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The punishment was not undeserved, for publishing falsehood, or for pri for it seems impossible that a misre- mulgating truths, which the goven presentation so gross, and so hazardous ment did not desire should be mai in its consequences, could flow from known. And as the greater part any thing but premeditated malice. mankind are disposed to believe th But if, as would have been the case very worst of their rulers, the false ni in England, the printer had been calle port spread by the Journal de Pan ed to account for breach of privilege, obtained some credit from the ver and his defence heard, the malicious means used to suppress it. Thus do report would have experienced a com- arbitrary power often ever-shoot it plete refutation in the public discussion own object of aim. which must have taken place. As it was To conclude this chapter with th managed in France, the arbitrary sup- same metaphor which commenced it pression of the paper became the prin- the throne of France was situated o cipal feature in the case, and served the crest of a volcano, firm indeer only to show that free discussion, on in outward appearance, but with tor the part of the French press, was at an rents of lava boiling beneath, an end, leaving the public uncertain whe. deceitful ashes for its sole foundation ther the journal had been suppressed
Leaders of the Jacobins.--Carnot-His History–His Memorial against the Bourbons.-Fouché-His Share in the Massacres of the Revolution-His Conduct on the King's Restoration.-Intrigues and Misrepresentations of the Disaffected under these Leaders.-Warlike Preparations in France. National Dislike to the English.—Duke of Wellington's Residence in Paris. -Policy of Talleyrand at the Congress. He endeavours to direct the Resentment of the Allies against Bernadotte — Against Murat.-Arrest of Lord Oxford, and Seizure of his Papers.--Affair of General E.xcelman.-
Petition to the Chamber of Deputies—That of General Grissoles.--Excelman is tried by a Court Martial, and acquitted.-Insubordination of the Army.-Life of Napoleon at Elba.—His Conversations with his Visitors.—His Character begins to be more favourably considered.- Arts of his Emissaries to fix the public Mind of France upon him.-His Correspondence with Murat-With France.-Females engaged in the Plot.- Organization of the Conspiracy.-Imperfect State of the Parisian Police.-Correspondence with Elba maintained through the Royal Post-Office.--Every thing is prepared for the bursting forth of the Conspiracy.
Among the intriguers by whose ma Carnot was the associate and col. chinations the Bourbon dynasty was league of Robespierre during the whole endangered, two leaders of the jacobin of that monster's reign. His admirers party were chiefly remarkable. Both pretend, that charging himself only were distinguished by audacity, acti. with the conduct of the foreign war, vity, and talents, as well as by an ex. he left to his brethren of the committee perimental knowledge of the revolu- of public safety the sole charge of tionary springs, and of the complicated those measures, for which no human movements on which their efficiency language affords epithets of sufficient depends; but Carnot was esteemed a horror, through which they originally staunch unyielding republican; Fouché, rose to power, and by which they a statesman capable of temporizing and maintained it. According to these accommodating his service to the party fond advocates, their hero held his which was uppermost. In the various course through the reign of terror unand fitting scenes of the French Re. sullied by a bloody spot, as Arethusa volution, each had played important rolled her waters through the ocean parts ; and as we are not among those without mingling with its waves ! who think a politician can change his and the faith of most readers will nature, as a stage-player does his swallow the ancient miracle as easily as clothes with every new character in the modern. That Carnot voted for the which he is called upon to appear, we
murder of one of the most well-meanwill briefly recal to the mind of our ing and guiltless monarchs that ever readers what these parts were. reigned, will by his farourers be con.
