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have the means of checking them; the power in the hands of the Committee sword of the law must be intrusted to of Public Salvation, the general supersurer hands ; it must turn everywhere, intendence of the police was vested in and fall with the rapidity of lightning another Committee, styled of General on all its enemies." In silent dread the Safety, subordinate to the former, but Assembly and the people heard the ter- still possessed of most formidable aurible declaration; its justice was uni- thority. Inferior to both in power, and versally acknowledged. All now saw now deprived of much of its political that the insupportable evils of anarchy | importance by the vast influence of the could only be arrested by the sangui- Committee of Public Salvation, the munary arm of despotism.
nicipality of Paris began to turn its at5. But the necessity of some central tention to the internal regulation of the executive power was speedily felt, to city, and there exercised its power with make head against the innumerable the most despotic rigour. It took undangers and difficulties, external and der its cognisance the police of the internal, in which France was involved. metropolis, the public subsistence, the The administration had been in the markets, the public worship, the theatre, hands of the Girondists ; some central the courtesans, and framed on all these power was indispensably required, on subjects a variety of minute and vexatheir overthrow, to put a period to the tious regulations, which were speedily anarchy which threatened the country. adopted over all France. Chaumette, The Committee of Public Salvation pre- its public accuser, ever sure of the apsented the skeleton of a government plause of the multitude, especially when already formed. Created some months he tormented their creditors, exerted before, it was at first composed of the in all these particulars the most rigorneutral party ; the victorious Jacobins, ous authority. Consumed by an inafter the 31st May, found themselves cessant desire to subject everything to in possession of its power. Robes- new regulations, continually actuated pierre, St Just, Couthon, Billaud Va- by the wish to invade domestic liberty, rennes, and Collot d'Herbois, were suc- this legislator of the market-places and cessively elected members, and speedily warehouses became daily more vexaejected Hérault de Séchelles, and the tious and formidable; while Pache, the other partisans of Danton.* To the mayor, indolent and imperturbable, ruling Jacobins, the different depart- agreed to everything which was proments of government were assigned : posed, and left to Chaumette all the St Just was intrusted with the duty of influence of popularity with the rabble. denouncing its enemies ; Couthon with 7. The correspondence which the bringing forward its general measures; Jacobins carried on over all France, Billaud Varennes and Collot d'Herbois with the most ardent and factious in with the management of the depart- the towns and villages, speedily gave ments ; Carnot was made minister of them the entire direction of the counwar; Barère, the panegyrist and orator try, and rendered the Committee of of the government; Robespierre, gene- Public Salvation at Paris, resting on ral dictator over all.
the support of their central club, alto6. While the practical administration gether irresistible from one end of the of affairs was thus lodged with despotic Republic to the other. It was the com
mand which that party, as the most # The Committee of Public Salvation was not immediately altered after the 31st May.
violent of the Revolutionists, had everyOn 10th July it was changed, and Barère, where obtained of the magistracies, Jean-Bon St André, Gasparin, Couthon, Thu- which was the secret of this terrible riot, St Just, Prieur (de la Marne), Hérault
power. The Jacobins of Paris were de Séchelles, and R. Lindet were chosen members. On 27th July Robespierre was elected the incarnation of the whole civil and in room of Gasparin; Carnot and Prieur (de military force of the commonwealth; la Côte d'Or) were added on the 14th August; I the Committee of Public Salvation was and Billaud Varennes, Collot d'Herbois, and
the incarnation of the Jacobins of Paris; Garamsin, on the 6th September.-Histoire Parlementaire, xxviii. 147.
