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vention, they could not be at once wit. people, hoping to interest them in his nesses and accusers. “We are about," favour. “i Generous people, unhappy said Danton and Lacroix, "to be judged people," he exclaimed, they mislead without being heard in our defence : you: save me! I am Camille Desmou. deliberation is at an end. Well! we lins, the first apostle of freedom! It have lived long enough to go to rest was I who gave you the national cock. on the bosom of glory: let them lead ade; I called you to arms on the 14th us to the scaffold." The jury were en- July.” It was all in vain ; the invecclosed, and soon after the president re- tives of the mob redoubled as they turned, and, with a savage joy, declared passed under the windows of Robesthe verdict was Guilty. The court in. pierre, who grew pale at the noise. stantly pronounced sentence after they The indignation of Camille Desmouwere removed, which was read to them lins at this proof of their mutability was in their cells in the evening. "We are so excessive that he tore his shirt; and sacrificed,” said Danton, “ to the ambi- though his hands were tied behind his tion of a few dastardly brigands; but back, his coat came off in venting his they will not long enjoy their triumph: feelings on the people. At the Palais
drag Robespierre after me in my fall.” Royal he said — " It is here that, four Lucile, the youthful wife of Camille Des- years ago, I called the people to arms moulins, earnestly besought Madame for the Revolution. Had Marat lived, Danton, a young woman of eighteen, to he would have been beside us." Danthrow herself at Robespierre's
feet, and ton held his head erect, and cast a calm pray for the lives of both their hubands, and intrepid look around him. but she refused. “I will willingly,” said not disquiet yourself," said he, she, “follow Danton to the scaffold, but that vile mob.” + At the foot of the I will not degrade his memory before scaffold he advanced to embrace Héhis rival. If he owed his life to Robes- rault de Séchelles, who held out his pierre, he would never pardon me, in arms to receive him. The executioner this world or the next. He has be interposed. “ What !” said he, with a queathed to me his honour— I will bitter smile, "are you more cruel than preserve it entire.” Camille Desmou- death itself? Begone! you cannot at lins had less firmness. He tried to least prevent our lips from soon meetread “Young's Night Thoughts,” but ing in that bloody basket. For a mothe book fell from his hands, and he ment after, he was softened, and said could only articulate, “O my Lucile, “O my beloved ! O my wife ! 0 my O my Horace, what will become of children! shall I never see you more?"
But immediately checking himself, he 103. They went to the scaffold with exclaimed—“ Danton, recollect yourthe stoicism so usual at that period. A self; no weakness !” Hérault de Sénumerous escort attended them, and an chelles ascended first, and died firmimmense crowd was assembled, which ly. Camille Desmoulins regained his beheld in silence their former leaders firmness in the last hour. His fingers, led out to execution. Camille Desmous with convulsive grasp, held a lock of lins exclaimed, when seated on the fatal chariot—“ This, then, is the recom: long dismal procession, guarded on each side
f "They entered the city of Rome in a pense awarded to the first apostle of by a file of troops under arms. In their looks liberty !” In moving towards the scaf- no sign of repentance, no dejected passion; fold, he never ceased to address the they retained an air of ferocity, and heard
the taunts of the vulgar with sullen con* Hérault de Séchelles, on being conducted tempt. Not a word escaped from any of to his cell, after his condemnation, read for a them unworthy of their warlike character, while a volume of Rousseau, which he took They were unfortunate, but still respected from his pocket, and, closing it, said, “Oh, for their valour." How identical are the my master! thou hast suffered for the truth, heroism of the brave and the baseness of the and I am about to die for it: thou hast the mob in every age! The words of Tacitus ap. genius, I the martyrdom : thou art a greater plied to the executions of Vitellius, might pass man, but which of us is the most philosophic for a description of the last moments of Dancal ?" - LAMARTINE, Histoire des Girondins, ton and Camille Desmoulins.- TACITUS, Ilist. viii. 63.
