people as women, and children, were tortured, to compel them to give slmost everything; the king was not, even in their view, to up their title-deeds, and for the mere enjoyment of cruelty,
e against by means people. Temu
in every form of insolence and horror which distinguished the table to emunerate what they surrendered. The core. the first Jacquerie. In most places the aristocracy fled, if mons, having nothing of their own to give up, surrendered possible, and left all they had to the ravagers; but in others the privileges and charters of towns and provinces. Some they united, and repelled and extensively slaughtered their offered up their pensions; and one deputy, having nothing assailants, as in the Maconnois and Beaujolois. But the else, surrendered his personal convenience, pledging himself uational assembly, which had not uttered a word of con- to devote his energies to the public welfare. The whole demanation of the barbarities of the people, instantly sent assembly was in a ferment and fever-heat paroxyam d orders to stop the retaliation of the landholders. The renunciation, such as could only be witnessed in France assembly dared not incur the resentment of the people. Lally-Tollendal, unable to approach the tribunal, sent up “They had," says Dumont, "triumphed by means of the note to the president. “Everything is to be apprehended people, and could not be severe against them. They had from the enthusiasm of the assembly. Break up the sitting!" put themselves under the necessity of either fearing the He knew very well that in these fits of emotion, which noblesse, or of making the noblesse fear them. They con- seize Frenchmen, the reaction is always proportionate. A demned for decency's sake, but they managed and conciliated member, running to him, grasped his hand, and said, the mob for policy."
“Procure us the royal sanction to our sacrifices, and we are Whilst these abominations were enacting, the assembly friends.” Lally moved that the king should be proclaimed was discussing a declaration of the rights of man. The the restorer of French liberty, which was carried by socks Americans had preceded their constitution by such a mation ; that a Te Deum should be performed for this jogtal declaration, and La Fayette insisted that France must do event; and the assembly broke up about midnight in a the same. Jefferson, who was still there, strongly bewilderment of rapture and wonder at its own deed. The recommended it; and the assembly, on the 4th of August, assembly had, on this memorable night, decreed nothing less voted that such a declaration should be drawn up, thanand should head the constitution, which now also The abolition of all serfdom. was on the anvil. The deputies were already deep in a The right of compounding for the seignorial dues; and slough of metaphysical arguments on this question when abolition of seignorial jurisdictions. the committee appointed to inquire into the provincial The suppression of exclusive rights of hunting, shooting outrages and the best mode of putting an end to them keeping warrens, dovecotes, &c. brought in its report. M. Leguen de Kerengal, a land- The abolition of tithes; the equality of taxes. owner of Bretagne, appeared in the tribunal in the dress of The admission of all citizens to civil and military emplona a farmer, and drew a frightful picture of the feudal system. ments; the abolition of the sale of offices. He was followed by Lapoule, a deputy of Franche Comté, The suppression of all the privileges of towns and famo who amplified the statements of M. Kerengal, descriptive of vinces. the detestable and oppressive customs of the aristocrats The reformation of wardenships; and the suppression of sanctioned by feudal usage. A sudden fit of generosity pensions obtained without just claims. seemed to seize the nobles in the assembly—which, in fact, That was the work of one night! There was refora was a fit of terror-for they had come to the conclusion enough for the legitimate performance of years. To each that no protection was to be expected from the assembly an extent had this French sentiment carried the assembiya against the fury and cupidity of the people. They saw that the duke of Liancourt proposed that a medal should be that the assembly was the slave of the people; that the struck to commemorate this glorious sitting of the 4th d army had fraternised with the people ; and that they were August; and the marquis of Goury, that a national feta at the mercy of the merciless populace. Their burning should be established for all ages on that day; and both were mansions, their violated wives and daughters, their murdered carried by acclamation. But with the light of day one children, their own terrible experience — some of them reflection, and numbers of the deputies felt like men it having been suspended for whole days in wells, or forced covering from a wild intoxication, in which they had give to yield their title-deeds with bayonets or scythes at their away their privileges without any guarantee for the resentano throats—were all too vivid in their memories or their of their property. There remained now to carry these imaginations ; every one was in a hurry to be first to resolutions into formal decrees, and those who bad been sacrifice these feudalities to save their houses and their lavish of their possessions began to show no little rebet acres. Never was such a scene of frenzied, impetuous, to confirm their first impulses. They had made no stipetim wholesale renunciation of rights witnessed since the world for the redemption of any of the rights surrendered by a began. These aristocrats, who had refused all concession equitable payment, and now, when put to the rote, the is to demands most reasonable till they had roused the people exorable majority, which had nothing to lose, paid no regard into masters in the shape of furies, now stood up clamorous to arguments or prayers. Then the assembly proceeded to strip themselves of all honours and privileges in a feigned abolish altogether personal services, and many quit-penata paroxysm of generosity!
