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same manner.

to the present legislature, whom they periods of the revolution, have too looked upon as favourable to their fatally evinced, that the shedding of designs.

blood was become so familiar a scene The insurrection itself was con- in France, and that the spirit of alcerted with great foresight and re- sassination was so prevalently diffused gularity. At the found of a bell, among furprising numbers, that this rung every morning in each of the horrid project would, in all likelisections, as a notice to cleanse the hood, have been executed as unrestreets, the conspirators were to luctantly as others had been, and distribute themselves into knots of that its framers would not have been four or five, and each of these to disappointed for want of hands to proceed to the houses of those they perpetrate the horrors they had in had marked for destruction. Have contemplation. ing dispatched these, they were all Babeuf, the cheif contriver of this. to meet at an appointed place, atrocious plot, boldly acknowledged whence they were to march in force himself the author of the treasonable to the palace of the directory, whom writings found in his poflession. they were to put to death in the When required to denounce his ac

complices, he answered that they If reports may be credited, a ftill little understood his character who more atrocious plan remained to be thought him capable of betraying executed, after completing the for- his friends. He continued, from mer. A secret directory, composed his. prison, to set the directory at of four persons, was to have a num- defiance, and to address them on a ber of confidential agents under footing of perfect equality. He their orders; who were, after the wrote a long letter, dictated by insurrection had succeeded, to have phrenzy as much as by firmness, murdered as many of their own

wherein he told them, that it was party as were pointed out to them by not in their power to prevent the these directors, in order thereby to get infurrection intended against them, rid of those who, not being acquaint- which he dignified by the epithet ed with their ultimate designs, would of holy, threatening them with probably have opposed them. So death unless they retracted their carefully had they provided against proceedings against him and his discovery, that numbers of the actors party, and promising, if they acted in this terrible tragedy were not to becomingly, a share in the new gohave known any but their immedi- vernment. ate employers, who were themselves Whatever might be the motives to be dispatched, if any of those that influenced government, the agents were either to be discovered trial of the conspirators was unacand seized, or to betray them. countably delayed. The council of

It has been a matter of much five hundred did not vote the imdoubt, whether a conspiracy of fo peachment of Drouet until the horrible a nature could have been eighth of July following, when it brought to a complete execution, was negatived by fifty-eight against had circunstances been ever so fa- one hundred and forty, a proof that vourable to the conspirators. But he had a strong party in that house. the antecedent mallacres, at several About a month after, he escaped

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from

from his confinement through the ever, it was plain, afforded no relief connivance, it was suspected, of the to the pofleffor. government. But his associate, Ba- The cheif obstacle to these and beuf, was not fo fortunate. He was to the other pecuniary arrangements, tried by the high criminal court at respecting the estates of emigrants, Vendomę, which condemned him was the difficulty of finding purto death

chasers for the lands that had been Great and unfeigned was the fa- declared national property. Many tisfaction of the public at the di individuals, though warmly adhercovery and suppression of this fan- ing to the republic, reprobated the guinary plot. The jacobins became confiscation of property on any premore than ever the objects of gene- text, while no misdemeanor was imral execration. The extermination putable to the proprietor ; who, of all who rejected their principles while obedient to the laws, could seemed a fundamental maxim of not, without manifest injustice, be that inexorable faction. Their in- punished for the misdeeds of others. fiexible resolution and perseverance The sale of confiscated estates, met in their projects, which, had they also with perpetual obstructions from been attended with humanity, might the scruples infused into the minds have rendered them respectable, of numbers by the nonjuring clergy; only tended to excite a dread and who explicitly denounced damnaabhorrence of them. Thus, they tion to those who purchased them. were viewed by the generality as Hence a large proportion of national the pests of the community; and a

lands remained unfold, to the great speedy riddance of them became the inconvenience of the government, with of all but those who were in- in its want of those sums that would volved in the criminal intrigues. have been produced by the disposal

