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heard myself called: 'I made no reply. were lodged there. But the darkness I was called again: I listened. Come of the place, increased by the interto your window,' said somebody in a position of their bodies, prevented low voice. I advanced. Do not be their observing me. Is there any afraid,' added the voice, 'several peo- one here to be worked?" said they in ple here are taking care of your life.' their horrible jargon. As soon as they After my enlargement, I made fruitless were gone, I peeped out to see what enquiries to discover this generous pro- was passing in the court. The first tector. Compassionate man! whoever thing I saw was the assassins profaning you are, wherever you reside, receive with their filth the statue of Louis the tribute of a gratitude which, while XIV, which lay overturned upon the I live, will know no end! ground, and playing with the bloody remains of their victims. They were relating to one another the details of their murders, showing the money they had earned †, and complaining of not having received what had been promised them."

"Six-and-thirty hours passed without any person coming into my cell, without food, or the hope of any. I knew that the warden and his wife had fled. I imagined that the turnkey had done the same. On this reflexion, the remainder of my fortitude There is no part of the present voforsook me. A cold sweat, a shiver- lume more interesting than the coning all over, and the pangs of death versations between M. Hue and the came upon me: I fell into a swoon. great and good Malesherbes! whose When I came to myself, I was ready loyalty made him a volunteer in deto call the assassins, whom by the light fence of his king, and whose magnaof the lamps I saw passing and repas- nimity enabled to effect his wishes. sing in the court. I was going to beg Though he perished on the scaffold them to put an end to my protracted for his generous conduct, yet he has left agonies, when a faint light coming a name behind him dear to posterity. through the boards above me struck my eyes. By means of a wretched table and two stools, which I piled one upon the other, I raised myself high enough to reach the top of the cell, and I rapped several times at the spot through which the light came. A trap-door opened, and some person in a mild voice said, What do you want?' I replied in the accents of despair, Bread or death.' It was the warden's wife who spoke to me. 'Recover yourself,' said she, I will take care of you. She immediately brought me bread, a bit of meat, and

M. Hue was confined in the same prison (Port Royal) with this venerable man, and they solaced their confinement by discoursing upon the sufferings and virtues of Louis. M. Hue has preserved the conversations of Malesherbes with the apparent accuracy of a Boswell; and we wish we had room to extract them all. We shall select, however, some of them.

You, I hope, will long survive the "My friend," said he to me one day, death which awaits me. Store up then in your memory, what you deserve to hear. To the points of view in which some water. While I remained conyou have beheld the most virtuous, fined in this place, this compassionate the most undaunted of men, add those woman had the goodness to supply me which I shall describe to you." Some with nourishment. She furnished days after, M. de Malesherbes, yieldme with a wickered bottle, which ing to my entreaties, had the goodness whenever I wanted water, I presented to give me a manuscript containing in at the trap-door, and she filled it. substance the different conversations By this means, the door of my cell I am going to report. was seldom opened, and I remained the better concealed.

"Nevertheless, men whose arms and clothes were smeared with blood, came up at times to the window of my cell, looking to see if any victim

Madame Viel, whose goodness I can never acknowledge too much.

To work, in the revolutionary language of that time, was synonimous to massacreing.

†Those municipals of the commune of Paris, who more particularly exercised the power, had agreed with the men who massacred in the prisons, to pay them a stated sum in money.

"I saw Louis mount the throne," me," at the finishing of my education, said M. de Malesherbes to me," and that I was far from having completed though at an age when the passions it; and I resolved to acquire the are strongest, and the illusions of the instruction I wanted. I wished to imagination most powerful, he carried know the English, Italian, and Spawith him pure morals, a contempt of nish languages. I learned them by pomp, a wise bias to toleration, and an myself. I made a sufficient progress inexhaustible desire of doing good. in the Latin to translate the most difHis respect for religion was equal to ficult authors. Then, diving into histhe firmness of his belief. More than tory, I went back to the earliest ages once expressing to me, how much he of the world, and, descending from wished ine to be of his religious opi- century to century to our own times, nions, he said: "Without religion, I applied myself more particularly to my dear Malesherbes, there is no true the history of France. I undertook as happiness for men, either in society a task to clear up its obscurities. I or as individuals. Religion is the studied the laws and customs of the strongest bond between man and man: kingdom; I compared the measures it prevents the abuse of power and of the different reigns; I investigated strength, protects the weak, consoles the causes of their prosperity and of the unhappy, and ensures, in the so- their disasters. With this regular study, cial system, reciprocal duties. Believe I united the perusal of all works of meme, it is impossible to govern the peo- rit that appeared: particularly those ple by the principles of philosophy." on government and politics; on which This conviction was the firm basis of I made my own remarks." the virtues of Louis XVI. It made him "This avowal of the king's," cona king just, clement, humane, and be- tinued M. de Malesherbes, gave me neficent: it rendered him a faithful a high opinion of the steadiness of his husband, a tender father, an affection- disposition, and of his capacity. While ate brother, a good master, in a word, I was in the ministry, I daily had oc a paragon of moral and domestic virtues.

