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Paris, became closely connected with men professing the principles of toleration Brissot, Robespierre, Buzot, and others, can, under the influence of political excitewho then formed the nucleus of the dem- ment, give the lie to their faith, and sink ocratic faction. After the dissolution of into abettors of persecution. But it was the Assembly, he went back to a small evident, that the King's refusal to sanction country estate near Lyons ; but stimulated the decree, could do no good: as the by the patriotic fervor of his wife, and quick-sighted Dumouriez wisely observed, his own unsatisfied ambition, he soon re “It was better by assenting to the law to turned to the capital in search of political subject the priests to legal penalties, than preferment, and for a brief period became by refusing assent, to deliver them over to Minister of the Interior.
It was not, however, the first Not the least interesting part of M. De time that the unhappy Louis had sacrificed Lamartine's work is that which he has policy to conscience. The second point of given to the memory of the celebrated difference was one on which the King could Madame Roland. She was a woman of not yield without violating the best feelings great abilities, and possessed many virtues ; of his nature : he was required to affix his yet the severe pen of the historian has name to a bloody enactment, specially recorded one anecdote which must tend to aimed at the members of his family, and diminish the sympathy which otherwise at friends whose only crime was fidelity would be felt for the fate of one so able, to him. The wisdom of his opposition to courageous, and unfortunate.
When, on the war is more questionable: the Revothe 20th of June, Marie Antoinette was lution struck at the principle of monarchy; subjected to the insults of the populace, it was evident that sooner or later, the Madame Roland, on hearing the story, joy- princes of Europe would combine to repress fully exclaimed: “How her pride must the growth of opinions so fatal to themhave suffered! How I wish I had seen her selves; to suppose it possible, that any in the hour of humiliation !” Cruel words, diplomacy could either prevent altogether, --that must have recurred to her memory, or even modify the nature of their interwhen she was herself carried to execution, ference, was a blunder, and to act upon amid the coarse execrations and filthy re that supposition, was virtually to justify vilings of the scum of Paris.
the suspicions of bad faith which the King's It was at the house of Roland, that the enemies had so busily disseminated. And plot was first formed against King and yet, had the decree been signed as soon constitution. Brissot and Robespierre-as presented, would not other causes of the Gironde and the Mountain—here met quarrel have been found? Let the reader for the same treasonable purpose. Three of M. De Lamartine's volumes pass in subjects of disagreement existed between review the circumstances of the time, and Louis and the Assembly: the first was then ask himself, if the ill-fated monarch the law respecting non-juring priests; the could have taken any course that would second, the enactments against emigration not have led to the same result? Like and the emigrants; and the third, the the lamb of the fable, at whatever point of policy of going to war with Austria and the stream he drank, he must have been Prussia. In obedience to the dictates of accused of troubling its waters. conscience, and in conformity to the advice The limits of this review will not permit of his ministers, the King had opposed his us to dwell on the events which immediveto to both decrees. With respect to the ately preceded the fatal 10th of August. first, he was morally right, and politically The angry debates and insolent denunciawrong. The non-juring priests were men tions of the Assembly; the insubordination whom ill-considered laws had placed in a of the army, encouraged by the clubs; the cruel position ;-compelled to choose be- violence of mobs, set on foot by the Gitween the sacrifice of duty, either as citi- rondists and the Mountain ; the massacres zens, or as ministers of the holy Catholic at Brest and Avignon, forerunners of the faith, they preferred disobedience to apos bloodshed at Paris ; the rising of the 20th tacy, aud became martyrs. The debates of June, when the royal palace was invaof the Assembly on this question, as rela- ded by a mob, led by the butcher Legendre, ted by M. De Lamartine, show how easily and the brewer Santerre; the noble inter
ference of Lafayette, proving only personal | acter to mar their usefulness: they lived courage and political weakness, -all these in a world of their own imagining, and symptoms and effects of anarchy, are ad were blind to the exigencies of the real mirably related by the historian, who, world around them. They wished to try, whatever may be his own prejudices and on a large scale, the value of theories of predilections, has concealed no fact that government borrowed from antiquity, and can assist the reader in forming a right applicable only to petty states. Their judgment.
chief error was, in not adopting the existThe insurrection of the 10th of August, ing constitution, and endeavoring to cure which involved in one common ruin the its defects by wise and sober legislation. King and constitution, was the work of the Every exercise of the King's prerogative Girondists, who, notwithstanding causes was met by these misguided men, as if it of jealousy had already arisen between the were an outrage on public liberty. Their two factions, were, on this occasion, strongly decree against non-juring priests produced supported by the Mountain.
