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The Reign of George III. - (Continued.) page 6


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The butcheries were not terminated till late at night; but the shouts of victory had, so early as eleven o'clock in the morning, informed the assembly that the people were masters of the Tuileries. Numbers of the insurrectionists had appeared at the assembly from time to time, crying, "Vive la Nation! " and the members replied with the same cry. A deputation appeared from the Hôtel de Ville, demanding that a decree of dethronement should be immediately passed, and the assembly so far complied as to pass a decree, drawn up by that very Vergniaud who had assured the king that the assembly was prepared to stand to the death for the defence of the constituted authorities, suspending the royal authority; appointing a governor for the dauphin; stopping the payment of the civil list; but agreeing to a certain allowance to the royal family during the suspension, and appointing the Luxembourg for their residence. A crowd of people brought in several boxes of papers which they had seized at the Tuileries, and the assembly, having no proper place for their safe keeping, ordered them to be deposited at the Hôtel de Ville. They also ordered Petion to be set at liberty, for he had, much to his own satisfaction, been kept out of the way during the attack on the palace, so that he could not be held responsible for the riot. Another party of blood-stained patriots appeared, and announced that they had set the Tuileries on fire, and would not allow it to be extinguished till the dethronement was decreed. Vergniaud assured them that the assembly had already decreed the suspension of the king, and would take all proper measures; and this in some degree pacifying the insurgents, the assembly deputed one of their body to go and take measures in putting out the fire: they then appointed a commission of the most determined jacobins to proceed to the army to inform it of what had been done, and invested them with authority to remove generals and officers, both military and civil; to place them under arrest, if they thought proper; and to appoint new ones. If the Girondists had not had their eye3 opened before this to the real position of the jacobins, this must have done it. Yet the Girondists had sufficient influence to get three of their number - Roland, Clavières, and Servan - appointed ministers in the place of the king's ministers, who were displaced along with their master.

The unhappy Louis and his family had all this time, fourteen mortal hours, been witnesses of all this, of the king's actual deposition, of the dismissal of his ministers, and of deputations of sans culottes coming from time to time to declare that they had set fire to his house, and to tell the assembly the palpable falsehood that the Swiss had been the cause of it all; that they had fired out of the windows on the peaceable people, as Charles IX. had fired out of those same windows on the night of the massacre of St. Bartholomew. While doomed to listen to these terrible details, the unfortunate family were, all these hours, cooped up in the reporters' box, only six feet square and eight feet high, the white walls of which reflected the rays of the sun, and rendered the place like an oven. The king, all the time, kept his eyes fixed on the assembly, whose proceedings were enough to rivet his attention, and took no refreshment except a peach and a glass of water. The queen would fain have persuaded herself that coming to the assembly was not a false step. When they heard the thunder of the cannon at the Tuileries, she said to M. d'Hervilly, " Well, were we not right to come hither? " The count replied, " I wish with all my heart that your majesty may think so six months' hence." The dauphin, happily, dropped asleep in his mother's arms; the princess royal and madame Elizabeth sate on each side of the queen, with eyes streaming with tears.

At length, at half-past three in the morning, the assembly adjourned till daylight; and the wretched royal family were conducted to four small rooms prepared for them in the Feuillans. They were all at once become one of the poorest families in France; all their c10thes and effects had been carried off or destroyed by the mob; they had not even a change of linen or night-dresses. The next morning the queen sent for madame Campan, who went to her instantly. " In the first of the four small cells," says this faithful woman, " we found the gentleman who attended the king; in the second, the king himself. He was having his hair dressed, and took two locks of it, and gave one to my sister and one to me. In the third was the queen in bed, and in an indescribable state of affliction. We found her attended only by a bulky woman, who seemed tolerably civil; she waited upon the queen, who, as yet, had none of her own people about her. I asked her majesty what the ambassadors of foreign powers had done under existing circumstances. She told me that they could do nothing, but that the lady of the English ambassador had just given her a proof of the private interest she took in her welfare by sending her linen for her son." In fact, Lady Sutherland, the wife of the English ambassador at Paris, showed the most devoted attentions to the royal family.

