mony, which consisted of some rents irregularly paid by a few small farmers of his property in Artois. These ill-paid rents, with his salary as a representative, are said to have supported three persons—himself, his brother, and his sister; and so straitened was he in circumstances, that he had to borrow occasionally from his landlord. Even with all his pinching, he did not make both ends meet. We have it on authority, that at his death he was owing L. 160; a small debt to be incurred during a residence of five years in Paris, by a person who figured as a leader of parties; and the insignificance of this sum attests his remarkable self-denial. Lamartine's account of the private life of Robespierre in the house of the Duplays is exceedingly fascinating, and we should suppose is founded on well-authorized facts. The house of Duplay, he says, “was low, and in a court surrounded by sheds filled with timber and plants, and had almost a rustic appearance. It consisted of a parlor opening to the court, and communicating with a sitting-room that looked into a small garden. From the sitting-room a door led into a small study, in which was a piano. There was a winding-staircase to the first floor, where the master of the house lived, and thence to the apartment of Robespierre.” Here, long acquaintance, a common table, and association for several years, “converted the hospitality of Duplay into an attachment that became reciprocal. The family of his landlord became a second family to Robes. pierre, and while they adopted his opinions, they neither lost the simplicity of their manners nor neglected their religious observances. They consisted of a father, mother, a son yet a youth, and four daughters, the eldest of whom was twenty-five, and the youngest eighteen. Familiar with the father, filial with the mother, paternal with the son, tender and almost brotherly with the young girls, he inspired and felt in this small domes. tic circle all those sentiments that only an ardent soul inspires and feels by spreading abroad its sympathies. Love also attached his heart, where toil, poverty, and retirement had fixed his life. Eléonore Duplay, the eldestdaughter of his host, inspired Robespierre with a more serious attachment than her sisters. The feeling, rather predilection than passion, was more reasonable on the part of Robespierre, more ardent and simple on the part of the young girl. This affection afforded him tenderness without torment, happiness without excitement: it was the love

adapted for a man plunged all day in the

agitation of public life—a repose of the heart after mental fatigue. He and Eléonore lived in the same house as a betrothed couple, not as lovers. Robespierre had demanded the young girl's hand from her parents, and they had promised it to him. “‘The total want of fortune,’ he said, ‘and the uncertainty of the morrow, prevented him from marrying her until the destiny of France was determined; but he only awaited the moment when the Revolution should be concluded, in order to retire from the turmoil and strife, marry her whom he loved, go to reside with her in Artois, on one of the farms he had saved among the possessions of his family, and there to mingle his obscure happiness in the common lot of his family.’ “The vicissitudes of the fortune, influence, and popularity of Robespierre effected no change in his simple mode of living. The multitude came to implore favor or life at the door of his house, yet nothing found its way within. The private lodging of Robespierre consisted of a low chamber, constructed in the form of a garret, above some cart-sheds, with the window opening upon the roof. It afforded no other prospect than the interior of a small court, resembling a wood-store, where the sounds of the workmen's hammers and saws constantly resounded, and which was continually traversed by Madame Duplay and her daughters, who there performed all their household duties. This chamber was also separated from that of the landlord by a small room common to the family and himself. On the other side were two rooms, likewise attics, which were inhabited, one by the son of the master of the house, the other by Simon Duplay, Robespierre's secretary, and the nephew of his host. “The chamber of the deputy contained ouly a wooden bedstead, covered with blue damask ornamented with white flowers, a table, and four strawbottomed chairs. This apartment served him at once for a study and dormitory. His papers, his reports, the manuscripts of his discourses, written by himself in a regular but labored hand, and with many marks of erasure, were placed carefully on deal-shelves against the wall. A few chosen books were also ranged thereon. A volume of Jean Jacques Rousseau or of Racine was generally open upon his table, and attested his philosophical and literary predilections.” With a mind continually on the stretch, and concerned less or more in all the great movements of the day, the features of this remarkable personage “relaxed into absolute gaiety when in-doors, at table, or in the evening, around the wood-fire in the humble chamber of the cabinet-maker. His evenings were all passed with the family, in talking over the feelings of the day, the plans of the morrow, the conspiracies of the aristocrats, the dangers of the patriots, and the prospects of public felicity after the triumph of the Revolution. Sometimes Robespierre, who was anxious to cultivate the mind of his betrothed, read to the family aloud, and generally from the tragedies of Racine. He seldom went out in the evening; but two or three times a year he escorted Madame TJuplay and her daughter to the theatre. On other days, Robespierre retired early to his chamber, lay down, and rose again at night to work. The innumerable discourses he had delivered in the two national assemblies, and to the Jacobins; the articles written for his journal while he had one; the still more numerous manuscripts of speeches which he had prepared, but never delivered; the studied style so remarkable; the indefatigable corrections marked with his pen upon the manuscripts—attest his watchings and his determination. “His only relaxations were solitary walks in imitation of his model, Jean Jacques Rousseau. His sole companion in these perambulations was his great dog, which slept at his chamber-door, and always followed him when he went out. This colossal animal, well known in the district, was called Brount. Robespierre was much attached to him, and constantly played with him. Occasionally, on a Sunday, all the family left Paris with Robespierre ; and the politician, once more the man, amused himself with the mother, the sisters, and the brother of Eléonore in the wood of Versailles or of Issy.” Strange contradiction'. The man who is thus described as so amiable, so gentle, so satisfied with the humble pleasures of an obscure family circle, went forth daily on a self-imposed mission of turbulence and terror. Let us follow him to the scene of his avocations. Living in the Rue St. Honoré, he might be seen every morning on his way, by one of the narrow streets which led to the rooms of the National Assembly, or Convention, as the legislative body was called after the desition of Louis XVI. The house so occuied, was situated on a spot now covered by the Rue Rivoli, opposite the gardens of the Tuileries. In connection with it, were several apartments used by committees; and there, by the leading members of the House, the