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up his opinion to that of his council. He was also apprehensive that he did not express his thoughts clearly. He said to me one day: "I would rather leave my silence to be interpreted than my words."

casion to observe, that the timidity habitual to this prince was owing to "At my introduction into the mi- too great a share of diffidence, which nistry, wishing to ascertain the motives kept him constantly on guard against of the lettres de cachet, previously presumption, and made him think issued, I conceived the plan of visiting that, in business, his ministers possess the state prisons.. I wanted the king ed discernment superior to his own. himself to visit some of them, and that It was this that made him so easily give he should become acquainted with their situation and internal government; and I was particularly desirous, that such prisoners as had been too lightly or too long confined, should receive the news of their liberty from the mouth of the monarch himself. "To the same stock of diffidence, is The king was highly delighted with to be attributed the undecisive chathe object of my plan, ordered me to racter which you have perhaps someput it in execution, and to employ times heard mentioned as a reproach in it the intendants of the provinces. to him. I was a daily witness of it in the "But as for me," added he, "I will not council; and saw that it arose from his visit any prison. Let us do good, balancing what part was best to be M. de Malesherbes; but let us do it taken, and from the many difficulties without ostentation." that occurred. He often said, "What a responsibility! every step I take affects the fate of five-and-twenty millions of men." If, in the course of the revolution, it has sometimes happened that he decided wrongly, it was upon grounds, as he has said to me, which would have rendered his decision right, had it not been for acts of treachery,

"Thus did the king throw over his virtues a veil which he even extended to his understanding. This was wrong, A king should display both. One day, being with his majesty on business, I was surprised at the extent of the knowledge he discovered. The king perceived it. "I was sensible," said he to


against which the most consummate the assembly, called the National Conprudence could be of no avail. vention, to be examined, he was made The king was particularly pleased to wait three-and-twenty minutes in a at the contempt I had for those out- hall leading to the bar of the assembly. ward forms which the world call graces, His majesty walked backwards and for but which are too often the masks of wards: M. Tronchet and M. de Sèze, deceit. "M. de Malesherbes," said as well as myself, kept at a little dis he to me, "you and I are ridiculed tance from the king. As he spoke to here for adhering to the manners of me at times, in my answers I made use old times; but are not they better than of the words, Sire, Your Majesty.the present fine airs? There are often Treilhard, one of the deputies, came vile things under their varnish." The suddenly in, and, enraged on hearing king was not ignorant of the jokes the expressions I used in speaking to which the youth at the court took the the king, put himse f between his maliberty of casting on his manners; but jesty and me: "And what makes you he despised their opinion. so hardy," said he to me, "as to utter, "While I was in the ministry, I in this place, words proscribed by the never knew him order or approve any convention?"-"Contempt for you," superfluous expense. He used to say replied, "and a contempt of death." to his ministers: "Let us be frugal "I, at first, thought, that the national dispensers of the public treasure. It convention, not daring to pronounce a is the product of the sweat, and some sentence of death upon the king, would times of the tears, of the people."- banish him. On that supposition, I Unfortunately, all his ministers were asked him what country he would prenot of that opinion. fer for his residence. Switzerland," "The first time that, as his counsel, replied he: "what history reports of I was admitted into the tower of the the lot of fugitive kings...." But, temple, the king no sooner saw me, Sire," said I, "if the French people, than he came up to me, and, without coming to themselves, should recall giving me time to finish my bow, took you, would your majesty return "→ me into his arms: "Ah! is it you, my "Not to please myself; but as a duty, friend?" said he, with the tears in his I would. In that case, however, I eyes: "You see to what the excess of should stipulate for two conditions on, my love for the people, and that self- my return: the one, that the Apostolic renunciation which induced me to and Roman Catholic religion should. consent to the removal of the troops continue to be the religion of the intended for the defence of my power state, not excluding, however, other and person against the enterprises of modes of worship; the other, that if a a factious assembly, have brought me uational bankruptcy were inevitable,' to. You are come to assist me with it should be declared by the usurping, your advice; you are not afraid of ex- power; for that power having made it posing your life to save mine; but it necessary, should bear the shame will be all in vain !”—“No, Sire,” re- of it.” plied I; "I do not expose my life; and "One day, the conversation turning leven hope that your majesty's is in upon the different parties in the conno danger: your cause is so just, and vention: "Most of the deputies," said the means of your defence so clear!" the king, “might have been easily No; they will put me to death. purchased."- What, Sire, could But no matter; it will be gaining my have been your reason for not doing. cause to leave a spotless name. Let it? were the means wanting?"-"No; us occupy ourselves on my means of I had the means; the money was lent defence. The king afterwards spoke me; but it must, one day, have been to me about M. Tronchet and M. de repaid from the public stock. I could Sèze, my coadjutors. The former, not prevail upon myself to use it for having been a member and president corruption. The funds of the civil of the constituent assembly, was known list, being the substitute for the funds to him. He asked me for some account from my own domains, left me, perof M. de Sèze, whom he knew only as haps, more at liberty; but the irregu a celebrated lawyer. larity of the payments, and my neces sary expenses, would not allow of it." 2 R


