Imatges de pÓgina
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esting. Into what hands the Govern- from the line of demarkation which was ment of France may fall, none can di-drawn between the two classes, and from vine: but, the consideration is not of the privileges attached to the noblesse, that importance to France only; all Europe the bourgeois had in general an aversion for the nobles They complained only of their is interested; and our own country not privileges but these privileges, shocked less than any other. them much less, than the contempt in which they imagined they were held by the Nobles, and wounded vanity, in France more than elsewhere, is seldom completely cured.

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The Allies certainly did not foresee that they should enter Paris, and in what character, till the moment arrived for their entry. They therefore had laid down no fixed rules for their conduct on that occasion; and it might be that they were uncertain whether to consider Buonaparte as sovereign, or not, till they found Paris willing to receive another ruler. This writer affirms that the voices of the Parisians, Vive Louis XVIII! first determined the mind of the Emperor Alexander.

But, to give somewhat of order to our extracts, we shall transcribe, for our readers' perusal, the character given by this writer of the Noblesse of France. We have no such body, or order, in our country, and very few Englishmen can form an idea of this description or rank of the community, as it really existed.

It is certain, the jealousy, and one may even say, the aversion which before the revolution, the bourgeois, or non-nobles, felt for the nobles, on account of their privileges, still remained, and every legal distinction founded on birth displeased the most honest of those, who could not parLake of it. The same vanity that is de lighted with distinctions of honours and titles, produces a love of equality in those who cannot obtain them; thus the vainest pation in the world is the same in which there is the greatest aversion for superiority of rank. The desire of pleasing, or which often supplied the place of it, the vanity of politeness, tempered in France, the effect of the vanity of rank, and making each man reflect that his neighbour might be as vain as himself, produced in private society a more seeming equality than in any other country in Europe. Every man received in good company was considered as the equal of all those who composed it, and no man from his rank alone, would have pretended to any marked distinction, The French nobles formed a kind of repubJic, but those who were not members of that republic had no right of citizenship. A bourgeois, unless very rich or remarkable for his talents, was not received in the first company, and that appellation was often taken in a contemptuous sense. It resulted

The noblesse or nobility in France, as in most of the continental states, formed a numerous order, of which each member transmitted his rights and privileges to all his descendants for ever. I have been told from the best authority, that at the beginning of the revolution, there were about sixteen thousand noble families in France, of which about one thousand were styled of quality, and were the descendants of noble families which existed during the time of the crusades, and which were supposed (though often without any foundation) to be coeval with the monarchy.

Such an Order would increase in number without any new recruits, but in France, where families of distinction, for several reasons, are much less numerous thandu this country, and where younger children seldom married, it had been for several centuries gradually diminishing, notwith standing the numerous new creations of nobility. There was no legal distinction between families of quality and other no ble families, but it had been introduced at the Duke of Duras, then first gentleman of court by Louis XV. at the suggestion of the bedchamber; and since that time, to be presented at court and ride in one of the court carriages, or to have one's wife presented, it was requisite to prove one's de scent from a family of quality. With a particular order, however, any gentleman these orders were not very common, and or lady might have been presented, but clared a plebeian origin, vanity had often instead of asking for a favour which des

* Legal proofs of a noble descent were necessary as far back as the year 1400, with some title affording a fair presump tion, that an ancestor of the family had been styled knight before that epoch, Of ficers in the army could go to court, but unless they made their proofs, they could not ride in the court carriages nor could their wives be presented. The members of the parliaments, even those few among them who were of quality, were not received at court, nor could their wives b presented,

recourse to the expediency of a false gene-
alogy. In short, that foolish regulation
introduced by the Duke of Duras, offended
as much the vanity of the nobles, who were
not of quality, as the privileges of the no-
bility in general displeased the bourgeois.

|lowed by law to buy the charge of coun
sellor or judge in a parliament, and he thus
became a noble; but in the greater num
mitted, or they were at least preferred,
ber of parliaments, nobles alone were ad
hereditary by the judges disposing of them
and in general those places had become
in favour of their sons.
bers of families of which the heads had
There were num-
been presidents or counsellors since the
time of Francis I. and these were called
considered, though not upon a footing with
families of the old robe, and were much
the families of quality,

If our readers would conceive of

It was, however, by no means difficult to become a noble. Many places ennobled, some immediately, others after twenty years possession, others the children of those who possessed them; and the greater part of them could be bought for a sum of money. There was, however, more or less consideration attached to the different ways in which nóbility was acquired: letters of nobility granted by the King as a reward for merit were regarded as the all the Lords of Manors in our island, most honourable; and the purchase of a sinecure charge of King's Secretary, which en-creased by all who from the respecta as constituting a body of noblesse, ennobled immediately, was thought the least bility of their places and pursuits, are so. But in whatever way nobility was ac-honestly intituled to the destination of quired, it was requisite to be the third de-esquire, they will be able to form some scendant of an ennobled or new noble, to notion of the mass which in France probe styled a gentleman, or entilhomme. could not but come into collision daily, claimed hereditary privileges. These and almost hourly, with men who felt their superiority in talent, influence, and real importance to the vicinage,

and to the state.