actual business of the nation was for a long time conducted. It was by the part he played in one of these formidable committees, that of “Public Safety"—more properly, public insecurity—that he becomes charge. able with his manifold crimes. For the commission of these atrocities, however, he held himself to be entirely excused; and how he could possibly entertain any such notion, re. mains for us to notice. The action of the Revolution was in the hands of three parties, into which the Convention was divided—namely, the Montagnards, the Girondists, and the Plaine. The last mentioned were a comparatively harmless set of persons, who acted as a neutral body, and leaned one way or the other according to their convictions, but whose votes it was im: portant to obtain. Between the Montagnards and the Girondists there was no distinct difference of principle—both were keen re. publicans and levellers; but in carrying out their views, the Montagnards were the most violent and unscrupulous. The Girondis's expected that, after a little preliminary harshness, the Republic would be establish: ed in a pacific manner; by the force, it may be called, of philosophic conviction spread: ing through society. They were thus the moderates; yet their moderation was un: fortunately ill manifested. At the Qulse!, they countenanced the disgraceful mobbings of the royal family; they gloried in the ho rors of the 10th of August, and the humiliation of the king; and only began to or press fears that things were going too far, when massacre became the order of the day, and the guillotine assumed the character of a national institution. They were finally borne down, as is well known, by the superior en; ergy and audacity of their opponents; and all perished one way or other in the bloody struggle. Few pity them. We need hardly recall the fact, that the discussions in the Convention were greatly influenced by tumultuary movements out of doors. At a short distance, were two poli. tical clubs, the Jacobins and the Cordeliefs and there every thing was debated and determined on. Of these notorious clubs, the most uncompromising was the Jacobins; * sequently, its principal members were to * found among the party of the Montagnards. During the hottest time of the Revolution, the three men most distinguished as Montag, nards and Jacobins were Marat, Danton, * Robespierre. Mirabeau, the orator of the Revolution, had already disappeared, being so fortunate as to die naturally, before to practice of mutual guillotining was established. After him, Vergniaud, the leader of the Girondists, was perhaps the most effective speaker; and till his fall, he possessed a commanding influence in the Convention. Danton was likewise a speaker of vast power, and from his towering figure, he seemed like a giant among pigmies. Marat might be termed the representative of the kennel. He was a low demagogue, flaunting in rags, dirty, and venomous: he was always calling out for more blood, as if the grand desideratum was the annihilation of mankind. Among the extreme men, Robespierre, by his eloquence, his artifice, and his bold counsels, contrived to maintain his position. This was no easy matter, for it was necessary to remain firm and unfaltering in every emergency. He, like the others at the helm of affairs, was constantly impelled forward by the clubs, but more so by the incessant clamors of the mob. At the Hotel de Ville sat at the Commune, a crew of blood-thirsty villains, headed by Hebert; and this miscreant, with his armed sections, accompanied by paid female furies, beset the Convention, and carried measures of severity by sheer intimidation. Let it further be remembered that, in 1793, France was kept in apprehension of invasion by the Allies under the Duke of Brunswick, and the army of emigrant noblesse under the command of Condé. The hovering of these forces on the frontiers, and their occasional successes, produced a constant alarm of counter revolution, which was believed to be instigated by secret intriguers in the very heart of the Convention. It was alleged by Robespierre in his greatest orations, that the safety of the Republic depended on keeping up a wholesome state of terror; and that all who, in the slightest degree, leaned towards clemency, sanctioned the work of intriguers, and ought, accordingly, to be proscribed. By such harangues —in the main, miserable sophistry—he acquired prodigious popularity, and was in fact irresistible. Thus was legalized the Reign of Terror, which, founded in false reasoning and insane fears, we must, nevertheless, look back upon as a thing, at least to a certain extent, reconcilable with a sense of duty; inasmuch as even while signing warrants for transferring hundreds of people to the Revolutionary Tribunal—which was equivalent to sending them to the scaffold—Robespierre imagined that he was acting throughout under a clear, an imperious necessity: only ridding society of the elements that disturbed its