When the king was taken before UNIVERSAL MAG. VOL. IX.


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Another day, the king mentioned to gion comforts in a very different me the total want of money in which manner from philosophy."-" Sire" he had been kept since his imprison, replied I, "this commission is not so ment. "Your two colleagues," said pressing."-"For me, nothing is more he," have devoted themselves entirely pressing," said he. Some days after, to my defence. They give me all their the king showed me his will and a cotime and attention, and, in the situ- diçil, both written by his own hand. ation in which I am, I have not the His majesty allowed me to take a copy, means to remunerate them. I thought on which there are some corrections of leaving them a legacy; but would in his own writing. I took these pait be paid?"-"It is paid, Sire....!" pers away with me, and sent them out By choosing them for your defenders, of France, and I have heard of their you have immortalized their names." safe arrival. Finding, in this conversation, that "From the first of my going to the the king was very much affected at not temple, the king had expressed a wish having it in his power to bestow the to read some journals. I took the slightest bounty on any person what earliest opportunity to gratify his deever, I went to the temple, the next sire. I often witnessed the coolness day, with a purse full of gold. "Sire," with which he read the motions that said I, presenting it to him, "permit were made against him in the tribune. a family, whose riches are partly ow- However, among the many epithets ing to the bounty of yourself and of bestowed upon him, that of tyrant your ancestors, to lay this offering at always hurt him. "I a tyrant!" said your feet." The king, at first, refused he. "The whole concern of a tyrant it; but yielded to my entreaties. I is for himself. Has not my concern have since learned that, after his death, been always for my people? Do they the purse was found unopened among or I hate tyranny most? They casi his effects. He had taken the pre- me tyrant; yet know as well as you caution to affix to it a label, on which was written, in his own hand, "Money to be returned to M. de Malesherbes." A notice that was not attended to.

"One day, when I went to the temple, after having passed, with scarce any intermission, six and-thirty hours in several committees of the convention, the king reproved me," My friend," said he,, "why exhaust yourself thus? Even were this labour sure to gain my cause, I would forbid it, though you would not obey me. But when I am convinced that it is unavailing, I beg you to be more prudent, The sacrifice of my life is doomed, preserve yours for a family that love you."


