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morality, loyalty, fidelity, and honour, discovered, | Amongst his colleagues were Claviere and Servan. that, when authority came into their hands, it All the three have, since that time, either lost their would be a matter of no small difficulty for them heads by the axe of their associates in rebellion, to carry on government on the principles by which or to evade their own revolutionary justice, have they had destroyed it.

fallen by their own hands. The rights of men, and the new principles of These ministers were regarded by the king as in liberty and equality, were very unbandy instru- a conspiracy to dethrone him. Nobody who conments for those who wished to establish a system siders the circumstances which preceded the depoof tranquillity and order. They who were taught sition of Louis the Sixteenth, nobody who attends to find nothing to respect in the title and the vir- to the subsequent conduct of those ministers, can tues of Louis the Sixteenth, a prince succeeding to hesitate about the reality of such a conspiracy. the throne by the fundamental laws, in the line of The king certainly had no doubt of it; he found a succession of monarchs continued for fourteen himself obliged to remove them; and the neceshundred years, found nothing which could bind sity, which first obliged him to choose such regithem to an implicit fidelity, and dutiful allegiance, cide ministers, constrained him to replace them to Mess. Brissot, Vergniaux, Condorcet, Anachar- by Dumourier the jacobin, and some others of litsis Cloots, and Thomas Paine.

tle efficiency, though of a better description. In this difficulty, they did as well as they could. A little before this removal, and evidently as a To govern the people, they must incline the people part of the conspiracy, Roland put into the king's to obey. The work was difficult, but it was hands, as a memorial, the most insolent, seditious, necessary. They were to accomplish it by such and atrocious libel, that has probably ever been materials and by such instruments as they had in penned. This paper Roland a few days after detheir hands. They were to accomplish the pur-| livered to the National Assembly, who instantly

* poses of order, morality, and submission to the published and dispersed it all over France; and laws, from the principles of atheism, profligacy, in order to give it the stronger operation they deand sedition. If, as the disguise became them, clared, that he and his brother ministers had carthey began to assume the mask of an austere and ried with them the regret of the nation. None of rigid virtue ; they exhausted all the stores of their the writings, which have inflamed the jacobin spieloquence (which in some of them were not incon- rit to a savage fury, ever worked up a fiercer fersiderable) in declamations against tumult and con- ment through the whole mass of the republicans fusion ; they made daily harangues on the bless- in every part of France. ings of order, discipline, quiet, and obedience to Under the thin veil of prediction, he strongly authority; they even shewed some sort of dispo- recommends all the abominable practices which sition to protect such property as had not been afterwards followed. In particular he inflamed confiscated. They, who on every occasion had the minds of the populace against the respectable discovered a sort of furious thirst of blood, and a and conscientious clergy, who became the chief greedy appetite for slaughter, who avowed and objects of the massacre, and who were to him the gloried in the murders and massacres of the four- chief objects of a malignity and rancour that one teenth of July, of the fifth and sixth of October, could hardly think to exist in a human heart. and of the tenth of August, now began to be

We have the relicks of his fanatical persecution squeamish and fastidious with regard to those of here. We are in a condition to judge of the merits the second of September.

of the persecutors and of the persecuted—I do not In their pretended scruples on the sequel of the say the accusers and accused; because, in all the

; slaughter of the tenth of August, they imposed furious declamations of the atheistick faction upon no living creature, and they obtained not the against these men, not one specifick charge has smallest credit for humanity. They endeavoured been made upon any one person of those who sufto establish a distinction, by the belief of which fered in their massacre, or by their decree of exile. they hoped to keep the spirit of murder safely bot- The king had declared that he would sooner tled up, and sealed for their own purposes, with- perish under their axe (he too well saw what was out endangering themselves by the fumes of the preparing for him) than give his sanction to the poison which they prepared for their enemies. iniquitous act of proscription, under which those