and Robespierre was the Avatar who
personified the Committee of Public success were his efforts attended, that, Salvation. The democratic party, in for four days in August 1792, the city possession of all the municipalities in of Lyons was the prey of anarchy and thedepartments, in consequence of their murder, and the whole of the autumn being elected by universal suffrage of that year, and spring of 1793, had armed with the powers of a terrible po- | been passed in the most vehement strife lice, intrusted with the right of making between the two parties. A list of eight domiciliary visits, of disarming or im- | hundred persons, who had signed a prisoning the suspected persons—soon petition in favour of moderate governobtained irresistible authority. In ment, was kept by Chalier, and they vain the armed sections and battalions were all doomed to death : the day of of the national guard in some places the massacre being fixed for the 9th strove to resist ; want of union and or May, when also a Revolutionary Triganisation paralysed all their efforts. bunal was to be established. On the În almost all the provincial towns of other hand, the armed sections, com. France they had courage enough to posed of the shopkeepers and better take up arms, and sometimes endeav class of citizens, who were strongly atoured to withstand the dreadful tyranny tached to the principles of the Girondof the magistracies ; but these bodies, ists, vigorously exerted themselves to based on the support and election of resist the establishment of a tribunal the multitude, in the end everywhere which was shedding such torrents of prevailed over the whole class of pro blood in the capital. Everything alprietors, and all the peaceable citizens, ready announced that desperate strife who in vain invoked the liberty, tran- of which this devoted city so soon bequillity, and security to property, for came the theatre. the preservation of which they were 9. In the other towns in the south of enrolled. This was, generally speaking, France the Girondists were all-powerthe situation of parties over all France, ful, and the utmost horror at the anthough the strife was more ardent in archical party, who had obtained the those situations where the masses were ascendancy at Paris and in the northdensest, and danger most evidently ern provinces, was already conspicuous. threatened the revolutionary party. Rennes, Caen, Evreux, Marseilles, Tou
8. The spirit of faction had been for louse, Nimes, Saintes, Grenoble, Baylong, in an especial manner, conspicuous onne, all shared their sentiments. Alat Lyons. A club of Jacobins had some most all the deputies who formed the time previously been there formed, party of the Gironde came from these composed of deputies from all the clubs towns, and their principles perfectly reof note in the south of France, at the presented the feelings by which the head of which was an ardent Republi- great majority of the better class of citi. can, of Italian origin, named Chalier, a zens was animated. From the mouth man of the most atrocious character, of the Rhone to that of the Garonne, who was at the same time an officer of these sentiments were nearly universal, the municipality and president of the and in some even the municipalities civil tribunal. The Jacobins had got were in the hands of the moderate party. possession of all the offices in the mu- At Bordeaux these principles were so nicipality except the mayoralty, which strong that they already bordered on was still in the hands of a Girondist of Royalist feelings ; while the whole the name of Nevière. The Jacobin country, from the Gironde and the Club made use of the utmost efforts entrance of the Loire, by the shores of to displace him, loudly demanded a the ocean to the mouth of the Seine, Revolutionary Tribunal, and paraded was openly attached to the ancient inthrough the streets a guillotine recent- stitutions of the country, and beheld ly sent down from Paris, “to strike with undisguised horror the atrocities terror into the traitors and aristocrats.” with which the Revolutionary party at Chalier was at the head of all these re- Paris had already stained their career. volutionary movements, and with such 10. Such was the state of public feel
ing in France, when the Revolution of the Loire, with the exception of that 31st May, and the fall of the Girondists, which was the theatre of the war of La took place. That catastrophe set the Vendée, proposed to send deputies to whole of the southern departments into Bourges to depose the usurping faction a flame; the imprisonment of the de- at Paris. At Bordeaux the sensation puties of the national representatives was extreme. All the constituted auby the mob of Paris, the open assump- thorities assembled together; erected tion of government by the municipality themselves into a committee styled of of that city, excited the most profound Public Salvation; declared that the Conindignation. In most of the cities the vention was no longer free ; appointed magistracy had fallen, as already ob- an armed force, and despatched couriers served, into the hands of the Jacobins, into all the neighbouring departments. who were supported by the parent club Marseilles sent forth a determined petiat Paris and the Executive; while the tion; the whole mountaineers of the armed sections were attached to the op- Jura were in a ferment; and the deposite views. The catastrophe of the partments of the Rhone, the Garonne, Girondists at Paris brought these con- and the Pyrenees, joined themselves to flicting powers almost everywhere into the vast confederacy. So far did the collision. At Evreux, the Jacobin au- spirit of revolt proceed, that at Lyons, thorities were put under arrest, and an as already detailed, a prosecution was armed force of four thousand men was instituted against Chalier and the leadorganised ; at Marseilles, the sectious ers of the Jacobin Club, whose projects rose against the municipality, and vio- for a repetition of the massacres of Seplently seized possession of the magis- tember at Paris had now been fully tracy; at Lyons, a furious combat took brought to light; and deputies, to conplace--the sections took the Hotel de cert measures for their common safety, Ville by assault, dispossessed the ma- were received from Marseilles, Borgistracy, shut up the Jacobin Club, and deaux, and Caen. Seventy departments gained the command of the city. At were in a state of insurrection; and Bordeaux, the arrest of the Girondists, fifteen only remained wholly devoted of whose talents the inhabitants were to the faction which had mastered the justly proud, excited the most violent Convention. sensation, which was brought to a crisis 12. Opinions were divided at Paris: by the arrival of several of the fugitive how to meet so formidable a danger: deputies, who announced that their il- Barère proposed, in the name of the lustrious brethren were in fetters, and Committee of Public Salvation, that in hourly expectation of death. Cries the revolutionary committees, which of fury were immediately heard in all had become so formidable throughout the streets; a general feeling of indig- France from their numerous arrests, nation and of despair impelled the citi should be everywhere annulled; that zens to their several rallying-points. the primary assemblies should be asThe armed sections were quickly in sembled at Paris to name a commander motion, and the municipal authorities, of the armed force in lieu of Henriot, elected during the first fervour of the who had been denounced by the insurRevolution, wrote to the executive coun- gents; and that thirty deputies should cil at Paris, that they were deprived of be sent as hostages to the provinces. all power, and unable to say what events But the Jacobins were not disposed to a day might bring forth.
