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within a bar, so as to be separated from the gendarmes, whose presence, he said, was extremely odious to them. As soon as the sentence of death was read, he exclaimed--Achetez, scélérals! c'en est fait de la liberté :'-muis regardez ce que sçavent faire les patriotes!'— Then drawing forth the knife and stabbing himself, he turned toward his friends--Allons, mes camarades ! suivez mon exemple. The knife passed from hand to hand, cach of the sis stabbing himself, and reaching it immediately to his colleague next him. The writer in Phillips's collection declares that he was an eye witness of this memorable scene. The French Biography notices Romme only, and makes no mention of his fellows : but it adds a report that the friends of Romine carried off his body and restored him to life ; after which he went to Russia, where he had formerly lived, and where the young Count Strogonoti, to whom he had been tutor, received and sheltered him. The report, however, is discredited by the person who relates it.
Perhaps the most disinterested and least culpable of all the revolutionists are to be found among the adherents to the constitution of 1793, who were proscribed by the Directory. They employed no artifices to hurry on the overthrow of the monarchy,
and they adhered to republicanism when it was a sinking cause. They lived through the worst times of the revolution, because, as they never thrust themselves forward, they never excited the jealousy of any party : but when the reaction had begun, the tendency of which they perceived to be not merely towards monarchy, but towards despotism, sincerity then became in them a sufficient crime, and they suffered as unjustly as the royalists, in whose condemnation they had joined. The stage was now cleared, the principal actors were all removed; and there remained none but those who were prepared by want of principle, or want of courage, to submit to the course of events; and a revolution which had begun in force, and deception, and ignorance, and been carried on in blood, ended, as all such revolutions must end, in a military despotism.
• The causes of the revolution,' says Babæuf, whose opinion ought not to be suspected upon this point, are not, perhaps, such as many writers have wished to represent them. Honesty, with a little degree of sagacity, must perceive, and may confess that national pride alone makes us boast of the virtues of the French as presiding at the first crisis. I attribute it neither to the dilapidation and profligacy of the court, nor to the disorder of the finances, nor to the numerous imposts, nor to the light of philosophy and the sentiments of justice and iunate patriotism, with which it has been pretended that the hearts of so many men were inflamed. Undoubtedly the kingdom of France was ill-governed, but not worse than many others; the people were very miserable, but not more so than in other parts of Europe. There was
light in the country, but the greater number of those persons who possessed it, did not possess virtue in due proportion, and the love of their fellow kind. That which, in my opinion, contributed most to the first popular commotion is this--we had just seen the revolution in North America, and the movements in Holland and Brabant: the spirit of novelty and of imitation, so natural among the French, made them wish to do in their turn what, as it appeared to them, had given celebrity to people whom they did not think better than themselves. It would have been disgrace for a nation which piques itself upon surpassing all others in all things, to remain behind those who had most distinguished themselves in political changes : and we therefore would have our revolution. The revolution was powerfully seconded by the support of the ambitious of all ranks, who saw a wide door opened for fortune and for vanity. These I think were the chief moving causes of the revolution of the 14th of July, which, with a very few exceptions, found the whole nation at its service. But I need not do it more honour than to believe that some lent their hands to it on a speculation, others for the love of novelty, or for imitation-for fashion, or for the mania of the day—others were drawn on mechanically, and very few were they who engaged in it from virtue.'
Babæuf overlooked the chief cause. A feeble court, surrounded by false servants, suffered (during the first heats) a set of journalists to abuse the liberty of the press-an_abuse which must overthrow any government that permits it. The liberty of the press or death, was the motto of one of these writers, who continually inveighed against the king and queen, till such invective brought on their destruction. The government that suffers itself to be insulted with impunity, is from that moment in danger.