It was not with the same facility of them. that government was able to crun This interference of the nonjur. the advocates of the persecuted ing clergy, in a matter of so much foyalists. A seizure of those estates, importance to the ruling powers, which were to devolve to emi- could not fail to encrease their hagrants on the demise of the actual tred to that order of men. They poflesfor, had been decreed by the accused them of contributing more council of five hundred, and reject- to the detriment of the state, by their ed by that of elders. The decree bigotry, than its foreign enemies excepted only that portion which had done by their arms. They per, by law was to remain with the pre- verted the dispositions of the weak fent poffeffor. It was warmly op- and the ignorant, by intimidating posed, as too rigorously intrenching them with arguments founded upon upon the rights of private property; falsehoods and absurdities. The unbut, after long and violent debates, happy propensity of unenlightened it was decreed that, instead of a di- minds to superstition gave ecclesi, rect seizure, that moiety should be astics so decided an ascendancy over levied for the use of the state which them, that, unless they werechecked the legislature had alceady appro- by the most effectual restaints, they priated to that purpose. This, how would progressively become the ab

folute

no

solute dictators of society. This perfections, the nation had enjoyed was undeniably an evil of such much more travquillity and latisenormity, that all reasonable men faction, than it had known since the would concur in the necessity of introduction of the present system. obviating it by every means that The principal allegation against appeared indispensibly requisite. the foundness of the principles, on The only expedient that seemed to which the fuccessive rulers of the promile elficacy was to interdict republic had conducted themselves, every individual of that profession was the shameful negligence of from interfering in political matters, which they had all in their turn either directly or indirectly, under been guilty, in deferring upwards the severest penalties. Such was of three years the inquiry into the the language of the staunch friends murders committed in September, to the republican system, and to that 1792. These were universally refreedom of thought upon all fub- probated by all parties: they had jects, which now characterised to covered the French nation with dirnumerous a part of the French na- grace, and exposed it to the abtion.

horrence of all Europe; and they While the French government still remained unpunished and unand its adherents were complaining investigated. Of those who had of the undue influence of the re- been the reputed authors and fractory clergy, these retorted the abettors; some indeed were representations made to their disad- more, but others remained, who vantage, by appealing to the peo- were happily divested of the power ple, on the little justice they had to of opposing the course of juttice. expect from men, so many of whom These reproaches bore hard upon disregarded those principles on government, and it found itself unwhich alone the morality of man- able to stem the torrent of comkind, and their integrity in the most plaint against the long and scanda

,

lous neglect of executing that usually founded. These principles justice upon the criminals, which were thole of religion, without which they fo fully deserved. A tribunal little confidence could be placed in was erected, in May, before, which each other by the generality of men, their trials began upon the twenty. wlio had neither abilities nor lei- fixth. Several of those arrained sure to argue themselves into vir- before it were sentenced to die, tue and honesty by philosophical and others to be imprisoned: but as reasonings, and were much more it appeared, that the generality had easily kept in good order by those been the mere tools of others, and precepts and doctrines that had had been impelled to the combeen established and respected dur- mission of those enormities, through ing so many ages, than by the max- mistaken zeal, and an ims and opinions lately introduced. persuasion that they were avenging The clear and visible consequence their country, in compassion to their of these had been the embroilment ignorance, they were acquitted of of the public in continual feuds, evil intentions, and pardoned. and the overturning of a govern

These acquittals were so many, ment, under which, with all its im- and the punishments to few, com

paratively

erroneous

paratively to what had been ex- and exertions of government: this pected, and loudly demanded, that was the depariment of the finances, the public was entirely disappoint- which having, fince the foundation ed: the more indeed, that fome,who of the republic, been supported by were deemed the principal pro- the most extraordinary and unprecemoters of thosecriminal transactions, dented means, were now beginning found means to escape the venge- to totter, and to threaten instant ance of the law.

