H. N. (Horatio Newton) Moore.

The reign of terror historically and biographically treated online

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KEIGN OF TERROR

HISTORICALLY AND BIOGRAPHICALLY TREATED.



BSIX&



A COMPEND OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION,



PROM ITS COMMENCEMENT



TO THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE.



COMPILED FEOM THE MOST AUTHENTIC WRITBRa



BY "R:^. MOORE.



IZ.LOSTaA.TED WITH EIQBT PORTRAITS AMD FOUR EKeRAVIMGS.

PHILADELPHIA :
.^ JOHN B. PERRY, No. 198 Market Street.
i NEW YORK^NAFIS & CORNISH.

'^ 1846. •




Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by JOHN B.
PERRY, in the office of the Clerk of the District Court of the United
States, in and for the Eastern District of PenuBylvania.



^-



ADVERTISEMENT.

In the present instance, it has been the object of the
compiler to give the reader a book free from historic
pomp, and merely comprising the actually important
and interesting events of an era in French history.
He has not attempted a philosophical view of the
Reign of Terror — impressed with the conviction, as
he is, that those who are fit to read at all, can, if you
will only put things distinctly before them, be trusted
to understand for themselves and make their own re-
flections. He has, therefore, endeavoured to furnish
a living and picturesque narrative of the heroes, ac-
tions and times of this important period. History,
it has been said, is philosophy teaching by example.
No history, it has also been said, can present us with
the whole truth; but those are the best histories
which exhibit such parts of the truth as most nearly
produce the effect of the whole. The former remark
is Bolingbroke's, the latter Macaulay's; and in this
work the compiler has been guided by the implied
advice of the latter, in order correctly to produce
the effect attributed to history by the former.

The compilation, it will be seen, is based upon
the works of Mignet and Thiers, but illustrated
and annotated by means of various writers upon
the French Revolution, both contemporary and of
a later date.

Philada. May 5, 1845.



CONTENTS.



CHAP. I. — Condition of France previous to the Revolution, Louis XIV.
Louis XV. Licentiousness of tlie Nobility, the Clergy, and the oppressed
state of the Common People. Prodigality of the Monarchs and their
Mistresses. Madame Pompadour, Madame Diibarri. Immense Revenues
of the Church. Lettres-de-cachet, &.c. Louis XVI., his character. Trou-
bled Slate of Finances. Meeting of the States-General. Division be-
tween the Deputies of the Tiers-Etat, or common people, and the De-
puties of the Noblesse and Clergy, The Oath of the Tennis Court. Plots
of the Court. Mirabeau. The Palais Royal, Excited state of Paris on the
11th July, 1789. Camille Desmoulines. Fracas between the soldiers and
the populace, Sunday, the 12th of July, Increase of popular excitement,
Scenes at the Hotel-de-Ville, All Paris in commotion, a universal demand
for arms, and the cry of" to the Bastille !" Attack by the populace upon
the Bastille. Its defence. Arming, Tumult and Vengeance, The Bastille
taken. Death of De Launay and of M. de Flesselles, Destruction of the
Bastille, The tidings of these events as received at Versailles by the
Court and the National Assembly, Eloquence of Mirabeau, The King's
visit to the Assembly, Marie Antoinette. Rejoicings of the Parisians, etc.

