Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

banker had been left quiet in his of Louis the XVI. Mr Manucl pleadcounting-house at Geneva. On Mi- ed the cause of the Convention ; rabeau's address for the remanding of “Ne cherchons pas," says he, « à the troops, when that orator, for the faire de cette discussion une arene first time, put forth all the powers of pour combattre le gouvernement exist. his eloquence, the queen and her ant alors, (the Convention), reconaisparty could no longer contain their in- sons que ce qu'il a fait, il a pu, il a du dignation against the want of influence le faire." Happily for France, these and apparent insignificance of Necker. sentiments are unechoed, and there is He received an order from the king to not in that country, perhaps, another retire secretly, and he honourably man that would utter them and aptobeyed the injunction by setting off at ly they seem to fall from the mouth of night and reaching the frontier, ere him who proclaimed Napoleon the II. news could be had even of his de That which was considered the great parture. The news of his dismissal bulwark against revolutions--their reached Paris July the 13th, and im« novelty and want of precedent, was mediately the insurrection burst forth the very circumstance which, more -the green cockade, Necker's livery, than all others, facilitated their comwas worn, and his bust, with that of pletion. The sanguine and confident, Orleans, was carried in procession à character prevalent in France, rethe troops in the Place Louis Quinze mained satisfied that the tendency of were insulted, and fired on by the things was towards rectitude and ore French guards in insurrection the der--they considered but as a passing royalist troops never returned the fire ebullition, what in reality was a ra

-'tis difficult to conceive what brought pidly-spreading sentiment, and esteemthem there. The next day the Bastille ed it quite unnecessary to put in pracwas destroyed, and the triumph of the tice the defensive arms of unity and popular party complete. Louis in per- party discipline, which the promoters son acquainted the assembly of his de- of anarchy had recourse to for offensive termination to remand the troops, enmeasures. The Revolution in Engtreating them at the same time to send land was considered as an exception a deputation of their members to calm in the natural course of human affairs, the Parisians.

instead of being taken into account as Our readers need not be alarmed an obvious phenomenon. The Conwe do not intend troubling them here stitutionalists and nobles united, could with a history of the Revolution, but have at first overwhelmed the Repubwe could not help recapitulating the licans,' even before such a hydra had leading features of its commencement, arisen as Jacobinism. It was the want concerning the causes and errors of of discipline to the rules of party that which there has been so much contro- destroyed the aristocrats, and conseversy. The controversy is necessarily quently the moderate revolutionists; confined to the period of the Assem- for, notwithstanding the declamations blée Constituante; for after the disap- of the ignorant against party and pearance of both royalist and constitu- party spirit, nothing great or good tional party, any friendly sentiments can be effected, nor anything destructowards one body or another, must be tive prevented without obedience to it. merely comparative. We may pity But the laws of popular assemblies Condorcet, if we compare him with have developed theinselves—the world •his Jacobin enemies—we may admire is aware of their inevitable tendency, the boldness of Tallien, in the over- and that no society could exist in the throw of Roberspierre; but considered vicinity of such a volcano without as individual men, or single parties, establishing checks of one kind or anthey excite no feeling but abhorrence other upon its indomitable spirit. and disgust. France has of late, it England and France have had their remust be confessed, heard strange doc- volutions and their contra-revolutions; trines from her tribune, but so vio- and each, though at distant intervals, lently indecorous as to alienate many follows the same path of progression, of the liberal party from their friends. leaving the popular tendency in active The very day on which a deputation force, but assured of its being ever rewas appointed by the Chamber to at pressed within its legitimate bounds tend the ceremonial of the 21st of by one great safe-guard, viz. the dread January—the anniversary of the death that every wise citizen must entertain of seeing it uncontrolled and predomi- de Staël says, by the league of medionant. ** Enlighten the people,” cry crity against genius. It is characthe revolutionists; and we cry in teristic of the French nation that inturn, “ Enlighten the people,"'-a dividual vanity and private envy deglimpse, a taste of knowledge, may stroyed the only hopes which the naproduce a love of innovation,

tion had of attaining what it has pro

,fessed itself most proud to possess “ But drinking largely sobers us again.”