purity and tranquillity. Stupendous hallucination And did this fanatic really feel no pang of conscience? That will afterwards engage our consideration. Frequently, he was called on to proscribe and execute his most intimate friends; but it does not appear that any personal consideration ever stayed his proceedings. First, he swept away Royalists and aristocrats; next he sacrificed the Girondists; last, he came to his companionJacobins. Accusing Danton and his friends of a tendency to moderation, he had the dexterity to get them proscribed and beheaded. When Danton was seized, he could hardly credit his senses: he who had long felt himself sure of being one day dictator by public acclamation, and to have been deceived by that dreamer, Robespierre, was most humiliating. But Robespierre would not dare to put him to death ! Grave miscalculation | He was immolated like the rest; the crowd looking on with indifference. Along with him perished Camille Desmoulins, a young man of letters, and a Jacobin, but convicted of advocating clemency. Robespierre was one of Camille's private and most valued friends; he had been his instructor in politics, and had become one of the trustees under his marriage-settlement, Robespierre visited at the house of his protege; chatted with the young and handsome Madame Desmoulins at her parties; and frequently dandled the little Horace Desmoulins on his knee, and let him play with his bunch of seals. Yet because they were adherents of Danton, he sent husband and wife to the scaffold within a few weeks of each other | What eloquent and touching appeals were made to old recollections by the mother of Madame Desmoulins. Robespierre was reminded of little Horace, and of his duty as a family guardian. All would not do. His heart was marble; and so the wretched pair were guillotined. Camille's letter to his wife, the night before he was led to the scaffold, cannot be read without emotion. He died with a lock of her hair clasped convulsively in his hand. Having thus cleared away to some extent all those who stood in the way of his views, Robespierre bethought himself of acting a new part in public affairs, calculated, as he thought, to dignify the Republic. Chaumette, a mean confederate of Hebert, and a mouth-piece of the rabble, had, by consent of the Convention, established Paganism, or the worship of Reason, as the national religion... Robespierre never gave his approval to this outrage, and took the earliest opportunity of restoring the worship of the Supreme. It is said, that of all the missions with which he believed himself to be charged, the highest, the holiest in his eyes, was the regeneration of the religious sentiment of the people: to unite heaven and earth by this bond of a faith which the Republic had broken, was for him the end, the consummation of the Revolution. In one of his paroxysms, he delivered an address to the Convention, which induced them to pass a law, acknowledging the existence of God, and ordaining a public festival to inaugurate the new religion. This fete took place on the 8th of June, 1794. Robespierre headed the procession to the Champ de Mars; and he seemed on the occasion to have at length reached the grand realization of all his hopes and desires. From this coup de theatre he returned home, magnified in the estimation of the people, but ruined in the eyes of the Convention. His conduct had been too much that of one whose next step was to the restoration of the throne, with himself as its occupant. By Fouché, Tallien, Collot-d'Herbois, and some others, he was now thwarted in all his schemes. His wish was to close the Reign of Terror and allow the new moral world to begin ; for his late access of devotional feeling had, in reality, disposed him to adopt benign and clement measures. But to arrest carnage was now beyond his power; he had invoked a demon which would not be laid. Assailed by calumny, he made the Convention resound with his speeches; spoke of fresh proscriptions to put down intrigue: and spread universal alarm among the mem. bers. In spite of the most magniloquent orations, he saw that his power was nearly gone. Sick at heart, he began to absent himself from committees, which still continued to send to the scaffold numbers whose obscure rank should have saved them from suspicion or vengeance. At this juncture, Robespierre was earnest!y entreated by one of his more resolute adherents, St. Just, to play a bold game for the dictatorship, which he represented as the only means of saving the Republic from anarchy. Anonymous letters to the same effect also poured in upon him; and prognostics of his greatness, uttered by an obscure fortune-teller, were listened to by the great demagogue with something like superstitious respect. But for this personal elevation he was not prepared. Pacing up and down his apartment, and striking his forehead with his hand, he candidly acknowledged that he was not made for power; while the