ruin. Before this tribunal were also The credit, at first given to the brought those citizens of Paris, who affignats, had long been gradually had taken up arms to oppose that falling, and they were now become decree of the convention, by which of no value. It was therefore intwo-thirds of its members were to dispenfible to replace them by a be returned deputies to the new currency of more estimation. The legislature. Lenity being now, fpecie of the nation was either hidto use a very common phrafe, be- den by those who would not part come the order of the day, they with their hoards, or in those avawere acquitted, to the great joy of ricious hands that had accumulated their fellow citizens, who now fin- it for the purpose of swelling its cerely repented the violent measures value in pecuniary transactions with they had been perfuaded to adopt those who wanted it. The means upon that occafion, through the in- of bringing it forth, in the ordinary trigues of men who had much occurrences of fociety, were studimore in view, the attainment of ously fought, but could not be found, their private ends, than the pub- while thofe terrors and uncertainties lic objects which they pretended to continued, that made every man have lo much at heart.' Thefe, the tremble for his property. The estapeople of Paris were at present blishment of the new constitution convinced, would have been much was beginning to remove these apmore effectua!ly accomplified by prehenfions: but they still retained the fieady and persevering strength much of their influence, and the of argument and remonftrarce, in scarcity of hard money was still an which they would have probably universal complaint. been gradually joined hy multitudes In order to remedy the depreciation, in all the departments. But had and indeed the inutility of aflignats, they failed in these endeavours, still government procured the passing ofa they would not have been the dupes . decree, on the 25th of March, which and victims of private anibition, it hoped might tend to expedite the and fhed their blood for men who, sale of the national property in lands. like most aspiring characters, would, Twenty-two years purchase was the if successful, have forgotten their price at which they had been fixed services, and repaid them with in- fince the year 1790, when the nagratitude.

tional assembly first had recourse to After having thus, in fome de- this method of supplying the wants gree, fatisfied the demands of the of the state. By the decree now pation, the directory now turned its passed, a new fabrication of paper attention to a business which re- money was issued, to the amount of quired more than ever the cares two thoufand four hundred millions

of

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HISTORY OF EUROPE. (155 oflivres. Partofthis sum was intended ment, to secure any farther detrito redeem the assignats in circulation ment, ordained the last instalment, at the rate of thirty of these for one which was the fourth part of the of the former; and the lands on sale purchase, to be paid in fpecie. were to be mortgaged, as a secu- Thus the speculators were tority for the payment of the remain- tally deceived in their calculations of ing part. The purchasers of these the profit they had expected: the lands were to pay for them by in- more indeed as private land sold at ftalments; and, as the property dif- a cheaper rate than public: but as posed of was a solid and visible they were chiefly monied men, and asset ; it was hoped that the new much of their opulence had arisen emisfion would retain its original from their successful speculations value. The directory infifted in during the public distress, as their the most serious terms on the imme- losses were unheeded, and the condiate want of this fupply, for the duct of government, however ircarrying on of the war, and the fer- regular and arbitrary, passed unvice of the current year,

censured. The various failures of the French So great, in the mean time, were government in its pecuniary opera- the difficulties of the republic, that, tions, had so much discouraged the according to a statement of the refpeculators in these matters, that it venue, made at this time by the was highly necessary to hold out coinmittee of finances, the whole of every encouragement to them. On it amounted to no more than five the decline of the assignats, a paper, hundred millions of livres, while known by the name of rescriptions, the expenditure was not less than had been given for advances to go

one thousand. The directory was vernment, and made payable in fpe- fully sensible that in such a situation cie at a fixed period: but this too the boldest, as well as the most pruhad lost its credit, by non-payment. dent measures must be resorted to, The new fabrication, which went and that no alternative remained, by the name of mandates, loft, at but either of finishing the conteft its first ifluing, one-fourth of its with the enemies of France, on nominal value, and was reduced disadvantageous conditions, or of shortly after to one-fifth. It con- ftraining the authority and power of tinued to decrease, and fell at last government to the farthest extent to the bare proportion of one-tenth. that could be borne with, or subSo heavy a loss alarmed the di- mitted to, regardless of the dislatifrectory, as, at that rate, the na- faction and murmurs that such a tional property, which was paid for conduct would in all likelihood ocin mandats, must of course be sold cafion. for one-tenth of its value. It came France was, at this period, nearly to the determination to shorten the exhausted of allextraordinary means periods of payment, in order to di- of levying money. The sale of minish thereby the quantity of man- national property, which was almost dats in circulation, which would the only one remaining, had been raise the worth of those that decreed. This measure however had remained: but this expedient had not yet taken place in the Austridid not much restore it, and govern- an Netherlands, now incorporated

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