As soon as the queen saw madame Campan she opened her arms to embrace her; but loud bursts of despair followed the first affectionate movement. She exclaimed, " We are lost! all lost! This is where they have been leading us these three years. We shall fall in this horrible revolution; many others will perish after us! All parties have contributed to our ruin; the innovators like madmen, others out of ambition, for the most frantic of the jacobins only wanted gold and place, and the mob are now looking for pillage. There is not a true patriot in all that infamous horde! As for the emigrants, they have, their intrigues and selfish projects, and foreign nations are only wishing to profit by the dissensions of France. All, all have contributed to our calamities! "

The little dauphin, then, was brought in by madame de Tourzel, and Marie Antoinette, at the sight of him, as if instinctively seeing beforehand all his calamities, broke out into fresh emotions of grief and despair. She lamented the impression which the king's appetite, which no troubles seemed to affect, must have on all beholders; for he continued to eat and drink as heartily as if nothing had occurred. She said others did not know, as she did, the real piety and greatness there was in his resignation, but there was no doing anything with his robust appetite.

In the morning, when the assembly met, the king and his family were again conducted to the close, hot box of the reporters. This was a refinement of cruelty which none but Frenchmen would have dreamed of: thus to drag their unhappy royal victims, women and children as well as the king, to listen to all the violent abuse of monarchy, and of Louis and his queen, that the most ferocious jacobins could utter. This was continued for three days, when the Luxembourg palace being reported full of cellars and subterranean vaults, and difficult of defence, the Temple, a miserable, dilapidated old abbey, was substituted, and the royal family were conveyed thither.

The triumph of the mob had consummated the triumph of jacobinism. The republic was in reality established, but not to the benefit of the Girondists. The ruin of royalty, for which they had so zealously laboured, was, in reality, their own ruin. The jacobins, and at their head the sanguinary Robespierre, were left without a rival, except in that mob by which they worked, and which was destined to destroy them too. Robespierre, as in all cases of danger, had been nowhere visible during the eventful 10th of August, but no sooner was the mischief accomplished than he was again abroad, and actively directing the popular movements. Monarchy was destroyed; the king and his family were caged and dragged about, as wild beasts in a travelling menagerie, as a public spectacle. The assembly, which had sworn to protect, degraded and humiliated the last of the long line of French kings to the utmost. As for the royal residence, that stood a wild wreck. It had been polluted by the most obscene deeds and language; its furniture dashed to pieces, and the building set on fire. The rabble had penetrated into the most private apartments of the queen, and indulged in the most vulgar ribaldry, as they dragged forth her linen and dresses. They broke open every lock, and ransacked the most private drawers, seizing every valuable article of ornament or taste, and then finished by setting the rooms on fire. The flames extended to the buildings around. The streets were scattered, far and wide, with wrecks of splendid furniture and dead bodies.

The executive authorities were an equal ruin, and only two authorities were left in Paris - that of the commune and the assembly; and the commune soon convinced the assembly that it was itself a mere shadow. We have seen that, on the 10th of August, the deputies of the sections had assembled at the Hôtel de Ville, and expelled the regular magistrates, and taken their places. They exhibited an energy which would have been admirable had it been legitimate, and properly employed; they suspended the staff of the national guards, withdrew Mandat by a ruse, killed him, and left the palace defenceless; they placed their creature, Santerre, at the head of ail the national guards of Paris; they suspended the directory of the department which, from its eminent position, had hitherto controlled the popular will; they suppressed the general council of the municipality, took its place, even deposed Petion for a time, and restored him only in name; they retained only Manuel, the procureur syndic, as wholly devoted to them, and sixteen of the most jacobinised municipal administrators. Ail this had taken place whilst the people were storming the palace. Danton had been at their head, and, when the grape-shot of the Swiss had repulsed the people, he had gone forth, saying, " Our brethren call for aid; let us go and give it them! " He it was who had led the way to victory. They removed the busts of Louis XVI., of Bailly, and La Fayette from their council-chamber. These were ail the. signs of a new révolution; and its dominance was soon made manifest to the assembly.