9— 3t>

CHAP, II.— The King's visit to Paris, La Fayette commander of the Na-
tional Guard. M. Bailli, mayor of Paris. M. Necker. Popular excitement.
Massacre of Foulon and his son-in-law. Massacres and horrors per-
petrated in the Provinces. Destruction of Chateaux and Property. Cruel-
ties practised. Newspapers. Marat. A description of him. Formation
of the Jacobin Club, its affiliated Societies. Further atrocities in the
Provinces. Duke of Orleans, his wealth, his vices, debaucheries. Hi,s
manner of gaining popularity, Mirabeau, his birth, his passions and im-
petuosity; his expenses, imprisonment, intrigues, description of his per-
son, his talents. He becomes a leader in the Assembly. Scorned by the
Nobility. Paris yet agitated. The Palais-Royal, Barbers. Tailors. Ser-
vants, Tumults and Famine. The populace suspicious of the Court.
Arrival of the Flanders Regiment at Versailles, and banquet given to
them by the King's Life-Guards. Splendor, Music. Abundance, Toasts
offensive to the people, and bacchanalian orgies. Louis XVI. and
Marie Antoinette present at these orgies. Wild enthusiasm of the Life-
Guards at the appearance of the King and Q.ueen. Cockades distributed.
Indignation of the Parisians in consequence of this Banquet. The pro-
digality of it considered an insult to the public distress. Rumors of
con.spiracy and counter-revolution. The cry of "Bread ?" in the streets
of Paris. Crowds at the bakers' shops. Insurrection of the 5th of Octo-
ber. The cry of "To Versailles!" Commotion. Fishwomen. Maillard,
Immense concourse. The march to Versailles. La Fayette's life
threatened. The mob at Versailles. They attack the Palace, Pursue the
Q.ueen. Massacre of the Life-Guards. Jourdan. La Fayette. Tumult.
The cry of "The King to Paris!" The Q,ueen shows herself on the
balcony. Grotesque procession and return of the mob to Paris; sur-
rounding the carriages of the Royal Family, etc. 37 — 61

CHAP. III. — Accusations by La Fayette against the Duke of Orleans.
Murder of Denis Frangois, a baker, by the mob. Robespierre, some ac-
count of him. Execution of the Marquis de Favras. Confiscation of
church property. Assignats. Efforts to dissolve the National Assembly,
which declares itself permanent till the constitution is completed. All
titles of nobility abolished. The fete of the Fcederation, on the 14th of
July 1790, the anniversary of the destruction of the Bastille; festivities,
illuminations, rejoicings. The royal family prevented by a mob from
S



b CONTENTS.

going to St. Cloud. Preparations of Louis XVI. for flight. Bouilld. Mira-
beau bribed by the Court, his magnificent entenainments, his ascen-
dency in the Assembly, his eloquence, his illness, his death, his funeral.
Flight of the royal family from Paris on the 21st of June 179J. Con-
sternation of Paris on the following morning. Placards. Thomas Paine,
The Jacobins. Journey of the royal family. Slopped at Varennes by
Drouet, the postmaster of that town. Return of the royal family
surrounded by a great rabble, and amidst the execrations of the different
towns through which thf y passed. Murder of the count de Dampierre at
the side of the King's carriage. Barnave. Petion. Entry of the royal
family into Paris, no acclamations, silence of the multitude. The
assembly sufipends Louis XVI. from his functions. Speech of Robes-
pierre in regard to the inviolability of the King. Speech of Barnave in
reply. Placards upon the walls of Paris. The dethronement of the
monarch, and the establishment of a Republic openly agitated in the
streets, at the Palais-Royal, and in all public places. The 17th of
July 1791. The red flag unfurled. La Fayette fires upon the mob in the
Champs de-Mars. The constitution completed. Dissolution of the first
Assembly on the 30th of Sept. 1791. Fetes, illuminations, rejoiciiijfs,
Robespierre retires to Arras. 6'2 — SS

