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overthrow? Do you not know, does | macy, to appoint generals, admirals, not every one who hears me know, that and ambassadors, and the whole conthat is an infallible test of real virtue? stituted authorities were ordered to corIf the defender of liberty was not ca- respond with it, and receive their inlumniated, it would be a proof that we structions from it alone. Supported by had no longer either generals, or priests, the Jacobin Club, of which Robespierre or nobles to fear.” He then demanded had now got the entire direction, and that all those who had anything to al by all the affiliated clubs over France, lege against Danton should come for this despotic power was now established ward; but none, after such a declara- on a solid basis : for it rested on the tion, ventured to say a word. Upon ardent democrats, who at once directed that, amidst the applause of the meet- the magistracies and influenced the ing, Danton received the fraternal em- armies. The government was powerful, brace from the president. By this hy- for the time irresistible; for the execupocritical conduct, Robespierre both tive was in harmony both with the leascertained the extent of the public gislature and the whole depositaries of feeling against his great rival, and threw local popular power. A despotism had him off his guard by feigned expres- grown up out of the very excess of lisions of regard.
berty. France was already beginning 85. On the very next day, a new de- to enter the bloody path which leads cree, augmenting the despotic powers from democratic anarchy to regular goof the Committee of Public Salvation, vernment. was passed. Anarchy," said Billaud 86. Meanwhile, the strife of the DanVarennes, in the preamble of the re- tonists and Anarchists became daily port on which the decree was founded, more conspicuous, and the sanguinary
menaces every republic, alike in its disposition of the latter seemed, if poscradle and its old age. Our part is to sible, to increase in violence. One of strive against it.” On this preamble, their number, Ronsin, had affixed over the decree enacted that a bulletin of the the walls of Paris a placard, in which laws should be drawn up; that four he declared, that out of a hundred and individuals should have the exclusive forty thousand souls in Lyons, fifteen right of framing it; that it should be hundred only were not accomplices of printed on a particular paper and type, the revolt in that city, and that before and sent down to the provinces by post. February all the guilty should perish, The Convention was at the same time and their bodies be floated by the Rhone declared the “Centre of Impulsion of to Toulon. Chaumette loudly mainGovernment," a dubious phrase, under tained that the gangrened part of the which was veiled the despotic authority Convention should be lopped off, and of the committees. The authority of sentnumerous petitioners with demands the departmental assemblies was abol. to that effect to the Assembly. Camille ished for everything except matters of Desmoulins vigorously attacked this local administration; and they were atrocious faction, and in an especial forbidden, under pain of death, to cor- manner fastened on the infamous Hérespond on any political matter with bert, whom he accused of being "a each other, raise forces or taxes of their miserable intriguer, a caterer for the own authority, or correspond with or guillotine, a traitor paid by Pitt; a receive instructions from any body but wretch who had received 200,000 francs the committees at Paris. Thus the at different times, from almost all the liberties of the provinces were rapidly factions in the Republic, to calumniate perishing under the despotic sway of their adversaries ; a thief and robber, the Committee of Public Salvation. All who had been expelled from being a the powers of government, which by lackey in the theatre for theft, and now former decrees were vested in different aimed at drenching France with blood bodies, were by this decree centred in by means of his prostituted journal." that terrible committee. It alone was Such was the man, on the testimony of directed to conduct the foreign diplo- the Revolutionists themselves, on whose
evidence Marie Antoinette had been view, they allowed Danton and Camille condemned by the Revolutionary Tri- Desmoulins to imagine they were apbunal. “It is vain,” he added, " to proximating to their principles, to gain think of stilling my voice by threats of their support in the destruction of the arrest. We all know that the Anarch- Anarchists, having previously resolved ists are preparing a new revolt, like the to follow it up by the ruin of themselves. 31st May; but we may say with Brutus This perfidious policy proved entirely and Cicero, 'We too much fear exile, successful, and this it was which afterpoverty, and death.' When our col- wards drew from Danton the bitter exdiers are daily braving death in sight clamation—"To die is nothing; but to of the enemy's batteries in the cause of die the dupe of Robespierre !” freedom, shall we, their unworthy lead 88. The Committee of Public Salvaers, be intimidated by the menaces of tion proceeded with caution in acting the Père Duchesne, or prevented by against so powerful a faction as the him from achieving a still greater vic- Anarchists, headed by so weighty a tory over the ultra-Revolutionists, who body as the municipality of Paris. They would ruin the Revolution, by staining began their operations by a purification, every step it makes with gore ?” as it was called, of the Jacobin Club,