Danton appeared before the assembly on the morning of the 10th, at the head of a deputation of the commune, to state what had been done, and said plainly, "The people who send us to you have charged- us to declare that they think you worthy of their confidence, but that they recognise no other judge of the extraordinary measures to which necessity has forced them to recur than the French nation - our sovereign and yours - convoked in primary assemblies." This was announcing without disguise that the clubs were the supreme authorities. The assembly felt its weakness, and professed to approve of everything. It was now that the new minister were chosen; Roland, as minister of the interior; Servan, war minister; and Clavières as minister of finance. But to these were added Danton as minister of justice, Mongé as minister of the marine, and Le Brun as minister of foreign affairs. They were to receive instructions, not from Louis, but from the assembly. Marat - that execrable wretch and coward - had come forth from his hiding-place, like Robespierre, now that the danger was over and the clubs in the ascendant, and was parading Paria with a drawn sword, at the head of the Marseillais; whilst Robespierre was alternately haranguing at the jacobins and at the Hôtel de Ville - being now one of the self-appointed council there - urging the supersedence of the assembly, and the immediate impeachment of La Fayette - an object which never for a moment slept in his vengeful soul.

And now came into full light the mortal antagonism of the assembly and the clubs, and the real ascendancy of the latter. The assembly voted for the education of the dauphin; the clubs called for the utter removal of royalty. The assembly recommended an active campaign against foreign powers, but mercy to the vanquished; the clubs called for instant and universal vengeance on ail supporters of royalty, which, they said, had intended to massacre the people and bring in the Prussians. They declared that there was no need of electoral bodies to form a new assembly, but that every man, and some said every woman, was entitled to vote; and they insisted that the people ought to come in arms to manifest their wishes to the legislative body. This was plainly-avowed mob rule. Marat argued loudly for this, and for purging France, as he called it, by cutting off every man, woman, and child that were not far mob rule; and Robespierre called loudly for the removal of the assembly as effete, and for the summoning of a convention.

Ail the necessary measures were introduced at the jacobins, carried to the commune, and thence forced on the assembly. The commune took the whole of the police into its hands, and the assembly, now utterly prostrate, conceded this also. The justices of peace were removed as doubtful or lukewarm persons, and the officers of the police took their places. They appointed what they called " A Committee of General Safety," which was, in fact, a committee of espionage and denunciation. The whole council of the commune received these denunciations, and a committee of surveillance examined them; and the national guards, also at the absolute command of the commune, supported the proceedings of the police. Finally, the royal family were consigned to the care of the commune; and thus possessed of absolute power, it began to address the most bold and insolent language to the assembly. The assembly, seeing this all-engrossing power in the hands of the commune, ordered the re-election of a new departmental council, the old one having been dissolved on the day of the insurrection; but Manuel was dispatched to the assembly from the Hôtel de Ville to say that the delegates of the Citizens of Paris had need of unlimited powers. A new authority between them and the assembly would serve to sow the seeds of dissension; that the people, in order to relieve themselves from ail powers destructive to their sovereignty, must once more arm themselves with their vengeance.

No language could be more bluntly expressive of the fact that all delegated authority had ceased, and that the mass of the French people, treading on all the principles of representative government, meant to rule en masse themselves. What would be the result of such government it required little sagacity to foresee. Having thus arrived at a clear view of the state of things in France - for the same rule of the clubs through the municipalities was made known throughout the country - we may return to the proceedings of the assembly. At the same time, let it be remembered that the king and his family were all the time witnesses of the whole proceedings.

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Pictures for The Reign of George III. - (Continued.) page 6

Camille Desmoulins
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Paris
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