Lucile's hair, the last relic of this world | embourg, in which her husband was which he took to the edge of the next.* confined, night and day during his deHe approached the fatal spot, looked tention. The gardens where she now calmly at the axe, yet red with the gave vent to her grief had been the scene blood of his friend, and said, " The of their first loves; from his cell winmonsters who assassinate me will not dows her husband could see the spot long survive my fall. Convey my hair where they had met in the days of their to my mother-in-law.” Danton ascend happiness. Her distracted appearance, ed with a firm step, and said to the with some hints dropped the jails by executioner—" You will show my head the prisoners as to their hopes of being to the people, after my death; it is delivered by the aid of the people, durworth the pains.” These were his last ing the excitement produced by the trial words. The executioner obeyed the of Danton and his friends, led to a fresh injunction after the axe had fallen, and prosecution for a conspiracy in the carried the head around the scaffold. prisons," which was made the means The people clapped their hands! of sweeping off twenty-five persons of
104. The wife of Camille Desmou- wholly different principles and parties lins, a young woman of twenty-three, to at one fell swoop. The apostate bishop whom he was passionately attached, Gobel, Chaumette, the well-known and wandered round the prison of the Lux once formidable prosecutor of the mu
* The letters written by Camille Desmou- thee alone, and never of the business that lins during his imprisonment, and the night has brought me here !” Last Letter.-"I before his execution, to his wife, a young and implore thee, by our eternal love, Lulotte, elegant woman who had married him for love send me thy portrait! Amid the horrors of two years before, during the first fervour of my prison, the day in which I see again thy the Revolution, are among the most interest-portrait will be to me a fête, a day of ravishing and pathetic monuments of the Revolu- ing joy. In the mean time, send me some of tion, opening as it were a glance into that thy hair, that I may place it next my heart. awful amount of sorrow and wretchedness My dear Lucile, behold me restored to the which that convulsion brought even upon its days of our early loves, when nought had earliest and most ardent supporters. They interest for me but as appertaining to thee. are preserved in the Histoire Parlementaire, Yesterday, when the citizen who carried my and the following extracts will convey some letter to thee came back, it seemed to me as idea of their heart-rending affection : “My if his very garments breathed of thee. Yesdear Lucile, my Vesta, my angel, destiny terday I discovered a crevice in my apart. brings before my eyes, in my prison, that ment. I applied my ear, and heard the voice garden where I passed eight years of my life of one ill and in pain. He asked my name, looking upon thee. A corner of the Luxem- and I told it. O my God l'he exclaimed; bourg in sight recalls in crowds the memories and I recognised distinctly the voice of Fabre of our loves. I am in solitary confinement, d'Eglantine. Pitt or Cobourg might have but never have I felt in thought, in imagina- treated me thus !-but my colleagues ! Robestion, almost in body, nearer to thee, to thy pierre, who signed the order for my imprisonmother, to my little Horace. My complete ment! the Republic, after all that I had done justification is contained in my eight republi- for it! It is the reward I meet for my ser. can volumes. o my good Lulotte! let us vices to it. I had dreamed of a republic that speak of other things. I throw myself at thy all the world would have adored. I could knees; I stretch out my arms to embrace not have supposed that men would have been thee--I find no more my poor Lulotte ! so savage and unjust. In spite of my suffer[Here we find the traces of a tear.] Send me ings, I believe that there is a God. I shall the glass on which there is a C and a Dour see thee again some day, O Lucile ! 0 Antwo names; a book in 12mo, which I bought nette! Sensitive as I was, is the death that from Charpentier: that book treats of the delivers me from the sight of such crimes so immortality of the soul. I need to persuade great a misfortune ? Adieu, Lucile! Adieu, myself that there is a God more just than my life !-my soull-my divinity on earth! men, and that I cannot fail to see thee again. I leave you good friends, all men of virtue Adieu, Lucile !-adieu! I cannot embrace and feeling. Adieu, Lucile! my Lucile ! my thee; but in the tears which I shed, I seem dear Luciie!-Adieu, Horace !-Adieu, Adèle! still to hold thee to my bosom.” [Here we -Adieu, my father! I feel life fleeting from find the trace of a second tear. -Second me. I still see Lucile! I see thee, my beLetter. "I am ill: I have eaten nothing since loved-my Lucile ! My hands in their bonds yesterday but the soup you sent me. Heaven embrace thee, and my dissevered head still has had compassion on my innocence; a dream turns its dying eyes to thee !"--Hist. Parlehas been granted me, in which I have seen mentaire. (Here is the pathos of nature ! you all. Send me a lock of thy hair, and thy When will romance or poetry figure anyportrait-oh, I beseech you, for I think of thing so touching ?)
