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authorities)—yet he did everything else in his power to shake the influence of property, and to lead the State by constantly increasing demands on the public resources, into the paths of wholesale robbery. On the 19th of October, the plunder of the Emigrés was continued, with the unanimous consent of the Convention, by an order to all bankers and notaries, on pain of death, to hand over all the money and valuable papers entrusted to them by the exiles to the Public Exchequer. All the public Civil authorities had already, on the 30th of September, been made answerable for the sale of the confiscated estates; and when, a little later (17th Nov.), Manuel suggested that a difference ought to be made between the Cavaliers of the Court of Coblenz, and those who had fled on the 2nd of September, he was told that it was now a question of the necessities of war, in which it was impossible to attend to mere distinctions of law and justice. For the better security of the booty, it was ordained (Oct. 23rd,) according to the proposition of Buzot, that the punishment of death should be inflicted on every Emigré who was caught upon the soil of France. The application of the wealth thus gained was analogous to the course pursued in the financial administration of the former Assemblies. The city of Paris received first six, and then three millions, for the support of the needy classes. Clavière increased the number of small assignats; and the Convention decreed a new issue of 400 millions. The Girondists could make no objection to these measures, because they knew of no other means of meeting the ever-increasing expenditure. There was, it is true, one expedient by which the State could be freed from a monthly outlay of 100 millions ; and this was the conclusion of peace-an expedient which, since the 20th of September, the inclinations of the King of Prussia placed entirely within their power. But on this point the Mountain and the Gironde were fully agreed; for they all had the same ardent impulse towards universal freedom and universal conquest. It is evident that a party
which was at that time preaching about order and property in France, was only digging its own grave by endeavouring to spread anarchy and financial exhaustion through the whole of Europe.
As we have said above, there was no difference of opinion among the parties on this head. Danton and his associates, the Girondists Brissot and Clavière, and Dumouriez's friend Lebrun, had all the same ideas respecting the revolutionary metamorphosis of Europe, as the demagogues of the Hôtel de Ville, and the fanatics of the Jacobin club. The annihilation of all Kings, the republicanising of all countries, and their union with France, were the only political views which could safely he expressed in Paris. These ambitious ideas of taking the world by storm were universally diffused. If Prussia could be lulled to sleep, the overthrow of the German Empire was considered as secured. On the appearance of a French army and fleet, a revolution might be expected to break out in Switzerland and Italy. By a second naval force it was hoped that the Turks might be roused to a fresh war against the two Imperial Courts. England shewed herself at present cautious and desirous of peace; and, at the worst, the French reckoned even there on the aid of a republican party, and above all of oppressed and agitated Ireland. What would then be left in our quarter of the world of the old state of things?
The first steps in this direction were taken as early as September. Since the 10th of August, the Ministry had been constantly urging General Montesquiou to put into execution the long-planned attack on Savoy, by which the flames of war were to be kindled at once through the length and breadth of the Alps and Appenines. The most encouraging intelligence was received from all parts of Italy. The diplomatic agents whom Dumouriez had sent out in Spring were indefatigable at their respective posts. Henin wrote from Venice that an obstinate resistance would be met with in Germany, and that the Germans would after all only be conquered in Italy. He said that a French fleet ought to sail for Spezzia, from which it should send an army by way of Sestri to Parma, Modena and Piacenza; that Parma would furnish supplies in abundance, Piacenza heavy artillery, and Modena treasure to the amount of several millions; that neither Milan nor Mantua could resist such a plan of operations, if rapidly executed, and that the Papal towns of Bologna and Ferrara would hail the French as liberators. He added that if a second fleet were to make itself master of the mouths of the Po, it might occupy Ravenna and Ancona, and overpower weakly-defended Venice, almost without a blow; and that though this plan would be costly in the first instance, the French armies would subsequently be plentifully supplied by Italy, and the fate of Europe be at once decided.
