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Biographical anecdotes of the founders of the French republic, and ..., Volume 2 online

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He was alfo the firft to move for the ereftion of a
financial company, charged with the adminiftration
of the national eftates, and the difcharge of paper
currency by means of ready moaey. He afterward?
propofed that another company (hould be formed,

foihe-



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370. LE COULTEUX.

.fomewhat fimilar to the Bank of England, to enable
the Executive Power to provide for the annual
expenditure. Both thefe jrfans were approved by
all well-informed perfons, but it was not poffible at
that time to carry them into execution.

Laftly, he moved for the loan of fixty millions for
the boafled defcent on England, and was at the head
cff the deputation of bankers, who prefented them-
felves to the Direftory, and offered their refpeftivc
quotas towards forwarding this objeft.

It is but juftice to obferve, that M, Le Coulteux
13 extremely amiable in private life. To a compre-.
hcnfive mind he unites gentle manners. Though his
fortune is immenfe, hisr expences arc limited, and his
domeftick arrangements frugaL He alfo pays great
attention to the education of his children, for whofe
inffruSion he feleSs the ableft mafters in France.

The writer of this article had the following anec*
tjbte from one of his friends: — A young Spanifli
nobleman repaired to Paris, a few months after the
peace between the French Republick and Spain had
been^ concluded. He was ftrongly recommended to
M. Coulteux by a mercantile houfe of refpeSa*^
bility, that knew nothing of his principles or po-
litic2i charafter. The Spaniard was of courfe in-r
vited to dine with him. As he had been informed
in his native country, that no honeft man in France
tvas^ a republican, and that all the deputies in the le-
gifiature were the dregs of the people, he fpoke
while at table of both councils in an indecent mstn*
jBCef, and concludtd by obferving, ** that they were

a pack



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TILLY. 37X

• pack of fcouadrels, who dlfgraced the French
name ! ^— M. Le CouUeux, fmiling, replied—" 1
hope, Sir, yotf make an exception iji my favour."-T*

"" I beg your'pardon," aufwcred the Spaniard without
dircompoHng himfelf, " this is the firft time 1 have
perceived that a fexifible and accompliihed man is
not a royalift ! "

Le Coukeux is upwards of fifty years of agp.

- He lives in a wing of the large houfe called the
Palais de Bourbon^ in the Faub.Qurg. St. Honor e^
facing the l^lyflan Fields*

TILJ-V.

This zealous republican never ambitioned a feat
in the legiflature, of exercifed any publick ofEce in
France. He has, however, been employed abroad,
and his talents in the diplomatick line are fecond to
none.

Tilly was originally a nobleman of JBritanny, and
is a relation of the emigrant Count de Tilly, and
alfo of the republican geiieral of the fame name,
who diftinguiflied himfelf in the army of the Rhine,
under Jourdan, Hoche, and Angereau.

He was one of the few men appertaining to the
privileged orders who, under the corrupt ftate of the .
monarchy, a|id in the midft of the licentioufnefs of
his own caft, dedicated his time to ferious ftudies,
and cultivated thofe liberal principles which, bow-
ever they may have been abufed, conftitute the glory
of the prefent age, and became the precupfors of jdie
revolution.

In



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'2J2 TILLY.

In order to obtain information he vifited botfl
England and Italy, In each of thefe countri.es he
diftinguilhed himfelf by his inqulfitive dilpofitiOii)
and his affiduous attention to learned men.

At his return to France, Tilly was too modeft to
publifli a detailed journal of his travels iti order to
fatlsfy his literary vanity, and at the fame time, too
fenfible of the weight of his obfervations in refpeft
to his native country, to conceal his acquifltions.
' Accordingly he wrote fome very (hort but interefting
memoirs, tending to put the French on the feme foot-
ing with the Englifli navy, and to improve the mapu-
faAures and trade of hit native country, fo as to cope
at leaft with, if not to furpafs that of its rrvak.

The revolution at length occurred, and amidft
the numberlefs emigrations and plofe of the no-
bility, it certainly afforded great fatisfaSion to
the patriots to behold a few individuals abjuring the
prejudices of their order, and joining in the ftruggle
for freedom. Tilly was accordingly highly admired
by the Parifians, and as foon as the republick was
' proclaimed, the executive council ^yas advifed to
•mploy him in the diplomatick line. His long refi-
dence In Italy, and his critical knowledge of the
language, fitted him for a publick charaiSler in that
country, and he accordingly obtained the appoint-
ment of ambaflador to Genom

No man was better adapted to his new fituation *,
and the late changes in the fbuth of Europe may b9

— I ■ I I m' ■ II I I ■■ Bill n III ji

* He was fcnt on purpofe to affift in revolutionizing Italy.