bare idea of doing anything to endanger the Republic amounted, in his mind, to a species of sacrilege. At this crisis in his fate, therefore, he temporised; he sought peace, if not consolation, in solitude. He tooklong walks in the woods, where he spent hours seated on the ground, or leaning against a tree, his face buried in his hands, or earnestly bent on the surrounding natural objects, What was the precise tenor of his medi. tations, it would be deeply interesting to know. Did the great promoter of the Revo. lution ponder on the failure of his aspirations after a state of human perfectibility? Was he torn by remorse on seeing rise up, in imagination, the thousands of innocent indivi. duals whom, in vindication of a theory, he had consigned to an ignominious and violent death, yet whose removal had, politically speaking, proved altogether fruitless? It is the more general belief that, in these solitary rambles, Robespierre was preparin an oration, which, as he thought, shoul silence all his enemies, and restore him to parliamentary favor. A month was devoted to this rhetorical effort; and, unknown to him, during that interval all parties coalesced, and adopted the resolution to treat his oration when it came with contempt, and, at all hazards, to have him proscribed. The great day came, July 26 (8th Thermidor), 1794. His speech, which he read from a paper, was delivered in his best style—in vain. It was received with yells and hootings; and, with dismay, he retired to the Jacobins, to deliver it over again—as if to seek support among a more subservient alldience. Next day, on entering the Convent; tion, he was openly accused by Tallien and Billaud-Varennes of aspiring to despotio power. A scene of tumult ensued, and, amid cries of down with the tyrants a writ for his committal to prison was drawn out. It must be considered a fine trait in the char. acter of Robespierre the younger, that he begged to be included in the same decree of proscription with his brother. This wish was readily granted; and St. Just, CouthOn (who had lost the use of his legs, and was always carried about in an arm chair), and Le Bas, were added to the number of the proscribed. Rescued, however, from the gendarmes by an insurrectionary force, headed by Barras, Robespierre and his colleagues were conducted in triumph to the Hôtel de Ville. Here, during the night, earnest consultations were held; and the adherents of Robespierre implored him in desperation, as the last chance of safety for them all to address a rousing proclamation to the sections. At length yielding unwillingly to these frantic appeals, he commenced writing the required address: and it was while subscribing his name to this seditious document, that the soldiers of the Convention burst in upon him, and he was shot through the jaw by one of the gendarmes. At the same moment, Le Bas shot himself through the heart. All were made prisoners, and carried off—the dead body of Le Bas not excepted. sk * # *:

