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treated. “My pride took alarm ; my blood boiled; Ition from the interest of the subject which engaged her blushed violently. I no longer inquired of myself why this thoughts, and that no painter or sculptor could catch it. lady was seated on a sofa, and my grandmother or aunt on But the picture drawn of her by Lamartine has great a low stool. I saw the end of the visit with satisfaction." attractions :—"A tall and supple figure, flat shoulders, a
But she also had a peep of royalty, and that pleased her no prominent bust, raised by a free and strong respiration, a better. In her Grecian reading she had lived on terms of modest and most becoming demeanour, that carriage of the equality with Agis and Cleomenes at Sparta ; she was one neck which bespeaks intrepidity, black and soft hair, blue of the Gracchi of Rome; she retired with the people to the eyes, which appeared brown in the depth of their reflection, Aventine Mount, and voted for the tribunes. The abbé a look which, like her soul, passed rapidly from tenderness Morell, the parish priest, fearing the effect of these readings, to energy, the nose of a Grecian statue, a rather large had put into her hands some of the orthodox works of the mouth, opened by her smile as well as her voice, splendid defenders of the church ; but the chief effect of this was to teeth, a turned and well-rounded chin, gave to the oval of her reveal to her the names of the sceptical writers whom they features that voluptuous and feminine grace without which professed to refute, and so she procured from this clue even beauty does not elicit love, a skin marbled with the ** Bayle's Philosophical Dictionary," the “Encyclopedists,” animation of life, and veined by blood which the least and their controversies; the works of D'Argens, Spinosa, impression sent mounting to her cheeks, a tone of voice Helvetius, Diderot, D'Alembert, and Raynal, as well as which borrowed its vibrations from the very fibres of her the "Système de la Nature” of Baron D'Holbach. Thus, heart, and which was deeply modulated to its finest movefrom an ardent catholic and a worshipper of heroes, she was ments—a precious gift, for the tone of the voice, which is become not only a thorough republican but a free-thinker. the channel of emotion in woman, is the medium of persuaWe may therefore well conceive her feelings when she was sion in the orator, and this charm of voice Nature had taken to pass eight days at Versailles, in the palace of that bestowed on her freely. Such, at eighteen years of age, king and queen whose throne she was one day to sap. This was the portrait of this young girl, whom obscurity long is Lamartine's account of the visit:
kept in the shade, as if to prepare for life or death a soul "Lodged in the attics with one of the female domestics more strong and a victim more perfect.” of the château, she was a close observer of this royal luxury, There were numerous suitors for her hand, but all of her which she believed was paid for by the misery of the people, own class, and into that class her father wished her to and that grandeur of things founded on the servility of marry; but she told her father that she would not marry courtiers. The lavishly-spread tables, the walks, plays, any man who could not sympathise with her ideas. “I presentations, all passed before her eyes in the pomp and will not descend," she said, “ from the world of my vanity of the world. These ceremonious details of power noble chimeras. What I want is not a position but a were repugnant to her mind, which fed on philosophy, mind, and I will die single rather than prostitute my truth, liberty, and the virtue of the olden time. The own mind in a union with a being with whom I have no obscure names, the humble attire of the relatives who took sympathy." ber to see all this, only procured for her mere passing looks Her father was particularly anxious that she should and a few words, which meant more protection than favour. marry a butcher who had made a fortune of fifty thousand The feeling that her youth, beauty, merit, were unperceived crowns. But she had been lately reading Rousseau's by this crowd, who only adored favour or etiquette,“ Héloise," and her imagination revolted at the butcher. oppressed her mind. The philosophy, natural pride, At this time she had lost her mother, and her home was not imagination, and fixedness of her soul, were all wounded very attractive; and her fate was decided by the appearance during this sojourn. •I preferred,' she says, 'the statues in of Roland de la Platière. Roland was twice her age; a the gardens to the personages in the palace.' And her man, like herself, devoted to admiration of the ancients, but mother, inquiring if she were pleased with her visit, she destitute of genius, and possessing a high opinion of his own replied, “Yes, if it be soon ended, for else, in a few more merits. “I saw a man,” she says, “nearly fifty years days, I shall so much detest all the persons I see that I shall of age; tall, careless in his attire, with that kind of not know what to do with my hatred.' •What harm have awkwardness which a solitary life produces, but his they done you?' inquired her mother. The making me feel manners were easy and winning, and, without possessing injustice, and look upon absurdity.' As she contemplated the elegance of the world, they united the politeness of the these splendours of the despotism of Louis XIV., which well-bred man to the seriousness of the philosopher. He were drooping into corruption, she thought of Athens, the was very thin, with a complexion much tanned ; his brow, condemnation of Phocion. I did not then foresee,' she | already very scantily covered with hair, and very broad, did writes, in melancholy mood as she penned these lines, that not detract from his regular but unpleasing features." destiny reserved me to be the witness of crimes such as | Such was the man whom this interesting woman conthose of which they were the victims, and to participate in sented to marry. Her father bluntly refused the application the glory of these martyrs, after having professed their of Roland, declaring that he was a pedant, and would be a principles.'