Roland was the chief and the most accredited innocent people were to be transported. of the faction :-his morals had furnished little On this proscription of the clergy a principal matter of exception against him ;-old, domestick, part of the ostensible quarrel between the king and uxorious, he led a private life sufficiently and those ministers had turned. From the time blameless. He was therefore set up as the Cato of the authorized publication of this libel, some of of the republican party, which did not abound in the maneuvres long and uniformly pursued for such characters.

the king's deposition became more and more eviThis man, like most of the chiefs, was the dent and declared. manager of a newspaper, in which he promoted The tenth of August came on, and in the manthe interest of his party. He was a fatal present ner in which Roland had predicted; it was folmade by the revolutionists to the unhappy king, lowed by the same consequences.—The king was as one of his ministers under the new constitution. deposed, after cruel massacres, in the courts and • Presented to the king June 13, delivered to him the preceding | Monday.- Translator.




the apartments of his palace, and in almost all | formed for a massacre of the people of Paris, and parts of the city. In reward of his treason to his which, he more than insinuates, was the work of his old master, Roland was by his new masters named late unhappy master ; who was universally known minister of the home department.

to carry his dread of shedding the blood of his The massacres of the second of September were most guilty subjects to an excess. begotten by the massacres of the tenth of August. “ Without the day of the tenth,” says he,“ it They were universally foreseen and hourly ex- “ is evident that we should have been lost. The pected. During this short interval between the court, prepared for a long time, waited for the two murderous scenes, the furies, male and female, “ hour which was to accumulate all treasons, to cried out havock as loudly and as fiercely as ever. display over Paris the standard of death, and to The ordinary jails were all filled with prepared reign there by terrour. The sense of the people,

“ victims; and, when they overflowed, churches were “ (le sentiment,) always just and ready when their turned into jails. At this time the relentless Ro- “ opinion is not corrupted, foresaw the epoch land had the care of the general police; he had “ marked for their destruction, and rendered it for his colleague the bloody Danton, who was mi- fatal to the conspirators.” He then proceeds, nister of justice :—the insidious Petion was mayor in the cant which has been applied to palliate all of Paris—the treacherous Manuel was procurator their atrocities from the fourteenth of July, 1789, of the Common-hall. The magistrates (some or to the present time ;—“ It is in the nature of all of them) were evidently the authors of this things," continues he, “and in that of the human massacre. Lest the national guards should, by their heart, that victory should bring with it some very name, be reminded of their duty in preserving

The sea, agitated by a violent storm, the lives of their fellow citizens, the common roars long after the tempest; but every thing council of Paris, pretending that it was in vain has bounds, which ought at length to be obto think of resisting the murderers, (although in

66 served.” truth neither their numbers nor their arms were In this memorable epistle, he considers such at all formidable,) obliged those guards to draw excesses as fatalities arising from the very nature the charges from their musquets, and took away of things, and consequently not to be punished. their bayonets.

One of their journalists, and, He allows a space of time for the duration of these according to their fashion, one of their leading agitations : and lest he should be thought rigid statesmen, Gorsas, mentions this fact in his news- and too scanty in his measure, he thinks it may be paper, which he formerly called the Galley long. But he would have things to cease at length. Journal. The title was well suited to the paper But when, and where ?—When they may approach and its author. For some felonies he had been his own person. sentenced to the gallies; but, by the benignity Yesterday," says he, “ the ministers were of the late king, this felon (to be one day ad- denounced : vaguely indeed as to the matter, vanced to the rank of a regicide) had been par- “ because subjects of reproach were wanting ; doned and released at the intercession of the am- “ but with that warmth and force of assertion, bassadors of Tippoo Sultan. His gratitude was such “ which strike the imagination and seduce it for a as might naturally have been expected; and it has moment, and which mislead and destroy confilately been rewarded as it deserved. This libe- dence, without which no man should remain in rated galley-slave was raised, in mockery of all “ place in a free government. Yesterday again, in criminal law, to be minister of justice : he became an assembly of the presidents of all the sections, from his elevation a more conspicuous object of “convoked by the ministers, with a view of conaccusation, and he has since received the punish- ciliating all minds, and of mutual explanation, ment of his former crimes in proscription and “ I perceive that distrust which suspects, interrodeath.