CHAP. IV.— The Jacobin club. The Cordeliers club. The Feuillans club.
Camille Desmoulins and George James Danton, some account of ihem,
Robespierre at the Jacobin club. Opening of the new Assembly on the
30tli of October, 1791. Petion elected mayor of Paris. Brissot. La Fayette
unpopular. Reception of the Duke of Orleans at Court. He is spit upon
by the courtiers. His rage and vexation. Roland, his wife. Dumouriez,
Interview between Marie Antoinette and Dumouriez. Massacres at
Avignon. Jourdan. Gibbets. Hanging of aristocrats. Havoc and anarchy.
Terrible feelings between the aristocrats and patriots of Avignon.
Placards. Massacre of the patriot L'Escuyer at the foot of the altar in
the church at Avignon. Vengeance of the patriots. Jourdan closes the
gates of the town and guards the walls. The body of L'Escuyer carried
on a bier. Dreadful massacres. The Ice-tower. Pillage. Violation of
women, wailing, pity, rage! The National Assembly, on the 20th of
April. 1792, declares war between France and Austria. Murmurs against
the court. Roland. Dumouriez, and the Girondists. Marat, his tirades
against the priests and aristocrats. Excitement. Distrust. Decree of
banishment against all priests that did not take an oath to the consti-
tution, and a decree for the establishment of a camp of twenty thousand
men around the walls of Paris. Hesitation of the King to confirm these
two decrees, and the consequent exasperation of the Jacobins. Roland
dismissed from the ministry. Dumouriez at the Assembly. Despondency
of Louis XVI. The Jacobins. Bonnet-rouge. Anniversary of the oath at
the Tennis Court, and immense gatherings in the suburbs. The proces-
sion, pikes, tricolours, sansculottes. Mob defile before the Assembly.
Proceed to the Tuilleries, and burst into the palace. Peril of the royal
family. Louis the XVI. Marie Antoinette. Madame Elizabeth. Na-
poleon Bonaparte. La Fayette. The Jacobins burn La Fayette in eflSgy.
Approach of the Prussian army, excited state of Paris. Speech of Verg-
niaud in the Assembly. The Marseillais. etc. 89 — 117

CHAP, v.— The third fete of the Foederation. July 14th, 1792. Alarm and
agitation. Marat, his views at this crisis, Barbaroux, some account of
him. Robespierre, his retired manner of living, his vanity, his influence
at the Jacobin club. Interview between him and Marat. Danton, his
character, public and private. Arrival of the Marseillais in Paris, and
riot between them and a company of royalists in the Champs-Elys^ea.
Proclamation of the Duke of Brunswick. General indignation iu con-



CONTENTS. 7

sequence of it. Petitions for the dethronement of Louis XVI. In9ur«
faction of the 10th of August. Santerre. Legendre. Robespierre. Danton.
The Marseillais. Mandat. Alarm at the Tuilleries. Midnight. The alarm
gun. The tocsin. Druuis beating. Artillery rumbling through the streets.
Assassination of Mandat. Confusion. Terror. Bell answering bell. All
Paris awake and astir. The suburbs in motion, Santerre. Westermann.
The Marseillais. At daybreak the palace of the Tuilleriea is besieged,
Louis XVL Marie Antoinette. The royal family seek protection in the
Assembly. The palace attacked by the insurgents. The Swiss guards
defend it. An indiscriminate massacre of the Swiss and the servants of
the palace. The Assembly dethrones Louis XVI. He and his family con-
fined in the Temple. Robespierre's demand for blood and vengeance. Ad-
vance of the Prussian army. Terror of the Parisians. Danton. The bar-
riers closed. The Reign of Terror proclaimed. Aristocrats arrested. Mas-
sacre of the priests. Billaud-Varennes. The September massacres. The
Princess Lamballe. her liead carried on a pike to the windows of the
Temple. 118—147

CHAP. VI. — Massacres. Flight of La Fayette from the army. Dumouriez.
Massacre of prisoners at Versailles. Plunder of the jewel office. The
elections in Paris. Robespierre. Danton. Marat, and others elected.
The Jacobin Club. Louis XVI. ; and his family. The iron chest. The
King summoned to the bar of the convention. He is separated from his
family, and brought to trial. Discussions in the Convention. Placards.
Excitement of the Parisians. The voting. The sentence; it is read to
Louis XVI. Heart-rending interview between him and his family, oa
the night previous to his execution. Assassination of Lepelletier. The
death of Louis XVI. Shops pillaged by the mob. The Girondists. Popu-
lar indignation against them. Insurrection of June 2nd. The Convention
surrounded. The Girondists arrested. The provinces incensed. Terror,
Emigration. Charlotte Corday. Description of her. She arrives in Paris.
Her conduct. Interview with Marat. Marat in his bath. Charlotte stabs
hira. Violent scene. Her arrest and trial. Her answers to the judge. Her
sentence. Execution. The body of Marat, Funeral pomp with which he
is buried, etc. 148—181