tyrant to his wife ; and this madame Roland, to a certain Yet Manon Philipon was a person to attract the admira- degree, found him. He was dictatorial and exacting; he tion of any but blasés and sordid courtiers. She herself has carried her off to Amiens, where he was inspecting manutold us that her beauty consisted more in expression than factures; and there he was so jealous of her, that he would in feature: that her physiognomy kindled up with anima. I not allow her to associate with people of her own age.
“By dint," she says, “of occupying myself with the An arbour was formed at the extremity of each walk. A happiness of the man with whom I was associated, I felt little further on was an orchard, where the trees, inclining that something was wanting to my own. I have not for a in a thousand attitudes, cast a degree of shade over an acre moment ceased to see in my husband one of the most of cropped grass ; theu a large inclosure of low vines, cut in estimable persons that exist, and to whom it was an honour right lines by small green sward paths. Such is this spot. for me to belong; but I often felt that similarity was The gaze is turned from the gloomy and lowering horizon to wanting between us; that the ascendancy of a dominating the mountains of Beaujieu, spotted on their sides by black temper, united to that of twenty years more of age, was pines, and severed by large, inclined meadows, where the too great a superiority. If we lived in solitude, I had oxen of Charolais fatten, and to the valley of the Saone, sometimes very painful hours to pass; if we went into that immense ocean of verdure, here and there topped by the world, I was liked by persons, some one of whom I high steeples. The belt of the higher Alps, covered with was fearful might affect me too closely. I plunged into snow, and the apex of Mont Blanc, which overhangs the my husband's occupations, became his copying clerk, whole, frame this extensive landscape.” corrected his proofs, and fulfilled the task with an unre Here madame Roland, with her intense love of nature, pining humility, which contrasted strongly with a spirit as might have been happy; for she divided her time betwixt free and tried as mine. But this humility proceeded from household cares, administering to the poor and sick, and my heart. I respected my husband so much, that I always long strolls among the valleys and woods. But her liked to suppose that he was superior to myself. I had such paradise was marred by a domineering mother-in-law, a a dread of seeing a shade on his countenance, he was so rough brother-in-law who lived with them, and her tenacious of his own opinions, that it was a long time before commonplace, exacting husband. I ventured to contradict him. To this labour I joined that! But the first outbreak of the revolution put an end to of my house; and observing that his delicate health could this life of obscurity and subjection. Madame Roland's not endure every kind of diet, I always prepared his meals mind, nurtured on republicanism from a child, took fire with my own hand. I remained with him at Amiens four instantly. Her conviction was, that this revival of liberty years, and became there a mother and nurse. We worked had come to regenerate the whole human race. All her together at the ‘Encyclopédie Nouvelle,' in which the internal disgust at the imperiousness and corruption of articles relative to commerce had been confided to him. monarchy rekindled; her glowing enthusiasm burnt away We only quitted this occupation for our walks in the every fear of man; she became no longer the follower but the vicinity of the town.”