gates, and fetters operations." It will be asked, how the minister of the home In this manner (that is, in mutual suspicions department was employed at this crisis? The day and interrogatories) this virtuous minister of the after the massacre had commenced, Roland ap- home department, and all the magistracy of Paris, peared ; but not with the powerful apparatus of a spent the first day of the massacre, the atrocity of protecting magistrate, to rescue those who had which has spread horrour and alarm throughout survived the slaughter of the first day: nothing of Europe. It does not appear that the putting a this. On the third of September (that is, the day stop to the massacre had any part in the object of after the commencement of the massacre)* he their meeting, or in their consultations when they writes a long, elaborate, verbose epistle to the were met. Here was a minister tremblingly alive Assembly, in which, after magnifying, according to his own safety, dead to that of his fellow-citito the bon ton of the Revolution, his own inte zens, eager to preserve his place, and worse than grity, humanity, courage, and patriotism, he first indifferent about its most important duties. Speakdirectly justifies all the bloody proceedings of the ing of the people, he says, “ that their hidden tenth of August. He considers the slaughter of “ enemies may make use of this agitation" (the that day as a necessary measure for defeating a tender appellation which he gives to horrid massaconspiracy, which (with a full knowledge of the cre) “to hurt their best friends, and their most falsehood of his assertion) he asserts to have been able defenders. Already the example begins ;

• Letter to the National Assembly, signed— The Minister of the interior, ROLAND, dated Paris, Sept. 3d, uh year of Liberty.


“ let it restrain and arrest a just rage. Indigna- to call the murder of the unhappy priests in the “tion carried to its height commences proscrip- Carmes, who were under no criminal denunciation “ tions which fall only on the guilty, but in which whatsoever, a vengeance mingled with a sort of “ errour and particular passions may shortly in- justice ;" he observes that “ they had been a long " volve the honest man.

time spared by the sword of the law," and calls He saw that the able artificers in the trade and by anticipation all those, who should represent this mystery of murder did not choose that their skill effervescence” in other colours, villains and traishould be unemployed after their first work; and tors : he did not then foresee, how soon himself that they were full as ready to cut off their rivals and his accomplices would be under the necessity as their enemies. This gave him one alarm, that of assuming the pretended character of this new was serious. This letter of Roland in every part sort of“ villany and treason,” in the hope of obof it lets out the secret of all the parties in this literating the memory of their former real villanies revolution. Plena rimarum est; hac, atque and treasons :—he did not foresee, that in the illac, perfluit. We see that none of them con- course of six months a formal manifesto on the demn the occasional practice of murder; provided part of himself and his faction, written by his conit is properly applied; provided it is kept within federate Brissot, was to represent this effervesthe bounds which each of those parties think pro-cence" as another“ St. Bartholomew ;” and speak per to prescribe. In this case Roland feared, that, of it as having made humanity shudder, and if what was occasionally useful should become sullied the Revolution for ever. * habitual, the practice might go farther than was It is very remarkable that he takes upon himself convenient. It might involve the best friends of to know the motives of the assassins, their policy, the last revolution, as it had done the heroes of and even what they “ believed.” How could this the first revolution : he feared that it would not be if he had no connexion with them? He praises be confined to the La Fayettes and Clermont- the murderers for not having taken as yet all the Tonnerres, the Duponts and Barnaves; but that it lives of those who had, as he calls it, “ presented might extend to the Brissots and Vergniauxs, to themselves as victims to their fury.” He paints the the Condorcets, the Petions, and to himself. Un- miserable prisoners who had been forcibly piled der this apprehension there is no doubt that his upon one another in the church of the Carmelites, humane feelings were altogether unaffected. by his faction, as presenting themselves as victims

