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The two first periods illustrate the consequences of democratic ascendency upon the civil condition; the two last, their effect upon the military contests and external relations of nations. In both, the operation of the same law of nature may be discerned, for the expulsion of a destructive passion from the frame of society, by the efforts which it makes for its own gratification, and the just punishment alike of guilty nations and individuals, by the consequences of the very iniquities which they commit. In both, the principal actors were overruled by an unseen power, which rendered their vices and ambition the means of vindicating the justice of the Divine administration, asserting the final triumph of virtue over vice, and ultimately effecting the deliverance of mankind. Generations perished during the vast transition, but the law of nature was unceasing in its operation; and the same principle which drove the government of Robespierre through the Reign of Terror to the 9th of Thermidor, impelled Napoleon to the snows of Russia and the rout of Waterloo. “Les hommes agissent,” says Bossuet, " mais Dieu les mène." The illustrations of this moral law compose the great lesson to be learned from the eventful scenes of this mighty drama.

A subject so splendid in itself, so full of political and military instruction, replete with such great and heroic actions, adorned by so many virtues, and darkened by so many crimes, never yet fell to the lot of a historian. During the twenty-five years of its progress, the world has gone through more than five hundred years of ordinary existence; and the annals of Modern Europe will be sought in vain for a parallel to that brief period of anxious effort and checkered achievement.

Although so short a time has elapsed since the termination of these events, the materials which have been collected for their elucidation have already become, beyond all precedent, interesting and ample. The great and varied ability which, since the general peace, has been brought to bear upon political and historical subjects in France, has produced, besides many regular Histories of extraordinary talent, a crowd of Memoirs of various authority, but throwing, upon the whole, the fullest light on the manners, feelings,

and sufferings of those troubled times. The previous state of France, with the moral, political, and financial causes which brought about the Revolution, are fully developed in the able works of Rivarol, Necker, and Madame de Stael, the elaborate Memoirs of the Abbé Georgel, the acute History of the reign of Louis XVI. by Soulavie, and the impartial Digest by Droz of the same interesting and important period. Its financial and social condition are unfolded in the luminous statements of Calonne, Necker, and Arthur Young. Nor are the materials for the history of the convulsion itself less abundant. On the one hand, the faithful and impartial Narrative of M. Toulangeon, the elaborate and valuable Histoire de la Révolution par Deux Amis de la Liberté, in eighteen volumes, with the brilliant works of Mignet and Thiers, have done ample justice to the Republican side; while, on the other, the elaborate Histories of Lacretelle, La Baume, and Bertrand de Molleville, with the detached Narratives of Chateaubriand, Beauchamps, and Bertrand de Molleville, in his Memoirs, have fully illustrated the sufferings of the Royalists during the progress of the Revolution. The singular and interesting events of Poland are admirably detailed in the able Narrative of Rulhière, and the eloquent pages of Salvandy. But the most interesting record of those times is to be found in the contemporary Memoirs by the principal sufferers during their continuance, the best of which are to be met with in the great collection, published at Paris, of Revolutionary Memoirs, extending to sixty-six volumes, and embracing, among other authentic Narratives, those of Bailly, Rivarol, Riouffe, Barbaroux, Buzot, Condorcet, Madame Campan, Madame Roland, Madame Larochejaquelein, Clery, Hue, Carnot, Sapinaud, Thurreau, Madame Bonchamp, Doppet, Abbé Guillon, Abbé Morellet, Count Ségur, General Kleber, M. Puisaye, and many others. In Professor Smyth’s Lectures on the French Revolution, these various accounts are passed in review with the acuteness of a critic and the spirit of a philosopher; while Mr Adolphus, in his able History of France from 1790 to 1803, has brought to light much that the French writers would willingly bury in oblivion. The Papiers Inédits de Robespierre, and the Correspondance du Comité du Salut Public, lately published at Paris, are full of new and valuable information. In the graphic History of the Convention, and the admirable Souvenirs de la Terreur, by Duval, in six volumes, recently published in the same capital, many vivid and striking pictures are to be found, evidently drawn from life; the Memoirs of Barère and Berryer throw much light on the worst characters of the Revolution; while the admirable sketches of Dumont, Brissot, and Mounier, convey the most faithful idea of the early leaders of the Assembly, and the singular Memoirs of Levasseur de la Sarthe furnish a portrait of the extreme of Jacobin extravagance.

For the memorable period of the Consulate, and the character of the illustrious men who were assembled round the throne of Napoleon, the Memoirs of Thibaudeau, General Rapp, Bourrienne, Savary, Fouché,* Bausset, Meneval, Caulaincourt, Gohier, and the Duchess of Abrantes, have furnished an inexhaustible mine of information, the authenticity of which may, in general, be judged of with tolerable accuracy by comparing these different narratives together. But the most valuable authentic documents during this period are to be found in the ample volumes of the Moniteur, the great quarry from which all subsequent compilers have extracted their materials; in the admirable Parliamentary history of France, in forty-one volumes, by Buchez and Roux, the most interesting portions of which have been well abridged in the Histoire de la Convention, in six volumes, by Leonard Gallois; and the Débats de la Convention, forming part of the Revolutionary Memoirs.