The king was so persuaded that he was to die, that, on the very first day I was admitted to him, he took me aside, and said: “ My sister has given me the name and place of abode of a non-juring priest, whom I wish to assist me in my last moments. Go and see him for me, and persuade him to give me his assistance. This is a strange commission for a philosopher: but were you in my situation, how should I wish you to think like me! I repeat it to jou, my friend, that reli

what I am." I likewise carried him a copy of the ballad composed at that time and sung in every part of Paris. It was called: Louis XVI to the French; and was a parody of the passage in Jeremiah, beginning, Popule meus! quid feci tibi....? O my people! whet have I done to you....? In the perusal of it, the king experienced some mo ments of consolation.

One morning, as I was waiting in the council-room till I could be admitted into the tower, I looked over some periodical papers; on which, a municipal, addressing himself to me, said: "How can you, a friend of Louis, think of showing him papers in which he is always so ill treated?""Louis XVI," I replied, " is not a man like many others." This municipal had been a gentleman.

"The king saw, with a mixture of surprise and pain, persons of noble descent meanly serving the enemies of the throne and of the nobility."That men," said he to me, "who are born in an obscure condition, that even they who were nobly descended, but who had never had an opportunity of knowing me, should have trusted and blindly followed the enemies of my authority, does not astonish me.

But that men placed about my per- conduct, during our misfortunes, has son, and loaded with my favours,should fully justified that choice. The counhave increased the number of my per- tess Jules de Polignac pleased her; secutors, is what I cannot comprehend. she made her also her friend. At the God is my witness, that I cherish no request of the queen, I bestowed upon hatred towards them, and even, that the countess, since duchess of Polig if it were in my power to do them any pac, and her family, favours that exgood, I still would." cited envy. The queen and her friend "I have not yet spoken to you," became the objects of the most unjust said M. de Malesherbes, upon a cruel censure. subject, which went to the king's heart; "There was nothing," added the the injustice of the French towards king, “not even her affection for the the queen. "Did they know her va- emperor Joseph II, her brother, that lue," has he often repeated to me, calumny did not attack. At first, it "did they know to what perfection was whispered, then printed in several The has exalted herself since our mis- journals, and, at last, confidently as fortunes, they would revere, they serted in the tribune of the national would cherish her; but, even be assembly, that the queen had sent to fore the period of our adversity, Vienna, and given to the emperor, her enemies and mine had the art, innumerable millions. An atrocious by sowing calumnies among the assertion, which the Abbé Maury people, to change to hatred that love clearly refuted.


of which she was so long the object." The factious," continued the Then entering into a detail of the king, "are thus inveterate in decrythings that were imputed to her, he ing and blackening the queen, only to defended the queen. prepare the people to see her perish. "You saw her," said he to me," ar- Her death is determined. They fear rive at court. She was little more than that, if she lives, she will vindicate a child. My mother and grandmother me. Unfortunate princess! my mar were both dead: she had, indeed, my riage promised her a throne; now, aunts; but their rights over her were what a prospect does it offer her?" not of the same nature. Placed amidst Saying these words, the king pressed a brilliant court, and having before my hand, and shed tears. her eyes a woman maintained there by intrigue, the queen, then dauphiness, was the daily witness of her pomp and prodigality. What must not she, who united in her own person so many advantages, have conceived of her own power and rights!"

"The day before this, the king asked me, if I had met the white woman in the temple." No Sire," answered I." What," replied he, smiling, "do not you know that, according to vulgar tradition, when any prince of my house is going to die, a woman, dressed in white, wanders about the palace?"

"To have associated with the favourite, would have been unworthy of the dauphiness. Compelled to enter into "When, in spite of the exertions a kind of retirement, she adopted a of my colleagues and myself, the fatal mode of life exempt from ceremony sentence was pronounced, they enand constraint, and continued in the treated me to take upon me the mournhabit of it after she came to the throne. ful commission of breaking it to the Those manners, new at court, were too king. I see him still; his back was suitable to my own taste to be opposed turned to the door, his elbows rested by me. I was not, at that time, aware on a table, and his face was covered how dangerous it is for sovereigns to with his hand. At the noise I made allow themselves to be seen too nearly. in entering, his majesty rose. "For Familiarity banishes the respect which two hours," said he, looking stedfastly is necessary to those who govern. At at me, I have been endeavouring to first, the public applauded the drop recollect if, in the course of my reign, ping of the old customs, and after. I have willingly given my subjects

wards made it a crime.

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any just cause of complaint against me: and I protest to you, from the bottom of my heart, that I do not deserve any reproach from the French

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