Imatges de pÓgina

tional domains, as annuities equal ei. state, were reduced, by the disconti. ther to one third of the revenues of nuance of their endowments, which the alienated property, valued as in they had bought with their blood in a 1790, or more simply by an annuiry thousand battles. France, he said, of two and a half per cent. on the va- would require only to expend three lue of the lands. The limitation of millions of livres more to acquit herthe claim to one-third of its original self of this sacred debt. extent, was to put the emigrants on a Marshal Macdonald might have se. footing with other creditors of France, veral motives for uniting in the same to whom she had only paid that com- proposal, the indemnities of the veteposition on their full claims.

ran soldiers with those of the emigrant The great and obvious difficulty in nobles. He might think it became his the existing state of France, was, to rank in the army, to shew that, in refind funds for paying these annuitjes, commending the claims of the emior indemnities, which he computed grants to consideration, he had not might amount to twelve millions of forgot those of his unfortunate bre. livres, (or L.500,000 sterling) yearly. threnin arms; or perhaps, that treating This difficulty Marshal Macdonald both parties as it their claims were on left unsolved, and contented liimself a parity, might have some effect in exwith referring generally to the sum of tinguishing their natural hatred and thirty millions, (being a third part of jealousy of each other. But this union the produce of the duties, on register- of two subjects, not very naturally ing sales of land) as the assured pledge connected, in the same motion, gave of the indemnities. This was a branch rise to a singular misconception, or raof revenue, he observed, which was on ther wilful misrepresentation, in the the eve of being ruined by the discre. Journal de Paris. The Marshal's dit cast upon property of this nature; speech, as reported in that paper, was whereas by satisfying the claim of the made to conclude “ with a declaration emigrants, and putting them to rest in the name of the French armies, that for ever, security would be restored to in order to give the emigrants deprivthe actual proprietors, sales and trans- ed of property a mark of cons deration ferences would multiply more than and interest, The armies had resolved to ever, and the income arising from the form a fund of twelve millions out of registration of these transactions would their pay from generals down to the sol be not only preserved to the state, diers.” but greatly increased. There there- As nothing could be more improbafore was a tund for defraying the ex- ble than that the army should volun. pence of the proposed plan, which, tarily assess themselves, to form a fund without some such measures were car- for the subsistence of the despoiled ried into effect, would soon cease to emigrants, a class of men with whom of make part of the income of the state. all others they had the least sympathy,

The Marshal concluded with adverto so nothing could be calculated to make ing to the pensions of the military, a worse impression on the ininds and which, having been charged upon tempers of the soldiers, than the idea funds payable from conquered coun- that such a measure was proposed to tries which had now been regained be carried into execution at iheir extrom France, had not been paid since pence. Governmeni endeavoured to the Russian campaign. He drew a repair the mischief, by an exertion of picture of the misery to which the arbitrary authority, and suppressed the veteran soldiers, pensioners of the publication of the offending journal. The punishment was not undeserved, for publishing falsehood, or for pro. for it seems impossible that a misre- mulgating truths, which the governpresentation so gross, and so hazardous ment did not desire should be made in its consequences, could flow from known. And as the greater part of any thing but premeditated malice. mankind are disposed to believe the But if, as would have been the case very worst of their rulers, the false rein England, the printer had been calle port spread by the Journal de Paris ed to account for breach of privilege, obtained some creclit from the very and his defence heard, the malicious means used to suppress it. Thus does report would have experienced a com- arbitrary power often ever-shoot its plete refutation in the public discussion own object of aim. which must have taken place. As it was To conclude this chapter with the managed in France, the arbitrary sup. same metaphor which commenced it, pression of the paper became the prin- the throne of France was situated on cipal feature in the case, and served the crest of a volcano, firm indeed only to show that free discussion, on in outward appearance, but with torthe part of the French press, was at an rents of lava boiling beneath, and end, leaving the public uncertain whe- deceitful ashes for its sole foundation. ther the journal had been suppressed

[ocr errors]


