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MEMOIRS OF ROBESPIERRE.
pointed Barras and eleven commisa sioners to direct the armed force ; then
that part of the troops which had at (Concluded from Page 214.)
first ranged itself on Hanriot's side, abandoned him, and at three o'clock
in the morning the town hall, RobesNevertheless, after several accusa- pierre, and his friends, were in the tions, which gave time for the principal power of the conventionalists. At the part of the leaders to descend from the moment when he saw that he was Montagne, and go about the hall to going to be seized, he tried to destroy make sure of a majority, and to con. himself with a pistol-shot ; but he quer the fear and uncertainty of the only shattered his under jaw. (Others Plaine, the decree of arrest was at last have thought that he had made use of put to the vote, and carried against his brother's hand to deprive himself Robespierre, his brother, St. Just, of life, and others again have said, that Couthon, and Lebas, who, not choos- the shot was given by the gendarme ing, he said, to share in the shame of Médal, who had sprung upon him to a decree passed against his friends, ear- arrest him, and against whom he was nestly requested to be included in it. defending himself.) He was immeIt was then that Robespierre, turning diately led into the lobby of the towards the conquerors, cried, " The meeting hall, then shut up in the Conruffians triumph.” But, in the night, ciergerie, and executed on the same the committee of general security was day, 10th Thermidor, (28th July, attacked, Robespierre and his accom- 1794). Whilst he was in the antiplices were carried off from the Lux. chamber of the committee,' a slight embourg, and conducted to the com- dressing was put on his wound; he mune, where they were received, and wished to wipe away the blood with where the commander of the national which his mouth was filled : they gave guard, Hanriot, the mayor, Fleuriot, him a cloth already bloody, and as he the agent of the commune, Payan, and pushed it away, they said to him, “ It the rest of their friends, swore to de. is blood, it is what thou likest.” He fend them, and declared themselves in looked with an expression of disdain
state of insurrection against the con. and pity at the person who addressed vention. Robespierre then, for a short this speech to him, and continued to time, entertained the hope of triumph- wipe his mouth with an appearance of ing; he even declared that he should tranquillity. What is worthy of remarch to the convention in two hours, mark is, that during his short confineand he, in conjunction with St. Just, ment, he occupied the same dungeon wrote the following note to Couthon, that Hébert, Danton, and Chaumette, who was not yet with him :-" Cou- had successively inhabited. The gaolers thon, all the patriots are proscribed; knocked him about without ceremony, the whole nation is risen ; it would be while he, with a stupified air, was exbetraying it not to come to the com- amining his sad abode ; and when he mune where we are.” But Robespierre made a sign to one of them, (for he and his party lost their time in talking. could no longer speak,) to bring him The Parisians, resolved to declare for a pen and ink,“ What dost thou want the conquerors, were waiting to know with it ?” said the man to him, “ is it to which side the victory would fall, to write to thy Maker ? Thou wilt see and who would be the masters whom him without delay!" When he went it would be necessary to obey. The out to go to execution, the prisoners convention took the lead; it outlawed obstructing the passage, the gaoler Robespierre and his partisans, and ap- cried out, “ Make way, make way,
I say, I say, for the incorruptible man." He of committees, who, less vast in their was carried in a cart, placed between ambition, but more vile, were some as Hanriot and Couthon : the shops, the cruel, and others still more barbarous windows, the roofs, were filled with than he. They afterwards threw their spectators, and cries of joy accompanied own crimes on Robespierre, and conhim all the way. His head was wrapt sented to be deemed far more base in a bloody cloth, which supported his than they were, in order to appear less under jaw, so that his pale and livid guilty ; but though the overthrown countenance was but half seen. The tyrant could not answer their accusahorsemen who escorted him showed tions, facts answer them for him. No. him to the spectators with the point body is ignorant that it was during his of their sabres. The mob stopped him absence from the committees, in 1794, before the house where he lived; some that the reign of terror was carried to women danced before the cart, and one its height, and the executions of the of them cried out to him, “ Thy exe. tribunal were still more numerous; and cution intoxicates me with joy ! De. indeed when the chiefs of the Thermiscend to hell, with the curses of all dorians reproached him, on the 9th wives, and of all mothers !” The exe- Thermidor, it was not with having cutioner, when about to put him to tyrannised over, and ruined his coundeath, roughly tore the dressing off his try, and deluged it with blood; one wound : he uttered a horrible cry, his charged him with having despised his under jaw separated from the upper; report concerning some agents of Pitt; the blood spouted out, and his head another, with having abused his works; presented a most hideous spectacle. He among others may be reckoned Billauddied at the age of 35. The following Varennes, who accused him of having epitaph was written for