With the civil war; their enactments against the exception of Barbaroux, whose personal emigrants led to further emigration; they exertions had secured the co-operation of sought war with Europe, and, as if to several hundred vagabonds from Marseilles incapacitate the nation for the conflict, and the southern provinces, the most labored at the same moment to disorganize open and active agents in moving the mob the army; and at last, when the royal of Paris, were Danton, Des Moulins, and authority had been humbled and trampled Fréron. But when thus lending themselves upon, they had recourse to an insurrection to the overthrow of the throne in obedi- of the people, to overturn the government ence to the babblers of the Assembly, and consign its acknowledged head to the these chiefs of the Mountain well knew, prison and the scaffold. Such was their that the fruits of the crime would be gath- conduct when assailing royalty, or what ered by themselves. Like wolves, the two they were pleased to term tyranny. What factions had hunted the deer together, and was it when acting on the defensive ? then fought over the bleeding carcase. when called upon to resist a party more
Strange as it may seem, it was at this thoroughly imbued than themselves with last hour of the monarchy, that the chance the levelling principle, and which had was offered to Louis, of annihilating his grown up in their shadow ? Forgetting enemies at a blow, and securing the tri- that they had risen through an insurrecumph of the constitution. Notwithstand- tion, they did not suspect that they might ing the defection of the National Guards, fall by one. The weapon which they the Swiss troops were victorious in the had used with such effect against Louis, first onset; they swept their enemies from lay at their feet, and, without a struggle, the Carrousal with a strong hand, and we they permitted another hand to grasp it. have the authority of an eye-witness whose The time of action was lost in idle debate. judgment, in such matters, never deceived They trusted to the inviolability of public him, for the belief, that had the soldiers character, when they had themselves viobeen led by a man of energy and capacity, lated it in the person of their King. In the cause of royalty would have been suc- short, notwithstanding their acknowledged cessful. At a future day, and under cir- abilities, every step taken by the Gironcumstances somewhat similar, Napoleon dists, from first to last, bore the stamp of (for it is to him that we allude) proved that fatuity which goes before destruction. with what ease a few determined soldiers, M. De Lamartine has given an interesting under good guidance, can deal with a account of their last night upon earth. It ferocious mob, who, though strong in was spent in philosophic discussions, almost numbers, lack the superiority that courage as imaginative as their political speculations. and discipline can give.