Leaders of the Jacobins.-Carnot_His HistoryHis Memorial against the Bourbons.-Fouché-His Share in the Massacres of the Revolution-His Conduct on the King's Restoration.— Intrigues and Misrepresentations of the Disaffected under these Leaders.---Warlike Preparations in France. National Dislike to the English.Duke of Wellington's Residence in Paris. -Policy of Talleyrand at the Congress. He endeavours to direct the Resentment of the Allies against Bernadotte

- Against Murat.- Arrest of Lord Oxford, and Seizure of his Papers.---Affair of General Excelman. His Petition to the Chamber of DeputiesThat of General Grissoles.-Exselman is tried by a Court Martial, and acquitted.--Insubordination of the Arms.-Life of Napoleon at Elba.--His Conversations with his Visi. tors.--His Character begins to be more favourably considered.--Arts of his Emissaries to fix the public Mind of France upon him.-His Correspondence with Murat-With France.-Females engaged in the Plot.Organization of the Conspiracy.--Imperfect State of the Parisian Police.-Correspondence with Elba maintained through the Royal Post-Office.-Every thing is prepared for the bursting forth of the Conspiracy.

AMONG the intriguers by whose ma

Carnot was the associate and col. chinations the Bourbon dynasty was league of Robespierre during the whole endangered, two leaders of the jacobin of that monster's reign. His admirers party were chiefly remarkable. Both pretend, that charging himself only were distinguished by audacity, acti- with the conduct of the foreign war, vity, and talents, as well as by an ex- he left to his brethren of the committee perimental knowledge of the revolu- of public safety the sole charge of tionary springs, and of the complicated those measures, for which no human movements on which their efficiency language affords epithets of sufficient depends; but Carnot was esteemed a horror, through which they originally staunch unyielding republican; Fouché, rose to power, and by which they a statesman capable of temporizing and maintained it. According to these accommodating his service to the party fond advocates, their hero, held his which was uppermost. In the various course through the reign of terror unand fitting scenes of the French Re. sullied by a bloody spot, as Arethusa volution, each had played important rolled her waters through the ocean parts; and as we are not among those without mingling with its waves ! who think a politician can change his and the faith of most readers will nature, as a stage-player does his swallow the ancient miracle as easily as clothes with every new character in the modern. That Carnot voted for the which he is called upon to appear, we murder of one of the most well meanwill briefly recal to the mind of our ing and guiltless monarchs that ever readers what these parts were. reigned, will by his favourers be con



sidered rather as matter of praise ; was soon evident that Carnot had apand we have heard him lauded, be- prehensions for freedom during the cause, after the fall of Robespierre, mild and even feeble government of which he aided to accomplish so soon Louis XVIII., which had never stiras he saw that the fate of Danton im- red him into action under that of pended over his own head, he had ex. Buonaparte, under whom he lived a erted himself with the successful par. peaceful, if a reluctant subject. To ty to prevent re-action, a cant expres- ulcerate the wounds of the state, to sion, which, in that case, meant to se. inflame the giddy and headlong pascure from condign punishment some sions of the factious, which might of the most blood-thir-ty wretches otherwise have become gradually less who ever polluted the tace of a land. violent, was a work worthy of the colCarpot was condemned to transporta- league of Robespierre, who, if his tion on the ephemeral supremacy ob- secret motives might be guessed, tained by the Directory on the revo- would have submitted to any species lution of the 18th Fructidor, and re- of government in preference to bestored by that of the 18th Brumaire. holding on the throne of France a He was then created minister of war, family whom he had most cruelly and tribune; and let us not refuse wronged, and under whose governhim the praise, that when he percei- ment decency forbade him to hope ved the ambitious views of Buonapar- for more than safety and protection. te, he resigned his offices, inscribed It is thus that, in the commencement his vote ag-inst the Corsican's being of civil commotion, men take up arms created consul for life, and against his for principles, but seldom have long subsequent assumption of the imperi- stood in opposition to each other, ere al dignity, and retired to a voluntary private interests and personal preju. exile at a time when Napoleon would dices are substituted for the public have doubtless been glad to purchase reasons of quarrel, and partizans turn his acknowledged talents at no low their back without hesitation on the rate. From this period he led the life cause they have espoused, that they of a privale citizen until the campaign may still point their swords against the of 1814, when, not without an insult throats of those whom they consider which the times_rendered perfectly as their personal antagonists. safe, he off-red Buonaparte his ser- The name of Carnot, and his high vices for the defence of Antwerp, the talents, weil shewn in the manageevents of which we have mentioned in ment of the wars of the republic, comour last volume. He gave in his adhe- bined with the character he had aco sion late and reluctantly to the Bour. quired for independence by deserting bon dynasty,* and was restored to, or Bu naparte in his rising, and adhering confirmed in, the rank of inspector-ge- to him in his talling state, gave great neral of the engineers.

