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Reign of George III. (Continued.) page 3

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This was a broad indication of the French seizing, under pretence of propagating liberty, on what had been called natural boundaries of France in the time of Louis XIV. namely, the Rhine and the Alps, thus including Belgium, part of Holland, Nice, and Savoy. They dispatched emissaries to Victor Amadeus, the king of Sardinia, offering to do what Napoleon III., too, also lately offered to do to drive the Austrians out of Italy, and give Italy to the Italians. As they had, however, previously sent numbers of their jacobin propagandists to inoculate his people with republicanism, the king refused their offers, and forbade general Semonville to enter the country. On this, the convention proclaimed war against him, and ordered Montesquieu to invade Nice and Savoy. "With an army of fifteen thousand men and twenty pieces of artillery, Montesquieu entered Savoy, and the few Savoyard troops being unable to compete with him, the people, moreover, being already prepared by French republicans, he overrun the country, entered Chambery in triumph, and occupied the province to the foot of Mont Cenis. Another army, under Anselve, entered Nice, occupied Nice and Villafranca with little resistance. Arms and ammunition fell into their hands in abundance. To complete their operations, admiral Truguet appeared on the sea-board with a fleet of eleven ships of the line, and other vessels, carrying two thousand land troops. He assisted in the reduction of Mont Albano, and, finding some resistance on the part of the inhabitants of the small port of Oneglia, lie bombarded the town and massacred the people. Truguet then proceeded to Genoa, and afterwards to Naples, where he compelled the weak Bourbon king, by a cannonade, to recognise the republic. He then hastened to Toulon, being apprehensive of being intercepted in these bravadoes, contrary to all the laws of nations at nominal peace with each other, by a British fleet. Elated by the successes of these campaigns, the French convention passed a decree, declaring that it would grant succour and fraternity to all peoples desirous of recovering their liberty; it ordered all its generals to give such aid to all citizens who were, or might be, harshly treated on account of their desire for liberty; and that the generals should post this decree in all public places to which they should carry the arms of the republic.

On the 21st of September the convention met in the Tuileries. Amongst the members for Paris were Robespierre, Marat, Dan ton, Desmoulins, a younger brother of Robespierre, Augustine, Collot d'Herbois, David, Fabre d'Eglantine, Manuel, Panis, Sergent, and nearly all the leading jacobins. In fact, the jacobins of both town and country were returned almost to a man, and most of the Girondists. The first act of the convention was to send to the legislative assembly the notification of its formation, and that the existence of that body was, as a matter of course, at an end. They then marched in a body to the Salle de Manege, and took possession of it. It was, in the case of most of the members, but returning to their old seats. But there were a considerable number of the members of the first assembly who now reappeared, as Marat, Robespierre, abbé Sieyes, &c. Thomas Paine appeared for the department of the Pas de Calais, and Dr. Priestley was elected for the department of L'Orme, but did not sit.

The Girondists now appeared on the right, the jacobins on the left, under the name of the Mountain, and the centre, or moderates, took the name of the Plain. The first speech and motion were made by Manuel, proposing that the president of the convention and of France should be lodged in the Tuileries, attended by all the state which had accompanied the king, and that, whenever he appeared in the house, all the members should receive him standing. This was an astounding proposition, and would have converted his friend Petion, who was elected president, into a monarch for the time. The motion was received with a storm of reprobation, and dismissed. The second motion, made by Collot d'Herbois, was for the immediate abolition of royalty. He was seconded by the abbé Gregoire, and it was unanimously abolished accordingly. No time was lost in communicating this fact to the royal family in the Temple. At four o'clock, on the very first day of the convention existence, namely, on the 21st of September, Lubin, a municipal officer, attended by a body of horsemen and a great mob, sounded a trumpet, and cried, in a voice that the royal family could hear distinctly, that monarchy was abolished by decree of the convention. Clery, the faithful valet-de-chambre, says, " Hébert, so well known by the name of Père du Chesne, and Destournelles, were then on guard over the family; they were sitting, at the time, near the door, and stared the king in the face with a malicious grin. The monarch perceived it, but, having a book in hi 5 hand, continued to read without suffering the smallest alteration to appear upon his countenance. The queen displayed equal resolution; not a word nor a gesture escaped either of them to increase the malignant enjoyment of these men." Clery went to the window as the proclamation ceased; and, as he was taken for the king, both soldiers and mob made the most menacing gestures, and heaped on him the foulest terms of abuse.

