Imatges de pàgina

field; for the independence and in- tishness, and their cruelty, our retegrity of their conduct in public spect for their wife and illustrious de. offices; for the virtue and morality fcendents will not be increaled ; turn: of their behaviour in private life, as ing from the arrogant and disgusting for the eminence of their rank, the page, to contemplate with addition{plendour of their titles, the magni. al admiration the rigid justice, the tude and value of their poffeffions, virtuous conduct, the determined va. and the plenitude of their authority. lour, the vigorous exertions, and the

When we trace the long line of an- nohle services of patriot individuals, cestors, which the grandees of the neither distinguished by the pride of world exultingly «xhibit, we will find heraldry nor by the pomp of ower, the number of the vicious far exceed. we will be induced to exclaim in the ing that of the virtuous; and while energetic words of the poet : we view with detestation and horror

'A wit's a feather, and a Chief a rod, the black and accumulated catalogue an honest man’s the noblest work of God.' of their vanity, their lust, their fot




accurate and various knowledge principal persons of the place, who that ever came from his country, that treated him as a malode imaginaire. of Scotland. Whatever he knew he On his death bed, however, he conknew perfectly, and he secms to have fessed he had been guilty of a murknown every thing with a most dif. der." cerning spirit. He was a great scho. He fufpected hypochondriacism to Jar, an excellent natural and moral be sometimes owing to the operation philosopher, a profound mathematic of an active mind in a situation to cian, a mechanic, and a very accurate which it was not congenial. observer of life. His modesty would Dr Small faid once to a conceited never permit him to publish any and wrong-headed practitioner, who thing; and to a friend of his, an in- had been spilling oceans of human genious man, who has published since blood, and who gravely remarked to his death, he used to say, “ Stay till him, that he had good reason to you are forty before you publish, and think, that in these degenerate times I am sure then that you never will.! the conftitutions of men in general He had a high opinion of the power would not bear blood- letting so well of medicine when properly applied, as they used to do, " My good friend, and used to wonder at the small doses the only difference is, that you know of medicine given by the London rather more of your profession now practitioners to their patients. than you did formerly.”

Of the false appreciation we are He was displeased with Sauvages too apt to make of the happiness of for claffing Morofitates amongst dicothers, he used to give the following eases. He said they were better curaccount: He said, "there was a gen. ed with a horsewhip than by meditleman of apparent good health, of cines. good fortune, and of agreeable man- He thought him however right ners, who came to settle in a town in attributing occasionally the causes where he resided. The gentleman of hypochondriacism to too much was continually unealy, and com; felf-love, too much indulgence, and plaining of his health and spirits, for an effeminate education.



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AMIDST the excesses of the re- the patrimonial fortune had been dis

volutionary government, it may fipated, it was intended to ged rid of, have been difficult to appreciate the by placing him in the church. This great men who appeared fucceffively he objected to, as not suiting his dilon the political stage. The panegy. pofition, and, at the age of nineteen, ricks of interested individuals, the left the paternal mansion, and went denunciations of personal enemies, to Nantes, with a view of failing to the clamouts of disappointed faction, the Indies. the arts and intrigues of party,--all

The weak state of his lungs, actend to throw a cloud around the companied with a spitting of blood, judgment, and render even the purest prevented the execution of this procharacter equivocal.

ject; he therefore repaired to Rou. The days of terrour and delusion en, where his relation M. Godinot, are, however, now past; the pro- an inspector of manufactures, proposfcriptions of the modern Syllas and ed to him to follow this branch of Mariuses are at an end ; Robeípierre, adininiftraiion.— He complied with Marat, and St Just, have been pu- the invitation, and foon diftinguithnished; and, alas! Roland himself cd himbelf by his industry, activity, is no more!

and, above all, by his disinterested. At the representation of one of nefs. In comfequence of his extra

the tragedies of Æschylus, the A. ordinary merits, he was employed by | thenian people, affembled in the pub- government, and received an appoint

lic theatre, on the repetition of a sen- ment, which, if not commensurate fence in commendation of moral good- with his merits, at least supplied all ness, inftantly fixed their eyes on the his wants, and satisfied his ambition. fun of Lyfimachus. Perhaps pof- His chief delight was in fludy; he terity, while peruling the history of became a man of letters in his youth, the present times, may burft out into and was a philosopher, not only in commendations at the nanie of the theory but in practice, modern Aristides.