leader of her husband. Her sentiments she communicated From Amiens they went to Lyons, where Roland held a to all around her. She avenged herself, says her biographer, similar office. During the summer, they went to live at La of her destiny, which refused her individual happiness, Platière, and we may dwell a moment on the scene there as by sacrificing herself for the happiness of others. Happy given by Lamartine :-"At the foot of the mountains of and beloved, she would have been but a woman; unhappy Beaujolais, in the large basin of the Saone, in face of the and isolated, she became the leader of a party. Alps, there is a series of small hills scattered like the sea At first, the opinions of monsieur and madame Roland sands, which the patient vine-dresser has planted with excited the hostility of the commercial magnates of Lyons, vines, and which form, amongst themselves, at their base, but the current of revolutionary opinion soon set in, and oblique valleys, narrow and sinuous ravines interspersed raised them to the head of society there. Roland was elected with small verdant meads. These meadows have each their to the municipality, and the municipal council sent him to thread of water, which filters down from the mountains; Paris to defend the commercial interests of Lyons in the willows, weeping birch, and poplars, show the course, and committees of the national assembly. Once in Paris, conceal the bed of these streams. The sides and tops of madame Roland drew around them all the most determined these hills only bear, above the lowly vines, a few wild spirits of the revolution. Besides Brissot, Pétion, Bazot, peach trees, which do not shade the grapes, and large Robespierre, who agreed to meet four evenings in the week walnut trees in the orchards near the houses.
in the salon of madame Roland, others came who imposed “On the declivity of one of these sandy protuberances on her enthusiasm by ranting about liberty. Lanthenas was La Platière, the patrimonial inheritance of M. Roland : a young doctor, who afterwards betrayed his party—became a low farm-house, with regular windows, covered with a more like an inmate of the house than a guest. Pache and roof of red tiles, nearly flat; the eaves of this roof projecting Servan, Fabre d'Eglantine and Champfort, assembled there; a little beyond the wall, in order to protect the windows and even Anacharsis Clootz showed his face, but found DO from the rain of winter and the summer's sun. The walls favour. When the massacre of the Champ de Mars occurred, straight, and wholly unornamented, were covered with and the patriots fled to hide themselves, Roland and his a coating of white plaster, which time had soiled and wife sought out Robespierre to offer him an asylum—the cracked. The vestibule was reached by ascending five stone man who afterwards sent this noble woman to the guillotine! steps, surmounted by a rude balustrade of rusty iron. A Whenever Robespierre wanted a dinner, he used to go stad yard surrounded by outhouses, where the barvest was ask for one of the woman whose blood he afterwards spilled. gathered into presses for the vintage, cellars for the wine, and After the dissolution of the first assembly, Roland and his a dovecote abutted on the house. Behind was situated a wife returned to La Platière, but they very soon quitted a small kitchen-garden, whose beds were bordered with box, again for Paris. The principal names at this period da pinks, and fruit trees, pruned close down to the ground. 'cussed in the newspapers in Paris were those of Condorost.