rational liberty. And it will ever be The world has drunk largely, and a bitter reproach to them as a nation, we see in Spain the struggle com- that with all their talent, their pride menced-not as in France, between and their gallantry, they were hum= sage and cunning republicans on the bled at length to receive this blessing one hand, and blind ignorant no- from the arms of a victorious and a bles on the other ; but between par- hated enemy. ties, who each are expert at every re- It is astonishing, that among the volutionary weapon-the insurrections numerous memoirs which have laid of the capital are not confined to bare the hidden scenes of the revoluthe communeros; we see the sons of tion, there should be found no satisJacobinism beaten with their favourite factory accounts of the intrigues of weapons, and the Cortes (at least at d’Orleans. There is certainly one perthe moment we write) marching firm- son living-La Fayette, who could ly to order. Notwithstanding this, develope them if he would ; it is to be we have little hopes of seeing Spain hoped that he will follow the example settled and happy; she has not steered of so many of his companions in leaclear of the two great rocks whereon ving memoirs to the world. But it is France and England foundered—and not likely that he will ever disclose she has imitated them unfortunately the facts with which he personally in the very principles which they reproached the duke, and drove him have both been since compelled to to England. Madame de Staël, who abrogate in retracing their steps. The may be supposed to have known from first of these is the single Chamber, La Fayette all that ever the general and the attempt to dispense with an intends to disclose, passes over the intermediate power between the mo- criminality of Philip l’Egalité with a narch and the people--they should very suspicious lenity : have considered the consequence of " Le Duc d'Orléans,” says she, “ fut prince and people being thus in tan- accusé d'avoir trempé dans la conspigible opposition they might have ration du 6me Octobre : le tribunal called to mind the situation of the late chargé d'éxaminer les pièces de ce King of France, when abandoned to procès ne trouva point de preuves his solitary negative voice, for support contre lui; mais M. de la Fayette ne against a popular assembly. The first supportoit pas l'idée que l'on attributime he attempted to exercise this, ât même les violences populaires à ce his only remaining prerogative, the qu'on pût appeler une conspiration. Il enraged mob burst into the palace of exigea du duc d'aller en Angleterre.” the sovereign, whom they styled by It is Madame de Staël herself that the too just appellation of Monsieur could not bear to have the popular Veto, and, putting a red night-cap on violence attributed to a conspiracy, she his kingly locks, forced him to recede would have it the simple unexcited from his resolution. The other prin- vox populi; but she never takes the ciple of destruction is the non-re-eli- trouble of informing us, by what gibility of the members, somewhat right or by what authority La Fayette a-kin to our self-denying ordinance, commanded the Duke to take a jourbut an exact copy of the vote of the ney to England. We know from other Constituent Assembly, that vote which sources that the meeting between Orpalpably brought on the reign of ter- leans and the Marquis, was marked ror. The measure of the Constituent with mean submission on the part of Assembly we can account for, mad as the former, and vehement indignation it was; it arose from spite against the on the part of the latter; and there constitutionalists, much against their rests little doubt that La Fayette s ineasures, but more against their ta- promise of everlasting silence was the lents; it was produced, as Madame price of the Duke's departure. The · VOL. XI.