No sooner had the united convention performed this notable act of abolishing royalty, than they fell upon each other, Girondist against jacobin, and jacobin against Girondist. Manuel and Petion, who had incurred the odium of proposing to invest the president with the attributes of royalty, passed for Girondists, though they had, for a long time, been acting wholly with the jacobius; it was again a Girondist, Buzot, who proposed that the convention should have a guard. To this the jacobins replied that the love of the people made a guard unnecessary. On this the Girondists imprudently threw down the gauntlet to the jacobins, and declared that the Mountain was meditating designs against the republic; that they were aiming at a dictatorship or a triumvirate, and that the massacres of September were but a preparation for it. The jacobins dared them to the proof, and Rebecqui, a new member, rose and denounced Robespierre. Others threw out the suspicion that Danton, Robespierre, and Marat were aiming at making themselves a triumvirate. Danton rose and denied it, and was followed by Robespierre, in a long, tedious harangue, defying the Girondists. Barbaroux reiterated the charges against Robespierre; and, after a violent debate by other members, Marat rose, for the first time, to defend himself. At the hideous and dirty aspect of this notorious cut-throat of all decent character, of this bloodthirsty assassin of truth and reputation, there was a general burst of horror and indignation. But Marat threw his dirty cap on the tribune, and, with a fiend-like grin, said, " I perceive that I have many enemies in this assembly." He was over- whelmed with shouts of "Down! down!" but he set them at defiance; declared that all those who had persecuted him were cowards, and that he was the only man who had openly proposed a dictator. If he had been listened to, he said, on the day when the Bastille was taken, the heads of five hundred conspirators would have fallen from their shoulders, and it would have saved them the trouble they had had to purge the city in September. After a still more violent debate, in which Vergniaud attacked Marat, and that unabashed monster replied in a strain of self-glorification, the Convention passed to the order of the day, thus leaving the victory with the jacobins.

The war of parties was renewed from day to day. Louvet, the Girondist, made a vehement attack on Robespierre; whilst Roland, the minister, as briskly attacked the proceedings of the commune, which was composed of the leading jacobins. He charged them with corrupt practices, and waste of the public money; and he sent Orders into the departments to arrest their commissaries, as robbers and assassins. Men were employed to call out for the heads of Robespierre, Danton, and Marat. These were acts not likely to pass unavenged by the jacobins, who had the whole sanguinary mob at their beck. On the 5th of November Robespierre rose to defend himself. He asked, in a tone of irony, where were his means of making himself a dictator? had he treasures? had he armies? had he fortresses? &c.; but he omitted to ask whether he had the truculent populace at his command, which every one knew that he had. The Mountain again called for the order of the day, and carried it, as well as that Robespierre's speech should be printed and circulated through the departments. When this sanguinary sophist, this incorruptible one, appeared in the jacobin * club that evening, he was almost smothered with embraces, and deafened with applauses. The club, too, ordered his speech to be printed, and circulated throughout all France; Robespierre, and the other jacobins, circulated it, too, in their journals, so that the country was deluged with it. It was manifest that the Girondists had suffered a complete defeat through the whole controversy, and must expect the vengeance of the most relentless party that ever existed. They still appeared in a majority od all questions of a general kind, and figured largely in the committee for revising the constitution, and in that of the twenty-four, for arranging the arraignment of the king. That question only, the king's trial and certain condemnation, stood between them and the exterminating fury of the jacobins.