weight to the opinions he expressed He who declares his solemn sub- upon the state of public affairs under mission to a form of government, the Bourbons. They were embodied more especially who accepts rank of in a Memorial made public in the ару

kind from its favour, must, in ho- month of December, 1814, in which nour and good taith, be co.'sidered as every fault committed by the restored binding himself at least to absrain family is exaggerated; and they, with from conspiring its downfall; but it the nobles, their personal adherents,


. See Moniteur, 16th April, 1814:

No one

are, under a thin and contemptuous The doctrine of regicide is said to veil of assumed respect towards the be confirmed in the Old Testament ; king, treated alike as fools, who did families were massacred,-monarchs not understand how to govern France, proscribed,-intolerance promulgated and as villains who meditated her ruin. by the ministers of a merciful Deity: The murder of the king is, with irony Wherefore, then, should not the jacoas envenomed as unjust, stated to have bins put Louis XVI. to death?" If it been occasioned, not by the violence was alleged, that the persons of kings and cruelty of his persecutors, but by were inviolable by the laws of all cithe pusillanimity of his nobility, who vil governments, those of usurpers first provoked the resentment of the certainly were not so protected ; and nation and then fled from the king. what means were there, says Carnot, dom, when, if they had loved their so- for positively distinguishing between vereign, they should have rallied an usurper and a legitimate king? The around him. This plea, in the mouth difficulty of making such a distinction of a regicide, is as if one of a band of was, no doubt, a sufficient vindication robbers should inpute an assassination of the judges of Louis XVI. not to their own guilty violence, but like this had scarce been written since to the cowardice of the domestics of the club-room of jacobins was closed. the murdered, by whom that violence But the object of Carnot's pamphlet might have been resisted.

was not to excuse a deed which he also knew better than Carnot by what would probably have boasted as lauda. arts Louis XVI. was induced by de. ble, but by the exaggerations of his grees to abandon all means of defence eloquence, and the weight of his inwhich his situation afforded him, and fluence with the public, to animate to throw himself upon the sworn faith the fury of the other parties against and allegiance of those by whom he the Bourbons and their adherents. was condemned to death. As whim- The king was charged with having sical and unlogical were the examples been ungrateful to the call of the naand arguments he referred to in sup- tion, a call which assuredly he would port of the condemnation of Louis. never have heard but for the cannon Cicero, it seems, says in his Offices, of the allies--with having termed him" We hate all those we fear, and we selt king by the grace of God, with wish for the death of those we hate.” resigning Belgium when Carnot was On this comprehensive ground, Car- actually governor of Antwerp,— with not vindicates the orator's approbation preferring Chouans, Vendeans, emiof the death of Cæsar, notwithstand- grants, Cossacks, or Englishmen, to ing the clemency of the usurper; and the soldiers whose victories had kept Cato, indeed, (continues the collea- him in exile, and in consequence of gue of Robespierre) went farther, and whose defeat alone he had regained did not think it possible there should the throne of his fathers. The emi. be a good king. Of course, not Louis grants are represented as an exaspeXVI alone, but all monarchs may be rated, yet a contemptible faction. The justly put to death, in Monsieur Car. people, it is said, care little about the not's estimation, because they are na- right of their rulers,--about their turally the objects of fear to their sub. quarrels,--their private life, or even jects, and because we hate those we their political crimes, unless as they fear, and because, according to the affect themselves. All government, of kindred authority of Shylock, no man coursc, has its basis in popular opi. hates the thing he would not kill. nion; but, alas ! in actual history," the

« AnteriorContinua »