He who contemplates the history of the world with the faith of a Christian and the comprehensive views of a philosopher, perceives in the course of human events, as harmonious an order as that which science has demonstrated to us in the movements of the material universe. Evil there has been, evil there is, and evil there yet will be ;-woe be to those by whom it comes ! But it ever has been, and it ever will be subservient to good upon the great scale. Particular nations have degenerated, and countries which were once free and flourishing, have sunk into servitude, or been laid waste by oppression : still the amelioration of the whole has been going on, and the human race has continually been advancing toward that better state of things which philosophy teaches us to expect, and religion commands us to press on to. The preacher who should have chosen this topic of consolation iv Gaul, or Italy, or Britain, during those ages when all existing institutions were overthrowu by the irruption of the northern nations, would have found few to believe him: yet who is there but must now acknowledge that it was expedient for the welfare of mankind that the Roman empire
should be subverted ? So will it be with that revolution of which the immediate evils spread themselves year after year more widely. War to palaces, peace to cottages, was the cry with which it began; but in the train of horrors wbich it has drawn on, the cottage and the palace have been involved in one common ruin. Like a devouring pestilence it has raged through every part of Europe, and now that it can find upon our continent no new field for its ravages, a wider scene of havoc has been opened in America. That the end will be good we believe with perfect faith but well will it be for us, if, in its progress, we discover those errors which ture made its course bitherto so fatal. In our foreign relations the wickedness of the enemy has given us all that could be wished: we stand upon that vantage ground which France occupied at the beginning of the contest, and we are at this moment leagued, not with corrupt courts, and oppressive governments, but with people fighting for their independence, and their heartbs and altars-and with the friends of liberty wherever they exist. France has done this for us abroad; the example of France must be our security at home: it has been lost upon our Heberts and Marats, and Chaumettes, who go on inflaming the passions of the ignorant and ferocious part of the community, as if they themselves were not sure to be the victims in their turn, of the revolution which they are labouring to produce. The circumstances of England give these men far greater advantages than their fellow journalists and writers enjoyed in France. · We may hereafter take occasion to show in what manner the state of society in this country is favourable to their nefarious prospects, and what are the means by which they may best be counteracted.
ART. XV. Poems, by William Robert Spencer. pp. 240. 8vo.
London; Cadell and Davis. 1811.
poetry of the boudoir.' The style of writing is perfectly well-bred, civil, and unassuming; but the force and tone of inspiration are wanting. If, indeed, the absence of bold and original thoughts could be compensated by sensibility almost morbid, and by the Autter of wit, which never rises to a painful height, we might repose on Mr. Spencer's pages with delight; for they resemble the conversation of Chaucer's Abbess, in which
"All was charity and tender heart.' The first poem in this little collection is a translation of Burgher's
celebrated ballad, which afforded a subject of emulation to contending wils, some years ago. Mr. Spencer's version is sprightly and elegant. The Teutonic, sublime, and terrible, are well given.
The Yeur of Sorrow is an original Poem, written to commemorate several domestic afflictions, which the course of that period had produced to the author. The idea of this piece is not very fortunate, for it consists merely of a string of epitaphs, without any other plan than that resulting from their dates. He who grieves by the Almanack, can hardly be expected to create much sympathy. There are, however, many good lines.
* And art thou gone, Parent* and friend revered!
And clasp a Mother to her heart again!'--p. 41.
• Breathe soft, Italian gales! and ye that wing
The death-siurm rose, and swept her to the tomb!-p. 44. The short poem enti:led the Visionary, is sweetly expressed ; though it is little more than an expansion of a well-known phrase, the ghost of departed pleasure.
• When midnight o'er the moonless skies
** The Countess Dowager of Jenison Walworth, Mrs. Spencer's mother, died at Heidelberg in Germany.'
The shade of youthful hope is there,
Since lifeless to my heart ye prove!'-pp. 67, 68. The ballad of Beth Gelert has been so frequently printed, and has found so much favour with most readers, that we do not think it necessary to analyse it. The author has certainly dallied with the innocence of his subject, • like the old age.'
The Emigrant's Grave contains some pathetic lines, though the measure is unhappy: Why mourn ye, why strew ye those flow'rets around
yon new-socided grave, as ye slowly advance?
poor exile of France.
sang the glad song of more fortunate days!--pp. 134, 135. Of the French verses, as we cannot speak well, we shall say nothing. It is impossible to close the volume, without regretting the tritling directiou which the author has given to talents and acquirements which might have attained much higher praise, by more vigorous exertion. Where we perceive so much taste and feeling, we are willing to suppose that attention to subjects requiring some thought and research, would have roused the author to strains of a deeper tone. But in the pages before us, the celebration of beauty supersedes all thought, or, at least, only leaves the author á disposition to be ingenious. To become a dangler of the muses is a propensity as unfortunate in literature, as a similar turn in gallantry. The first impulses of imagination, like those of the affections, are debased, if they are not directed to an estimable object; and the generous warmth of those early feelings can bardly be recalled in either case.