While reading these schemes, we fancy ourselves transported into the year 1796, and the head-quarters of the youthful General Buonaparte. Proposals and reports of a similar nature were sent in by Salicetti from Corsica respecting the Island of Sardinia, by Semonville from Genoa respecting Piedmont, and by Chateauneuf from Geneva respecting Savoy.1 In all quarters they were canvassing the native population for the liberation of the people by means of a French invasion. Henin reported on the 18th August, that he had formed bands of trustworthy and zealous adherents in several parts of Italy, who only waited for the signal to raise the standard of revolt. A secret understanding was maintained with a party in most of the towns of Savoy; and in Geneva Clavière's correspondents Dassier and Flournoy2 were actively engaged in raising the enfranchised citizens, and other inhabitants, against the Patricians. This was a favourite object with Clavière, as he, a native of Geneva, had been expelled from that city in 1782 by the
1 All in the Military archives in Paris ; Armée du Midi. – quiou, Mémoire justifcatif. Clavière's answer to it.
CH. V.] INTRIGUES OF THE FRENCH IN SWITZERLAND.
Aristocrats, and now hoped to satisfy his long-cherished vengeance. He gained over Servan to his plans, by giving information of a stand of 20,000 muskets in the arsenal of Geneva; and Cambon, by a reference to the three million francs in the Genevese treasury; he likewise took upon himself to find some pretext of international law to justify the meditated attack. Intrigues of a similar kind were extended into Switzerland. The French Ambassador Barthelemy, a skilful man who pursued his ends with noiseless caution, gained over a considerable number of adherents, especially among the younger men in Berne and Zürich, and carried on a
correspondence in all the Cantons. His overtures met with . a favourable reception in all the towns from the mercantile classes, who in the course of trade had come into possession of many French assignats, and were afraid of losing by them in the event of a victory of the Allies.1 The Government of Berne was the only one which had any clear insight into the future, and saw that they had only to choose between the suppression of the French, and the outbreak of a Helvetian, Revolution. They would therefore have preferred to join the German side with all their forces, but were restrained by the smaller Cantons, who wished for peace at any price.
It was upon this state of affairs that the French Government of August the 10th founded their hopes of success in the South of Europe. Montesquiou was forthwith to begin the invasion of Savoy, and march thence, without a moment's delay, upon Geneva, and thus threaten Italy and Switzerland at once. General Anselme, under his orders, was then to occupy the province of Nice, and Admiral Truguet to reconnoitre the coast for a favourable point of attack. The sending off of 10 battalions to Luckner, however, caused an unexpected delay. Montesquiou had to report that the raising of recruits went on but slowly. “I have not caught
i Bouillé, Mémoires. Mallet du Pan.
sight of a man,” he said; "the citizens are too much engaged in public assemblies, and meetings of electors.” Other disturbances of a still more serious kind arose from the intrigues of the Prince of Hesse, who wished for the chief command himself, and therefore accused Montesquiou in Paris of being a royalist and an aristocrat. This was going on in the last days of August, and Servan gave Montesquiou to understand that public opinion, which had now become an incalculable power, was turning strongly against him. On the 29th the Council of Ministers decreed the removal of the General, and Servan ordered him for the present to suspend all further action. Immediately afterwards the Minister received a despatch from Montesquiou of September the 4th, in which he said that he could no longer restrain the martial ardour of his troops, but could guarantee complete success in Savoy, and therefore earnestly begged permission to begin his march. Hereupon the Ministry withdrew their former decree; but the interruption had been made and Montesquiou needed an additional fortnight before he could open the campaign. He was however in high spirits, and sent word to Clavière, on the 11th, that all would go well, and that by the 1st of October he would appear before the gates of Geneva. Clavière immediately wrote to Flournoy that the liberation of that city from the tyranny of the Aristocrats was resolved on, and that nothing but immediate surrender could save it. His object in doing so was to induce Geneva to solicit aid from Berne, which would afford an opportunity for intriguing on an extended scale. The whole scheme would have been attended with uninterrupted success, if Montesquiou had still acted in full concert with the others. But the Prince of Hesse continued to attack him with redoubled bitterness; and went at last so far as to publish accusations against him in a widely circulated Girondist journal. When sharply called to account for this proceeding by Servan, the Prince replied: “I am not such a fool as to bring forward charges unsupported by