nicipality, the widow of Hébert, the the Dantonists to arrest it: both pewidow of Camille Desmoulins, Arthur rished in the attempt. They perished, Dillon, a remnant of the Dantonists, because they were inferior in wickedand twenty others of inferior note, were ness to their opponents ; they fell, the indicted together for the crimes of hav- victims of the little humanity which ing conspired together against the yet lingered in their bosoms. The comliberty and security of the French peo- bination of wicked men who thereafter ple, endeavoured to trouble the state governed France is without a parallel by civil war, to arm the citizens against in the history of the world. * Their each other, and against the lawful au- power, based on the organised weight thority; in virtue of which they pro- of the multitude, and the ardent coposed, in the present month, to dissolve operation of the municipalities, everythe national representation, assassinate where installed by them in the possesits members, destroy the republican sion of office, was irresistible. By them government, gain possession of the so- opulent cities were overturned; hunvereignty of the people, and give a dreds of thousands of deluded artisans tyrant to the state." The absurdity of reduced to beggary; agriculture, comthus charging, as in one conspiracy, the merce, the arts destroyed; the foundaleaders of two opposite factions, so re- tions of every species of property shakcently at daggers-drawing with each en, and all the youth of the kingdom other-Gobel and Chaumette, the par- driven to the frontier, less to uphold tisans of anarchy and blood, with Dillon the integrity of France than to protect and the widow of Desmoulins, who had themselves from the just vengeance been exposing their lives to procure a which awaited them from within and return to humanity-produced no im- without. All bowed the neck before pression on the inexorable tribunal. this gigantic assemblage of wickedness. They were all condemned, after a long The revolutionary excesses daily intrial, and the vital difference between creased, in consequence of the union them appeared in their last moments. which the constant dread of retribuThe infamous Gobel wept from weak- tion produced among their perpetraness; the atrocious Chaumette was tors. There was no medium between almost lifeless from terror; but the taking a part in these atrocities and widow of Desmoulins exhibited on the falling a victim to them. Virtue seemed scaffold the heroism of Madame Roland powerless: energy appeared only in the and Charlotte Corday, and died rejoic- extremity of resignation; religion in the ing in the hope of rejoining her lost heroism with which death was endured. husband. She did not appear with There was not a hope left for France, the undaunted air of those heroines, had it not been for the dissensions but she showed equal firmness. She which, as the natural result of their died not for her country, but for her wickedness, sprang up among the auhusband ; love, not patriotism, inspired thors of the public calamities. her last moments. Her beauty, her 106. It is impossible not to be struck, innocence, the knowledge that she was in looking back on the fate of these the victim of her humanity, produced different parties, with the singular and universal commiseration.
105. Thus perished the tardy but last * "The tyrant proud frown'd from his lofty defenders of humanity and moderation and with his looks made all his monsters -the last who sought for peace, and tremble, advocated clemency toward those who His eyes, that full of rage and venom swell, had been vanquished in the Revolution. Two beacons seem, that men to arms asFor long after their fall, no voice was His feltered locks, that on his bosom fell, heard against the Reign of Terror. Si. On rugged mountains briars and thorns lent and unopposed, the tyrants struck resemble, redoubted blows from one end of His yawning mouth that foamed clotted
blood, France to the other. The Girondists Gap'd like a whirlpool wide in Stygian flood." had sought to prevent that fatal rule,
Jerusalem Delivered, iv. 7.
providential manner in which their of Heaven itself; but scarcely were their crimes brought about their own punish- blasphemies uttered when they were ment. No foreign interposition was swept off by the partners of their necessary; no avenging angel was re- bloody triumphs. One only power required to vindicate the justice of the mained, alone, terrible, irresistible. Divine administration. They fell the This was the power of DEATH, wielded victims of their own atrocity, of the by a faction steeled against every feelpassions which they themselves had let ing of humanity, dead to every prinloose, of the injustice of which they ciple of justice. In their iron hands, had given the first example to others. order resumed its sway from the inThe Constitutionalists overthrew the fluence of terror; obedience became ancient monarchy, and raised a throne universal from the extinction of hope. surrounded by republican institutions; Silent and unresisted they led their but their imprudence in rousing po- victims to the scaffold, dreaded alike pular ambition paved the way for the by the soldiers who crouched, the peo10th August, and speedily brought ple who trembled, and the victims who themselves to the scaffold. The Giron- suffered. The history of the world has dists established their favourite dream no parallel to the horrors of that long of a Republic, and were the first victims night of suffering, because it has none of the fury which it excited; the Dan- to the guilt which preceded it; tyranny tonists roused the populace against the never assumed so hideous a form, beGi and soon fell under the axe cause licentiousness never required so which they had prepared for their severe a punishment. rivals; the Anarchists defied the powers “Die weltgeschichte ist das weltgericht."*
* “ The world's history is the world judged.”—SCHILLER.
REIGN OF TERROR-FROM THE DEATH OF DANTON TO THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE.
APRIL 5 JULY 27, 1794.