In the memoirs of these contemporary authors, many of them leading actors in the events they describe, it may be thought the reader is transported near enough to the actual theatre of this bloody drama. But to those who are enamoured of its tragic scenes, (and few can study the subject without becoming so,) it is not sufficient to have the memoirs written at a subsequent period, even by the principal actors in the dreadful progress. We long to get nearer the mournful catastrophes; to hear the fervour of the orator at the tribune; to be present at the interrogatories of the prisoners at the trials; to listen to the words of the captives on the scaffold. Ample materials exist to satisfy the most ardent thirst for such entrancing details in the contemporary journals, though the greater part of them are now extremely rare, and some would be “cheaply purchased for their weight in gold.” The Révolutions de Paris, by Prudhomme, published in daily numbers from 1789 to 1794, and which now forms seventeen thick octavo volumes, exhibits a picture of the republican party during the whole progress of the convulsion, by an ardent dernocrat, intimately acquainted with the leaders of the Revolution. His marked partiality for the cause they supported, renders his testimony the more valuable when he comes to recount their excesses, as he has done in a minute detail, comprising six volumes, entitled Crimes et Erreurs de la Révolution. The Actes des Apôtres, in ten volumes, embracing three hundred and ninety-six numbers, published twice a-week during the Revolution, by Peltier, exhibits a picture of the ideas of the Girondists and some of the Jacobin party, by an able but impassioned Royalist, at its most interesting periods; while the Vieux Cordelier, by Camille-Desmoulins, contains a precious contemporary record of the views of one of the ablest of the party of Danton, in the period immediately preceding its fall. The Chronique de Paris, written chiefly by Brissot and the Girondists, gives daily, throughout the whole struggle, the views of that celebrated party; while the proceedings and principles of the Jacobins are amply unfolded in the Journal de la Montagne, by Charles Leveaux, which, beginning on 1st June 1793, comes down to the 28th November 1794, and forms seven quarto volumes. The Journal des Jacobins, commencing on the 1st June 1791, gives the whole debates of that memorable body, including some of the best speeches of Robespierre and Danton, down to the 29th November 1794.

* The author, in the first instance, had some doubts of the authenticity of Fouché's Memoirs; but they have been since removed by a more minute examination of their contents, and by having learned, from the late lamented Lord Wellesley, that the facts as to the Secret Negotiation with him in 1809, mentioned in these pages, were, with one trifling exception, correct. They must, therefore, have been written at least from his papers, as they contained facts known only to the French Minister and two British Statesmen. The author has heard, on good authority, that an opinion of their containing facts which were known only to Fouché, has been expressed also by the Duke of Wellington. M. Beauchamps is generally understood to have compiled these curious Memoirs from Fouché's papers. -See Biographie Universelle, Supplément, vol. lxviii. p. 474.

The Père Duchesne, by Hébert, also a daily journal from March 1791 to October 1793, which now forms eleven volumes, contains the obscene and hideous ribaldry of that atrocious faction, the creatures of the municipality of Paris, elected under universal suffrage, which even Robespierre was obliged to guillotine for their crimes. Marat's vehement passions, cold blooded proscriptions, and prodigious mental fertility, are fully portrayed in his celebrated journal L'Ami du Peuple, beginning on 28th November 1789, and coming down to his assassination in July 1793. It forms a collection amounting to eighteen volumes. The debates of the Convention are to be found fully reported in the ample columns of the Moniteur, and the admirable Histoire Parlementaire de France, by Buchez and Roux, in forty-one volumes. The Liste des Condamnés contains the name and designation of every one of the many victims of the Revolutionary Tribunal at Paris. But all the contemporary records sink in interest and value before the Bulletin du Tribunal Révolutionnaire, published daily from the institution of that tribunal, on 10th March 1793, till its close with the conviction of Fouquier-Tinville, in December 1794. All the most important trials of the Revolution, except that of Louis, are there given in the fullest detail; and the Procès de Louis XVI., in three volumes octavo, gives the fullest account of that memorable proceeding.

Few subjects of study are so entrancing as these contemporary records of the Revolution. From them could, with ease, be extracted a work equalling in bulk, and perhaps exceeding in interest, that which details, most readers will probably think at sufficient length, in addition to that convulsion, the whole wars consequent on it. The impression left on the mind by the study of these strange and melancholy monuments of human insanity, guilt, and suffering, is very remarkable. In the first place, they clearly demonstrate, what will probably be found to be true of most successful rebellions, that the French Revolution was entirely carried through by the incessant application of exaggeration or mendacity to the public mind. Falsehood was its staff of life. In the second

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