him :-“ Pas- kept his plan of revolutionary governsenger, lament not his fate, for, were ment for six weeks, and tried to de he living, thou would'st be dead." Of stroy its Tallien, of having recalled all the men whom the French revolu- him from Bourdeaux, at the solicitation brought into notice, not one has tions of young Julien, &c.; all in short, left a name so abhorred as Robespierre. of having calumniated the committees, We are certainly far from wishing to and wanted to proscribe his colleagues. diminish the horror that he inspires; They were very well aware that the yet, would it noi be easy to prove that, principal part of the revolutionary like those impure animals which the laws, the principal part of the acts of ancients loaded with all the iniquities tyranny or cruelty had been less freof a nation at the moment of sacrificing quently proposed or committed by them, i he, at the moment of his fall
, Robespierre than by themselves, the was ded, overwhelmed with the ini- Commune, the Cordeliers, and those quities, the crimes of his accomplices, Girondins whom many people have and even of his enemies, who chose (if . since been pleased, one does not very we may use the expression) to purify well know why, to consider as modethemselves at his expense. Robespierre, satists. These remarks, then, do not devoured by ambition, believed that tend to justify Robespierre, but to blood would be useful to his schemes, prove that the proconsuls, and still and he made it flow in torrents ; but more the members of the committees it would be absurd to imagine that he during the year two, ought to share ever could kave invented and directed in kis condemoation, and that it is all those little details of cruelty that very much in vain that they incessantly were the delight of Fouquier, Dumas, bring forward the words terror and Collot, Carrier, Billaud, &c. and all Robespierre, as an ægis capable of the throng of proconsuls and meinbers repelling all the reproaches of this
own time, and protecting them from
SPEECH the judgment of posterity. Robespierre of the Rev. Dr. Dickson, at the had not any of those accomplishments
Armagh Catholic Meeting. or brilliant advantages whichi seem to command success. He was hard, dry, Mr. Chairman-While the object without imagination and without coué of this day's meeting was under conrage, neither could his feeble consti- sideration, I persevered in the resolutution, his gloomy and livid counte- tion with which I entered thris house, nance, his weak sight, his almost in. in hope that some of my protestant and audible voice, prepossess or seduce the presbyterian brethren, more equal ta multitude ; and though in public the task, would have claimed your at. speaking he had, by long habit, at. tention, in expressing the concurrence tained a degree of facility, he could of their body in your efforts to obtain never contend with the principal ora. it. Disappointed in this, I now rise, tors of the convention ; but nature under a pressure of feelings which overseemed to supply all the resources whelm my heart, and nearly deprive that she denied him, by granting him me of the power of utterance. (Here the art of profiting at the same time the Dr. seemed quite overpowered, and by the talents of others, and by the incapable of proceeding) Forgive me, faults which they might commit. For Sir; those feelings have not arisen from ever surrounded with a band of women, the importance of this object to the who were called his jupons-gras, and catholic body, or the number and rewith some men of the lowest mob, to spectability of the present meeting, but whom he committed the care of sup- from its importance to the British Emporting and extending his popularity, pire, in its utmost extent; and the nehe also employed them usefully in cessity of granting it, situated as we order to appropriate the merit of all now are, in order to preserve our pothe revolutionary projects in the eyes litical existence.
These feelings, I of the multitude; and strong in his trust, are not peculiar to me at this integrity in pecuniary matters, he al.
When I look around me, ways took care to open the path of I think I see them glowing in every honours, and especially of riches, to countenance, and beaming in every eye. his rivals, in order that he might have Happy presage of that happy hour, an additional way of ruining them. when Irishmen shall view each other Lastly, a matter which was known to with the eyes of brethren, rejoice in few, and which powerfully upheld his each others joy, and cordially unite in authority, was a kind of watch that the love of their country—the only he kept on all the distinguished men rational love of themselves: when, in. in the revolution. He began, from stead of jealousy, party-spirit, and a the time of the constituent assembly, dæmon under the mask of religion, to take note of their steps, their opi. aiming the firebrand equally at the mions, their inconsistencies, their weak house of a Brother and the house of nesses, in short, their whole conduct ; God, the divine light of our holy reand this pieture a:sisted him, more ligion shall irradiate every understand. than can be imagined, in terrifying or ing, and its benevolent spirit warm governing some, and in ruining others. every heart with kindness, and nerve In short, though Robespierre was every arm to acts of mutual protection very inferior to the part that he had and general safety. Sir, I do not speak undertaken, we are at least obliged this from respect to the catholics of to own that he was not an ordinary Ireland, but the Irish people. Do not man.
