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crushes the enemies of the people, though he may be hurried by his zeal into some excesses, can never be a proper object of censure. The proceedings of Lebou may have been a little harsh as to form." One of the small irregularities thus gently censured was this: Lebon kept a wretched man a quarter of an hour un der the knife of the guillotine, in order to torment him, by reading to him, before he was despatched, a letter, the contents of which were supposed to be such as would aggravate even the bitterness of death. "But what," proceeded Barère, "is not permitted to the hatred of a republican against aristocracy? How many generous sentiments atone for what may perhaps seem acrimonious in the prosecution of public enemies? Revolutionary measures are always to be spoken of with respect. Liberty is a virgin whose veil it is not lawful to lift."

After this, it would be idle to dwell on facts which would indeed, of themselves, suffice to render a name infamous, but which make no perceptible addition to the great infamy of Barère. It would be idle, for example, to relate how he, a man of letters, a member of an Academy of Inscriptions, was foremost in that war against learning, art, and history which disgraced the Jacobin government; how he recommended a general conflagration of libraries; how he proclaimed that all records of events anterior to the Revolution ought to be destroyed; how he laid waste the Abbey of St. Denis, pulled down monuments consecrated by the veneration of ages, and scattered on the wind the dust of ancient kings. He was, in truth, seldom so well employed as when he turned for a moment from making war on the living to make war on the dead. Equally idle would it be to dilate on his sensu

excesses. That in Barère, as in the whole breed of Neros, Caligulas, and Domitians whom he resembled voluptuousness was mingled with cruelty; that he withdrew, twice in every decade, from the work of blood to the smiling gardens of Clichy, and there forgot public cares in the inadness of wine and in the arms of courtesans, has often been repeated. M. Hippolyte Carnot does not altogether deny the truth of these stories, but justly observes that Barère's dissipation was not carried to such a point as to interfere with his industry. Nothing can be more true. Barère was by no means so much addicted to debauchery as to neglect the work of murder. It was his boast that, even during his hours of recreation, he cut out work for the Revolutionary Tribunal. To those who expressed a fear that his exertions would hurt his health, he gaily answered that he was less busy than they thought. "The guillotine," he said, "does all; the guillotine governs." ." For ourselves, we are much more disposed to look indulgently on the pleasures which he allowed to himself than on the pain which he inflicted on his neighbours.

"Atque utinam his potius nugis tota illa dedisset
Tempora sævitiæ, claras quibus abstulit urbi
Illustresque animas, impune ac vindice nullo."

An immoderate appetite for sensual gratifications is undoubtedly a blemish on the fame of Henry the Fourth, of Lord Somers, of Mr. Fox. But the vices of honest men are the virtues of Barère.

And now Barère had become a really cruel man. It was from mere pusillanimity that he had perpetrated his first great crimes. But the whole history of our race proves that the taste for the misery of others is a tasto which minds not naturally ferocious may too easily

acquire, and which, when once acquired, is as strong as any of the propensities with which we are born. A very few months had sufficed to bring this man into a state of mind in which images of despair, wailing, and death had an exhilarating effect on him, and inspired him as wine and love inspire men of free and joyous

natures. The cart creaking under its daily freight of


victims, ancient men and lads, and fair young girls, the binding of the hands, the thrusting of the head out of the little national sash-window, the crash of the axe, the pool of blood beneath the scaffold, the heads rolling by scores in the panier these things were to him what Lalage and a cask of Falernian were to Horace, what Rosette and a bottle of iced champagne are to De Béranger. As soon as he began to speak of slaughter his heart seemed to be enlarged, and his fancy to become unusually fertile of conceits and gasconades. Robespierre, St. Just, and Billaud, whose barbarity was the effect of earnest and gloomy hatred, were, in his view, men who made a toil of a pleasure. Cruelty was no such melancholy business, to be gone about with an austere brow and a whining tone; it was a recreation, fitly accompanied by singing and laughing. In truth, Robespierre and Barère might be well compared to the two renowned hangmen of Louis the Eleventh. They were alike insensible of pity, alike bent on havock. But, while they murdered, one of them frowned and canted, the other grinned and joked. For our own part, we prefer Jean qui pleure to Jean qui rit.

In the midst of the funeral gloom which overhung Paris, a gaiety stranger and more ghastly than the horrors of the prison and the scaffold, distinguished the dwelling of Barère. Every morning a crowd of suitors assembled to implore his protection. He came forth

in his rich dressing-gown, went round the antechamber, dispensed smiles and promises among the obsequious crowd, addressed himself with peculiar animation to every handsome woman who appeared in the circle. and complimented her in the florid style of Gascony on the bloom of her cheeks and the lustre of her eyes. When he had enjoyed the fear and anxiety of his suppliants he dismissed them, and flung all their memorials unread into the fire. This was the best way, he conceived, to prevent arrears of business from accumulating. Here he was only an imitator. Cardinal Dubois had been in the habit of clearing his table of papers in the same way. Nor was this the only point in which we could point out a resemblance between the worst statesman of the monarchy and the worst statesman of the republic.

Of Barère's peculiar vein of pleasantry a notion may be formed froin an anecdote which one of his intimate


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associates, a juror of the revolutionary tribunal. has related. A courtesan who bore a conspicuous part in the orgies of Clichy implored Barère to use his power against a head-dress which did not suit her style of face, and which a rival beauty was trying to bring into fashion. One of the magistrates of the capital was summoned, and received the necessary orders. Aristocracy, Barère said, was again rearing its front. These new wigs were counter-revolutionary. He had reason to know that they were made out of the long fair hair of handsome aristocrats who had died by the national chopper. Every lady who adorned herself with the relics of criminals might justly be suspected of uncivism. This ridiculous lie imposed on the authorities of Paris. Female citizens were solemnly warned gainst the obnoxious ringlets, and were left to choose



between their head-dresses and their heads. Barère a delight at the success of this facetious fiction was quite extravagant: he could not tell the story without going into such convulsions of laughter as made his hearers hope that he was about to choke. There was something peculiarly tickling and exhilarating to his mind in this grotesque combination of the frivolous with the horrible, of false locks and curling-irons with spouting arteries and reeking hatchets.

But, though Barère succeeded in earning the honou able nicknames of the Witling of Terror, and the An creon of the guillotine, there was one place where it w4 long remembered to his disadvantage that he had, for a time, talked the language of humanity and mod eration. That place was the Jacobin Club. Eve after he had borne the chief part in the massacre of the Girondists, in the murder of the Queen, in the destruc tion of Lyons, he durst not show himself within that sacred precinct. At one meeting of the society a member complained that the committee to which the supreme direction of affairs was entrusted, after all the changes which had been made, still contained one man who was not trustworthy. Robespierre, whose influence over the Jacobins was boundless, undertook the defence of his colleague, owned there was some ground for what had been said, but spoke highly of Barère's industry and aptitude for business. This seasonable interposition silenced the accuser; but it was long before the neophyte could venture to appear at the club.

At length a masterpiece of wickedness, unique, we think, even among Barère's great achievements, obtained his full pardon even from that rigid conclave. The insupportable tyranny of the Committee of Public Safety had at length brought the minds of men, and

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