His observations on the massacre of the preced to their fury; as if death was their choice; or, ing day are such as cannot be passed over :- (allowing the idiom of his language to make “ Yesterday,” said he,“ was a day upon the this equivocal,) as if they were by some accident “ events of which it is perhaps necessary to leave presented to the fury of their assassins : whereas

a veil ; I know that the people with their ven- he knew, that the leaders of the murderers sought

geance mingled a sort of justice ; they did not these pure and innocent victims in the places “ take for victims all who presented themselves to where they had deposited them, and were sure to “ their fury; they directed it to them who had find them. The very selection, which he praises for a long time been spared by the sword of the as a sort of justice tempering their fury, proves, law, and who they believed, from the peril of beyond a doubt, the foresight, deliberation, and “ circumstances, should be sacrificed without de- method, with which this massacre was made.

lay. But I know that it is easy to villains and He knew that circumstance on the very day of the traitors to misrepresent this effervescence, and commencement of the massacres, when, in all pro“ that it must be checked : I know that we owe bability, he had begun this letter, for he presented “ to all France the declaration, that the executive it to the Assembly on the very next.

power could not foresee or prevent this excess. Whilst, however, he defends these acts, he is " I know that it is due to the constituted authori-conscious that they will appear in another light “ ties to place a limit to it, or consider themselves to the world. He therefore acquits the executive as abolished.

power, that is, he acquits himself (but only by In the midst of this carnage he thinks of no- his own assertion) of those acts “of vengeance thing but throwing a veil over it: which was at mixed with a sort of justice,” as an excess which once to cover the guilty from punishment, and to he could neither foresee nor prevent.” He could extinguish all compassion for the sufferers. He not, he says, foresee these acts; when he tells apologizes for it; in fact, he justifies it. He, who us, the people of Paris had sagacity so well to (as the reader has just seen in what is quoted from foresee the designs of the court on the tenth of this letter) feels so much indignation at “ vague August; to foresee them so well, as to mark the “ denunciations" when made against himself, and precise epoch on which they were to be executed, from which he then feared nothing more than the and to contrive to anticipate them on the very subversion of his power, is not ashamed to con- day: he could not foresee these events, though he sider the charge of a conspiracy to massacre the declares in this very letter that victory must bring Parisians brought against his master upon denun- with it some excess ;—“that the sea roars long ciations as vague as possible, or rather upon no de- after the tempest.” So far as to his foresight. As nunciations, as a perfect justification of the mon- to his disposition to prevent, if he had foreseen, the strous proceedings against him. He is not ashamed massacres of that day; this will be judged by his

* See p. 12, and p. 13, of this translation.


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care in putting a stop to the massacre then going chants, substantial tradesmen, hoarders of ason. This was no matter of foresight. He was signats, and purchasers of the confiscated lands in the very midst of it. He does not so much of the clergy and gentry, to join with their party, as pretend, that he had used any force to put as holding out some sort of security to the effects a stop to it. But if he had used


which they possessed, whether these effects were tion given under his hand, to a sort of justice in the acquisitions of fair commerce, or the gains the murderers, was enough to disarm the protect- of jobbing in the misfortunes of their country, ing force.

and the plunder of their fellow citizens. In this That approbation of what they had already done design the party of Roland and Brissot suchad its natural effect on the executive assassins, ceeded in a great degree. They obtained a then in the paroxysm of their fury; as well as on majority in the National Convention. Composed their employers, then in the midst of the execution however as that Assembly is, their majority was of their deliberate cold-blooded system of murder. far from steady: but whilst they appeared to He did not at all differ from either of them in the gain the Convention, and many of the outlying principle of those executions, but only in the time departments, they lost the city of Paris entirely of their duration ; and that only as it affected him and irrecoverably; it was fallen into the hands self. This, though to him a great consideration, of Marat, Robespierre, and Danton. Their inwas none to his confederates, who were at the same struments were the sans-culottes, or rabble, who time his rivals. They were encouraged to accom- domineered in that capital, and were wholly at plish the work they had in hand. They did the devotion of those incendiaries, and received accomplish it; and whilst this grave moral epistle their daily pay. The people of property were of no from a grave minister, recommending a cessation of consequence, and trembled before Marat and his their work of“ vengeance mingled with a sort of janizaries. As that great man had not obtained justice,” was before a grave assembly, the authors the helm of the state, it was not yet come to his of the massacres proceeded without interruption in turn to act the part of Brissot and his friends, their business for four days together; that is, until in the assertion of subordination and regular gothe seventh of that month, and until all the victims vernment. But Robespierre has survived both of the first proscription in Paris and at Versailles, these rival chiefs, and is now the great patron of and several other places, were immolated at the jacobin order. shrine of the grim Moloch of liberty and equality. To balance the exorbitant power of Paris, (which All the priests, all the loyalists, all the first essayists threatened to leave nothing to the National Conand novices of revolution in 1789, that could be vention, but a character as insignificant as that found, were promiscuously put to death.