87. While the parties were in this which went on for several days in the state of exasperation at each other, the middle of December. In the course of Committee of Public Salvation boldly these discussions, Robespierre donouncinterposed between them, and resolved ed Hébert in the most violent terms. to make their discord the means of de- He was at first expelled, and subsestroying both. Profiting with political quently only re-admitted on his dedexterity by this singular situation of claring that “ the Gospel appeared to the parties, Robespierre and the mem- be a book of excellent morality; that bers of the municipality came to an all true Jacobins should follow its preunderstanding, the condition of which cepts; and that Jesus Christ was the was the mutual abandonment of their founder of all popular societies.". But personal friends._Robespierre gave up Robespierre succeeded in excluding Danton, Camille Desmoulins, and their Anacharsis Clootz, a Prussian, who had supporters, to the vengeance of the acquired notoriety by styling himself municipality; and they surrendered "the orator of the human race.' He Hébert, Chaumette, Ronsin, Clootz, and did so by the never failing device of retheir party, to the Decemvirs. By this presenting him as the secret agent of arrangement more than one important the Allies.* At the same time that the object was gained-two formidable fac- leaders of the Anarchist faction were in tions were destroyed, and a rival to the this manner excluded by the all-powerreputation of the dictator was removed. ful influence of Robespierre and the It seemed impossible to accuse the go. Committee of Public Salvation, Danton, vernment of tending towards anarchy, Camille Desmoulins, Panis, Colombel, when it had destroyed the atheistical faction in the municipality; and equally
* “You have seen Clootz," said Robespierre, hopeless to charge it with moderation, court, sometimes at the feet of the people.
sometimes at the feet of a tyrant and a when it had struck down, for leaning When a faction fatal to liberty ruled among towards a return to humanity, the you, Clootz took the part of Brissot and Duauthors of the massacres of September. mourier. The Prussian Clootz supported their In this way they proposed to tread the to attack the whole world. Well then! Ciootz, narrow and perilous path between two we know your proceedings and midnight equally powerful parties, and realise plots. We know that, under the shades of their favourite expression of making night, you prepared with the Bishop Gobel terror and virtue the order of the day. with intriguers, English and Austrian. They But Hébert and the Anarchists were sit in the midst of you, with the agents of
Clootz is a Prussian. I have still powerful, and the Committee of Frederick. Public Salvation had need of support This speech sealed his doom.-Journal des
traced before you his public life. Pronounce!" to effect their overthrow. With this Jacobins, December 15, 1793.
and all the other leaders of the Mode - which we have to contend march under rate party, were admitted. By this de- different banners, and by different cisive measure the Anarchists were ren routes ; but their object is the samedered wholly powerless in the Jacobins; the disorganisation of the popular goand a severe blow was given to the vernment and the triumph of tyranny. weight of the municipality, by showing The one preaches fury, the other clethat its leading members were excluded mency; the one tends to this object by from the ruling club of the Revolution, its leaning to weakness, the other by while their determined enemies were its inclination to excess. The one would admitted, on the motion of Robespierre, change liberty into a bacchanal, the amidst loud acclamation. His speech other into a prostitute; the one would on proposing Camille Desmoulins, con- transport you into the torrid, the other sidering the awful tragedy which was into the frozen zone. But both alike fast approaching, is well worthy of con- keep aloof from courage, justice, magsideration,* as indicating the profound nanimity of soul. It is not worth while perfidy by which he was animated. It to try to distinguish; what is really was by this Machiavelian policy that material is to appreciate them by their Robespierre succeeded in finally de-objects and their ends. In that respect, stroying both sets of his opponents. you will find that they are sufficiently
89. Robespierre first announced his near each other. The Republic must project of double vengeance in the Con- steer between these two shoals--impovention. “Without,” said he, “all the tence and excess. Tyrants have wished tyrants of the earth are conspiring to throw us back into servitude by moagainst you ; within, all their friends deration; sometimes they aim at the are aiding their efforts : they will con- same object by driving us into the optinue to do so till hope is severed from posite extreme. These two extremes crime. We must stifle the external and terminate in the same point. Whether internal enemies of the Republic, or they fall short or overshoot the mark, perish with it. In such circumstances, they equally miss it. The friend of the only principles of government are kings and the orator of the human race to rule the people by the force of Rea- understand each other perfectly. The son, and their enemies by the force of fanatic covered with his relics, and the Terror. The spring of a popular gov- fanaticwho preaches atheism, are closely ernment in peace is Virtue ; in a revo- allied. The democratic barons are twin lution, it is Virtue and TERROR : Vir- brothers of those at Coblentz; and tue, without which Terror is fatal - sometimes the bonnets rouges are nearer Terror, without which Virtue is impo- the talons rouges than would be at first tent. The government of a revolution imagined. is the despotism of liberty against ty- 90. “Foreign powers have vomited ranny. The opposite factions with into France able villains, whom they
