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long-temps, quand on l'avoit une fois aperçu : son immense chevelure le distinguoit entre tous : on en dit que sa force en dépendoit comme celle de Samson ; son visage empruntoit de l'expression de sa laideur même, et toute sa personne donnoit l'idée d'une puissance irrégulière, mais enfin d'une puissance telle qu'on se la représenteroit dans un tribun de peuple.

* Aucun nom propre, excepté le sien, n'étoit encore célèbre dans les six cents députés du tiers; mais il y avoit beaucoup d'hommes honorables, et beaucoup d'hommes à craindre.' I. 185, 186.

The first day of their meeting, the de; 'uties of course insisted that the whole three orders should sit and vote together; and the majority of the nobles and clergy of course resisted :

-And this went on for nearly two months, in the face of the mob of Paris and the people of France-before the King and his Council could make up their own minds on the matter. The inner cabinet, in which the Queen and the Privces had the chief sway, had now taken the alarm, and was for resisting the pretensions of the Third Estate ; while M. Necker, and the ostensible ministers, were for compromising with them, while their power was not yet disclosed by experience, nor their pretensions raised by victory. The Ultras relied on the army, and were for dismissing the Legislature as soon as they had granted a few taxes. M. Necker plainly told the King, that he did not think that the army could be relied on; and that he ought to make up his mind to reign hereafter under a constitution like that of England. There were fierce disputes, and endless consultations; and at length, within three weeks after the States were opened, and before the Commons had gained any decided advantage, M. Necker obtained the full assent both of the King and Queen to a Declaration, in which it was to be announced to the States, that they should sit and vote as one body in all questions of taxation, and in two chambers only in all other questions. This arrangement, Mad. de S. assures us, would have satisfied the Commons at the time, and invested the throne with the great strength of popularity. But, after a full and deliberate consent had been given by both their Majesties, the party about the Queen found means to put off from day to day the publication of the important instrument; and a whole month was unpardonably wasted in idle discussions; during which, nearly one half of the Nobles and Clergy had joined the deputies of the Commons, and taken the name of the National Assembly. Their popularity and confidence had been dangerously increased, in the mean time, by their orators and pamphleteers; and the Court had become the object of suspicion and discontent, both by the rumour of the approach of its armies to the capital, and by what Mad. de S. calls the accidental exclusion of the deputies from their ordinary place of meeting--which gave occasion to the celebrated and theatrical oath of the Tennis-court. After all, Mad. de S. says, much might have been regained or saved, by issuing M. Necker's declaration. But the very night before it was to be delivered, the council was aljourned, in consequence of a billet from the Qucen ;-two new councillors and two prir ces of the blood were called to take part in the deliberations; and it was suddenly determined, that the King should announce it as his pleasure, that the Three Estates should meet and vote in their three separate chambers, as they had done in 1614 !

M. Necker, full of fear and sorrow, refused to go to the meeting at which the King was to make this important communication. It was made, however and received with murmurs of deep displeasure; and, when the Chancellor ordered the deputies to withdraw to their separate chamber, they answered, that they were the National Assembly, and would stay where they were! The whole visible population seconded this resolution, with indications of a terrible and irresistible violence: Perse verance, it was immediately seen, would have led to the most dreadful consequences; and the same night the Queen entreated M. Necker to take the management of the State upon himself, and solemnly engaged to follow no councils but his. The minister complied;-and immediately the obnoxious order was recalled, and a royal mandate was issued to the Nobles and the Clergy, to join the deliberations of the Tiers état.

If these reconciling measures had been sincerely followed out, the country and the monarchy might perhaps have been saved. But the party of the Ultras- qui parloit avec beaucoup de dé• dain de l'autorité du roi d'Angleterre, et vouloit faire consi« dérer comme un attentat, la pensée de réduire un roi de France • au misérable sort du monarque Britannique'--this misguided party—had still too much weight in the royal councils; and, while they took advantage of the calm produced by M. Necker's measures and popularity, did not cease secretly to hasten the march of M. de Broglie with his German reginients upon Paris —with the design, scarcely dissembled, of employing them to overawe and disperse the assembly. Considering from whom her information is derived, we can scarcely refuse our implicit belief to the following important statement, which has never yet been made on equal authority.

