« ZurückWeiter »
more than 8,000 were to march with the Duke of Brunswick - not more than 5,000 were to join the Austrians in the Breisgau-not more than 4,000 the Imperial troops in Belgium. Bread and forage were to be given them, and their Princes were to receive 200,000 florins for their equipment. This, as was stated in the agreement, was to be irrevocably the last payment; if the Princes refused these conditions, they were to be entirely and publicly abandoned to their fate. The petty Court at Coblenz, which was immediately informed on these points, received the message with impotent bitterness of heart. It was not only selfish reasons which excited the wrath of these cavaliers; beneath all their vexation, that the good old times were not to be restored, lay national pride, wounded by the thought that the foreigners, whom in their hearts they despised, were to play the chief part, instead of subordinating themselves in a fitting manner to the descendants of St. Louis. The national feeling stirred the hearts of Frenchmen at Coblentz as well as Paris; and it had been remarked that after Biron's defeat at Mons, the old noblemen wept over the ill-fortune of their revolutionary countrymen.1 The worst thing was, that Louis XVI. himself had led the way in degrading his Brothers; they could only ascribe it to the influence of Marie Antoinette, the foreigner, the “Austrian;" and thus these champions of the feudal throne joined in the abuse which the Jacobins heaped upon her head. This fury against strangers from whom they were begging aid, and against the Queen, for whose deliverance they were marching, was never extinguished; and has diffused as many lies through the historical literature of the period, as the party hatred of the Revolutionists themselves. 2
Stramberg's Coblenz, from con- unhappily been brought into Germany temporaneous notices. — 2 To this by the learned but scandal-loving category belongs more especially Rhenish Antiquarius, while in France Michaud's fiction concerning the cam- it met with due chastisement in the paign in Champagne (Biogr. univ., Spectateur Militaire, XXXIII. suppl., art. Dumouriez, etc.) which has
Cu, I.] MALLET DU PAN'S MANIFESTO TO THE FRENCH PEOPLE. 45
Mallet urgently advocated the publication of a manifesto, by which the character of the war might be solemnly placed before the French people. He called for heavy threats against the Jacobins, and tranquillizing assurances to the peaceable portion of the population;—the former to do away with the incredible security of the Parisian public in respect to the war;—the latter to separate the mass of the people from the factions. On this account he thought that no particular form of government should be prescribed, but only freedom for Louis XVI., as the sole reformer and peacemaker. It would evidently not have been wise, in the general insecurity, to have anticipated particular constitutional paragraphs; nevertheless it cannot be denied that there is a very essential defect in Mallet's propositions. He agreed with the two Ministers, that the Germans should not seek any acquisition of French territory, and that the restoration of Feudalism should not be aimed at. As regards the object of the manifesto, one of these assurances was evidently just as important and practicable as the other; but unfortunately only one of them was mentioned in Mallet's project. And yet there was no doubt that as many French hearts were boiling with indignation at the remembrance of the ancien régime, as at the idea of a foreign yoke; and the abolition of the former might easily be completed, without the heedless anticipation of any particular form of Constitution. There were three principal points, which had nothing at all to do with the Constitution—in the narrower sense of the word--or with the prerogatives of the King;—three points, the importance of which had long ago been recognised by Louis XVI., and were of the most vital moment to the welfare of the vast majority of the people. These were: access to offices and honours for all classes-abolition of feudal rights and Church tithes. We have noticed above what an important influence these questions exercised on the political and warlike feelings of the nation; nothing therefore was so essential as to deprive the war of
its revolutionary sting, by an unequivocal declaration on these three cardinal points.
Unfortunately, however, Mallet's plan fell into the hands of a zealous Emigré, the Marquis Limon, who drew up a manifesto, partly founded on Mallet's proposals; and succeeded in gaining the approbation of the Emperor Francis. 1 Instead of an additional clause against Feudalism, the document only contained still more unmeasured threats, the undignified nature of which could only irritate without intimidating. The Duke of Brunswick had not the energy to oppose his scruples to the will of the Monarchs, and signed the manifesto on the 25th of July. We have already seen the effect which it produced.
| Mallet. Schulenburg was subsequently won over, and through him the King.
FEELING OF THE COUNTRY.-FLIGHT OF LAFAYETTE.--MOB RULE IN PARIS.
POLICE OF THE SECTIONS.- ENCROACHMENTS OF THE MUNICIPALITY.-
Such was the point at which the sluggish and complicated movements of old Europe had arrived, when the outbreak occurred in Paris, which destroyed both the Monarchy and the Constitution of 1791. Those who caused it had to şustain a contest for life and death with the whole of Europe, and to transform their country into one vast camp. For the time, however, the position of affairs, convulsed by the unchaining of every passion, was one of constant and uncertain fluctuation. Outside the walls of the capital no one knew what course the victorious Revolution would take. The victors themselves were especially doubtful what the country might say to the catastrophe of the 10th of August. The cries of the different parties in all the provinces were so confused and discordant, that the most unlooked-for and improbable events seemed possible. The first care of the National Assembly was to secure the material organs of power; and as early as the 10th of August they sent off Commissioners to the armies to administer the oath of fidelity. On the 13th they issued a manifesto to the nation, pointing out the necessity of the revolt, and calling upon the people to provide for their own future, by means of a National Convention.
Neither the secret instructions given to the Commissioners, nor the language of the public proclamations, show any great confidence of success. Condorcet, the author of the address to the nation, avoided the slighest allusion to a Republic. Nay, he did not even speak of General Lafayette, who had formed the chief subject of the last and most violent debate. This was highly politic; for the mass of the population felt not the slightest interest in vexed questions of this kind; and the majority of those who still engaged in political contests were as adverse to the overthrow of Louis XVI., as to the rule of the Parisian Municipality. But there were two feelings on which the country agreed—abhorrence of the ancien régime, and indignation at the interference of foreign countries. The whole future success of the ruling party depended on their suppressing for the time all minor differences of opinion, and making themselves the organs of these national feelings, representing Louis as the accomplice of the allied Emigrés and Powers, and leaving the nation no other choice than between the 10th of August and utter slavery.
This error was already prevalent among the people. Wherever the Commissioners went, they found the minds of men excited, and the mass of the people in commotion. In all the Departments the cry for war was heard above the din of party strife. After the country had been declared to be in danger, volunteers flocked to the standards, gave in their names to the Communal Officers, and awaited their equipments and orders to march. In this respect there was no difference among the provinces, with the exception of a small district of Bretagne. The national feeling prevailed over every other, the Democrats wished to fight to preserve their liberties from the Prussians; and the friends of the Constitution submitted to the tyranny of the mob, in order not to throw obstacles in the way of the holy war against the foreigners. In Alsace a few days before the 10th, the whole population of Strasburg: had signed a vigorous