retain in their pay. They deliberate in * "We must," said Robespierre, “consider our administrations, insinuate them. Camille Desmoulins with his virtues and his selves into our sections and our clubs, weaknesses. Sometimes feeble and confiding: sit in the Convention, and eternally dioften courageous and ever Republican, he has been successively the friend of Lameth, of rect the counter-revolution by the same Mirabeau, of Dillon; but we have seen him means. They flutter round us, extract contributing to crush these very idols whom by surprise our secrets, caress our pashe had raised. He sacrificed them on the altar he had erected to them, whenever he sions, and seek to make us converts to discovered their perfidy. In a word, he loved their opinions. By turns they drive us liberty from instinct and feeling, and loved no- to exaggeration or weakness ; excite in thing else, in spite of all the seductions of its Paris the fanaticism of the new worship, betrayers. I exhort Camille Desmoulins to follow out his career; but in future not to be and in La Vendée resistance to the old; so versatile, and to endeavour to be no longer assassinate Marat and Lepelletier, and deceived as to the character of those who mingle with the group which would nal de Jacobins, Nos. 556, 558, December 15, deify their remains: at one time spread 1793; and Hist. Parl. xxi. 340, 341.
plenty among the people, at another
reduce them to all the horrors of famine; | than the Republic. * You demand the circulate and withdraw the metallic cur- opening of the prisons : you might as rency, and thus occasion the extraordi- well demand at once the misery and nary changes in the value of money ; destruction of the people. The same profit, in fine, by every accident, to turn conspiracy is now striving to save the it against France and the Revolution.” guilty which formerly strove to save Such is the invariable policy of revolu- the tyrant. A monarchy does not contionary parties, to impute to strangers, sist in a king, but in crime ; a republic or the opposite faction, the natural not in a senate, but in virtue. Whoeffect of their own passions and vices. ever would spare crime is striving to This speech was ordered to be printed, restore the monarchy: spare the arisand circulated over all France. It was tocracy, and you will have thirty years followed by a decree, sending Biron, ofcivil war: those who make revolutions Custine's son, Dietrich, mayor of Strass- by halves, only dig their own graves." burg, and all the friends of Dumourier, The Convention, awed by the tyrants, Custine, and Houchard, to the Revolu- invested the committees with full power tionary Tribunal, from whence they to crush the conspiracies. They decreed were soon after conducted to the scaf- in addition, that Terror and Virtue fold.
should be the order of the day. 91. “ Citizens,” said St Just, some 92. The Anarchists were the first to time after, "you wish a republic; if feel the vengeance of their former supyou are not prepared at the same time porters. They in vain endeavoured to to wish for what constitutes it, you will rouse their ancient partisans in the com. be buried under its ruins. Now, what mune to support their cause; terror had constitutes a republic is the destruction frozen every heart. As the danger beof everything which opposes it. You are came more menacing, they openly or. culpable towards the Republic if you ganised a revolt, and strove to the very have pity on the captives; you are cul- uttermost to rouse the immense popu. pable if you do not support virtue; you lation of Paris for their support. Their are culpable if you do not support ter- leaders made extraordinary efforts to
What do you propose, you who excite the people to insurrection; and would not strike terror into the wicked? innumerable placards, ascribing the What do you propose, you who would whole public evils, and in particular sever virtue from happiness? You shall the famine which prevailed, to the Con. perish, you who only act the patriot vention, appeared in the markets, and till bought by the stranger, or placed in all the populous quarters of Paris. in office by the government; you of the The statue of Liberty was covered with indulgent faction, who would save the crape at the club of the Cordeliers, wicked; you of the foreign faction, who where they had taken refuge since their would be severe only on the friends of expulsion from the Jacobins; and infreedom. Measures are already taken; surrection openly prevailed on the 4th you are surrounded. Thanks to the March. They even went so far as to genius of France, Liberty has risen vic- propose that the whole Convention torious from one of the greatest dangers should be dissolved, a new one assemshe ever encountered; the terror she bled, a dictator named, and an execuwill strike into her enemies will for tive government organised. But all the
purge the earth of the conspirators. efforts of Hébert, with his infamous We are accused of cruelty; but we are journal-Momoro, with the resolutions humane in comparison of other govern- of the Section Marat, which he had ments. A monarchy floats on the blood roused to espouse their cause--and Vin. of thirty generations, and shall you hesi- cent, with his frenzied followers, could tate to punish the guilty of one? Do not produce a popular movement. The we experience reverses ? the indulgent municipality held back; the Jacobins prophesy calamities : Are we prosper- were ruled by the Committee of Public ous ? they never mention our successes.