Refiding at Amiens, 1775, in his Roland, knows before the revolu- official capacity, he happened to vition by the designation of M. Roland fit at the house of a Madame Cannet, de la Platière, was a native of the froin whom he heard a great deal aSouth of France, having been born bout a very extraordinary young Paat ke Chs la Platière, four leagues rifian, called Mademoiselle Phlipon, from Villefranche, in 1732. His fa- the daughter of a respectable artist, mily, which was ancient, poffefled a whole picture he at the same time fief, and, having attained confiderable saw and admired. As he repaired eminence in the law, was considered every winter to the capital, he reas appertaining to what was then quested a letter of introduction to termed Noblesse de la robe *.

the lady of whom he had heard fo He was the younger of five bro. much, and received one f from the thers, and as a confiderable part of hands of Sophia Canoet, who had

lived This circumstance was recurred to, as a reproach againt Roland, by the Moua. tain party, when they wished to render him unpopular. It was also considered as a crime, that letters of nobility had been folicited for him in 1784. † “ Cette lettre te fera iemile," m'écrivoit ma bonne amie, “ par

le philosophe, dont je t'ai fait quelquefois mention, M. Roland de la Platière, homme

éclairé Ed. Mag. Feb. 1799.


lived fur some time in the same con- tune should happen to him in the vent, and carried on a regular cor- course of his journey. Such a conrespondence with her.

fpicuous mark of eiteam appears to On bis arrival in Paris, he pro- have affected her greatly, and perceeded to her father's house, and haps laid the foundation of that refound her in mourning for the death gard which afterwards produced a of a beloved mother. Her afflictions ciosor union, had tinted her lovely countenance During his absence, one of his with a soft and tender melancholy, brothers, a benedictine prior of the which proved highly interefting to college of Clugny, at Paris, a man of her philosophical visitor, who, not- talents, gentle manners, and amiable withitanding his admiration of the character, often called on Mademoiancients, was captivated at the fight felie Phlipon, with news concerning of a handsomne, m dern French wo- her lover, and he read to her his obmaa, of twenty ne years of age. fervations on the men, manners, and He himself at this period appeared manufactures of the countries through to be rather more than forty, tall in which he passed; these were afterperfon, negligent in his attitudes, wards published. and with that kind of ruft about him, On his return, M. Roland repeat. which usually accompanies studious ed his visits, and an intimate friend. men. His manners, however, were ship was soon established between at once fimple and easy, and without them : but when, at the end of five possessing the elegance of high life, years, he prefied her to marriage, the he seemed to ally the politeness of a young lady at first declined entering man of birth with the gravity of a into that llate, from the most gener. philosopher.

ous motives : 1:e imagined the union Although very thin, of a yellow might not be altogether agreeable to complexion, and with a forehead al. his family, and the knew that it could ready beginning to appear hald, yet not be advantageous, for although his features were regular : but in his bred up in the expectation of a large mistress' opinion he seemed rather re- dowery, an income of five hundred fpectable thao feducing. In discourse, livres a ycar, and her wardrobe, at his countenance evinced a subtle kind this moment conttiiuted her sole forof smile, and he became extremely tune. animated when he argued on any


Her father, who was perhaps afraid ject. His voice was masculine, his of being questioned by a fon-in-law, periods were furt, and his conversa- concerning the properly which he tion full of matter, for his head was had dislipat d, refused his confent replete with ideas.

to the union, after that of his daughAt that period he had just return- ter had been obtained. In couteed from the tour of Germany; in quence of this, the retired 10 a con1776, he made preparations for visit. vent, and M. Roland, affected, on ing Italy, and as he bad by this time his return to town, at seeing her apconceived a great regard for his new pear at the grate, infilted on her imacquaintance, he deposited all his mediately becoming his wife, and afmanuscripts in her hand, which were ter obtaining his fuit, loved her more to be at her disposal, if any misfore and more, in proportion as he be


éclairé, de meurs pures, á qui l'on ne peut reprocher que sa grande admiration pour des anciens aux dépens des moriernes qu'il déprise, et le foible de trop aimer

parler de lui.”Ce portrait est moins qu'une ébauche; mais le trait le trouvoir jufte et bien fa fi.

Appel à l'impartiale postérité, par la citoyenne Roland.

came better acquainted with her ma. fome time near Villefranche, in the ny inestimable qualities.

house where M. Roland was bord, The first year of their union was along with his mother and his eldest spent in Paris, whether Roland had brother, who was a canon. Some been called by the Intendants of domestick chrgrins seem to have renCommerce, who wished to make new dered their stay here rather disagree. regulations respecting manufactures ; able, for Madaine la Platière was illregulations which he combated, in natured, and her eldest son affected a opposition to his own private interest, superiority over the youngest, which but with all his might, because found- was intolerable to a man of a bold, ed on narrow notions, and hostile to original, and independent mind. Two those principies of general liberty, of the winter months were constant. which he wished to introduce. ly spent at Lyone, then considered