• M. Necker n'ignoroit pas le véritable objet pour lequel on faisoit avancer les troupes, bien qu'on voulût le lui cacher. L'intention de la cour étoit de réunir à Compiègne tous les membres des trois ordres qui n'avoient point favorisé le système des innovations, et là de leur faire consentir à la hâte les impôts et les emprunts dont elle avoit besoin, afin de les renvoyer ensuite. Comme un tel projet ne pouvoit être secondé par M. Necker, on se proposoit de le renvoyer dès que la force militaire seroit rassemblée. Cinquante avis par jour l'infor: moient de sa situation, et il ne lui étoit pas possible d'en douter ; mais il savoit aussi que, dans les circonstances où l'on se trouvoit alors, il ne pouvoit quitter sa place sans confirmer les bruits qui se répandoient sur les mesures violentes que l'on préparoit à la cour. Le roi s'étant résolu à ces mesures, M. Necker ne voulut pas y prendre part, mais il ne vouloit pas non plus donner le signal de s'y opposer; et il restoit là comme une sentinelle qu'on laissoit encore à son poste, pour tromper les attaquans sur la manœuvre.' I. 231-233.

He continued, accordingly, to go every day to the palace, where he was received with cold civility; and at last, when the troops were all assembled, he received an order in the middle of the night, commanding him instantly to quit France, and to let no one know of his departure. This was on the night of the 11th of July ;—and as soon as his dismissal was known, all Paris rose in insurrection-an army of 100,000 men was arrayed in a night-and, on the 14th, the Bastille was demolished, and the King brought as a prisoner to the Hotel de Ville, to express his approbation of all that had been done. M. Necker, who had got as far as Brussels, was instantly recalled. Upwards of two millions of men took up arms in the country--and it was manifest that a great revolution was already consummated.

There is next a series of lively and masterly sketches of the different parties in the Constituent Assembly, and their various leaders. Of these, the most remarkable, by far, was Mirabeau, who appeared in opposition to Necker, like the evil spirit of the Revolution contending with its better angel. Mad. de S. says of him, that he was · Tribun par calcul et Aristocrat par goût. There never, perhaps, was an instance of so much talent being accompanied and neutralized by so much profligacy. Of all the daring spirits that appeared on that troubled scene, no one, during his life, ever dared to encounter him ; and yet, such was his want of principle, that no one party, and no one individual, trusted him with their secrets. His fearlessness, promptitude and energy, Overbore all competition; and his ambition seemed to be, to show how the making or the marring of all things depended upon his good pleasure. Mad. de S. confirms what has often been said of his occasional difficulty in extempore speaking, and of his habitually employing his friends to write his speeches and letters; but, after his death, she says none of them could ever produce for themselves any thing equal to what they used to catch from his inspiration. In debate, he was artful when worsted, and merciless when successful. What he said of the

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Abbé Maury, was true of all his opponents— Quand il a rai'son, nous disputons; quand il a tort, je l’écrase.

Opposed to this, and finely contrasted with it, is the character of M. de la Fayette—the purest, the most temperate, and therefore the most inflexible friend of rational liberty in France. Considering the times in which he has lived, and the treatment he has met with, it is a proud thing for a nation to be able to name one of its public characters, to whom this high testimony can be borne, without risk of contradiction. • Depuis le départ • de M. de la Fayette pour l'Amérique, il y a quarante ans, on

ne peut citer ni une action, ni une parole de lui qui n'ait été s dans la même ligne, sans qu'aucun intérêt personnel se soit • jamais mêlé à sa conduite. The Abbé Sieyes seems to us a little like our Bentham. · At all events, this little sketch of him is worth preserving.

· Il avoit mené jusqu'à quarante ans une vie solitaire, réfléchissant sur les questions politiques, et portant une grande force d'abstraction dans cette étude; mais il étoit peu fait pour communiquer avec les autres hommes, tant il s'irritoit aisément de leurs travers, ei tant il les blessoit par les siens. Toutefois, comme il avoit un esprit supérieur et des façons de s'exprimer laconiques et tranchantes, c'étoit la mode dans l'assemblée de lui montrer un respect presque superstitieux. Mirabeau ne demandoit pas mieux que d'accorder au silence de l'Abbé Sieyes le pas sur sa propre éloquence, car ce genre de rivalité n'est pas redoutable. On croyoit à Sieyes, à cet homme mystérieux, des secrets sur les constitutions, dont on espéroit toujours des effets étonnans quand il les révéleroit. Quelques jeunes gens, et même des esprits d'une grande force, professoient la plus haute admiration pour lui ; et l'on s'accordoit à le louer aux dépens de tout autre, parce qu'il ne se faisoit jamais juger en entier dans aucune circonstance. Ce qu'on savoit avec certitude, c'est qu'il détestoit les distinctions nobiliaires ; et cependant il avoit conservé de son état de prêtre un attachement au clergé, qui se manifesta le plus clairement du monde lors de la suppression des dîmes. Ils veulent être libres et ne savent pas être justes, disoit-il à cette occasion ; et toutes les fautes de l'assemblée étoient renfermées dans ces paroles.' I. 305–6.

