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ary should exist for freedom, no retreat | against Robespierre is already written for the friends of the Republic. He has in your hearts. Is there one among in consequence resolved to destroy you you who will declare that he is not an all; yes, this very day, ay, in a few oppressor? If there is, let him stand hours. Two thousand assassins have forth; for him have I offended. Tremsworn to execute his designs; I myself ble, tyrant! tremble! See with what last night heard their oaths, and fifty horror freemen shrink from your polof my colleagues heard them with me. luted touch! We enjoy your agony; The massacre was to have commenced but the public safety requires it should in the night with the Committee of no longer be prolonged. I declare, if Public Salvation and that of General the National Convention hesitate to Safety, all of whom were to have been pass the decree of accusation, I will sacrificed, except a few creatures of the plunge this dagger in your bosom :" tyrant; the fidelity of the soldiers, who and he drew the glittering steel from his feared the Convention, alone has pre- breast in the midst of deafening shouts served them from this terrible calamity. from the Convention, which shook with Let us instantly take measures com- the tumult. During this impassioned mensurate to the magnitude of the dan- harangue, which was pronounced with ger; let us declare our sittings perma- the most vehement action, Robespierre nent till the conspiracy is broken, and sat motionless, but deadly pale. The its chiefs arrested. I have no difficulty Convention, amidst a violent tumult, in naming them; I have followed their declared its sittings permanent till the steps through their bloody conspiracy : sword of the law had secured the ReI name Dumas, the atrocious President volution, and decreed the arrest of Henof the Revolutionary Tribunal ; I name riot, Dumas, and the other associates of Henriot, the infamous commander of the tyrant; and numerous measures of the national guard.”
precaution were suggested. 70. Here Billaud Varennes interrupt- 71. Robespierre tried in vain, during ed the orator, and gave some fuller de- the tumult which followed this address, tails on the conspiracy which had been to obtain a hearing. The president, matured in the Society of the Jacobins, Thuriot, whom he had often threatened and denounced Robespierre as its chief. with death, constantly drowned his voice “Yesterday,” said he," at the Jacobins by ringing his bell. In vain he looked were several base apostates ; hardly one for support among the former satellites of them had tickets of admission, but of his power; all, frozen with terror, they fully developed the plan of mas- shrank from his gaze. “A bas le tyran!" sacring the Convention. There I heard resounded from all sides of the hall. the most infamous sallies vented against Barère then, in the name of the Comthe men who have never deviated from mittee of Public Salvation, related that the Revolution. I see on the Mountain an officer of the Allies, made prisoner there, some of the men who menaced the in a late action in Belgium, had said, national representation.” At these words “ 'All your successes will not avail you; a cry arose—“Seize him! seize him !" we are not the less confident; we shall and the individual alluded to was drag- conclude a peace with a fraction of the ged from his seat, and hurled out amidst Convention, and soon change the governloud applause. “The Assembly will per- ment. The government cannot conish,” he concluded, “if it shows the least ceal that the moment of danger has arsigns of weakness.”—“We shall never rived. The committees are attacked ; perish!” exclaimed the members, rising their members are covered with calumin a transport of enthusiasm from their nies; the conspirators would destroy seats. Tallien resumed : “ Can there be whatever intelligence or energy there is any doubt now about the reality of the in the country, and denounce members conspiracy? haveyou conquered so many on whose patriotism you are now to tyrants only to crouch beneath the yoke pronounce." On his motion the Conof the most atrocious of them all? I see vention decreed, by acclamation, that among you a new Cromwell. The charge all ranks in the national guard above
that of chief of a legion should be sup- liberty of speech which the assassins pressed, that each commander of a le refuse?” A profound silence followed gion should command in his turn, and the demand. For the last time, Prethat the mayor and municipality of sident of Assassins !” said he, turning Paris should answer with their heads to the chair, “will you allow me to for the security of the Convention. This speak ?” The continued noise drowned decree was levelled at Henriot. But Tal- his voice. “You shall not have it but in lien, who perceived that, amidst these your turn;" and soon “Never, never !" multifarious proposals, the main object resounded on all sides. of destroying Robespierre was likely to “Diversi lingue, orribili favelle, be forgotten, resumed his place in the Parole di dolore, accenti d'ira,
Voci alte e fioche, e suon di man con elle, tribune. “ Let us think only of the
