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for that reason were by no means prove themselves unbiassed by any disheartened. What principally prejudice against the friends of confirmed them in this expectation, monarchy, they passed a decree was the party spirit that reigned in enabling the princes of the royal the National Assembly, and the blood to be raised at the king's reobstructions to a reunion of senti- quest, and with the assent of the lements among them. These were gislature, to the command of fleets represented by the zealous royalists or armies ; excluding them howas circumstances that must soon or ever from ministerial employments, late operate to the total ruin of and from promotions dependent on the present constitution, and as an the suffrages of the people. This inducement to its enemies never to exclusion was thought necessary, to despair of overthrowing it. prevent the republicans from com
There was doubtless some cause plaining that the interests of the for the indulgence of such an idea. crown were too much consulted, The National Assembly was eviand that the royal family was indently split into various parties. vested with too many privileges The warm republicans composed and means of arriving at improper a large division, and the royalists power. Apprehensive at the same another; though not so numerous, time of the vicissitudes to which yet equally violent.
the system they were establishing another party, consisting of such as was liable, they determined to se wavered in their intentions what cure its duration long enough to measures to embrace, determined afford it a trial of its propriety. probably to side with the strongest. With this view the assembly deThese were in fact a sort of neu- creed, that the constitution should trals: but those who supported the remain unchanged till the meeting present constitution were more in of the third legislature: before number than all the rest together, this period all revision should be and in right of their majority of suspended, that experience might votes, possessed the supreme power. come in aid of whatever alterations The whole kingdom, with little ex- might be proposed. ception, adhered to them, as plainly In order also to obviate any appeared by the readiness of their changes or modifications that decrees being complied with, and might be suggested to the king as their orders instantly obeyed, how- conditions of his assent to the conever active the friends of the other stitution, the Assembly resolved parties showed themselves in rais. that his acceptance or refusal should ing every species of difficulty and be a simple affirmative or negative. opposition. The constitutionalists The principle on which they relied so confidently on this attache grounded this resolution was, that ment, and were so convinced they the nation alone was competent to had nothing to apprehend from the decide on what conditions it was enmity of the other parties, that willing to pay obedience to the chief they paid no regard either to the by whom it chose to be governed. 'clainours of those who inclined to a While thus intent on circumscribcommonwealth, or to the favourers ing the royal prerogative, they judgof the old system, In order to ed it proper, in order to avoid the
imputation of partiality, to limit their character for judiciousness the power of all persons in places of moderation, and a desire to give
The most remarkable general contentment. On thesa of the decrees enacted to this end, depended the confirmation an was that which appointed the com- stability of their decrees, as the manding officers of the sixty divi- measure both of strength and sup sions of the national guards in port which they expected to de Paris; each in his turn comman- rive from the public, could be der in chief of the whole body, proportioned only to the degree of and who were to be elected in the approbation wherein their transacsame manner as the members of tions would be held. In order the National Assembly in that ar. to put the finishing hand, as it were, duous and important office, which to their popularity, they now had hitherto been discharged by finally resolved on the complete M. de la Fayette. His known removal of that universal complaint attachment to the principles of the of all liberal minded men, perserevolution had procured him great cution on account of religious opipopularity; and the devotion to his nions. They directed the decrees person on that account had ren- to this intent to be enforced with dered his exercise of that employ- particular energy; and that all disment less difficult than if it had senters from the established church been confided to another more lia- should accordingly be protected ble to suspicions : but even be in the full enjoyment of their himself had not escaped them; and respective persuasions, and in the the power annexed to his place ap- unrestrained liberty of erecting peared too dangerous to be trusted places of Worship, and of confor any length of time to any forming, without molestation, to single individual. His popularity, the rites and discipline enjoined indeed, was not a little shaken at by their religion. Though such a the time of the flight of the king, spirit of toleration was disapproved and afterwards, on account of the by the rigid assertors of the necespart he took against the Jacobins sity of religious uniformity, far in the affair of Nancy, as well as his greater was the majority in its faconduct in that of the Champ de vour. Few of the measures adopted Mars after the king's return from by the Assembly did them more Varennes.