577 Brissot, Danton; in the departments, those of Vergniaud, whilst refusing to believe in what all the ages, and the Guadet, Isnard, Louvet, who were afterwards Girondists ; wisest and best men of all the ages, have believed, he was and those of Thuriot, Merlin, Carnot, Couthon, Danton, ready to put full faith in things which are opposed to daily Saint Just, who subsequently united with Robespierre, and hourly experience; namely, he believed that science and were, by turns, his instruments and his victims. We could extend human life indefinitely, and that, in fact, men have already mentioned the main features of the lives of only died because they were ignorant; simply because they had several of these men. Amongst the Girondists, Condorcet not as yet learned how to live for ever, but they might do so was a philosopher, and he carried his peculiar philosophy if they followed science devotedly. Condorcet had not the into his politics. He was a disciple of Voltaire, D'Alembert, gift of eloquence like Mirabeau, therefore he did not shine and Helvetius. His philosophy, therefore, was of the earth, in the assembly; but he had his newspaper, the Cronique de He believed in the dignity of reason, and in the omnipotence | Paris, in which he ridiculed royalty and Christianity, and,
of the understanding, with liberty as its handmaid. Heaven- though naturally of a mild and amiable disposition, grew the abode of all ideal perfections, and in which man places his fierce and uncharitable in his politics. most beautiful dreams-was limited by Condorcet to earth; Brissot at this time, however, was the leading figure of his science was his virtue; the human mind his deity. the Gironde party. Although he had failed to obtain an Intellect illumined by science was, in his eyes, omnipotent, entrance into the first assembly, he had become a member and would necessarily triumph over all difficulties, and renew of this, and, both in the tribune and in his newspaper, the the face of nature and the spirit of society. He had made Republican, attacked the monarchy with the most undisof this system a line of politics, whose first idea was to guised and most unrelenting virulence. Brissot was the adore the future and abhor the past. He was, in fact, one of son of a poor pastrycook of Olarville, near Chartres, in the shallow and, at that time, multitudinous school who mis- which city he had been educated with Petion. He had took the thing for the maker of it; the workman's tool for the early taken to literature, in which he assumed the name of workman, the finite mind for the infinite, and would have Warville, from the place of his birth, Quarville. He edited, believed in the sun's rays and not in the sun, were it not before the revolution, the Courrier de l'Europe, a newspaper forced so absolutely on their senses. Like all that class, of Boulogne. He became author of various works, as
“Rome Unmasked ;" “ Philosophical Letters on the Life intrigues and disgraceful literary career of their forma and Writings of St. Paul,” which he professed to be a associate. They quoted actual letters in which Brixt bai translation from the English ; "The Theory of Criminal lied unblushingly as to his name, the condition of bus Law;" the outline of a work on “Universal Pyrrhonism," family, and his father's fortune, in order to acque with essays on Metaphysics and on Legislation. In all Swinton's confidence, to gain credit, and make duces in these, so far as laws and institutions were concerned, he had England. The proofs were damning. The sum exhortal studied those of England, and he then proceeded—as French- from Desforges, under pretence of an institution in London, men have been so fond of doing for the last hundred years, and expended on himself, was a mere trifle compared with to declare the ruin of England at hand. Notwithstand the whole iniquity. Brissot, on quitting England, heile ing this, when the French government suppressed the in the hands of Desforges twenty-four letters, which bat Courrier of Boulogne, he came over to England, where too plainly established his participation in the infamia he set up a Lyceum in Newman-street, Oxford-street, trade of libels carried on by his allies. It was proved to which was to spread over the world enlightenment on all demonstration that Brissot had connived at the sening matters that concerned the government and social progress of | into France, and at the propagation of odious pamphlets by the human race. He issued thence the Journal of the Morande. He was, besides, accused of having extracted Lyceum, in which he attempted to teach to his own country: from the funds of the district of the Filles-Saint Thomas, at men the free institutions of that England which was so soon which he was president, a sum for his own purse, long to perish. By