any measures of conciliation. Robes11. On the 13th June the department pierre adjourned the consideration of of Eure gave the signal of insurrection. the report of the committee; and DanThe plan agreed on was, that four thou- ton, raising the voice so well known sand men should march upon Paris to in all the perils of the Revolution, exliberate the Convention. Great part of claimed_The Revolution has passed Normandy soon followed the example, through many crises, and it will surand all the departments of Brittany were vive this as it has done the others. It ere long in arms. The whole valley of is in the moments of a great produa
tion that political, like physical bodies, | Salvation, wielding at will the army, seem menaced by an approaching de- the Jacobin clubs, and the municipastruction. The thunder rolls, but it is lities. France now felt the fatal conin the midst of its roar that the great sequences of the centralisation of all work which is to consummate the hap-power in Paris by the Constituent Aspiness of twenty-five millions of men sembly, of the democratic election of will be accomplished. Recollect what all the provincial authorities by unihappened at the time of the conspiracy versal suffrage, and of the general deof Lafayette. In what state were we sertion of their country by the emigrant then? The patriots proscribed or op- noblesse. These causes had utterly propressed ; civil war threatening every strated the strength of the provinces, where. Now we are in the same situa- and already everywhere established in tion. It is said the insurrection in absolute force the despotism of the caParis has occasioned disturbances in pital. They continued their preparathe departments! Let us declare in the tions, however, and refused to send the face of the universe, that Paris glories proscribed authorities to Paris ; but in the revolt of 31st May, and that, with their ardour gradually cooled, and in out the cannon of that day, the conspi- two months the germ of revolt existed rators would have triumphed, and we only in vigour at Lyons, Toulon, and should have been slaves !” In this spi- Marseilles, where it brought about those rit the Convention, instead of yielding, bloody catastrophes which have been adopted the most vigorous measures, already recorded. and spoke in the most menacing strain. 14. The great engine which the JacoThey declared that Paris, in placing it- bins made use of to inflame the popular self in a state of insurrection, had de- passions against their opponents, and served well of the country; that the counteract the general burst of indignaarrested deputies should forthwith be tion which followed in the departments lodged in prison like ordinary criminals; the proscription of the Girondists, was that a call of the Convention should be the charging them with the project of made, and all those absent without ex- destroying the unity of the Republic, cuse be instantly expelled, and their and establishing, instead of one mighty place supplied by new representatives; state, a federal union of small repubthat all attempts at correspondence or lics. That this project was entertained coalition among the departmental au- by many of the Girondists is certain ; thorities were illegal, and that those nor indeed could they well avoid anxwho presided in them should forthwith iously wishing for the establishment of be sent to Paris. They annulled the such a system, considering the incalresolution of the department of the culable evils which they saw coming on Eure, ordered all the refractory autho- their country and themselves, by the rities to be sent to the Revolutionary centralisation of all power in the hands Tribunal, and sent the most ardent Ja of a violent and sanguinary faction at cobins into the provinces to enforce sub- Paris, and the apparent prosperity and mission to the central government. I happiness which, under the federal sys
13. These vigorous measures effectu- tem, the United States were enjoying. ally broke this formidable league. The But the Jacobins, by incessantly repredepartments, little accustomed to resist | senting that design as amounting, as in the authority of the government at fact it did, to a partition of France, and Paris, returned one by one to submis-, as rendering it wholly unable to resist sion. Hostile preparations were made the attacks of the European monarchies, at Bordeaux, Lyons, Rouen, and Mar-succeeded in generally rousing the naseilles; but the insurgents, without a tional spirit against the fallen party, leader or central point of union, and and cooling the ardour of those in the destitute of all support from the nobi- departments who had taken up arms.in lity and natural chiefs of the country, their defence. On the other hand, the were unable in most places to struggle leading principle of the Jacobins, which with the energetic Committee of Public in a great degree produced their popu