In the provinces where there were States General, it was necessary to be a gentle man to have a right of voting as a neble in those assemblies, and by an ill-judged ordonnance about twenty years before the revolution, except the sons of officers who had obtained the cross of St. Louis, none but those who proved themselves gentlemen were allowed to enter as officers in the French infantry. Though this ordonnance was by no means punctually executed, it served very much to fucrease the animosity that prevailed in the bulk of the nation against the nobility.

In assemblies of the nobility for sending deputies to the States General of the kingdom, the newest noble had the same right to vote, and to be elected, as the most aucient, but in the public opinion there was a great difference made between new and old nobility, and without any positive law it had become a custom to give the greater part of places of importance in the church and army, to men of ancient families. In the ministry, however where talents were absolutely necessary, men of very common families got often a seat, and they and their families were afterwards classed among the court nobility. As to the Parliaments, which were the supreme courts of justice, almost a.. the members of them were nobles, and they bought their places or charges at a very dear rate. merely the consideration attached to their It situation which engaged them to follow a laborious profession, and to go through the preliminary studies requisite for exercising it. Any person of a decent family was al

was

Noblesse emigrated, their lands were When a great proportion of the French seized and sold. sidered those who were interested in the We have always conpurchase of these lands, as forming the main obstacle to the King's settlement; lest they should be required to restoré luable information on this particular, their purchases. Our author gives va

Though all the holders of emigrant properthe original purchasers, that did not deservė ty were not Jacobins, there were very few of that epithet. made a very great difference between the church lands and those of the emigrants; The public opinion had and though the true royalists and men of very delicate principles would not have any thing to do even with the former; still many different people and even many who hated the revolution, had purchased them. The purchasers of the emigrant lands, on the contrary, were all violent revolutionary men, or at least were considered as men without honour, except those who bought them in order to give them back to the when almost all the emigrants were alowners. Many did so, twelve years ago, lowed to go back to France, except about Many others compromised with the emia hundred who remained with the King. grants, who, for a sum of money ratified the

lists of proscription drawn out by the members of the Committee of Public Safety, As a proof of his unfeeling sophisticated heart, I can assure you as a fact, that in a conversation with a gentleman of my acquaintance on the probable consequences of the King's death, which was then in agitation, he allowed it would occasion a general war, and cost perhaps the lives of

a

million of men; but what signifies, added he, a million of lives when it is necessary to estublish a new principle! When he voted against Buonaparte's assuming the title of Emperor, it was a matter of personal animosity, from his having been turned out of his place of minister of war ;'at the same time he was sure he ran no risk by so doing, for he knew Buonaparte wished for a few votes against him, to make it believed there was a perfect liberty of voting as one pleased.

sale of the property; and these, though they had made good bargains, were considered as lawful proprietors, and had nothing to fear. As to the common peasants, many of whom had a few acres of emigrant lands, they had generally bought them at second hand from those who had got their purchasers ratified, or they would have been at least easily disposed to euter into an agreement with the original proprietors. One may safely say, that all those who possessed considerable emigrant property without ratification, were at least men of no principles, if not political delinquents; they may then be classed with these, and deserve the name of Jacobius. By that denomination I mean men without honour 1 or virtue, who hate any government founded on such principles, whose only aim is fortune and power, and whose pretended love of liberty is nothing more than the desire of impunity for their vices. these jacobing, though they hated the king, were at bottom no friends of Buonaparte. They agreed with him in their love of vice, but they disliked his despotism, and regretted the power and licence they had enjoyed under the republic. Some of them were republicans, others, with more reflexjou, desired a king of their own creation, whom they might governg but they all preferred Buonaparte to a legitimate and virtucus sovereign.

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All

Not the least eminent chief of the Jacobin party is Carnot, a man into whose hands it seems likely that a considerable part of the governing power may fall; and therefore we add his portrait, as drawn in this work.