35

punishment had more than its pro- groups of his hired assassins, are not posed effect; it did more than send borne out by history, Passionate wrihim to a distance from his party,it ters are fond of these supererogations alienated their hopes and affections of crime—they may do very well in from him altogether. “What poli. poetry, but the sober prose narration tical design could be founded on such of these dreadful events is horrific a fellow," said Mirabeau, “ that per- enough, Heaven knows, without such mitted La Fayette to drive him into strained embellishments. England ?” Lacretelle assumes the But we have sufficiently discussed highest degree of culpability in Or- the merits of a history that treats of leans, more indeed than can be credite a period so well known. We have ed of so weak and so insignificant a marked the side to which it inclines, character. The crowds that were long and the personages it has pourtrayed accustomed to collect at the Palais- with exaggeration ;-a cry has been Royal, may be accounted for without raised against it, much the same as supposing that they were bribed to that which in this country assailed the frequent an agreeable place of resort. writer “ who first dared to shed the The Café du Foy was chosen by the generous tear for the fates of Charles haranguers of the day to expatiate in, and Strafford.” In eloquence and in, since, by being within the precincts of sympathy for misfortune, the historian a royal palace, it was more secure under review may be said to resemble from the interference of the police, Hume; but the calm, philosophic spi. and Orleans may have tolerated what rit, equally at home in feeling or irony, he did not actively excite. Besides, as in profound research or elegant insouwas observed during the late discus. ciance, is not to be found in any wrision on the press, there were but two ter, indeed, on the other side of our journals published at Paris in the year Channel. We shall conclude with a 1789,- the Gazette de France, and sample of the work, in which the authe Journal de Paris, and the diffi- thor sums up the merits and labours culty of obtaining these, together with of the Constituent Assembly. their complete silence as to the de “ To avoid continual digressions, I bates of the Constituent Assembly, shall describe the political situation of drove all persons to the spot where France at the epoch when the Conthey were most likely to hear tidings stituent Assembly chose to abdicate of what was going forwards. Those its right to conduct that revolution who came from Versailles, where the which it had commenced. The conAssembly sate, got up of course to tell stitution which it had created with so their news,-those who pretended to much fatigue, and in a manner little have tidings, got up and invented worthy of the united talent of the and from such to passing judgment body, met that fate which always atand discussing the several points un- tends the testaments of kings absolute; der debate, was but a little step. It during life, but braved with impunity was a fundamental principle among when they are no more. The Assemthe followers of the house of Orleans, bly became conscious, but too late, of that a certain degree of opposition to the defects of its handywork. Lithe court was necessary to the great, berty was by no means established, ness and influence of this minor branch for authority was no where firm. The of the royal family, and how far the throne was stript of all its splendour, then Duke extended this principle, is all its dignity, of all which awes and a question not easy to be answered. captivates the imagination of a people. Lacretelle and those of the party The monarch, whom it sought to rewhich that historian seems at present enthrone, had undergone a humiliaattached to, seek to throw the blame ting captivity. Public authority was of the Revolution off the French peo- split and divided among innumerable ple in general, and to make Orleans a ministers, independent one of the kind of scape-goat to bear the univer- other, and able to break at will the sal load of horror and of crime. The imaginary links of subordination. The historian gives a very eloquent and Assembly had detached from the exespirited description of the scenes of cutive power I know not'what authothe 5th and 6th of October ; but Mi- rity of administration, which was scatrabeau traversing the ranks sword in tered through numerous departments, hand, and Orleans smiling amidst the and separated through a thousand dis

tricts and municipalities. It had rivals in its exercise. Nor had he enough everywhere, arbiters nowhere. To of offices in his gift to rally around propriety, that principal bulwark of his throne men of talent and ambition, representative governments, there had he had merely the power to bribe the been offered but an illusive security. mercenary with the revenue of the There was no constitutional check im- civil list, the only point in which the posed to restrain the succeeding As- Constituent Assembly had behaved tosembly, which might be expected to wards him with liberality. And even be more ardent than the foregoing this gift was fatal, since the civil list and no rampart against the passions of afforded an eternal source of accusa new men, but the constitution itself, tions on the score of corruption and a few insignificant pages, vainly con- interestedness against the honest desecrated by the oaths of a frivolous fenders of the constitutional throne. and an impious rabble. It was no- Royalty elevated itself but to become thing but an awkward conglomeration more odious and more humbled. of the laws of mixt governments, with “ This then was the effect, so long the forms of pure democracy ever pre in producing and in being vaunted, dominant. All was sovereignty, all which France derived from an Assemwas combat. The experience of the bly, for ever celebrated by an unridissensions and tumult necessarily at- valled union of talents, and even of tendant on a single Chamber, had not virtues. It deeply proves, how vain warned them to divide the legislative is genius itself in the path of governa power. To the monarch they had left, ment and politics,-blind, if it outfor his portion of authority, but a veto, steps experience-unfortunate, if it limited in its institution, unfortunate disdains it."

SPRING. The most delightful of all seasons is night ago, a keen east wind blew now rapidly approaching; and after a bitterly on the birth of the young little coy, reluctant delay in the be- Spring, and retarded her progress in ginning of the month, seems ready to a manner the most trying to rural paburst upon us in full glory. An Eng- tience, when we are anxiously on the lish spring partakes of the national look-out for that delicious revolution: characteristics of our country. She is in the face of Nature which April cold, shy, and reserved, but not, on sometimes brings. This unkind blast that account, found less deserving of threatened ruin to our orchards and regard, on more intimate acquaint- gardens ; the wall-fruit shrunk and ance; and the value of her warmth of shrivelled beneath its influence; the character, when developed, is greatly few adventurous leaves and buds that enhanced by the first impression of had left their downy cells, seemed to her chill exterior.