which the first assembly had assigned to the unThrough the whole of this long letter of Roland, happy Louis the Sixteenth,) the faction of Brissot, it is curious to remark how the nerve and vigour whose leaders were Roland, Petion, Vergniaux, of his style, which had spoken so potently to his Isnard, Condorcet, &c. &c. &c. applied themselves sovereign, is relaxed, when he addresses himself to to gain the great commercial towns, Lyons, Marthe sans-culottes ; how that strength and dexterity seilles, Rouen, Nantz, and Bourdeaux. The re

. of arm, with which he parries and beats down the publicans of the Brissotin description, to whom the scepter, is enfeebled and lost, when he comes to concealed royalists, still very numerous, joined fence with the poignard! When he speaks to the themselves, obtained a temporary superiority in populace he can no longer be direct. The whole these places. In Bourdeaux, on account of the compass of the language is tried to find synonymes activity and eloquence of some of its representaand circumlocutions for massacre and murder. tives, this superiority was the most distinguished. Things are never called by their common names. This last city is seated on the Garonne, or GiMassacre is sometimes agitation, sometimes effer- ronde; and being the centre of a department

, vescence, sometimes excess ; sometimes too conti- named from that river, the appellation of Girondists nued an exercise of a revolutionary power. was given to the whole party. These, and some

However, after what had passed had been praised, other towns, declared strongly against the princior excused, or pardoned, he declares loudly against ples of anarchy; and against the despotism of such proceedings in future. Crimes had pioneered Paris. Numerous addresses were sent to the Conand made smooth the way for the march of the vention, promising to maintain its authority, virtues ; and from that time order and justice, and which the addressers were pleased to consider as a sacred regard for personal property, were to legal and constitutional, though chosen, not to become the rules for the new democracy. Here compose an executive government, but to form a Roland and the Brissotines leagued for their own plan for a constitution. preservation, by endeavouring to preserve peace.

In the Convention, measures were taken to This short story will render many of the parts of obtain an armed force from the several departBrissot's pamphlet, in which Roland's views and ments to maintain the freedom of that body, intentions are so often alluded to, the more intel- and to provide for the personal safety of the ligible in themselves, and the more useful in their members; neither of which, from the fourteenth application by the English reader.

of July 1789, to this hour, have been really Under the cover of these artifices, Roland, Brissot, enjoyed by their assemblies sitting under any and their party, hoped to gain the bankers, mer- denomination.


This scheme, which was well conceived, had not of France, it became absolutely necessary to prepare the desired success. Paris, from which the Con- a manifesto, laying before the publick the whole vention did not dare to move, though some threats policy, genius, character, and conduct, of the partiof such a departure were from time to time thrown sans of club government. To make this exposition out, was too powerful for the party of the Gironde. as fully and clearly as it ought to be made, it was Some of the proposed guards, but neither with of the same unavoidable necessity to go through a regularity nor in force, did indeed arrive; they series of transactions, in which all those concerned were debauched as fast as they came; or were in this Revolution, were, at the several periods of sent to the frontiers. The game played by the their activity, deeply involved. In consequence revolutionists in 1789, with respect to the French of this design, and under these difficulties, Brissot guards of the unhappy king, was now played prepared the following declaration of his party, against the departmental guards, called together which he executed with no small ability; and for the protection of the revolutionists. Every in this manner the whole mystery of the French part of their own policy comes round, and strikes Revolution was laid open in all its parts. at their own power and their own lives.