The unfortunate royal family remained cooped up in the Temple during these transactions. They had been removed from the small tower to the large one, simply because it was deemed more secure. This removal added nothing to the comfort of the unfortunate captives, for they were subjected to the constant presence of, low jacobin guards, who never lost sight of them, except during the night, when one of the guards placed his bed before the door, to prevent the possibility of any entrance or egress. The king occupied one floor, the queen and princesses, with the dauphin, another. Louis and his wife were prevented having the slightest opportunity of exchanging an idea. A single attendant only was allowed them - the faithful Clery, and a man to assist him in waiting at table, for Clery waited and attended on the whole family in turn. They breakfasted at nine o'clock in the king's apartment, and then adjourned to that of the queen. There, Louis turned schoolmaster, and instructed his son, teaching him passages from Corneille and Racine by heart, and giving him lessons in geography, of which he himself was very fond. The queen performed the same offices for her daughter, and then she and her sister-in-law worked tapestry. At one o'clock they were all allowed to walk for an hour in the Temple, where they were affectionately observed by a number of their loyal subjects, who placed themselves at windows overlooking the garden. But even this indulgence was embittered to them. They frequently found written on the walls, in large letters, sentences full of the indecent expressions of the hatred of their enemies. The obscenity of some of these scrawls was infamous, and so large, as to make it impossible to overlook them. One of the soldiers wrote on the king's own Chamber door, " The guillotine is permanent, and ready for the tyrant Louis! " At another time was chalked up, " Madame Veto shall swing! The little wolves must be strangled!" &c. One Simon, a shoemaker, and one of the commissioners appointed to superintend the expenses of the Temple, was extremely insolent to the captives, and would observe to Clery in their hearing, " Clery, ask Capet if he wants anything, that I may not have the trouble of Coming up twice." One of the door-keepers, named Rocher, accoutred as a pioneer, with long whiskers, a black hairy cap, a huge sabre, and a belt, from which hung a bunch of great keys, came up to the door when the king wanted to go out, but did not open it till his majesty was quite close, when, pretending to search for the key among the many which he had, and which he rattled in a terrible manner, he designedly kept the royal family waiting, and then drew the bolts with a great clatter. After doing this, he ran down before them, and, fixing himself on one side of the last door, with a long pipe in his mouth, puffed the fumes of his tobacco at each of the royal family as they went out, and chiefly at the queen and princesses. Some national guards, who were amused at these indignities, came about him, burst into fits of laughter at every puff of smoke, and used the grossest language. Some of them went so far as to bring chairs from the guard-room, to sit and enjoy the sight, obstructing the passage, which of itself was sufficiently narrow.

Such were the indignities daily heaped on this unhappy family by the lowest vulgarity. At two o'clock dinner was served; the king took his nap, and the ladies returned to their needlework, and Clery, in another room, amused the dauphin with some kind of sport. In the evening the family read some book together, and then retired to their respective apartments. The king continued to read some hours longer, in the Latin and Italian classics, Thomas à Kempis's " Imitation of Christ," Montesquieu, Buffon, or Hume's History. Whilst in the Temple, he read about two hundred and fifty volumes.

But the commune thought they had yet too many enjoyments. Santerre, with a regular staff, daily appeared, and made inspection of the whole of the tower, and very soon pens, ink, and paper were taken away; then all penknives, razors, or other sharp instruments, as if the captives designed self-destruction. It was proposed to take away the knives and forks with which they ate; these, however, were left, but they were closely watched while using them, and they were removed the moment they were laid down. The scissors of the ladies were next taken away, which deprived them, in a great measure, of one of their few amusements - their needlework. They could not even repair their clothes, which were becoming very dilapidated. On one occasion, when madame Elizabeth was mending the king's coat, having no scissors, she bit off the thread. " How are we fallen! " said the king, looking tenderly at her. " Sister, you were in want of nothing in your pretty little house of Montreuil." " Brother," she replied, "I have no regrets while I share your misfortunes."

But these indignities and severities were the least of what they had to bear. They heard in their prison of the defeat and retreat of the allies, and knew that thus every hope for them had vanished. "The constant torment," says Clery, " which the royal family suffered, in not being able to give a loose to any unrestrained expression of their feelings, to any free effusion of their hearts, at a time when they were agitated with so many fears, was one of the most cruel refinements and dearest delights of their enemies." The commune kept all possible news of what was going on in the assembly, in the city, or abroad, from them, except the news of the victories; but Clery, through the single man allowed to assist him in waiting, had contrived a means of informing them of what passed. A hawker, no doubt a loyal one, was engaged and paid. This man, on pretence of selling his newspapers, came every day beneath the windows of the Temple, and bawled out their contents. Clery took care to be at the window to hear all, and found means of whispering any important matter to the family. But the time was fast approaching when their troubles were to end.

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