CHAP. VII. — Flight of Demouriez. Escape of the Girondins. Revolt in
the provinces. Terrible slaughter of the Vendeans. Carrier at Nantes.
His barbarous executions. Great numbers in the prisons. The Repub-
lican baptisms. The Republican marriages. Drowning in boats. The river
clogged up with dead bodies. Massacre of children. Madame de Bon-
champs. Madame de Jourdain, and her daughters. Mademoiselle Cuissan.
Madame de la Roche St. Andre, Agatha Larochejaquelain. Executions
and horrors at Lyons. Collot d'Herbois and Couthon. Destruction of pro-
perty. Houses razed to the ground. Death proclaimed an eternal sleep.
Impious procession, and burning of the Bible, the Cross and the commu*
nion vases. Great numbers shot at Lyons. The fusillades. Extermination
of aristocrats, Fouch6 and the Jacobins at dinner. Bodies floating down
the Rhone. Thirty-one thousand persons perish. Atrocities at Bordeaux.
Marseilles, and Toulon. Freron, Executions at Arras and towns in the
north of France, Joseph Lebon, his cruelty, his orgies, his travelling tri-
bunal and guillotine, his hatred of the aristocrats, his sanguinary oppres-
sion, etc.; Robespierre, Danton. The prisons of Paris become filled with
rank and beauty. Description of how the prisoners passed their time.
Fouquier-Tinville. Daily executions. The gardens of the Luxembourg.
Wives of the prisoners. The Conceirgerie. The wife of a prisoner dashes
out her brains. The theatres, and places of amusement. Papers and pamph-
lets published against the aristocrats. The Convention. The clubs. Violent
outcry of the Jacobins against Marie Antoinette, against the Girondins.
against the Duke of Orleans. J. R. Hebert, his abuse of Marie Antoinette.



8



CONTENTS.



She is separated from her son, and removed from the Temple to the
ConcJergerie. Simon, a shoemaker, placed over the dauphin. His inhu-
man treatment of the boy, etc. Marie Antoinette brought to trial. The
accusation against her by Fouqiiier-Tinville and by Hebert. Her replies.
The witnesses. Clamours of the Jacobins. Her condemnation. Her
execution. 182—207

CHAP. VIII. — Terror. Placards. Proclamations. Power of the Jacobins.
Distresses throughout the provinces. The Revolutionary army. The pea-
sants pillaged, and their sons forced into the army, Liberty! Equality !
Definition of suspected persons. Triumph of the Jacobins. Trial of the
Girondins. Vegniaud. Brissot. The Girondins conducted back to theCon-
ciergerie. Their Last Supper. The Marseilles hymn. Eloquence of Verg-
niaud. Valaz6's dead body. The Girondins executed. Hardships endured
by the other Girondins in the provinces. They are hunted by the Jaco-
bins, and live in cellars, garrets, and caves. Petion and Barbaroux, '
Louvet. The Duke of Orleans brought to trial. His conduct previous to
his execution, Robespierre wishes to marry his daughter. His death on
the 6th of November. 1793. Madame Roland brought to trial. Her coura-
geous demeanor on the death-cart, her beauty, her death ; The suicide
of her husband. M. Bailli brought to trial, his condemnation. Hatred
of the Jacobins towards him. Is pelted with mud by them on his
way to execution. His death. Destruction of the royal tombs, of the
ancient monuments, etc. Pach6. Hebert and Chaumette. Christi-
anity abolished. Grotesque and impious conduct of the Jacobins
upon this occasion, The Goddess of Reason. Ceremony in Notre Dame
and all the churches of Paris. Desecration of images, relics, and proper-
ties of the churches. The busts of Marat and Lepellitier, Sunday abolish-
ed. Every tenth day a day of rest. The calender altered. Increase of
vice. Marriage no longer binding. All charitable institutions suppressed.
Robespierre's inirigueB. His plots against Danton. Camille Desmoulins.
The winter of 1793 in Paris. Distress of the lower orders. The ambition
of Robespierre, etc. 208—229