service. In France it procured These proceedings were prepa- them the firm adherence of those ratory to the great event in uni- vumerous Protestants whom perseversal contemplation—the King's cution had not been able to overacceptance or rejection of the con- come, and in other parts it raised stitutional code, and his conse- them innumerable friends in the quent treatment. Nothing there. foes to the church of Rome, and to fore was to be omitted on the those maxims of intolerance that part of the Assembly that could are such a disgrace to the profession conduce to the establishment of of Christianity,
CH A P.
CH A P. X.
Conduct of the Swiss Cantons, the King of Sweden, and of other Sove
reigns towards France. Avignon incorporated with France. Insurrection in Corsica suppressed. Suspicions entertained of the King's Brothers, and the Princes of the Blood Royal. Admonitions to the King. Constitutional Code presented to him. His Conduct on this Occasion highly satisfactory to the Public. Eforts of the Republic cans io obstruct the final Settlement of the Constitution-ineffectual. King's Letter to the Assembly. His Acceptance of the Constitution. Joy expressed by the French at this Event. Constitution solemnly proclaimed. Protest against it by many Members of the Assembly. Spirited Opposition of M. Malonne. Violent Debates on the Administration of the Finances. Dissolution of the Assembly. THE liberality of sentiments which they suspected the formation,
entertained by the Assembly in the intercourse between the in religious matters availed them French and their own people. little with those Protestant states, These precautions, however, could of which the political interests did not stifle that spirit of democracy not accord with the ideas prevail which had seized those classes that ing among the French. The re were denied a participation in gopublic of Berne, the chief and most vernment, and which maintained powerful of all the Cantons in a right thereto in every order of Swisserland, declared itself expli- society without exception.
They citly against the measures pursued carried their boldness so far, as to by the Assembly. As the govern assume a cockade with the French ment of that republic is an aristo- motto, “ Freedom or Death." In cracy as absolute as any in Europe, some places, they rose in large boit could not fail to reprobate that dies against the magistracy that opequality of freedom among all posed their proceedings. The en classes, established by the French mity of the Swiss Cantons, and of revolution. The great council that of Berne in particular, was an was convened, consisting of those object of no small concern to the families wherein the sovereignty Assembly, from the multitude of resides ; and it came to the resolua excellent soldiers with whom they tion of investing the secret council, have so long supplied France; and somewhat resembling the Venetian might, in case of an alteration, fur. council of ten, with supreme power nish its enemies, by withdrawing in both civil and military affairs. the great numbers already in the This, like the dictatorial commis- service of that kingdom, and pere sion at Rome, subjected all men to mitting them, as well as further letheir immediate and arbitrary con- vies, to be employed against it. troul : they employed the severest Other enemies had also risen, as measures to enforce their authority, above mentioned, in the person of and set a species of inquisition on Gustavus, King of Sweden, and foot, for the discovery of those con- their Imperial and Prussian majesspiracies against the aristocracy of ties. Spain expressed the most
marked solicitude, in taking every to use every effort for their dissepreventive measure that could mination. possibly be enforced, against thein- The National Assembly paid very troduction of any tenets that might little regard, either to this transacdisturb the established government. tion, or to the many other proofs In addition to the orders given out which they daily experienced, of for a strict examination of every the inimical intentions of the Euindividual coming from France, the ropean powers. The main object Spanish ministry issued a requisition of their politics was, to re-unite the from all foreigners settled in Spain, different parties, into which the to take an oath of adherence to the revolutionists were now divided ; Roman Catholic religion, and of fully convinced, that were this to fidelity to the King ; to abjure all be accomplished, they would have future connexion with their own no cause to dread the exertions of country, and all claims of protection any foreign powers in behalf of the from its Ambassadors or agents in royalists. The strength and credit the Spanish dominions. Such as of these were daily diminishing in refused to take this oath, had no the most obvious manner, while the other alternative but to quit their popular party were everywhere place of abode in fifteen days, and gaining ground, The people in the