Carnot was among the number who plotted for the return of Buonaparte, and subscribed towards the sum necessary to bribe the army: these services: with others derived from the party, threw him into their arms on his return from Elba.

On his first arrival, he kissed over and over his good friends, Caruot and Fouché, and swore that, corrected by misfortune, he would henceforward conduct himself He would, not even allow the former to call him Sarthe French expression for addressing crowned heads), and with tears in his eyes, begged to be treated with the name of old courade!

solely by their counsels.

He felt that they had the power, while he had the name of Emperor. Whenever he quits it, they assume it.

From these extracts our readers will perceive that this pamphlet contains much information, and generally such as may be relied on.

Carnot emigrated in 1790, with D'Arcon, the celebrated engineer officer. It seems they thought themselves treated by the French Princes at Coblentz, in a manner not suitable to their merit, and returned to France from offended vanity. That motive threw them into the popular party, and Carnot, who became a member of the Convention, voted the King's death with a thorough conviction of his innocence, and without even any kind of hatred to him. His motives were the desire of committing the Convention by such an act so as to prevent it ever treating with the legitimate princes, and the hopes of obtain-animate the Royal Councils, yet the ing under a new government a place wor- danger of suffering from Scylla in enthy of the idea he had of his abilities.deavouring to avoid Charybdis was cer Being a cold impassionate man, he committed personally none of those excesses of which his colleagues were guilty, but he tolerated them all, and put his name with perfect indifference to those abominable

As to the Ministers chosen by the King, if he really had his free choice, — which may be doubted, surrounded as he was by partizans and intriguers, wè know not whether he could have done, better; and though it may be regretted that a greater share of vigour did not

tainly imminent. One of these Minis-
A precious
ters is thus delineated,
specimen of Ministerial vigilance, if
the fact be true?

The Abbé Montesquieu's negligence, benevolence and conduct, which shew was as great as his want of discernment. that Mr. W. did not confine his religion He spent a great part of his time in the to his closet, but called it into exercise company of ladies of wit, as if France had in the world, in a useful and conscien been as quiet as under Louis XV. and allowed his clerks, many of whom were attached to Buonaparte, to do bis business. He used to laugh at the idea that there was any danger to be apprehended from Buonaparte, and gave no credit to the best iuformation on that subject. I have been assured, as an undoubted fact, that a fort night previous to Buonaparte's landing at Cannes, he received several successive dispatches from M. de Bouthillier, prefect of the department of the Var (a part of vence), informing him that from the frequent departures and arrivals of suspected people to and from Elba, that there was certainly some plot carrying on, against which it was necessary to take every precaution. Instead of communicating these dispatches to the privy council, he had left them unopened, and first thought of reading them when he heard of Buonaparte's landing at Cannes.

An Enlarged Series of Extracts, from the Diary, Meditations, and Letters, of Mr. Joseph Williams, of Kidderminster, &c. By Benjamin Hanbury, a descendant of the Author. 8vo. pp. 536. price 14s. Taylor, London. 1815.

MR. Williams was an eminently pious man among the Dissenters, and his Diary, from which extracts, have been published, both in London, and Edinburgh, exhibits the secret workings of his mind. It was composed in short and, and by that he thought, no doubt, it was sufficiently under the seal of cresy but Mr. Hanbury having made the systems of short hand his study, universally, has succeeded in transcribing these memorandums.

Saturday, November 9, 17 15. Last Thursday night our accounts from the North wearing a threatening aspect, a proposal was made for raising an independent Pro-company of volunteers in the service of our king and country; and, public notice thereof being given yesterday, an association was signed last night by thirty meu, and to-day by twenty-five more, and four others offered themselves while I was finishing my letter to the Bishop of Wor cester. We have therein engaged, in case our army should be defeated, or even in case our coasts should be invaded by a foreign enemy, in entire subjection to the inartial laws, to join ourselves to any of the king's regiments of foot, and engage in any martial enterprize, till the said rebellion and invasion be entirely quelled.

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this association, not from slavish fear, or I humbly trust that I have engaged in distrust of the divine goodness or faithfulness, but as a lawful means, necessary, to be used in a time of danger, in entire dependance on the protection, direction, and blessing of Heaven: for, with what pro priety can I pray for that to be done for me, which I have in my power to do?— tion, to deliver me from invading enemies, How can I trust in God, without presump while I neglect to exert the powers he hath given me for my own deliverance! ・ When in the way of earnest, incessant prayer, and se-dependance on God, I have taken the wisest precautions, and used my best endeavours for my own defence, and all proves inadequate, then 1 have a sufficient warrant to trust him, for that which is out edifinitely above our ways, nor will he conof the power of man. His ways are indescend to do what can be done by a creature. When our blessed Lord would raisë dead Lazarus from the grave, he could as easily have commanded the stone, that lay upon it, to rise, as he could say Lazarus come forth but the strength of man was to remove it, therefore, he said to stone. Again, he could easily by the word them that stood by- Take ye away the of his power have loosed the hands and feet of Lazarus from the grave-clothes, and his face from the napkin, but all this, spe

tious manper,

Our first extract, shews him as a patriot, in the time of the Rebellion, 1745. He associates in defence of his King and Country.