into which personal services had been changed. It abolished The viscount de Noailles and the duke d'Aiguillon de- such tributes imposed upon land as were the relics d m clared that it would be wicked and absurd to employ force tude, but made redeemable perpetual rents, which were the to quiet the people. They must destroy the cause of their price for which the nobles had formerly ceded a portia sufferings, and all would be accomplished. The nobles their lands to the cultivators. It abolished seigaceial ad hastened to renounce their privileges. They crowded round These were stoutly defended as property; but it wa rez
that all these things, however indefensible, had become pro- content themselves with killing deer and partridges, but comperty. When the right of hunting was put to the vote, mitted plunder of all kinds; and were so reckless in the use of those who had so freely yielded it now contended that it their firearms that it was dangerous to travel along the highwould be most dangerous to yield the right, because it would ways. Fresh statements were laid before the assembly of the put arms into the hands of the whole population; but this fearful state of the country, and of the fatal accidents that afterthought availed nothing.
occurred. Paris continued as disorderly as the country. On The redemption of tithes was stoutly contested. The the night of the 6th of August a fierce mob broke into the bishops of Nancy and of Chartres, the night before, had Hôtel de Ville to murder the marquis de la Salle and others, spoken like primitive apostles; that they were ready to give for being suspected of sending gunpowder out of the capital. up everything, and trust to God and the people for what was The marquis was warned in time, and got out of Paris ; but necessary for the simple subsistence of preachers of the a fellow had already mounted the fatal lamp-post with a gospel. They did not foresee how soon the gospel itself lantern and a rope, showing what would have been his fate would be renounced; but, to-day, there was a strong bad he been taken. La Fayette found his guards scattered demand from the clergy that the tithes should be redeem- by the mob; and, in spite of his popularity, they would not able. Garat, a public journalist, declared that the state take his word for the victim being away till they had would in reality redeem them by charging itself with the searched the hotel from cellar to garret. Like Sieyes, maintenance of the ministers of religion. The abbé Sieyes, La Fayette found it easier to stir up a revolution than to who had been from the first so thorough a reformer, who guide or check it. Other scenes of like character succeeded; bad written and spoken so admirably on the rights of man, in fact, the mob was the ruling power of Paris and of and had attacked so vigorously the exclusive rights of France. crown and nobility, was now seen, much to the surprise of Amid all this confusion, Necker appeared in the assembly his followers, to flinch when his own turn came. He was demanding supplies, for his coffers were empty. The the recipient, as the vicar-general of the good bishop of assembly had met, first, at the suggestion of Necker, to Chartres, of rich emoluments, and he declared that to touch propose some means of creating a revenue ; but no sooner tithe would be a sacrilegious robbery. "You wish,” he said, had it met than it commenced a struggle with the whole "to be free, and you know not how to be just!” The sentence government, which it sought to annihilate, and the struggle was received with derisive applause by numbers, for it applied was still going on. With the whole country in a state of so completely to the whole progress of the revolution, which anarchy and mob rule, how were taxes to be levied ? That went on confiscating property and rights with more regard to was the simple question. No matter how able might be the revolution than justice. But the abbé's epigrammatic senti minister of finance, or how ingenious bis plans, there lay the miert did not save the tithes. “My dear Sieyes," said difficulty; the revenues could not be drawn from a people Mirabeau, "you let loose the bull, and now you complain which was master of the government itself, and was much that he gives you a touch of his horns.'" He showed that, fonder of destroying estates than of paying taxes or rents. even were the imposition just, the imposition of it on a part The whole course of events, since the revolution had broken only of the public, the landed proprietors, was most unjust; out, had been to increase the demands on the treasury, and that, as religion concerned all, the support of it should be decrease the supplies. Corn had been bought, and sold at a incumbent on all. The curés, who had no tithes, voted to a great loss, to obviate famine ; the abolition of the gabel, or man against them, and they were abolished, but were to be duty on salt; refusal to pay taxes; the destruction of crops, levied till the state allowance to the clergy was settled. On and driving away of cattle; smuggling on the coast; the the 11th, all the articles were presented to the monarch, destruction of town barriers, and, therefore, of town dues ; who accepted the title of Restorer of French liberty, and the burning of the registers, and the murder of the clerks, walked in procession to the Te Deum, with Chapelier, the had made, and kept the public treasury empty. But all this Tresident of the assembly, at his right hand. But Louis time government expenses were going on, and Necker now was far from pleased with these wholesale demolitions of demanded a loan of thirty millions of louis. The loan was fendality. He procrastinated in giving his sanction to them, granted ; nothing was so easy ; but the interest was reduced and endeavoured to show that many of them were rash, ill. to four and a half per. cent, as if moneyed men would lend considered, and mischievous; but the assembly stood firm, to such a government at any rate of interest, however exorand he was constrained to confirm them.