the kingdom in thirty, or to incur country of Avignon, after a violent the confiscation of their property, and bloody struggle with what they and be sentenced to the galleys. termed the aristocratic party bad at All Europe concurred in reprobat- length totally subdued it ; and what ing this tyrannical edict; and it was was no less satisfactory to them, resisted with a courageous indig, had succeeded in their earnest nation by many of those whom it wishes to be incorporated with the immediately affected, as equally ab- French nation. The Assembly surd and oppressive. It exacted, formally acceded to them; and what in the nature of things could passed a decree to that purpose, not with any appearance of reason providing however for a due combe expected; and it was a manifest pensation to the court of Rome. contravention of the stipulations in The same success had attended the force with other nations. The partizans of the revolution in CorSpanish ministry were soon made sica. The municipality of the city sensible of the error it had com- of Bastia, the capital of the island, mitted, to persist in so dangerous a consisting chiefly of ecclesiastics measure. This edict was in fact and nobles deprived of their titles, chiefly, if not solely levelled at the had the temerity to engage in a great number of Frenchmen re- plot against the revolutionists, notsident in Spain. They were consi- withstanding theirgreat superiority. dered as so many emissaries of the The issue was, that on the discoruling powers in France; and the very of their designs, they were boldness with which they avowed immediately compelled to abandon and defended the principles of the them, and to provide for their own revolution, marked them out as safety, by Aying over to Italy.' individuals who would not scruple The celebrated General Paoli was
principally instrumental in defeat- curred to establish this persuasion. ing this attempt of the anti-revolu- He had witnessed in his flight the tionists, through the influence he universal attachment of the French possessed over his countrymen ; to the new constitution, and their some thousands of whom joined him abhorrence of the ancient governwith the utmost readiness on this ment. He saw that those memoccasion. No less favourable were bers of the National Assembly who the reports from the frontiers of opposed the present system, were Germany. Disheartened with re. held in such aversion, that their peated disappointments, many in- persons were hardly safe from vio. dividuals of consequence among
lence. The army, once the blind the French emigrants, had, it was and submissive instrument of the said, intimated to the Princes, that crown, had renounced its implicit it behoved them to make good obedience, and was in fact become their promises of undertaking the army of the people. The something for the common cause church, that had been the strenuous they were jointly engaged in; and enforcer of passive obedience, had unless some measures were adopt- now lost its influence, and from a ed, more promissory of success state of almost absolute independthan those that had hitherto been ence of the civil power, was reproposed, it would better become duced to a level with other subthem all to return quietly to France jects. The nobility, so long the and submit to the government, than faithfulest defenders of the throne, to remain abroad with no other had equally partaken of its downprospect than that of being shortly their privileges were no more; ieduced to indigence.
their authority, so much dreaded, But that circunstance, which and so extensively exerted, was alone operated now more decisively totally at an end; and they were than all others, in confirmation of become undistinguished members the powers and of the views of the of the community, with this aggraNational Assembly, was the con- vating circumstance to their disstant and striking encrease of their advantage, that they were suspectadherents throughout France.ed by all other individuals of being They were supported by so prodi- their secret and irreconcileable gious a majority of the nation, that enemies. the dissentients were no longer These were general consideraconsidered as an object of the tions, that could not fail of being least apprehension, notwithstand- obvious to all reflecting people : ing the unshaken perseverance with but there were also personal mowhich they still continued to assert tives of essential weight to induce their principles, and their invinci- the King to lay aside all thoughts of ble courage in avowing their en- combating any further what was mity to the constitution, in de- evidently the desire and resolve of fiance of so much danger.
the whole nation. A rumour had In the mean time it was the ge- gone forth, and was credited, that neral expectation, that the King the King's brothers, with he conwould accept the constitutional currence of the other branches of cçde ;--the weightiest reasons con. the royal family, intended, as soon