Facevano un tumulto, il qual s'aggira tyrant: you have not a moment to lose; Seinpre in quell' aria senza tempo tinta, he is every hour collecting his strength. Come la rena quando 'l turbo spira.”* Why accumulate charges, when his con- He then sank on his seat, pale and exduct is engraven on every heart ? Let hausted; his voice, which had become him perish by the arm he has invented a shrill scream from agitation and veheto destroy others. To what accused did mence, at length totally failed; foam he ever give the right of speaking in his issued from his mouth. “ Wretch !” defence? Let us say with the juries exclaimed a voice from the Mountain, of the Revolutionary Tribunal, “Our you are choked by the blood of Danminds have long been made up. If | ton.”—“Ah! you would avenge Danyou declare him hors la loi, can he com- ton,” rejoined Robespierre : “cowards ! plain who has put hors la loi nine- why did you not defend him ?”—“I tenths of France ? Let there be no for- demand the arrest of Robespierre, malities with the accused; you cannot cried Louchet. Agreed ! agreed !” too much abridge their punishment; he resounded on all sides. Citizens,” has told you so himself a hundred times. exclaimed Billaud Varennes, “liberty is Let us strike him in the bosom of the about to be restored.”—“Say rather,” Assembly; let his associates perish with replied Robespierre, “that crime is him on the bench of the Revolutionary about to prevail : the Republic is abanTribunal, in the club of the Jacobins, at doned to brigands." The act of accuthe head of the traitorous municipality. sation was then carried amidst the most
72. "Were I," continued Tallien, “to violent agitation. The younger brother recount the acts of individual oppres- of Robespierre had the generosity to sion of which he has been guilty, I insist that he should be included in would say that, during the time when the charge. “I am as culpable as my Robespierre was charged with the ge- brother,” said he ; “I share his virtues, neral police, they have all been com- I am willing to share his fate.” Lebas mitted, and that the patriots of the followed his example. At length the Revolutionary Committee of the Sec- two Robespierres, Lebas, Couthon, St tion of Indivisibility have been arrest- Just, Dumas, and Henriot, were unaed.”—“It is false !” cried Robespierre; nimously decreed under arrest, and or“I” -Loud cries drowned his voice. dered to be sent to prison; and the For a moment he fixed an eager gaze Convention broke up, in the utmost on the most ardent of the Mountain. agitation, at five o'clock. Some averted their eyes; others looked 73. During this terrible contest, the down: the great majority remained partisans of Robespierre were collectmotionless. Casting then a despairing
* “Various tongues, look round the hall, he at length turned Horrible languages, outcries of woe, to the few survivors of the Girondists. Accents of anger, voices deep and hoarse,
With hands together smote, that swell'd the “ Turn away from these benches !”
sounds, they exclaimed; “Vergniaud and Con- Made up a tumult that for ever whirls dorcet have sat here.”—“Pure and vir- Round through that air with solid darkness tuous citizens,” said he to the deputies Like to the sand that in the whirlwind flies.” on the right, “will you give me the
Cary's DANTE, Inferno, iii. 25.
ing at the hall of the Jacobins and the Hotel de Ville; and the most rapid Hotel de Ville. They expected that he means of communication were estabwould be victorious in the Convention, lished between these two great centres and that the armed force would only be of the insurrection. To excite the called on to support its decrees. Part people to revolt, Henriot, with a drawn of the national guard were assembled sabre in his hand, at the head of his at the rendezvous, when a messenger staff
, traversed the streets, exclaiming, arrived from the Convention requiring “ To arms, to save the country !” In the mayor to appear at the bar, and his course through the Faubourg St give an account of the state of the ca- Antoine, he met the procession of fortypital. “Return to your associates," nine prisoners proceeding as usual to said Henriot, with his drawn sabre in execution : the crowd had stopped the his hand, “and say that we are in deli- chariots, and loudly demanded that beration here how to purify their ranks. they should be released, which Samson, Tell Robespierre to remain firm and the long-practised executioner, endeafear nothing. He is supported by the voured to support: but Henriot had people.” Payan hastily drew up an the barbarity to order them to be led address, in which they denounced to the on, and they all suffered. On his repeople the oppressors of the most vir- turn, two deputies of the Convention tuous of patriots, Robespierre, St Just, met him in the Rue St Honoré, and the Apostle of Virtue, and Couthon, prevailed on some horsemen to obey “whose heart and head alone live; the the orders of the Convention, and arfame of patriotism has consumed his rest his person : he was handcuffed, and body.”