It is almost needless to mention to the reader The Parisians, on their part, were not slow in the fate of the design to which this pamphlet was taking the alarm. They had just reason to appre- to be subservient. The jacobins of Paris were more hend, that if they permitted the smallest delay, prompt than their adversaries. They were the they should see themselves besieged by an army readiest to resort to what La Fayette calls the most collected from all parts of France. Violent threats sacred of all duties, that of insurrection. Another were thrown out against that city in the assembly. æra of holy insurrection commenced the thirtyIts total destruction was menaced. A very re- first of last May. As the first fruits of that inmarkable expression was used in these debates, surrection grafted on insurrection, and of that “ that in future times it might be enquired, on rebellion improving upon rebellion, the sacred, “what part of the Seine Paris had stood.” The irresponsible character of the members of the faction which ruled in Paris, too bold to be intimi- Convention was laughed to scorn. They had dated, and too vigilant to be surprised, instantly themselves shewn, in their proceedings against the armed themselves. In their turn, they accused late king, how little the most fixed principles are the Girondists of a treasonable design to break to be relied upon, in their revolutionary constithe republick one and indivisible (whose unity they tution. The members of the Girondin party in contended could only be preserved by the supre- the Convention were seized upon, or obliged to macy of Paris) into a number of confederate save themselves by flight. The unhappy author of commonwealths. The Girondin faction on this this piece with twenty of his associates suffered account received also the name of federalists. together on the scaffold, after a trial, the iniquity

Things on both sides hastened fast to extremi- of which puts all description to defiance. ties. Paris, the mother of equality, was herself to The English reader will draw from this work of be equalised. Matters were come to this alterna- Brissot, and from the result of the last struggles of tive; either that city must be reduced to a mere this party, some useful lessons. He will be enabled member of the federative republick, or, the Con- to judge of the information of those who have unvention, chosen, as they said, by all France, was dertaken to guide and enlighten us, and who, for to be brought regularly and systematically under reasons best known to themselves, have chosen to the dominion of the common-hall, and even of any paint the French Revolution and its consequences one of the sections of Paris.

in brilliant and flattering colours. They will In this awful contest, thus brought to issue, the know how to appreciate the liberty of France, great mother club of the jacobins was entirely in which has been so much magnified in England. the Parisian interest. The Girondins no longer They will do justice to the wisdom and goodness dared to shew their faces in that assembly. Nine of their sovereign and his parliament, who have tenths at least of the jacobin clubs, throughout put them in a state of defence, in the war audaFrance, adhered to the great patriarchal jaco- ciously made upon us, in favour of that kind of biniere of Paris, to which they were (to use their liberty. When we see (as here we must see) in own term) affiliated. No authority of magistracy, their true colours, the character and policy of our judicial or executive, had the least weight, when- enemies, our gratitude will become an active prinever these clubs chose to interfere; and they chose ciple. It will produce a strong and zealous coto interfere in every thing, and on every occasion. operation with the efforts of our government, in All hope of gaining them to the support of pro- favour of a constitution under which we enjoy perty, or to the acknowledgment of any law but advantages, the full value of which, the querulous their own will, was evidently vain, and hopeless. weakness of human nature requires sometimes the Nothing but an armed insurrection against their opportunity of a comparison, to understand and anarchical authority could answer the purpose of to relish. the Girondins. Anarchy was to be cured by re- Our confidence in those who watch for the bellion, as it had been caused by it.

publick will not be lessened. We shall be sensible As a preliminary to this attempt on the jacobins that to alarm us in the late circumstances of our and the commons of Paris, which it was hoped affairs, was not for our molestation, but for our would be supported by all the remaining property security. We shall be sensible that this alarm was

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