think, however, that I am indifferent
to the interests, the political rights, future circumstances what they may, or the religious liberty of catholics. ensure our domestic peace, confidence, I hope my whole life has been one and comfort. continued demonstration of the con- I know, Sir, many of the weak and trary. Their rights, as men, I have ignorant among us, not more than ever held sacred; their claims, as sub. twenty years ago, were blasphemously jects of a State, of whose Constitution told that the catholics of Ireland were They laid the foundation, which they, equally ignorant of the meaning of exclusively, cherished for 300 years," Liberty," and unfit to be entrusted and which they have uniformly sup- with it. Thank God! those slanderers ported by their industry, their purse, of man, and blasphemers of his Maker, and their blood, have ever had my are now ashamed of their slanders and feeble support. And such is the esti- their blasphemies. Could history promation in which I hold the liberty of dace no other instairce ; that which worshipping God, according to my I have mentioned refutes both. Others own conscience, that the idea of re have been made to believe that there is straining others in the exercise of the something in the very constitution of invaluable privilege, by penalty or pri- the Catholic Religion, not only unvation, chills me with horror. That friendly, but irreconcileable to polito them we owe our Constitution, the tical liberty. The fact which I have boasted - Envy of the world, and mentioned refutes this also. On this, glory of Britain," we must all admit ; however, we need not depend. The as by them Magna Charta was extorted history of Catholic Europe clearly from King John, and for 300 years proves the Catholic Religion has no afterwards no 'other denomination of respect to forms of Government. christians existed in these countries. Italy embraces every form from absoDo not they know these things as well lute despotism to unlimited democracy. as we? How must they feel then in Within these twenty-five years, Cabeing deprived of its blessings, while tholics in France overturned the throne their ears are stunned with our boasts of the Capets and favoured a short. of its excellence ? And how must these lived rep.blic. At this moment they feelings be aggravated by the thought are united under a military despotism, that conscience must be sacrificed to under which the rights of conscience policy, before they can be admitted to are held sacred, all religions equally its honor or emoluments, or even to protected, and their professors eligible the confidence of their fellow-subjects to the offices and honours of the State. Let us then extinguish these feelings, In most of the German States, Proas far as in our power, by joining with testants and Catholics not only unite them in their Petition of Kiglıts. in the measures of government, but Should that petition be granted, tho worship God, at the stated hours, the grant will be only a restoration of under the same roof. Even our own right, as a pregnant instance of grow- government gives the lie to every claing liberality, it will be gratefully ae. mour against catholies, as incapable of, knowledged as a kindries; and the or unfriendly to, political liberty. The enthusiastic attachment to their native ministry of the day pleaded no corocountry, strengthened by a common nation oath against the religious rights interest, will be drawn closer still, by of the Canadians ; nor was it ever the renovated love of their countrymen. pleaded, even by Pitt, against his Ma. Nay, should a misguided policy persist jesty becoming an elective Monarch, in refusing it, our sympathetic inter- and protector of the Catholic Church ference will justly command their es. in Corsica. Perhaps, at this day, the iccm, conciliate their affection, and, be same may be said of the Isle of France,
even under a Perceval. Are the Ca. torture in the extreme. Their feelings tholics of Ireland, then, less enligh. would be as the scourging of rods ; tened, less, liberal, or less worthy of ours not only painful, but fatal as the confidence, than all others? No, cer. stings of Scorpions. tainly.--Let us, then, lay hold of their I fear, Sir, I have too long tres
liberality, and secure their confidence, passed upon your time and patience, that in them we may be strong. The and those of this meeting. moment is awful and alarming.--Even motives plead my excuse with you and the present ministers now own it. One them. Permit me, only, to repeat my of the wisest, politicians of the day, has ardent wish that the end of our meet. acknowledged, that England's exis. ing may be speedily and effectually actence stands on the support of reland. complished ; and to subjoin the prayer And we all know the firmness of that of my heart, that God would give us support depends on the unanimity of all understanding to discern our true Irishmen. Let [rishmen, then, be interests—wisdom to embrace the united by a common interest, and with means of their attainment, and virtue cordiality they will unite in one com- to unite in their use till their end be
Were the doors to pro. secured. motion, in our armies and our feets, open to Catholic Gentlemen, would they not with ardour rush into both ? LONDON, 22d OF MAY. How many, whose ancestors our ac. cursed Penal Code had expelled from their country, and who long have been, To Mr. W. Cox, and now are leading our enemies to
SIR, victory, would return in rapture to her bosom, and fight in her cause? Irish I have made every due inquiry about Legions, fighting under foreign ban. the real state of your property, at preders, and comicanded by Irishmen, sent in this city, nor did I leave an would no more be heard of. Even in object so important to your affairs to our accursed wars of offence, this would the observation or authorities of other add to the probability of our success. persons ; and from what I can learn, as But should we ever be reduced to a well as by my personal inspection, you war of defence, within the boundaries may set aside any anxiety for the preof our awn Isles, which God forbid ! sent about him, as he appears as hearty, this, and this alone, in the ordinary and in as good health, and as much at course of things, could ensure our his liberty, as the day I saw him safety, and enable us to bid defiance sorting a Jury, for the trial of Doctor not only to the force, but the fear of Sheridan, in the Court of King's an enemy
Bench. The rumours of his death, But I have said, that I speak, not imprisonment, &c. were devoid of any merely for the Catholics, but for the foundation. He appears every day in people of Ireland. I say so still. The the public streets. He was twice at Catholics have only a part of their Mr. Pole's office yesterday ; was as Rights and Liberties to lose. Our all the theatre last evening ; and on Sunis at stake. Should our dissentions, day I dogged him to a sermon in therefore, render us a prey to a Foreign Moorfields, preached by Tristram, the Edemy, their regrets at losing that Awl-blade-maker, for the purpose of little, should it be their lot, must be encreasing the funds of the British painful; but the wantonness and wick. Bible Society, for converting the Irish. edaess by which we forfeited our all, His health was in such good order in alienating their affections, must be that he joined his voice in the hymn For June, 1812, VOL. V.