stand shivering and looking at each Our late mild winter has indeed other as though they would have gladseemed but a continual preparation of ly retreated again, if possible ; reSpring; unusual phenomena in the ve- minding one of a knot of shy young getable world have gladdened our eyes ladies hesitating at the door of a draw, throughout that long and generally ing-room, and unwilling to encounter severe season; and earth has beheld the horrors of an entrée. In both inwith surprise her forward children stances, after a little previous delay, “ glinting forth" at a time when all they suddenly rush in all at once, and nature is usually wrapped in death- I will not venture to say in which like sleep. However grateful we may case the spectator is most charmed. feel for such a prologue, the appear- It is a very delightful circumstance ance of the favourite performer in the attached to Spring, that however offull piece is not less rapturously ap- ten she visits us, she is perpetually plauded, and Spring's lovely self is new. I have welcomed her return hailed by every bosom that has a heart through very many successive years, but. susceptible of pleasurable sensation. yet, many though they be, my enjoyWhen I look around me after a few ment of the novelty of Spring rather days of genial weather, I am in per- increases than abates. Indeed, the fect astonishment at the change which mind that is once sensible to this wonhas everywhere takeu place. A forte derful transition from the seeming

death of inanimate nature to univer- try gentleman, delighted to forget the sal life and joy throughout her several ennui of state, in the animating occu. kingdoms, must continue to feel it as pation of farming. The interests and often as it returns. Every Winter will pleasures, therefore, of so numerous & give the same degree of preparation to class of men, will always render the the mind, and it will be in the same trite topic of the weather interesting. state of readiness to receive the balmy It is quite another affair with a Frenchinfluence which the green - robed man. The Grand Seigneur, who reNymph will shed upon it. That this ceives from his steward his revenues familiarity with her charms should at his hotel at Paris, cares little whenot produce indifference, is one of the ther it has rained or shone the whole numerous boons of Providence which year round-his gold has not a whit need only to be thought of to be duly the less lustre. It is true, he likes vastappreciated ; and which, delightful in ly to walk abroad in fine weather-to itself, is the more valuable from being call it superbe magnifique même ; bea blessing of such universal diffusion, cause it allows him to figure in the Tuilwithout distinction of rank or condi, leries Gardens, without risk of the damp tion.

relaxing the fierce curl of his mouIt has always been the fashion to staches, and to gallant the ladies in quiz an Englishman for his perpetual an evening excursion, without spotting recurrence to the subject of the weu. his silk stockings. I would not be ther. For my part, I consider it one thought a prejudiced Englishman, who of his many respectable nationalities. could see no merit in men of other It arises, I imagine, from that deeply- countries. I will allow our lively neighseated rurality which is at the centre bours to shine in their agreeable meof every Englishman's heart ; and tropolis—to enjoy their brilliant dexwhich, trim, shape, and varnish him as terity of conversation—their polished you will, will remain inseparably inc manners—their goût de la société. I terwoven with his original texture. envy them not; it is sufficient for me The weather, with him, is connected to have been born and bred an Englishwith those vital interests of his country man ; who, whatever temporary vagawith which every Englishman is more ries he may play, will never cease to or less directly concerned ; his feelings be at bottom a rural animal are awakened by a thousand motives of I do not allow the unfortunate class interest, profit or pleasure ; he feels of beings yclept Cockneys to be an exdeeply for the prosperity of those agri- ception to the principle I have just laid cultural prospects on which the welfare down ; they cannot be said properly to of the community depends; and it is have any country, as they are to be the privilege of an Englishınan to feel found in the capitals of every nation sensitively the visitations of what we, under the sun, and form a totally disin our limited wisdom, are pleased to tinct species. call bad ; that is, as it appears to us, Amongst the many blessings I posunseasonable weather. Without per- sess, I reckon a fine family of boys and haps an acre of land of his own, he has girls not the least of my English comthat intimate connection with the coun- forts; and who, though none of them try, that his hopes, fears, and sympa can be called bandsome, have that thies, are excited without proportion which with ine is an equivalent for to the stake he himself holds. As a beauty-the healthy bloom, the free sportsman, too, he feels dependent on and open countenance, which testify the weather for the pleasures of the to their having inhaled, from their field ; and a good or bad season of para birth, the pure air of the country. To tridges is with him almost as moments these children, indeed, the country is ous an affair as the harvest to the farm- a second mother; and I have accus. er. It is the ruling passion with the tomed them, from their earliest years, English to join agricultural pursuits to to look for their highest gratifications the more elegant avocations of learn from that source. Nor are they pering and taste. The highest ranks in- mitted to be fastidious about seasons ; dulge, without any idea of degrada- they are not fair-weather heroes, but tion, this love of rural employments. have learned that every aspect of naOur late beloved Monarch, who was ture has its peculiar charms. I have, himself the purest model of the truly however, invariably found them share, dignified character of an English coun. in what I should deem, the univers.

« ПредишнаНапред »