CHAP. IX.— Tlie French armies. Napoleon Bonaparte at the siege of Tou-
lon. The Jacobins. The committee of Public Safety. Robespierre's policy.
Nineteen of the Heberlists guillotined. Danion in the Convention. In-
terview between Robespierre and Danton. Danton. Desmoulins, and
others arrested. Speech of Legendre. Speech of Robespierre. Trial
of Danton and his friends. Danton' sconduct before the tribunal. Con-
demnation of the Dantonists. Conduct of Danton on the scaffold, etc.
Robespierre now reigns alone. Forty to eighty persons daily executed in
Paris, Madame Dubarri. The Duchess de Grammont. The Princess Eliza-
,beth. The Reign of Terror in all its horrors J Extracts fronri the list of the
condemned. Disgust of the inhabitants in consequence of the executions.
The prisons filled. An aqueduct dug to drain off the blood from the guil-
lotine. Four men daily employed in emptying the blood into a reservoir.
An attempt to assassinate Robespierre by Cecille Renault. Attempt to
assassinate Collot d'Herhois. Festival of the Supreme Being on the 8th of
June 1794. Pride of Robespierre. He is suspected of aspiring to a dic-
tatorship. His plans are thwarted by his colleagues in the Committee.
He absents himself from their deliberations, and surrounds himself with
his Jacobin followers at the club, St. Just. Robespierre in the Convention.
At the club. David the painter. Henriot. The 27th of July, St. Just in
the tribune. Thrilling scene in the Convention, Robespierre arrested,
Henriot on horseback, All Paris in alarm. Night, The IJotel-de-Ville.
Robespierre rescued. Scene on the Place de Greve. He and his accom-
plices retaken. Their execution, etc. Jacobinism in the United Slates.
Paris after the fall of Robespierre, Prudhomme's account of the victims.
Society, Napoleon Bonaparte, Remarks, etc, etc, 230—274



THE

REIGN or TERROR



CHAPTER I.

Condition of France previous to the Revolution — Louis XIV. — Louis
XV.— Licentiousness of the Nobihty, the Clergy, and the op-
pressed state of the Common People — Prodigahty of the Mon-
archs and their Mistresses — Madame Pompadour — Madame Du-
barri — Immense Revenues of the Church — Lettres-de-Cachet, &c.
— Louis XVI. — His character— Troubled State of Finances —
Meeting of the States-General — Division between the Deputies of
the Tiers-Etat, or Common People, and the Deputies of the No-
blesse and Clergy — the Oath of the Tennis Court — Plots of the
Court — Mirabeau — The Palais Royal— Excited State of Paris on
the 11th of July. 1789 — Camille Desmoulins— Fracas between the
Soldiers and the Populace— Sunday, the r2th of July— Increase
of Popular Excitement — Scenes at the Hotel-de-Ville — All Paris
in commotion, a universal demand for arms, and the cry of " to the
Bastille !" — Attack by the Populace upon the Bastille — Its Defence
— Arming, Tumult and Vengeance — The Bastille taken — Death
of De Launay and of M. de Flesselles — Destruction of the Bas-
tille — ^The Tidings of these Events as received at Versailles by
the Court and the National Assembly — Eloquence of Miribeau —
The King's Visit to the Assembly — Marie Antoinette— Rejoicings
of the Parisians, &c.

" The people," says the greatest of French states-
men, " never revolt from fickleness, or the mere desire
of change. It is the impatience of suffering which
alone has this effect." Subsequent events have not
falsified the maxim of Sully, though they have shown
that it requires modification. If the condition of the
lower orders in France, anterior to the Revolution, is



10 THE REIGN OP TERROR.

examined, it will not be deemed surprising that a con-
vulsion should have arisen ; and if humanity sees
much to deplore in the calamities it produced, it will
find much consolation in the grievances it has re-
moved.*

