minute of being carried away by the flood. Not having courage to die, he caught a piece of floating timber, and reached the shore upon it, and went to the house of a man who owed him five and twenty louis, and whom he thought he might trust. He found from him such faith and such mercy as he had shewn to others ; the man locked him in, and immediately informed against him; he was taken to the Conciergerie, and then told the gaoler that the fatigue and horror which he had endured upon the island, and in buffeting the waves, made the death he was about to suffer a pleasure in comparison. His own inhuman scoffs were retorted upon him on his way to the scaffold. Ilé bien, Coffinhal,' said some persons in the crowd, que dis-tu de cette botte-là? pare cette-là. He said nothing, upon which they added, tu n'a pas la parole. When he reached the place of execution the use of his limbs was lost from cold and exhaustion, and fear. Coffinhal was the man who, when Lavoisier requested that his death might be delayed a fortnight in order that he might finish some important experiments, told him the republic had no need of scholars and chemists.





These guilty agents of an execrable tyranny would soon have been destroyed by Robespierre himself. He was preparing to sacrifice them to public opinion, and with them those members of the Convention who, either in the provinces, or in the Committee of Public Safety, had outstript him in cruelty. Had he succeeded, it is not improbable that he might have acted the part of Sylla, and endeavoured to secure his power by putting an end to the system of terror. He was destined to be the scape-goat himself, a fate which he deserved as the most prominent of these men of blood, but by no means as the worst of them. A very few of the most notorious villains were brought to the block after him. Collot d'Herbois and Billaud Varennes escaped with the inadequate punishment of transportation. Allous, President,' said the latter when the sentence was read to him, à la longue, il n'y restera la sonnette. He is said to have employed himself at Sinamari in teaching parrots to speak. Collot d'Herbois in the thirst produced by a fever, perhaps in a fit of delirium, drank a bottle of brandy; it proved fatal; he was carried in a litter to the hospital at Cayenne, where he expired in the greatest bodily torments, and in far more dreadful agonies of mind, reproaching himself for his innumerable crimes, and cursing the hour of his birth. Their colleague, Barrère, who seems to have assented to all their cruelties from mere cowardice, contrived to be left behind when the ship sailed with them from France, upon which Boursault observed, that it was the first time he had ever failed to sail with the wind. The sort of contempt in which he was held, and the consideration that, though he had been the herald and apologist of so many


murders, he had occasioned none himself, contributed to his security. Before the revolution he had been a man of letters, and the French Biography tells us, that in his retirement he has returned to his former pursuits, and amused himself with translating the Night Thoughts. Dr. Dodd's Prison Thoughts would have been more appropriate.

After the fall of Robespierre, in the natural order of a revolution, knaves and cowards succeeded to the sway, elbowing each other, and trafficking, intriguing, and contending for power, till the people were weary of misrule, and willingly submitted to a military despotism. The Directory gave the first specimen of a military government; and there is a memorable anecdote connected with it.-Six deputies were arrested after the insurrection of the first of Prairial, and were delivered over to a military commission; Phillips's collection mentious three of their names, Romme, Bourbotte, and Soubrany: the first was a man of science, and a sturdy republican; but while the terrorists were carrying on their abominable proscription, he devoted himself to the harmless employment of preparing a sort of commentary upon the new calendar, called Anmaire du Cultivateur, containing short philosophical accounts of the plants, animals, and implements with which Fabre d'Eglantine, at his suggestion, had filled the decadary almanack, in place of the saints. The Committee of Public Instruction thought his book worthy of being published for the use of the national schools, and a decree of the Convention was issued, ordering that an edition should be printed in the capital of every department for this purpose. Romme must have been passionately devoted to agriculture to imagine that such a book could ever supersede the Flos Sanctorum, the Nouveau Parterre des Fleurs des Vies des Saints, and the numberless other compilations of a similar kind, which are almost as amusing, and quite as veracious as the Arabian Tales. He did not live to see St. Francis and St. Dominic recover their places, and eject the sheep and oxen by whom they had for a while been ousted. He and his five companions seem to have been selected as victims by the directorial party, for their known attachment to the democratical constitution of 1793, not for any direct share which could be proved against them in the insurrection for which they were to be sacrificed; and as the name of a revolutionary tribunal was become odious, they were delivered over to a military commission, which did the business in a manuer equally sure and summary. The accused deputies were fully aware that their deaths had been determined on. Romme, although strictly watched by the gendarmes, found means to procure and secrete a strong and sharp pointed knife, and he obtained, as a favour, from the members of the commission, that he and his comrades should be placed during their trial

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-‘Achevez, scélérats! c'en est fait de la liberté-mais 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, each of the six 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 Romme 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 Strogonoff, 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 Babœuf, 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 innate 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 pos sessed 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.'

Babœuf 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 in Gaul, or Italy, or Britain, during those ages when all existing institutions were overthrown 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 which 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 have made its course hitherto 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 hearths 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.

WE E cannot rank these productions of Mr, Spencer higher than 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 flutter 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

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