5 feirly



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lairly traced to the operations of his admiiiiftra-
tion.

No fisoncr had he arrived at Genoa than he grant-
ed his prote£l:ion to every opprefled patriot in that
petty republick. He even inftituted a club in the
houfe of an apothecary, named Morando, where all
the young men who afFe£led literary attainments
(fome of them appertaining to the higheft clafs of
nobility) held their meetings.

From this time, Tilly might have been juftly
ftiled the Scourge of the Genoefe arijiocracy ; and
all the fubfequent afts of his embafly rendered him
truly worthy of that appellation. When the fenate
expoftulated with him about his ' encouraging thefe
democratical meetings, he replied, " that fo many
focieties-cxifted in Genoa with a view to revile and
difgrace the French principles, that it was not tob^
wondered if one was fortned in order to apologife for
diem."

A Genoefe clergyman, named the Jbbe Lomhardiy
employed by him in the capacity of fecretary for the
Ttalian difpatches, being fufpeSed to a£l as one oi
i^t^ prvpagandijts^ was t^ken into cuftody by order
of the government : Tilly on this inftantly reclaim-
ed him as a perfon appertaining to the French em-
bafly.' The fcnate replied, that no fubje6t of the
Genoefe republick'was permitted <o fpread principles
tending to* its 'fubverfiori. Tilly rejoined, that as
the perfdns ^ttaiihed to the ambafladors of all the^
crowned' heiads'^eifiding in Genoa profefTed the prin*
ciples of their 'refpeftive governments, it was but
Kk fair



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374 TiLwr.

fair for the Frendi envoy to keep in his fervicre i^^xik
as were attached to the politicks of France.

About this time the right wing of the army
of Italy, in order to facilitate an attack on Cot de
Tenit^ Saorgioy &c. belonging to the king of Sar-*
dinia, had marched through the territory of Vinti-
miglia, and thus openly violated the Genoefe neu«
trality. The fenate, having complained anew on
this occafion, Tilly anfwered, that it ought to per-
mit this violation with the fame Indifference that it
had allowed a fimilar one in the courfe of the pre-
ceding year on the part of the Sardinian troops,
while on their march to Oneille.

Tie Auftrian general, Baron de Vini, intending
to take pofleffion of fome towns in the weftern i?/-
viera^ Ricord, Salicetti, and Albltte, the reprelen*
tatives of the Frendi people with the army of Italy
made great preparations to preoccupy the fame, and
all the republican troops ifnftantly moved towards
^e interiour of the territory of Genoa.

The fenate required from Tilly a categori-
cal explanation of thefe movements. *' I will'
willingly ^ve," faid Tilly, " my explanation, when
the fenate has given me, on thejr part, a (imilar one
relative to the intentions of the coalefced powers.**

As he was xealous^ adive^ and energetick^ beyond
defcription, for the dignity arid intorefts of the new
republick, it happened that he vci;y often, .hazarded,
opinions iriconfift'ent with the eftabltibed jrelatjons.
bett^een the two countries, and utterly, incompatible^
■irith the law of nations. The fenate at one time in-

fifting



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nti,y. 375

fifting" on the ftrtft' obfervance of the exiffing trea-
ties, " the French nation," replied Tilly, •* ac-
Inowlcdgcs no treaty ftipul^ted oft the part of their
kings.— The people," he added, *' \istvc taken afms
in order tcJ aflfert fA^rV rights^ and they will never
hty them down until their political relations art
f^inded on a ttetter hafts!*

' Juftice ^Ifo requires us to obfervc, that he did
jWdI alipirays attend ta the pun^lillos of diplomatick
decorum.

* In his drefs a Id Carmagnole ^ he was accuf-
tomed to receive the vifits bf the moft diftingulfhed
members of the diplomatick body ; he waited on the
fenate, in the national palace, in a black neck hand-
kerchief and • pantaloons, and direfted the French'
stents in the neighbouring towns never to piiU off
their hats when they had occalion to call on the ma-
gift fates and governors, although they were of the*
moft noble femtlies in Genoa, fuch as Doria, Palla-
vicini, Sphiola, &c.