The government of France, from the reign of Louis
XIV. to the Revolution, was arbitrary rather than des-
potic ; for the monarchs had much greater power than
they exercised ; their immense authority was resisted
only by the feeblest barriers. The crown disposed of
the person by lettres-de-^^achet ; of property by con-
fiscations ; of income, b^ imposts. In this enslaved
state was the kingdom^lmd also most wretchedly or-
ganized. Divided into three orders, which were again
subdivided into several classes, the nation was aban-
doned to all the evils of despotism, and all the miseries
of inequality. The nobility were divided into cour-
tiers who lived on the favor of the prince, or, in other
words, on the labors of the people ; and who obtained
either the governments of the provinces, or high sta-
tions in the army — upstarts, who directed the admin-
istration, and made a trade of the provinces ; lawyers
who administered justice, and monopolized its ap-
pointments ; and territorial barons, who oppressed the
country by the exercise of their private feudal privi-
leges, which had displaced the general political right.
The clergy were divided into two classes, of which
one was destined for the bishopricks and abbacies, and
their rich revenues, the others to apostolic labors, and
to poverty. The tiers-etat, (the third estate, or com-
mon people,) borne down by the court, and harassed
by the nobility, was itself separated into corporations,
which retaliated upon each other the evils and the op-
pression they received from their superiors. They
possessed scarcely a third part of the soil, upon which
they were compelled to pay feudal services to their
lords, tithes to the priests, and imposts to the king. In
compensation for so many sacrifices, they enjoyed no

♦ Alison's History of Eirope.



THE REIGN OF TERROR. 11

rights, had no share in the administration, and were
admitted to no public employments.*

Louis XIV., by his lavish prodigality, in supporting
his courtiers and mistresses, carrying on expensive
wars, and his personal splendor, plunged the financial
affairs of the nation into difficulties ; and he himself
saw, before the close of his career, that tyranny, even
in its success, exhausts its means, and that it devours
in advance the resources of the future. Under his
successor, Louis XV., anarchy was introduced into
the bosom of the court, the government feill into the
hands of mistresses, the sovereign power rapidly de-
clined, and opposition was every day making new
progress. The most celebrated of this monarch's mis-
tresses were Madame de Pompadour and the Countess
Dubarri. Madame de Pompadour, whose maiden
name was Jane Antoinette Poissan, was married at an
early age to Lenormand d'Etoiles, but the king became
enamoured of her, and money silenced her husband.
The king at first provided her with a house at Ver-
sailles; but afterwards gave her apartments in the
chateau, where each year her extravagances increased.
Though avaricious by instinct, Louis was prodigal
through weakness ; he gave her six estates, besides
splendid hotels in Paris, Fontainebleu, and Compeigne,
where she amassed such a considerable quantity of
furniture and other valuables, that, after her death,
the sale occupied each day during the space of twelve
months. He gave her a pension of fifteen hundred
thousand livres, besides daily presents ; independently
of which she had six hundred thousand livres to en-
able her to have her table always served for the recep-
tion of her royal lover, who also created her Marchi-
oness of Pompadour. She possessed the talent of
amusing the indolent king, who frequently remarked
that she made the time pass quickly; and she con-
ceived the most ingenious artifices to divert him. He
finally resigned the reins of government into her



* Mignet's History of the French Revolution.



12 THE REIGN OF TERROR.

hand ; she nominated ministers, and was the distribu-
ter of all the royal gifts and government employments.
Private profligacy increased at court, public disorders
augmented throughout the kingdom. There were
troubles in the church, schisms among the bishops,
agitations among the magistracy, discord among fam-
ilies, and disturbances among the people.

Madame de Pompadour, after ruling France for
twenty years, finished her days at the palace of Ver-
sailles, in the year 1764. Four years after, Louis be-
came attached to the young and beautiful wife of the
Count Dubarri, whose prodigality was equally exces-
sive with that of Pompadour. She always used gold
plate, and possessed a cup of that metal of enormous
value, which was given her by the king. She had a
carriage which cost fifty-two thousand francs. The
king gave her a boquet of diamonds valued at three
hundred thousand francs, and also a dressing-table of
massive gold, surmounted by two cupids of the same
metal holding a crown enriched with precious stones,



Online LibraryH. N. (Horatio Newton) MooreThe reign of terror historically and biographically treated → online text (page 1 of 24)