The public received the former tions favourably; the present, as being more complete, and unquestionably authentic, will, no doubt, equally meet their approbation. The additions made by the editor are creditable to his research and information: they contribute essentially to the interest of the volume.equal

The principal part of these extracts are spiritual meditations, instances of a fervour of mind, not the lot of all men, But, they also disclose various acts of

tures could do: accordingly he said | acceptance with God. He wept sore, aud • Loose him, and let him go. Frequently freely owned to me many convictious he were the people of God, in Old Testament | had had, and resolutions he had. formed, times, invaded by their enemies; but they which had all come to nothing; and that were never delivered before they stood for to that day he had lived in the neglect ward in their own defence, though often- of prayer, but signified his conviction of times God interposed in their favour in a wonder-working way. We must trust in the help of God, to begin, ond constantly the necessity of it, and his resolution, by the Lord, and do good; aud commit keep up prayer in his family. I prayed our souls to him in well doing, as to a faith-with them, and took an opportunity of ful Creator.' speaking to his wife, who seems to be a truly pious woman, and endeavoured to convince her of the necessity for his paying all his just debts, if he would make in the blood of Christ. She seemed to his peace with God by repcutance and faith hearken to me. wards to my in, and promised to act He accompanied me afteragreeably to the advice I had given him, Since that I wrote to him to the same purpose. May the Lord set my addresses home to his heart.

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This was reasoning and acting like a man of sense the association consisted of about a hundred members, says the Editor, accoutred chiefly at Mr. W.'s expense. Such a man was a valuable member of society. But he was valua ble also on other accounts: his sense of true religious morality, led him to do what most men would shrink from, as appears from an instance which he has recorded.

Last October, at Bradford, Wilts, after 1ransacting business with a dissenter in that town, among other things which fel from him in conversation, he let me know, that he had ouce in his life failed, or broke. Presuming thence that he had paid his debts only by composition, I asked-Whether he had ever paid the surplus, or that which was due to his creditors over and above the composition ? He owned he had not. I therefore told him, with a degree of stern solemuity, that he must do it. I even asked him-How he would dare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, his just debts not being paid, and he being able to pay the whole? Many more things I said to the same purpose, and in the most solemu manner; for he appears to be in affluent circumstances. The same person told me also, that he intended to ride out in the country next day. I enquired-What necessity there was for his travelling, from home on the Lord's-day? Perceiving there was none, I laboured to dissuade him from his purpose, but could not find that my dissuasion availed any thing. I saw nothing of him at the two first meetings, but in the evening he came, and sat in the table-pew, where I also sat. He seemed fo be greatly affected under the sermon. was very glad to see how he melted under the word, and resolved to spend a part of the evening with him. went to his house, and speut about two Accordingly, hours with him in very free conversation and prayer. I spared not to set his sius in order before him, and to shew him the necessity of repentance and faith in the blood of Christ, ju order that he might obtain

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It should not be a few quaintnesses of expression-the manner of the timesthat should diminish our veneration for any man, who, in our own day, should "Go, and do likewise."

On the Slave Trade, and on the Sla

very of the Blacks and the Whites. By a Friend of Men of all Colours. TransJated from the French of M. Gregoire, formerly Bishop of Blois. 8vo, pp. 100. Conder, London. 1815,

himself as President of the Assembly of M. Gregoire formerly distinguished Amis des Noirs, and by being the first ecclesiastic who took the Constitutional Oath. He has since been among the Legislators of France, President of the Legislative Body, and a Member of the Conservative Senate. He is certainly a man of abilities; but his wisdom is not equal to his eloquence. He has mingled two subjects which common prudence would have kept perfectly distinct; and has almost ruined the effect of his arguments on one, by his illjudged speculations on the other,

needed emancipation, we should be the If it were true, that the Irish really true, that the term emancipation im first to promote that right; but, if it be plies no more than the struggle of a few political partizans for political power, then, to draw any comparison between the condition of these people, and that of

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