means of this Lyceum pretence he managed forgotten. Thus appeared upon the scene for the first time, to swindle a M. Desforges, a money-lender, out of thirteen amid the hootings of both parties, this man, who attemptal thousand livres, and was in close connection with Morande, in vain to escape from the general contempt accumulated alternately a French libeller of the government and a French his name.” It required all the enthusiasm and the necessities spy, and with the marquis de Pelleport, the author of Le of party to render such a man the guest and coadjutor of a Diable dans un Bénitier, “The Devil in the Holy Water madame Roland. From the time of his sojourn in Ameria Vessel.” Being obliged to quit London to avoid arrest for Brissot assumed the habit of a quaker, and was the first to the money so fraudulently obtained, he returned to France, abandon the wearing of hair-powder. He was the first and was seized by lettre de cachet and lodged in the Bastille. victim of Robespierre. Yet he is accused at the same time of having been, whilst in Louvet, one of the most distinguished of the Gironda London, in the pay of Vergennes, and, notwithstanding, was an advocate by profession, but had distinguished her writing against the French government. The Courrier de self as a novelist, and especially by "Faublas," one of the l'Europe, on which he had been engaged, it appears, most obscene and disgusting of French fictions; but, on the was published really in London by a Mr. Swinton, and sent account, extremely popular in France. He was living over to Boulogne for circulation. At this Swinton's house quiet, and pursuing his authorship at about twenty league he became first acquainted with Morande. “He was one of from Paris, when the news of the revolution carried him, those mercenary scribes," says Lamartine, “who write for like thousands of other young aspirants, to Paris. Louret those who pay best. He had written on all subjects, for became a member of the jacobin club, threw the blame every minister, especially for Turgot-criminal law, political the march to Versailles on the duke of Orleans, and caneconomy, diplomacy, literature, philosophy, even libels. tinued to write romances calculated to spread the new Seeking the support of celebrated and influential men, he ideas; advocating freedom of divorce, and heaping odiun had circulated round all from Voltaire and Franklin down on the aristocrats and the emigrants. He continued to to Marat.” On being liberated from the Bastille in 1785 he charge the duke of Orleans with selfish aims, and to went again to England, and thence to America, and wrote denounce Robespierre and Marat; yet he contrived to a work on the United States. On the breaking out of the escape their bloody decimation, and became a member of the revolution he returned to France, and started, first, the council of Five Hundred. Patriote Français, and we have had occasion to notice his Gorsas, who had been & schoolmaster at Versailles, and truculent articles, and his equally fiery speeches in the edited the Courier des Départemens, was one of the most jacobin club. He had formerly lauded and supported exciting and influential of the Girondists. Guadet mu Bailly and La Fayette; he was now equally active for the another; a lawyer by profession, and possessed of consids. republic in the assembly, and in the salons of Roland, able eloquence. He was closely connected with Genset Condorcet, and Bidermann the banker. Robespierre was and Vergniaud, being from the same department. The excessively angry with him, declaring that, with his two gentlemen were advocates of Bordeaux; they were "republic,” he was throwing division amongst the patriots, both eloquent, but Vergniaud was deemed the most elagras and playing into the hands of their enemies by announcing man of this second assembly. Isnard, the son of a per that there was a party in France pledged to destroy the fumer at Grasse, a literary man formed on the old Gracina monarchy and the constitution. Marat, in his Ami du and Roman model, was a thorough republican, and of a Peuple, and Manuel, in Père Duchesne, were equally violent ardent and impetuous character. He was styled the Deator against him, and so were much better men. He had won, of the Gironde, as Vergniaud was the Mirabesa. Duo in truth, a most unenviable name. “Brissot's old allies," was another young and enthusiastic Girondist, as Garat, a says Lamartine, “ returned from London, especially Mo- literary man, was the cool and calculating one of the rande, under cover of the troublous times, and revealed to party, and thus escaped to become a senator and comes the Parisians in the Argus, and in placards, the secret | under Napoleon Buonaparte. Such were the chief cka
A.D. 1791.] THE ASSEMBLY SWEAR TO MAINTAIN THE CONSTITUTION.
