have possessed themselves of him from the very commencement of his political career, and will never again relinquish their instrument.


This Counsellor of Britanny, known at Rennes for a busybody, had shaken off the dust of his shoes against his country before he quitted it.

A man of talents, a good logician, but corrupt, and born with all the vices of that description of persons which was lately styled “ Good Company.” Chapelier had too much understanding not to perceive that, in the great scene which was opening on the public, men of artifice and intrigue would play the principle part? He therefore distinguished himself by a direct opposition to the court, in order afterwards to make with that very court terms more advantageous to his own interests.

Ibid. p. 83.


General of the Sans-Culottes, enemy of all Sovereignty, intrepid defender of the rights of the people; Robespierre wanted only natural consequence, eloquence à la Danton, and something less of presumption and obstinacy.

This man, nurtured with the morality of Rousseau, has had the courage to form himself upon his model. He possessed his austere principles and manners; his savage character and unaccommodating spirit; he had not indeed his talents, but Robespierre was, nevertheless, no ordinary man.


In the infancy of the Revolution, Rabaud wished to distinguish himself, and succeeded; some premeditated and set discourses, well drawn up, procured him success; but from the moment in which men of great talents came forward, Ribaud was silent. In this he shewed his discernment.

He is not deficient in understanding, nor even oratorical talent, but he has little pretensions to character. His publications respecting the National Gendarmery, and the organization of the National Guard, are destitute of common sense : he should have confined himself to objects that were familiar to him, and not have been so conceited as to aim at every thing. This is a failing common indeed to men of merit, but much more so to blockheads; and posterity, which views things only in their effects, makes no distinction between them.

Ibid. p. 152.


Originally Curé of Embermenil, near Nancy, at present Bishop of Blois by the election of the people, the Abbé Gregoire, in the assembly of the clergy, was the most strenuous combatant against the prejudices of his order. He seemed willing to give one sigh to the abolition of the Ecclesiastical tithes, but this momentary weakness was speedily atoned for.

Ibid. p. 118,


Of all those vile instruments of despotism who are denominated courtiers, perhaps the most artful, the most traiterous, the most hateful, was Alexander Lameth.

It was at the very moment in which the Queen had conferred accumulated obligations on his family, that he coolly deliberated on the means of subverting the throne of his benefactress. Enveloped for a long time in the most profound policy, possessed of too much address to discover himself openly in the commencement of a Revolution to which he was afraid to trust, but of which he secretly directed the springs, it was not until he had rendered himself the chief, and in effect the despot of the Military Committee, that he gave the reins to his ambition. A very indifferent orator, but a refined politician, his fort consisted in sowing dissention among different parties, in embroiling them with each other, in order to manage them afterwards at his pleasure.

The enemy of all domination; he would himself be the only despot. For a considerable time he governed the Jacobins, under the mask of Patriotism.

Ibid. p. 87.



His country owes to this Prelate a particular acknowledgment on account of his conduct respecting the sale of National Property, and the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. He has dared to take his stand between the Church and the People, at a time when the Revolutiou was not established, and his conduct has fixed the wavering measures of those, who, al. though well-wishers to the interests of the public, were afraid of venturing too far.

We were in want of Bishops of the old establishment for the purpose of consecrating our Constitutional Bishops; all the French Prelates, even the Archbishop of Sens, had refused their assistance. He (Perigord) has cut the Gordian knot, and has afforded his ministry for this purpose. After these signal services, what has France to do with his gambling, his pleasures, his pretended stock-joving ?

libd. p. 145. This noble ecclesiastic cannot, like many others, be justly accused of ingratitude to his royal master, as it is well known, that he was advanced to the prelacy much against the inclination of that unfortunate monarch, his promotion being extorted by the urgent and importunate entreaty of a dying father, as appears from the following account by the Chev. Bintinaye.

“ Who could dare undertake the apology of the Bishop of Autun, the name or sight of whom is sufficient to convey an idea of the most abject turpitude, and the blackest perverseness; him, of whom the deceased Mirabeau asserted, “ For lucre he would sell his soul, and he would be in the right, for it would be exchanging ordure for gold.

We can, however, exculpate him from the charge of having purchased his bishopric. Every body knows that the king had resolved never to make him a bishop, and that the royal resolution yielded to the prayers of a valued and dying father, who had been deceived by his hypocritical promises of reformation.

Obs. du Chev. Bintinaye, p.73, 74.


- fronte politus, Astutam vapido servans sub pectore, vulpeni.

Persius, Sat. 5.

The place of Secretary to the French Academy, before it belonged to M. Condorcet, was held by M. Granjean de Fonchy, a respectable character, in the decline of life, and in moderate circumstances.

A person of learning and opulence, deceased, had bequeathed a sum of money to the secretary of the academy, besides a pension of 1200 livres, as an augmentation of the salary of his office. Of this bequest M. Condorcet, and some of his very intimate friends, had the earliest intelligence, while the party concerned was wholly ignorant of the matter. Under these circumstances a treaty was entered into and very expeditiously concluded with M. De Fonchy, for the purchase of his place, which he resigned to M. Condorcet, who possessed himself of the bequest and pension, and who graces at this hour, the post which he acquired with so much ingenuousness and liberality.

He had a principal share in bringing to Paris the assassins who were dispatched from thence to murder his pupil and benefactor, the Duc de Rochfoucalt.


Was known before the Revolution, by the name of Brissot de Warville. He was the confident of La Motte, who was executed in this country as a spy. He so frequently mistook his neighbour's pockets for his own, as to occasion the proverbial application of the word Brissoteur, to a pickpocket.

Flower of the Jacobins. Mr. Brissot was, a few years since, well known to some of the police officers of this country, as a pickpocket; but upon their endeavouring to obtain a more intimate acquaintance with him, he withdrew to France, &c. Fennel, p. 430.


The Archbishop of Toulouse, who became Archbishop of Sens, Cardinal of the name of Loménie, afterwards apostate, afterwards nothing; the most rapacious, and, at the same time,

« VorigeDoorgaan »