* But alarming news soon ar-conducted to the Committee of General rived. At half-past four they received Safety. About the same time Payan intelligence of the arrest of Robespierre was seized. The Convention seemed and his accomplices, which soon circu- triumphant; its principal enemies were lated with the rapidity of lightning in confinement. through Paris. Instantly they gave 74. But the insurgents regained their orders to sound the tocsin, close the advantage between 6 and 7 o'clock, in barriers, convoke the General Council, consequence of the dispersion of the and assemble the Sections. The Jaco-members of the Convention and the bins declared their sittings permanent; energetic measures of the municipality. an energetic proclamation, calling on Robespierre had been sent to the Luxthe people to rise, was issued from the embourg, where he was refused en
trance, on the ground that the commune * The following are the terms of this had prohibited them from receiving proclamation : country is in imminent danger: the wicked any prisoner but such as they had comhave mastered the Convention, where they mitted. He was then taken to the cenhold in chains the virtuous Robespierre, who tral police office, where he was at once on the existence of God and the immortality received in triumph by the officers of of the soul; Couthon, that venerable citizen, the municipality. The younger Robeswho has but a heart and a head alive, as the pierre had been sent to Saint Lazare, rest of his body has been consumed by pa- Couthon to the Bourbe, St Just to the triotism ; St Just, that virtuous apostle, who first checked treason in the army of the Rhine Ecossais, and the other conspirators to aud the north; Lebas, their wortby colleague; the different prisons of Paris. The the younger Robespierre, so well known for magistrates sent detachments to delihis labours with the army of Italy. And who are their enemies ? Collot d'Herbois, an old
ver them. Robespierre was speedily comedian, convicted under the old régime of brought in triumph to the Hotel de having stolen the strong-box of his troop of Ville, where he was received with the players; Bourdon de l'Oise, the perpetual utmost enthusiasm, and soon joined by calumniator of the municipality of Paris ; one Barère, the ready tool of every faction which his brother and St Just. Coffinhal set is uppermost; one Tallien, and Fréron, the off at the head of two hundred cannonintimate friends of the infamous Danton.
eers to deliver Henriot; he arrived in To arms !-To arms! Let us not lose the the Place du Carrousel, and having fruit of the 10th August and the 20 June Death to the traitors!"--Hist. Parl. xxxiv. 46. / forced the guard of the Convention,
penetrated to the rooms of the Commit- | ing his face with his robe, “the hour tee of General Safety, and delivered is arrived to die at our posts; the conthat important leader. The dictator- spirators have made themselves masship was now earnestly pressed upon ters, with an armed force, of the ComRobespierre by his friends; but he firm- mittee-room of General Safety.”—“We ly refused it to the very last. "The peo- are ready to die,” exclaimed the memple,” cried Couthon, “await only a word bers. Animated by sublime resolution, from you to annihilate their enemies and every one spontaneously resumed his your own. Prepare at least a proclama- seat, and the Assembly unanimously tion, telling them what to do." "In the took the oath. At this moment Gouname of whom?” replied Robespierre. pilleau entered, and announced that “In the name of the oppressed Conven- Henriot had been brought to the neightion,” rejoined St Just. “Recollect the bourhood in triumph, and was at the line of Sertorius," added Couthon- head of the armed force at their " "Rome n'est plus dans Rome, elle est toute gates. A universal shudder upon this où je suis.""*
ran through the Convention. The vo“No, no,” replied Robespierre ; "I will ciferous crowd in the gallery at the not give the first example of the na- same time disappeared. tional representation being enslaved by 76. In this extremity, Tallien and his a citizen. We are nothing save by the friends acted with the firmness which people; we must not supplant their in revolutions so often proves successrights by our wishes.”—“Then,” cried ful.“ Everything conspires," said they, Couthon, "nothing remains for us but “to assure the triumph of the Convento die.”—“You have said it," answered tion and the liberty of France. By his Robespierre, leaning his head on his revolt, Robespierre has opened to us hands, his elbows resting on the coun- the only path which is safe with tyrants. cil table. “Well, then,” said St Just, Thank Heaven, to deliver our country, “it is you who murder us.” During we need not nowawait the uncertain dethis dialogue, Robespierre cast his eyes cision of a tribunal filled with his creaon a paper on the table, where such a tures ! He has brought his fate upon proclamation was drawn up. Conquer- himself; let us declare him hors la loi ed by the importunity of his friends, with all his accomplices; let us include he took
pen to sign it; but after the rebellious municipality in the dehe had written half his name, he threw cree; let us besiege him in the centre the paper and pen from him.