679 racters of the Girondist or pure republican party, which now receive them at one o'clock the next day. The deputation rose into prominent notice. Yet, at first, there was little demanded admission immediately, and the king consented distinction between the Girondists and the jacobins. The to give them audience at nine o'clock that evening. This Girondists, in fact, claimed to be the true and pure jacobins. was one of those needless irritations of the court by which it They were all alike ultra-revolutionists, but the jacobins seemed to be driven by a fatality. It was desirable that the were contented to retain the monarch so long as they could king and the new assembly should meet in mutual gooduse him as a tool; the Girondists, having formed their con- humour, but this was at once at an end. The king ceptions on the classical times, scorned to admit any use or received them stiffly, and they showed a like stiffness. Louis ornament in a monarch; they deemed monarchy unsuited asked Duchastel what were the names of his colleagues, and to the dignity of man. In fact, the left side of the first he replied, that he did not know. They were then retiring, assembly had become the right of this, so far as political when Louis called them back and said that he could not views were concerned; the moderate men had disappeared, attend the house till Friday. men of ultra ideas had taken their places. The greater These proceedings excited great sensation in the assembly. portion of this assembly consisted of young, inexperienced Exception was taken to the word “sire," with which Dupersons. Almost all the white heads had disappeared, and chastel had addressed the king. Sire was declared to be only with them the proud bearing of the noblesse, the austere a contraction of seigneur, which meant a sovereign, and a gravity of the old deputies of the tiers-état, and the dignity member demanded that it be abolished. Another protested of the clergy and magistrates. The French had shown how ill against the assembly being called on to sit or stand, just as it calculated they were for self-government by clearing the pleased the chief magistrate. Couthon, a little lawyer from house of all that had been already learned of legislation by Clermont, destined to be one of Robespierre's sanguinary experience, and filling it with raw enthusiasm. “The great triumvirate, denounced the fine gilded fauteuil set for the idea of France," says Lamartine, " abdicated, if we may use king, and demanded that it should be removed and a chair the expression, with the constitutional assembly; and the placed for him precisely like that of the president, and side government fell from its high position into the hands of the by side with it. His maiden speech was rapturously apinexperience or the impulses of a new people. From the plauded, and Chabot protested against their standing when 29th of September to the 1st of October there seemed to be the king sate, or being uncovered when he was covered, or a new reign ; the legislative assembly found themselves on allowing the king to say that he would come at this or that that day face to face with the king, who, deprived of time to the assembly, at his own pleasure. Coulon observed authority, ruled over a people destitute of moderation. that this decree would induce confusion ; some would They felt, on their first sitting, the oscillation of a power remain covered, others would uncover to flatter the king. without a counterpoise, that seeks to balance itself by its “So much the better," cried some one, “then we shall know own wisdom; and, changing from insult to repentance, the flatterers." It was therefore decreed that the assembly wounds itself with the weapon that has been placed in its should be on a perfect equality with the king as to sitting or
standing, being covered or uncovered, and that the gilded On the 1st of October, when the assembly met, Armand fauteuil should be removed. The report of these decrees Gaston Camus, one of the Paris deputies, and a thorough spread consternation through the palace. It was clear that jacobin, presented the book of the constitution to the all harmony was destroyed in the very commencement, and members, and, all standing uncovered, swore to maintain it, the king summoning a ministerial council, said that he was and live free or die. Cerutti, an Italian, and ex-Jesuit, pro- not obliged to expose himself to the insults of the assembly, nounced a high encomium on the late assembly -most of the and would order ministers to preside at the opening of the members of which were present as spectators-and, after legislative body. declaring that no Roman senate, or British parliament, or This announcement struck the assembly with consternation American congress had done so much, moved that a place of on its part. When it met on the 6th, Vosgien asserted that honour should be appointed in the house, where the members they were giving advantage to the enemies of the public of the late assembly could attend and observe the proceedings. welfare, and injuring their own respect by refusing that due This was not acceded to; but a great number of such to the king. Vergniaud declared that the titles of sire and members took the liberty of seating themselves in the body majesty recalled feudality, and ought not to be retained, and of the house, where they communicated with their successors, yet he conceded that the assembly, as a mark of respect to and advised them what to say or do, so that the Moniteur, the chief magistrate, should rise and uncover when he did the official gazette, declared that they had constituted them- so. Hérault de Séchelles demanded the repeal of the decrees selves into a second chamber ; “so difficult,” it observed, of the previous day; and Champion, the deputy of the Jura, "was it, having been something, to consent to become asserted that they were insulting the first assembly by nothing." It declared that they formed a permanent com- refusing titles which it had thought proper to retain ; that mittee-were still governing the country through their the founders of liberty were not slaves; that it was the successors.
people who had created royalty ; that in honouring it they A deputation of sixty members was appointed to announce were honouring the people, whence it sprung. After a keen to the king the definitive formation of the new National debate, the decrees were annulled ; but the royalists were so Legislative Assembly. Duchastel was at their head. They imprudent as to triumph in the repeal as a proof of the waited on the king on the evening of the 4th of October, assembly's weakness, and the returning power of the king. about six o'clock. The king informed them that he would | Some of the officers of the national guards menaced Gou.