bitant. Necker had the order for the loan, but it was easy He hoped, however, that such extreme concessions would to see that his difficulty was in no way diminished; he would satisfy the people, and put an end to the disturbances. “But, never have the inoney. unfortunately," observes Thiers, “a nation never knows This farce enacted, the assembly fell again to finishing how to resume with moderation the exercise of its rights." the declaration of the rights of man. Much time was He might have added, especially the French nation. So far wasted in compiling such fine sentiments as that “ Every from this, the people everywhere seemed to regard the pro- man is born free and equal." The Americans had done that ceedings of the assembly as a justification of all their past, before, and then proceeded to show how hollow was the and a sanction of all future, outrages. The most atrocious fabric, by declaring that negroes were not free, and could and wholesale violence continued to be perpetrated all over not be equal with white men. Mirabeau, heartily ashamed the kingdom. The people still continued to burn the chateaux, of the whole fustian composition, proposed that they should and to lay waste woods, parks, and copses, at pleasure. The omit the word rights, and say, “For the interest of all, fields and forests swarmed with rustic sportsmen, who did not lit has been declared,” &c. But the assembly, believing the
document very grand and sublime, would not abandon the aristocracy. It was decided that there should be no second word rights. Malouet and others pointed out the inevitable chamber. Then came the question, whether the king should mischief of proclaiming to the uneducated people the dogma have a veto on decrees sent up to him from the assembly, or of utter freedom and equality, but in vain; the declaration only the function of promulgating them, as the executive was passed, and the people soon showed in what sense they power. It was soon seen that not a shred of power would be understood it, and, carrying it to the extreme application, left to the crown; all would be absorbed into the assembly, proceeded to destroy all ranks, properties, and principles, on and used not independently by them, but at the dictation of the authority of the assembly; and would, in time, have the sovereign people. The people were declared to be all
reduced France to a desert, scattered with dead men's free and equal, and why should they be hampered by the bones, had not a military dictator stepped in and stopped resolutions of even their own deputies! They were resolved their imagined right to do just whatever they pleased to rule not merely through the assembly, but over the
From the rights of man the assembly passed to the assembly. The very proposal to give the king a reto constitution, and entered on the important question, whether roused all France. The Palais Royal was in a fiery ferment. there should be two legislative chambers or only one. There, Camille Desmoulins, and the old marquis St Mounier, Lally-Tollendal, Rochefoucauld, Liancourt, and a Huruque, who had been imprisoned for family quarrels few others, including Necker, were for a second chamber, were indignant at the very idea of a veto. They declared like the English house of peers. But the absurdity of an that the national guard was becoming an aristocracy: upper house, after the declaration of the perfect equality of La Fayette, a Cromwell. It was necessary, then, to go to all men, was too preposterous. Barnave, Duport, and the Versailles, and call both the king and the assembly to Lamethes, were opposed to more than one chamber, and account. On Sunday, the 30th of August, they met, ani Mirabeau was of the same opinion, from his hatred of the accused Mounier, menaced Mirabean, and set ont in mare