of his power; let us instantly convoke 75. The Convention met at 7 o'clock. the sections, and allow the public horIntelligence was immediately brought ror to manifest itself by actions. Name of the fearful successes of the insur-a commander of the armed force; there gents, their insurrectionary measures, must be no hesitation; in such a strife, the liberation of the Triumvirs, the as- he who assumes the offensive comsemblage at the Hotel de Ville, the con- mands success." All these decrees were vocation of revolutionary committees, instantly passed. Henriot was declared and of the sections. In the midst of the hors la loi, and Barras named to the alarm, the members of the two com- command of the military force; Fréron, mittees, driven from their offices, ar. Bourdon de l'Oise, Rovère, Leonard rived in consternation with the account Bourdon, and other determined men, of the forcing of the Tuileries, the de- being associated with him in the perillivery of Henriot, and the presence of ous duty. The Committee of Public an armed force round the Convention. Salvation, as the other committee-room The agitation was at its height, when was lost, was now fixed on as the centre Amar entered and announced, that the of operations. The générale beat, and terrible cannoneers had pointed their emissaries were instantly despatched to guns against the walls of their hall. all the sections, to summon them to the Citizens," said the President, cover- defence of the Convention; while a * "Rome is no longer in Rome: it is where macer was despatched to summon the
municipality to its bar. But such was
the arrogance of that body, in the anti-gons, by torchlight, gave a fearful prescipation of immediate victory, that they age of the contest that was approaching. returned for answer _“Yes, we shall 78. The emissaries of the municipacome to their bar, but at the head of lity first arrived at the rendezvous of the insurgent people.”—“I invite," said the sections; but the national guard, Tallien, who had now taken the chair, distracted and uncertain, hesitated to
our friends to set out with the armed obey the summons of the magistrates. force. Let not the sun set before the They could only be brought, in the first heads of the conspirators have fallen." instance, to send deputations to the
“The moments are precious,” said commune, to inquire into the state of Billaud Varennes ; "when you are on a affairs. Meanwhile, the news of Robesvolcano, you must act. Robespierre has pierre's arrest circulated with rapidity, just said, that before two hours had and a ray of hope shot through the elapsed, he would march on the Con- minds of numerous proscribed indivivention. Shall we sleep? It is for us duals who were in concealment in the to anticipate him, and our enemies will city. With trembling steps they issued be annihilated.” Amidst loud shouts from their hiding-places, and, approachthe commanders of the armed force set ing the columns of their fellow-citizens, out on their perilous mission, to sum- besought them to assist in dethroning mon the national guard.
the tyrant. The minds of many were 77. While government was adopt- already shaken, those of all in a state of ing these energetic measures, Henriot uncertainty, when, at ten o'clock, the was haranguing the cannoneers in the commissioners of the Convention arPlace du Carrousel. The fate of France rived with the intelligence of its dehung on their decision; could he have crees, of the summons to assist it, of the persuaded them to act, the Convention appointment of a new commander-inwould have been destroyed before the chief, and a rallying-point at the Hall of tardy succours could arrive from the re- the Convention. Upon this they nolonger moter quarters of the capital. Happily hesitated; the battalions of the national they could not be brought to fire on the guard from all quarters marched tolegislature, and their refusal decided wards the Convention, and defiled the fortune of the day. Dispirited at through the hall in the midst of the this unwonted failure with the troops, most enthusiastic applause. At midand alarmed at the cries which broke night, above three thousand men had from the multitude as soon as the de- arrived. The forces, being deemed sufcrees of the Convention were known, he ficient, were ordered to set out. A few withdrew to the Hotel de Ville, the arm- battalions and pieces of artillery were ed force followed his example, and the left to guard the Convention, and the Convention, so recently besieged within remainder of the national guard, under its walls, speedily became the assailing the command of Barras, marched at party. Paris was soon in the most vio- half-past twelve against the insurgents. lent state of agitation. The tocsin sum- The night was dark, a feeble moonlight moned the citizens to the Hotel de Ville, only shone through the gloom; but the the générale called them to the Conven- forced illumination of the houses suption; thedeputies of the Legislature, and plied a vivid light, which shone on the the commissioners of the municipality, troops, who in profound silence, and in met in the sections, and strove for the serried masses, marched from the Tuil. mastery of those important bodies. On alleries along the quays of the river tosides the people hastened to arms; the wards the Hotel de Ville, the headstreets were filled by multitudes crowd-quarters of the insurgents. ing to their different rallying-points ; 79. The armed citizens, who had cries of “Vive la Convention !” “Vivela come to the Tuileries to take part with Commune !” broke forth in the different Henriot and the commune, dismayed columns, according to the prevailing by their retreat to the Hotel de Ville, opinion of their members; while theroll. now glided into the ranks of the attacking of cannon and ammunition-wag- / ing force, and the columns which march