larity in Paris, was the constant deter- / sublime and majestic image of French mination they evinced and acted on, to regeneration. We may now despise the centralise everything in the capital, and efforts of calumny; we can say—There render it all in all over France.* Mean- is the answer of the patriot deputies; while the reaction at Lyons, where, dur- there is the work of the Mountain.” ing the first burst of public indignation Chabot answered—“In this constituat the arrest of the Girondists, the fe- tion, so loudly praised, I see a power at deral party had gained an entire ascen- once colossal and libertine. When you dancy, became terrible. The Revolu- establish so powerful an executive, you tionary Tribunal, established by the sow anew the seeds of royalty. I am Jacobins for the destruction of their told that this power has no veto; but enemies, now seized by another party, what does that signify? I am asked, was worked with fearful efficacy against what will be the guarantee of liberty ? themselves. Numerous arrests took I answer, the guillotine.” place; and in July alone, eighty-three 16. But there never was a greater persons were ordered to be brought to mistake than to imagine that this contrial before the Revolutionary Tribunal stitution, so republican in form, conat Lyons; and though one only of these, ferred any real liberties on the people. Chalier, suffered death, yet it was at- Its only effect was to concentrate the tended with circumstances of a very whole authority of the state in the hands shocking kind. Though his crimes richly of a few popular leaders. Thencefordeserved that punishment, yet was his ward the Committee of Public Salvaexecution peculiarly horrible. Four tion at Paris exercised, without oppositimes the guillotine (as yet a novel in- tion, all the powers of government. It strument in that region)missed its blow, named and dismissed the generals, the and his head was at length severed from judges, and the juries, appointed the his body by means of a knife.
provincial authorities, brought forward 15. The Convention shortly after, now all public measures in the Convention, wholly under the power of the Jacobins, and launched its thunder against every proceeded to the formation of a consti- opposing faction. By means of its comtution, the most democratic that ever missioners it ruled the provinces, geneexisted upon earth. Eight days com- rals, and armies, with absolute sway; pleted the work. Every Frenchman of and soon after, the Law of Suspected twenty-one years of age was entitled to Persons placed the personal freedom of exercise the rights of a citizen; a de- every subject at its disposal : the Reputy was named by every fifty thousand volutionary Tribunal rendered it the citizens. On the 1st of May of every master of every life; the requisitions year, the primary assemblies were to and the maximum, of every fortune; meet, without any convocation, to re- the accusations in the Convention, of new the deputies. It was adopted with every member of the legislature. The out discussion, and instantly circulated Law of the Suspected, which augmentover all France. "The most democratic ed so prodigiously this tremendous constitution that ever existed,” said power of the Decemvirs, passed on the Robespierre in the Jacobins, “has is- | 17th September. It declared all persued from the bosom of an assembly sons liable to arrest, who, “either by composed of counter-revolutionists, now their conduct, their relations, their conpurged of its unworthy members. We versation, or their writing, have shown can now offer to the universe a consti- themselves the partisans of tyranny or tutional code, infinitely superior to any of federation, or the enemies of freethat ever existed, which exhibits the dom; all persons who have not dis“To develop the idea that Paris is the
charged their debts to the country; all real sphere of the Republic, the centre of Government, a never-failing army; that it can
ling army; that it can children, brothers, sisters, or agents of exist only by the revenues drawn from the departments." -- Notes de PAYAN, agent de ROBESPIERRE Papiers Inédits trouvés chez
manifested their devotion to the RevoROBESPIERRE, ii. 388.
lution." Under this law, no person had