* Alluding to the Vieux Cordelier of Camille You are more occupied with pamphlets | Desmoulins, recently published.
Salvation and Robespierre. In all the cular, was the object of universal exesections, except that of Marat, hesita- cration: his atheistical mummeries had tion and division of opinion prevailed. alienated all the better class of citizens, Fear of the terrible energy of the Com- and the numerous denunciations he had mittee of Public Salvation paralysed undergone from Robespierre and St Just every arm. Seeing public opinion, after had rendered him an object of detestaa few days, sufficiently pronounced, tion to the populace. He made no atRobespierre acted. On the night of the tempt to conceal his terrors : he sank 12th, the whole leaders of the Anarch- down at every step; and the vile popuists were arrested by their former agent lace, so recently his worshippers, folHenriot, at the head of the armed force lowed the car, mimicking the cry of the which they had so often wielded against persons who used to hawk his journal the government, and sent before the about the streets,—“ Father Duchesne Revolutionary Tribunal, to stand trial is in a devil of a rage.”+ The victory for a conspiracy to put a tyrant at the of the Decemvirs was complete. They head of affairs.
followed up the blow by disbanding the 93. Hébert, Ronsin, Anacharsis Clootz, revolutionary force stationed at Paris, Momoro, Vincent, and fifteen others of and diminishing the power of the comtheir party, were all condemned. They mittees of sections—all steps, and not evinced the native baseness of their unimportant ones, to the establishment dispositions by their cowardice in their of a regular government. The munilast moments. The infamous Hébert pality of Paris, subdued by terror, was wept from weakness; his agony was so compelled to send a deputation to the conspicuous that it attracted the eyes Convention, returning thanks for the of all spectators from the sufferings arrest and punishment of its own memof the other prisoners. The numerous bers; and the Committee of Public captives in the prisons of Paris could Salvation succeeded in destroying the hardly believe their eyes when they be very man of whose infamous journal held the tyrants who had sent so many they had shortly before been in the to execution, and who were preparing habit of distributing ten thousand copies a new massacre in the prisons, consign- daily, at the public expense. I ed, in their turn, to the scaffold. The 94. Danton and his partisans had populace, with their usual inconstancy, not long the satisfaction of exulting manifested joy at their punishment, over the destruction of the Anarchists. and, in particular, loaded with maledic
+ “Il est
bt en colère le Père Duchesne" tions the very Hébert, for whose deli- -alluding to his journal, Lettres
bt patriyerance from the arrest of the Conven-otiques du veritable Père Duchesne. In recounttion they had once put all Paris in in- ing such scenes, the spirit is lost if the very
words are not used. surrection. Such was the public avidity In the proceedings against Hébert, some to see the execution of these leaders, curious facts came out as to the means by lately so popular, that considerablesums which the infamous revolutionary press of were realised by the sale of seats on the cipal crises of the Revolution. The following
Paris had been stimulated during the prinfatal chariots, to witness their agonies, entries appear :and on the tables and benches arranged “Extrait des Registres de la Trésorerie round the scaffold.* Hébert, in parti
2 Juin. — (Arrest of Girondists.) Donné au * “ Hébert showed, to the last, extreme
135,000 francs. weakness. In passing from the Conciergerie Mois d'Août,
10,000 to the scaffold, the exhibition of his agony 4 Oct.
60,000" prevented any one from observing the demeanour of his companions. During his last
In five months,
205,000 or £8250 night in the prison he gave way to utter de See Histoire Parlementaire, xxxi. 232; spair.” Ronsin said in prison to him, “You Vieux Cordelier, No. V., and Père Duchesne, have talked at the Cordeliers, when it was Nos. 330, 332. necessary to act--you are arrested in your “The Committee of Public Safety caused to career; and you ought to know that, sooner be distributed daily ten thousand copies of or later, the instruments of revolutions are this journal. Thus the Père Duchesne was crushed.”— Rapport d'un détenu dans les prisons merely the organ of the principles of this avec Hebert; and Hist. Parl. xxxi. 53, 55. committee."-PRUDHOMME, v. 143.