During his residence in the capi- as one of the first cities of the kingtal, he caused fome papers which he dom, and the resort of all the prohad drawn up for the academy to be vincial nobility: printed, and he prepared his manu. In 1784, they visited England, fcripts relative to Italy.

and in 1987 made the tour of GerMadame Roland, on this occasion, many. corrected the proof sheets, and made On the death of Madame la Pla. out fair copies of his intended pub. tiere, they resided chiefly at the falication, relative to the South of Eu- mily manfion, called Le Clos la Plarope. She at the same time went tière, situated in the parish of Théthrough a course of natural history, zée. The foil does not appear ferapplied herself to the study of bota- tile, but it produces excellent wine, ny; and as the health of her hus- and is the last region of the vineyards

cate, did not scru- on this side of the high mountains of ple to superintend the management Beaujolois. of the table, or even to prepare such In this retreat, Roland pursued his dishes with her own hand, as were literary labours in an uninterrupted likely to agree with his delicate fto. succession, while his amiable confort mach.

entered into all the details of rural The next four years were spent at economy. The neighbouring peaAmiens, where she became a mother* fantry in her found a friend, during and a nurse, without ceasing to par. the hour of distress, and she became ticipate in the literary labours of her the physician of the adjacent couahusband, who was entrutted with a try. considerable part of the New Ency- In 1789, the fnatched her hulclopedia. This happy couple never band from the ravages of a horrible quitted their itudy, but in order to malady ; fat up fix days and nights visit the neighbouring country ; dur. without either sleeping or changing ing those solitary rambles, Madame her clothes, and nurled him with un. Roland made an herbal of the plants common tenderness during a convaof Picardy, and a taste for aquatick lescence of fix months. botany, produced a little work on At length the period of the revothat fubjectt.

lution arrived, and this respectable In 1784, they removed to the ge- family, abandoning domestic ease, nerality of Lyons, and refided for prepared both to act and suffer in the


band was very

M 2

* She never had but one child-a lovely daughter, whom she herself suckled, and who survives her. † L'Art du Tourbier.

cause of freedom. The friends of and had drawn 'up the cahiers of the humanity, the adorers of liberty, they city of Lyons, on the convocation fondly hoped that the epoch of me of the States General, at the express liorating the condition of the human recommendation of the society of a. race was arrived ; and that the mi- griculture. series of the lower orders in France, After faithfully discharging the at which they had so often wept, various functioos of his new appointwas about to be done away. In this ment, he returned to his native pro. disposition of mind, they considered vince, and soon after learned that the the convocation of the ftates.gencral office of inspector was abolished. Thiras a happy augury, and hailed that ty-eight years of constant and assigreat event with transport.

duons service entitled him to some Happening to be ai Lyons about provision, and it was with a view to this time, the opinions of Roland obtain this, that he returned to the converted many of his formér friendo capital in December 1791; but he into bitter enemies. Habituated to foon found that the situation of pubthe felfish calculations of commerce, lic affairs-was such, that particular they could not conceive how it was interests must give way, and he acpossible to provoke and applaud those cordingly seems from that moment to changes, by which the inferiour classes have abandoned


idea of an in. were alone likely to profit !

demnification. The patriots of that city, on the It was at that period he formed other hand, were rejoiced to behold an acquaintance with Brissot : this a man of family, worth, and fortune, circumftance contributed greatly to attached to their interests, and on the decide his future destiny. By him first formation of a municipality he he was introduced to the Jacobin was elected one of the officers. In chih, then an assemblage of the most this ftation he foon diftinguished enlightened patriots of the age ; but himself by his talents, and itill more he never afcended the tribune. Soon by his inflexible integrity. These after his admiffion he was nominated inestimable qualities occafioned him a member of the committee of corto be employed in an important mif: respondence, and as he was afiited fion to the constituent assembly. Dif. by his wife, his industry was conficuffions concerning commerce at that dered as exemplary, period occupied the attention of the Several deputies of the affembly legislature, and it was necessary that were accustomed to meet in a large the second city in the empire, one apartment in the Place Vendôme, and too, so famous for its population, opu. Roland, whose knowledge and intelence, and manufactures, should have grity were now generally known, was a skilful agent in the capital to watch invited to repair thicher ; but the over its interests. The immense debts distance was so great from the quarwith which it was burthened was ter in which he lived, that he went also another consideration of no small but seldom. The few times he apconfequence.

peared there encreased, however, the Roland was accordingly fixed upon, good opinion before conceived of and he repaired with his family to him, and led to his immediate ad. Paris, where he spent a whole year, vancernent. and foon formed connexions that Public affairs, at this period, afraised him to the highest dignities of fumed a cloudy aspect, and much the state. His character was already jealousy had been excited by the established; he was a member of all suspicious conduct of the court. The the academies of the South of France, administration was composed of men


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