We know not whether the speech on the Though acknowledging the many claims immortality of the soul, attributed to Verof the Girondists to distinction, history will gniaud, was his or not ;-no reporter could not hide the fact, that political sagacity have been present, and the memory of the was not among the number. The very priest who was permitted to console their qualities they possessed were of a char- last moments, could scarcely have carried
away more than its substance. We re ger would prevail against the men of princimember a pleasing volume entitled, " The ple." Last Supper of the Girondists," written by Nodier. It was avowedly a work of the Making due allowance for the personal imagination in its details, but claimed to feelings of Louvet, there is but little doubt be founded in truth. What is true in it, that his story is true in the main : at the was probably derived from the same sources decisive moment, his friends lacked decisthat have served M. De Lamartine, as there ion. As for the chief of the “men of the is a similarity between the two accounts. dagger,” or to speak more correctly, the We shall close this brief notice of the men of the axe,'
but little. Girondists by offering to our readers the There appears to us (though M. De Lafollowing extract from a work little known, martine thinks differently) very little myswritten by one of that party, who, escaping tery about the character of Robespierre. from Paris at the time of their downfall, At the outset of his career, he was a had the good fortune to remain undiscov- philanthropist, and like most philanthroered till the Reign of Terror had past. pists, hid no small portion of selfishness We allude to Louvet, whose position ena under his general love of humanity. It is bled him to see and lament the want of singular that both he and Marat wrote foresight and political courage of his friends. against capital punishment. That he had When the Convention was organized, the some ability is certain, from the influence Girondists were the strongest; the designs he exercised on all whom he approached. of Robespierre and the Mountain were The man who gives rise to strong emosufficiently developed, nor had the popu- tions in others, whether of hatred or friendlarity of the former reached a height to ship, cannot have been an ordinary man; set punishment at defiance. A little energy but that he had genius, or even exalted at that time, would probably have changed talents, we see no evidence. He seems to the whole current of future events. have possessed moral courage, and to
have known the value of perseverance, and " The Convention," says Louvet," began its to this tenacity of purpose may be attribreign on the 21st of September, and the next uted his success. day, Robespierre and Marat preached insur
We are not aware that the historian has rection against it in the club; a few weeks adduced in his work any new facts of great after, the first named dared to complain publicly of what he called the calumnies which importance, but he has certainly presented had been circulated respecting him, and to ask men and things in a new light. Whatwho was his accuser? Instantly, I sprung ever may be thought of the accuracy of into the tribune; the accusation which I brought his views either of public affairs or of priagainst him produced a strong sensation ; more vate character, they are at least offered in than fifty deputies rose to bear witness to the
a way to command attention. Perhaps reality of the crimes I had denounced, the least the present age is too near to that which the scaffold. If Pétion, who had not then lost witnessed the monstrous spectacle of a his great influence,-if Pétion, whom I
nation in a state of anarchy, to judge
appealed to by name, had spoken one quarter of calmly of the men who were successively what he knew, a decree would have been borne to the surface by the agitation of obtained on the spot against Robespierre and the political waters.
Yet it seems to us his accomplice. But Pétion, Guadet, Ver- evident, that not one of these heroes of a gniaud, never answered my appeal, and another (Brissot) was weak enough to blame me in day was striving for a great principle. his journal for having brought the accusation. The love of power was the besetting sin of Nevertheless, Robespierre was so astounded, all—the love of the people, a mere mask that he requested eight days to prepare his de- to hide their egotism. That this was the fence. At the time appointed, the tribunes were case with the Girondists is a fact recogfilled by his friends, as early as nine o'clock. nized by M. 'De Lamartine, who seems, as The dictator spoke two hours, but did not refute he proceeded in his labors, to have become a single charge. My reply would have crushed , less and less disposed to look upon them him, yet the Girondists united with the Mouna favorably, and at last, to have even doubted tain in preventing me from speaking, fatal mista ke struck me to the heart; from this the sincerity of their attachment to the moment, I felt assured that the men of the dag- goddess with the cap