1. “ALL bad actions," says Sallust, you should conceal the tyrant; no “spring from good beginnings;"—“And man admits his wickedness either to others the progress of these events," says Ma- or himself. You and I speak history, chiavel, “is this, that in their efforts to but we speak it like other men.” The avoid fear, men inspire it in others; and words which Sallust puts into themouth that injury which they seek to ward of Cæsar, and Napoleon addressed to the off themselves they throw upon their actor of Nero, point to the same, and neighbours, so that it seems inevitable one of the most important principles of either to give or receive offence.”+- human nature. When vice appears in “You are quite wrong," said Napoleon its native deformity, it is universally to Talma, in the representation of Nero; shunned—its features are horrible alike
to others and itself. It is by borrow+ “Omnia mala exampla,” says Sallust; ing the language, and rousing the pas“ bonis initiis orta sunt. “E l'ordine di questi accidenti,” says Machiavel, “è che mentre che gli uomini cercano di non temere,
“Vice is a monster of such hideous mien, cominciano a fare temere altrui, e quella in
That to be hated needs but to be seen; juria che gli scacciano di loro, la pongono
But seen too oft, familiar with his face, sopra un altro, come se fusse necessario, offen. We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” dere o esser offeso."
sions of virtue, that it insinuates itself | hundred thousand men in a single caminto the minds, not only of the specta- paign, to preserve a province, or conquer tors, but of the actors; the worst deeds a frontier town; but what are the wars are committed by men who delude of princes to the eternal contest bethemselves and others by the noblest tween freedom and tyranny? and what expressions. Tyranny speaks with the the destruction of its present enemies, voice of prudence, and points to the to the liberty of unborn millions of the dangers of popular insurrection; am- human race? Such is the language of bition strikes on the chords of patriot- revolutionary cruelty; such are the ism and loyalty, and leads men to ruin maxims which, beginning with the enothers in the belief that they are sav. thusiasm of philanthropists, ended in ing themselves; democratic fury appeals the rule of Robespierre. The unexto the spirit of freedom, and massacres ampled atrocities of the Reign of Terror thousands in the name of insurgent arose from the influence yielded to a humanity. In all these cases, men single principle; the greatest crimes would shrink with horror from them- which the world has ever known, were selves if their conduct appeared in its but an extension of the supposed extrue colours; they become steeped in pedience which hangs for forgery and crime while yet professing the inten- burns for heresy. tions of virtue, and before they are 3. The error in all these cases is the well aware that they have transgressed same, and consists in supposing that its bounds.
what is unjust ever can be ultimately 2. Allthese atrocities proceed from one expedient, or that the Author of Nasource; criminality in them all begins ture would have implanted feelings in when one line is passed. This source the human heart which the interests of is the principle of expedience; this society require to be continually violine is the line of justice. “To do evil lated.“ A little knowledge,” says Lord that good may come of it” is perhaps Bacon, “makes men irreligious, but exthe most prolific cause of wickedness. tended wisdom brings them back to It is absolutely necessary, say the poli- devotion.” With equal truth it may ticians of one age, to check the growing be said, that “a little experience makes spirit of heresy; discord in this world, governments and people iniquitous, damnation in the next, follow in its but extended information brings them steps ; religion, the fountain of peace, back to the principles of justice.” The is in danger of being polluted by its real interests of society, it is at last poison; the transient suffering of a few perceived, can only be secured by those individuals will insure the eternal sal-measures which command universal vation of millions. Such is the lan- concurrence; and none can finally do. guage of religious intolerance, such the this but such as are founded on the principles which lighted the fires of virtuous feelings of our nature. It is Smithfield. How cruel soever it may by attending only to the first effect of appear, say the statesmen of another unjust measures that men are ever deage, to sacrifice life for property, it is ceived on this subject; when their ultiindispensable in an age of commercial mate consequences come to be appreindustry; the temptations to fraud are ciated, the expedience is found all to lie so great, the facilities of commission on the other side. But these ultimate so extensive, that, but for the terror effects often do not appear for a conof death, property would be insecure, siderable period, and hence the immeand industry, with all its blessings, diate danger of revolutions, and the nipped in the bud. Such is the lan- extreme difficulty of arresting their guage of commercial jealousy, and the course. The stoppage, however, is cerorigin of that sanguinary code which tain at last. When the feelings of the the humanity and extended wisdom of great body of mankind are outraged, England has now perhaps too far re or their interests menaced, by the mealaxed. You would not hesitate, say the sures of government, a reaction invaleaders of another period, to sacrifice a riably, sooner or later, follows, and the