While residing for a short time in Paris in 1849, we were one day conducted by a friend to a large house, with an air of faded grandeur, in the eastern faubourgs, which had belonged to an aged republican, recently deceased. He wished me to examine a literary curiosity, which was to be seen among other relics of the great Revolution. The curiosity in question was the proclamation, in the handwriting of Robespierre, to which he was in the act of inscribing his signature, when assaulted and made prisoner in the Hôtel de Wille. It was a small piece of paper, contained in a glass-frame; and, at this distance of time, could not fail to excite an interest in visitors. The few lines of writing, commencing with the stirring words: “Courage, mes compatriotes "ended with only a part of the subscription. The letters, Robes, were all that were appended, and were followed by a blur of the pen; while the lower part of the paper showed certain discolorations, as if made by drops of blood. And so this was the last surviving token of the notorious Robespierre . It is somewhat curious, that no historian seems to be aware of its existence.

* *k * * sk

Stretched on a table in one of the anterooms of the Convention; his head leaning against a chair; his fractured jaw supported by a handkerchief passed round the top of his head; a glass with vinegar and a sponge at his side to moisten his feverish lips; speechless and almost motionless, yet conscious!—there lay Robespierre—the clerks, who, a few days ago, had cringed before him, now amusing themselves by pricking him with their penknives, and coarsely jesting over his fall. Great crowds, likewise, flocked to see him while in this undignified posture, and he was overwhelmed with the vilest expressions of hatred and abuse. The mental agony which he must have experienced during this humiliating exhibition, could scarcely fail to be increased on hearing himself made

the object of unsparing and boisterous declamations from the adjoining tribune. At three o'clock in the afternoon (July 28), the prisoners were placed before the Revolutionary Tribunal, and at six, the whole were tied in carts, the dead body of Le Bas included, and conducted to execution. To this wretched band were added the whole family of the Duplays, with the exception of the mother; she having been strangled the previous night by female furies, who had broken into her house, and hung her to the iron rods of her bedstead. They were guiltless of any political crime; but their private connection with the principal object of proscription was considered to be sufficient for their condemnation. The circumstance of these individuals being involved in his fate, could not fail to aggravate the bitterness of Robespierre's reflections. As the dismal cortige wended its way along the Rue St. Honoré, he was loaded with imprecations b women whose husbands he had destroyed, and the shouts of children, whom he had deprived of parents, were the last sounds heard by him on earth. Yet he betrayed not the slightest emotion—perhaps he only pitied the ignorance of his persecutors. In the midst of the feelings of a misunderstood and martyred man, his head dropped into the basket ! These few facts and observations respecting the career of Robespierre, enable us to form a tolerably correct estimate of his character. The man was a bigot. A perfect Republic was his faith, his religion. To integrity, perseverance, and extraordinary selfdenial under temptation, he united only a sanguine temperament and moderate abilities for the working-out of a mistaken principle. Honest and zealous in his purpose, his conduct was precisely analogous to that of all religious persecutors—sparing no pain or bloodshed to accomplish what he believed to be a good end. Let us grant that he was a monomaniac, the question remains as to his general accountability. If he is to be acquitted on the score of insanity, who is to be judged 2 Not so are we to exempt great criminals from punishment and obloquy. Robespierre knew thoroughly what he was about ; and far as he was misled in his motives, he must be held responsible for his actions. Before entering on the desperate enterprise of demolishing all existing institutions, with the hope of reconstructing the social fabric, it was his duty to be assured that his aims were practicable, and that he was himself authorised to think and act for

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