pierre and his faction seem, however, to Of Danton, his accomplice and victim, it have grown on his esteem, because they is scarcely necessary to speak. His whole sung with more emphasis the national song character may be read in the butcheries of Ca Ira. We have been somewhat at a of September. He had more energy than loss to account for the strong disposition his fellow-laborer, or rather he had less manifested of late years by French histo- hypocrisy, and in that respect, came rians, to excuse the crimes and enormities nearer to humanity. As for the pack who of the men who governed France under howled in their train—the Couthons, the the Convention. Is it the result of a sen St. Justs, the Heberts, the Chaumettes, the timent of justice, rising out of a firm con- Henriots, whose very names are pollution viction, that the Sans Culottes have been to the lips that breathe them,—they were aggrieved? Or does national vanity re- but the willing tools of power, who in their quire, that the men who once ruled France subserviency followed the bent of their should not go down to posterity as mere base nature. In Spain, and under Philip robbers and cut-throats, whose power had II., they would have been mutes of the no better foundation than the dread and Inquisition ;-in their own day and genhorror they inspired? Why is Robespierre, eration, they were purveyors of the guilat this late day, tricked out in a “tawdry lotine. suit of qualifications which nature never The French Revolution, when restricted intended him to wear ?" Why are courage, in its operations to the remedying of abuses, eloquence, and political sagacity liberally was both just and necessary; but was it allowed to him ? Can his new-found ad- necessary, that it should be stained with mirers point to one great public measure so much guilt, or attended by so much misof his devising,—to one speech of merit ery ? That beneficial effects have followed which has out-lived the time,—to one act it in spite of its beheadings, and noyades of generous forbearance, or manly auda- and fúllibades, is true ; and let thanks be city ? That he was honest in his private given to an all-wise Providence which has dealings is possible, and that he was per so ordered the course of human events, severing in purpose is certain,--as certain, that even good may grow out of evil. as that he was cold, calculating, and cruel.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF HERMAN BLENNERHASSETT,
AND MRS. MARGARET BLENNERHASSETT.*
HERMAN BLENNERHASSETT, Esq., was a future home, where he could utter his sendescendant of a noble family of Ireland, timents and enjoy the benefits of freedom in the county of Cork. He was born in undisturbed by spies or informers. Hampshire, England, in the year 1767, Before sailing for America, he visited while his parents were there on a visit. London, and purchased a large library of
The family residence was Castle Conway, classical and scientific books, with a phiin the county of Kerry, to which they losophical apparatus, embracing various shortly after returned. He was educated branches, and arrived in New York in with great care; and when a boy, attend- 1797. By the aid of his letters, wealth, ed the Westminster school, celebrated for and his own personal and literary merit, its classical excellence, completing his he became acquainted with some of the studies at Trinity College, Dublin, whose first families in the city. Among others honors he shared in company with his of his newly acquired friends, was Mr. relative, the celebrated T. A. Emmett. Joseph S. Lewis, a rich merchant of PhilaThey read law together at the King's Inn delphia, who became his business agent, Courts, Dublin ; were admitted to the bar and for many years his firm friend. Mr. on the same day, in the year 1790 ; and Blennerhassett named his youngest son Jobetween them existed ever after the warm- seph Lewis, in token of his regard for that est friendship. Having spent some time gentleman, who was finally a considerable travelling in France and the Netherlands, loser by this connection, and after Mr. Blenhe returned and practiced at the bar innerhassett's failure, and the destruction of Ireland. Expecting, however, to fall heir his house and property, became the owner to a large estate in a few years, he made of the Island. His stay in New York was but little effort to excel in the law-rather of only a few months' continuance ; when, cultivating his taste for the sciences, music, hearing of the rich valleys and beautiful and general literature. At the death of country on the Ohio river, he crossed the his father in 1796, he became possessed mountains, and after spending a few weeks of a handsome fortune ; but on account of in Pittsburgh, took passage for Marietta the troubles in Ireland, in which he be in the fall of the year 1797. Here he came politically involved, he sold the estate passed the winter, examining the vicinity to his cousin, Lord Ventry, and went to of that place for a spot on which to make England, where he soon after married his permanent residence. He finally deMiss Agnew, daughter of the Lieutenant-cided on purchasing a plantation on an Governor of the Isle of Man, and grand- | island in the Ohio river, fourteen miles daughter of General Agnew, who fell at below the mouth of the Muskingum, and the battle of Germantown. Lord King- within the jurisdiction of the State of Virsale, and Admiral De Courcey of the navy, ginia. The situation was wild, romanboth married sisters of Mr. Blennerhas- tic, and beautiful ; and as it was chiefly in sett. The latter expressing rather freely his a state of nature, a few acres only being republican principles in opposition to his cleared, he could reclaim it from the forest, relations, finally concluded to visit the adorn and cultivate it to his own taste. United States, and make that country his | Its location also gave him the privilege of
* From a volume of Biographical Sketches of the First Settlers of Ohio, by S. P. HILDREDE, M.D., of Marietta, written for the Cincinnati Historical Society:
| See American Review, 1845. Article by Mr. Wallace.