The most remarkable party, perhaps, in the Assembly was that of the Aristocrates, consisting chiefly of the Nobles and Clergy, and about thirty of the Commons. In the situation in which they were placed, one would have expected a good deal of anxiety, bitterness or enthusiasm, from them. But, in France, things affect people differently. Nothing can be more characteristic than the following powerful sketch. Ce parti, qui avoit pro' testé contre toutes les resolutions de l'assemblée, n'y assistoit * que par prudence; tout ce qu'on y faisoit lui paroissoit inso·lent, mais très-peu sérieur ! tant il trouror ridicul cette dé• couverte du dix-huiteme siecle, une ration,—tandis qu'en n'avect eu jusqu'alors que des n'bles, des prêtres, et du peuple !' (I. p. 298. They had the r counterpart, however, on the opp ste s.de. The speculative, refiring, and philanthropic reforters, were prei isely a match for them. There is infinite ta ent, truth and putti's, in the followin; tasty cbservations.

• Ils gagnèrent de l'ascendant dans l'assemblée, en se moquant des modéres, comme si la modération etoit de la foiblesse, et qu'eux seus fussent de caract:res forts ; on les voyoit, dans les salles et sur les bancs des depults, tourner en ridicule quiconque s'avisoit de leur représenter qu'avant eux les honnits voient existé en societé, que les ecrivains avoient pensé, et que l'Ing. -terre étoit en possession de quelque liberté. On eût dit qu'on leur r- petoit les contes de leur nourrict, tant is coutoient avec in jateret, tant ils prononçoient av c deda-n de certaines phrases bien engerées et bien décisives, sur l'imposs.baité d'admettre un senat hereditaire, un sénat même à vie, un veto absviu, une condition de propriuté, enfin tout ce qui, disoient-ils, attentoit à la souveraineté du peuple! Ils portoient la fatuité de cours dans la cause démocratique, et plusieurs députés du tiers étoient, tout a la fois, éblouis par leurs belles manières de gentilshomm's, et captivés par leurs doctrines démocratiques.

• Ces chefs élégans du parti populaire vouloient entrer dans le ministere. Ils souhaitoient de conduire les affaires jusqu'au point où l'on auroit besoin d'eux; mais, dans cette rapide descente, le char ne s'arr ta point à leurs relais ; ils n'étoient point conspirateurs, mais ils se confioient trop en leur pouvoir sur l'assemblée, et se flattoient de relever le trône des qu'ils l'auroient fait arriver jusqu'à leur portée; mais, quand ils voulurent de bonne foi réparer le mal déjà fait, il n'étoit plus temps. On ne sauroit compter combien de d 'sastres auroient pu être épargnés à la France, si ce parti de jeunes gens se fut réuni avec les modérés : car, avant les événemens du 6 Octobre, lorsque le roi n'avoit point eté enlevé de Versailles, et que l'armée Françoise, repandue dans les provinces, conservoit encore quelque respcct pour le trône, les circonstances étoient telles qu'on pouvoit établir une monarchie raisonnable en France.' I. 30-305.

It is a curions proof of the vivaciousness of vulgar prejudices, that Mad. de S. should have thought it necessary, in 1816, to refute, in a separate chapter, the popular opinion that the disorders in France in 1790 and 1791 were fomented by the hired agents of England.

There is a long and very interesting account of the outrages and horrors of the 5th of October 1789, and of the tumultuous conveyance of the captive monarch from Versailles to Paris, by a murderous and infuriated mob. Mad. de S. was a spectatress of the whole scene in the interior of the palace; and though there is not much that is new in her account, we cannot resist

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