sidered rather as matter of praise; was soon evident that Carnot had ap and we have heard him lauded, be prehensions for freedom during th cause, after the fall of Robespierre, mild and even feeble government o which he aided to accomplish so soon Louis XVIII., which had never stir as he saw that the fate of Danton im- red bim into action under that pended over his own head, he had ex- Buonaparte, under whom he lived erted himself with the successful par- peaceful, if a reluctant subject. To ly to prevent re-action, a cant expres- ulcerate the wounds of the state, to sion, which, in that case, meant to se inflame the giddy and headlong pas cure from condign punishment some sions of the factious, which migh of the most blood-thirsty wretches otherwise have become gradually le: who ever polluted the face of a land. violent, was a work worthy of the colCarnot was condemned to transporta- league of Robespierre, who, if his tion on the ephemeral supremacy ob secret motives might be guessed, tained by the Directory on the revo
would have submiried to any species lution of the 18th Fructidor, and re of government in preference to be stored by that of the 18th Brumaire. holding on the throne of France : He was then created minister of war, family whom he had most cruelly and tribune; and let us not refuse wronged, and under whose governhim the praise, that when he percei- ment decency forbade him to hope ved the ambitious views of Buonapar- for more than safety and protection. te, he resigned his offices, inscribed It is thus that, in the commencement his vote against the Corsican's being of civil commotion, men take up created consul for life, and against his for principles, but seldom have long subsequent assumption of the imperi- stood in opposition to each other, ere al dignity, and retired to a voluntary private interests and personal prejuexile at a time when Napoleon would dices are substituted for the public have doubtless been glad to purchase reasons of quarrel, and partizans turn his acknowledged talents at no low their back without hesitation on the rate. From this period he led the life cause they have espoused, that they of a private citizen until the campaign may still point their swords against the of 1814, when, not without an insult throats of those whom they consider which the times rendered perfectly as their personal antagonists. safe, he offered Buonaparte his ser The name of Carnot, and his high vices for the defence of Antwerp, the talents, well shewn in the manageevents of which we have mentioned in ment of the wars of the republic, comour last volume. He gave in his adhe- bined with the character he had ac. sion late and reluctantly to the Bour. quired for independence, by deserting bon dynasty,* and was restored to, or Buonaparte in his rising, and adhering confirmed in, the rank of inspector-ge. to him in his falling state, gave great neral of the engineers.
weight to the opinions le expressed He who declares his solemn sub- upon the state of public affairs under mission to a form of government, the Bourbons. They were embodied more especially who accepts rank of in a Memorial made public in the any kind from its favour, must, in ho month of December, 1814, in which nour and good faith, be considered as every fault committed by the restored binding himself at least to abstain family is exaggerated; and they, with from conspiring its downfall; but it the nobles, their personal adherents,
See Moniteur, 16th April, 1814.
e, under a thin and contemptuous The doctrine of regicide is said to il of assumed respect towards the be confirmed in the Old Testament ; og, treated alike as fools, who did families were massacred,-monarchs ot understand how to govern France, proscribed,-intolerance promulgated d as villains who meditated her ruin. by the ministers of a merciful Deity: be murder of the king is, with irony Wherefore, then, should not the jacoenvenomed as unjust, stated to have bins put Louis XVI. to death ? 'If it en occasioned, not by the violence was alleged, that the persons of kings nd cruelty of his persecutors, but by were inviolable by the laws of all cie pusillanimity of his nobility, who vil governments, those of usurpers rst provoked the resentment of the certainly were not so protected ; and ation and then fed from the king- what means were there, says Carnot, om, when, if they had loved their so- for positively distinguishing between ereign, they should have rallied an usurper and a legitimate king? The round him. This plea, in the mouth difficulty of making such a distinction fa regicide, is as if one of a band of was, no doubt, a sufficient vindication obbers should impute an assassination of the judges of Louis XVI. Trash not to their own guilty violence, but like this had scarce been written since to the cowardice of the domestics of the club-room of jacobins was closed. the murdered, by whom that violence But the object of Carnot's pamphlet mighi have been resisted. No one was not to excuse a deed which he also knew better than Carnot by what would probably have boasted as lauda. arts Louis XVI. was induced by de ble, but by the exaggerations of his grees to abandon all means of defence eloquence, and the weight of his inwhich his situation afforded him, and fluence with the public, to animate to throw himself upon the sworn faith the fury of the other parties against and allegiance of those by whom he the Bourbons and their adherents. was condemned to death. As whim- The king was charged with having sical and unlogical were the examples been ungrateful to the call of the naand arguments he referred to in sup- tion, a call which assuredly he would port of the condemnation of Louis. never have heard but for the cannon Cicero, it seems, says in his Offices, of the allies with having termed him“We hate all those we fear, and we selt king by the grace of God,—with wish for the death of those we hate.” resigning Belgium when Carnot was On this comprehensive ground, Car- actually governor of Antwerp--with not vindicates the orator's approbation preferring Chouans, Vendeans, emiof the death of Cæsar, notwithstand. grants, Cossacks, or Englishmen, to ing the clemency of the usurper; and the soldiers whose victories had kept Cato, indeed, (continues the collea- him in exile, and in consequence of gue of Robespierre) went farther, and whose defeat alone he had regained did not think it possible there should the throne of his fathers. The enibe a good king. Of course, not Louis grants are represented as an exaspeXVI. alone, but all monarchs may be rated, yet a contemptible faction. The justly put to death, in Monsieur Car- people, it is said, care little about the not's estimation, because they are na- right of their rulers,—about their țurally the objects of fear to their sub- quarrels,—their private life, or even jects, and because we hate those we their political crimes, unless as they fear, and because, according to the affect themselves. All government, of kindred authority of Shylock, no man course, has its basis in popular opi. hates the thing he would not kill. nion; but, alas ! in actual history, "the
people are only regarded,” says Mon- tive spirit to oppress the inferioragen sieur Carnot, as the victims of their in an alleged libel, while the minister chiefs; we witness nothing but the dared not bring to trial the avowe contest of subjects for the private in. author. In this unquestionably the terest of their princes,-kings, who are argued justly; for the measures cor themselves regicides and parricides, responded with the paltry policy, whic and priests who incite mankind to mu. would rather assail the liberty of the tual slaughter. “ The eye can but re press, than bring to fair trial and open pose on the generous efforts of some punishment those by whomitis misused brave men who consecrate themselves If Carnot aspired to influence the to the deliverance of their fellow. jacobin faction, and the converts whom countrymen ; if they succeed, they are they daily acquired by his reputation called heroes,—if they fail, they are for military science and for republican traitors and demagogues.” In this, spirit, Fouché was not less distinguishand other passages, the author plainly ed for the civil endowments which intimated what spirits were at work, their cause required. To his share in and what was the object of their ma the cruelties of the revolution, and es chinations. The whole pamphlet was pecially of the reign of terror, no designed as a manifesto to the French doubt attaches. The name of Fouché public, darkly, yet distinctly, announ of Nantes is written in bloody letters eing the existence of a formidable in these dreadful pages; and his own conspiracy, the principles on which its dispatches to the committee of public members proceeded, and their grounds safety, as well as the laudatory comfor expecting success.
ments of Chaumette, Robespierre, and Carnot himself affected to say, that other heroes of that period, are on the Memorial was only designed for record to prove, that at Nevers and circulation among his private connec at Lyons, he was the willing agent of tions. But it would not have answer their most sanguinary decrees, and ed the intended purpose had it not reported their execution with the Sarbeen printed and dispersed with the donic sneer of one delighted by the most uncommon assiduity. Small exercise of his bloody vocation. He carts traversed the boulevards, from presided at, and he reported, the dreadwhich it was hawked about among ful wholesale executions which took the people, in order to avoid the pe- place in the square at Lyons, and as nalties which booksellers and station sociated with the horrible Collot D'. ers might have incurred by dealing in Herbois. He regretted the slow means an article so inflammatory. Notwith- which their zeal employed in the destanding these evasions, the printers struction of that beautiful city: “ Inand retailers of this diatribe were pro- dulgence,” said his official dispatch, secuted by government, but the Cour “would be a criminal weakness-ded'Instruction Criminelle refused to con. molition proceeds too slowly: There firm the bill of indictment, and this must be more rapid means for the grafailure served to encourage the jaco- tification of republican impatience ;bin faction. The official proceedings, the explosion of the mine,--the devourby which the ministers endeavoured ing activity of fire, can alone express to suppress the publication, irritated the power of the people. Their will is rather than intimidated those who incapable of being checked like that took interest in it. It argued, they of tyrants ;-it ought to have the maid, at once a timorous and a vindic. speed and the force of thunder.” *
* Moniteur, November 3, 1793.