. -His\ardent charader fometifncs induced Tilly to
.. ttrfefpafsNon the'Iaws of his country. At one period
of ib» irevolutionary government, the Convention
paiTed % decree, forbiddjng aliens coming from^
ccuntries'at war with France to enter the territo-
ries of Jdie^repubJickj and the French agents and mi-
giftrates w«re declared refponfible for the execution
of it Tillyi' paying no attention to the will of the'

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ . ■ .».

* Ifi;veil9 )»aiitaloons and rabre» with a lar^c threc*colonrtd*

K k 2 legiflature.



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376 TILLVf

legiflature, granted paiTports to all the Italian pa*
triots, whether Tufcans, Roman$t Neapolitans) or
Piedmontejfe, all of whom appertained to inimical
countries.

It happened about this time that a Sicilian cler«
gyman^ named the Abb^ Sotira, being perfecuted
by the government of Naples on- account of his
* democratick fentiments, found means to efcape to
Genoa, and afked for a paf}^ort to France j on
obtaining it he repaired to Oneille. ^

Some French merchants refiding in Genoa wrre
the enemies of Tilly. They had been in.Naples^
and known this very Abbe, who, in order to avoid
the impending profeription, had written a work,
^entitled — ^* The rights of nian confuted." Thcjr
availed thcmfelves of this .pretext, to fatisfy tbeir^
animofity, and accordingly wrote a formal denunci-
ation to Buonarroti, at that time national agent at
Oneille, ftating that Sotira was a man of a fiifpicious
character. Buonarroti, naturally violent and imp.e«
tuous, iuftantly IfTued orders for a domiciliary vliit,
and unfortunately for Tilly, the very manufeript of
^^ the Rights of Man confuted," was found in hia
pofTcfiion*

Buonarroti immediately committed him to prifon,
lent intelligence of the event to the committBc of
(^ublick fafrty, and had not the 9th Thennidor \ntfer*^
xened, Sotira would have been fent t&tbe guillotine,
and Tilly hlmfeif .\ould have fulFered difgrace at
i^ft, on-aocQunt of the excefs at bis zeal. By the

bye,



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wtLY. 377

hyt^ this fame Sotira was really a patriot*, and a
writer of fome confideration. He lived fome time
in this country, and on his return to the continent,
in 1789, he publiflied'a pofiticftl wdrk in Piaris,. en-
titled — La Decadence de l^Angleterre.

But if the gth Thermi'dar^ fecured Tilly from the
dangerous effedts refulting from the animofity of
his countrymen in Genoa, it was Fikely to involve
him in the hatred* of the Thermidoreansy againft the
fanfculotterie. This adtualfy proved to be (he cafe,
Tilly was recalled, and na fooner had he reached
Nice, than he was difgracefully feized by the na-
tional gendarmes^ and coitveyed a prisoner to Paris.
It was not a little aftonifhing to behold the nev^
members of the Commrttee of Puyjck Safety, ailing^
rn this manner, agaittft a man who had fo ably and
fcccefefully ferved the republick abroad.

Soon after this, the Committee of Gpvermnent>
fent a tiew ambafiadbr (M. Viltlard) to Genoa, who '
in their name, piibficktyVnd officially difavowed alF
«* the extravagancies'* of his predeceffor, and aflured:
the iei»te that &e was ftHI lying unclcc their difplea^
fcrc.

An aflcount of the humiliations endured by TiTl}r -
in PartSy during the fjprtng smd fummer of 1795,.
^K^otikt be eqiiall)r tedious , and difagreeable. It is '
fijrfCcient ta oMerve, that the^official accounts of his

adminiftration in Genoa, were expofed to the cen-

- -\ , • . »

• The attack on i^i^iightsof man, waar written from policy, not
frinciplti it being pcnocd with a tIcw to fate bis Ufe.

Kk3 fiire



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§78 TftLV*

fure of the loweft clerks of the financial (kpartments
and revifcd with the moft rancorous fcrupolofity.

The Thermidoreans^ indeed, went fo fcr, as to de-
prive him of his arms, and exclude him fromfervice*
jn his own fedlion, on account of his having been in the
technical language of that period, *' a terr&rift and
a bad citizen/' In ihort, he was at laft obliged -
to fecure himfelf from the infulis of the Parifian youth,
hy retiring to the tbwn of St. Germain, twelve
miles diftaht from the metropolis.

The Thermid^rean re-aftion ceafed to influence
the French government, in 0(3:ober 179$, and the
- unjuft perfecutions to which many of the moft zea-.
l^us patriots had been expofed during . the preceding
twelve months, were felt' by the dircftory, the, two
councils, and the people at large. «

On the return of Tilly to Paris, he .^yas received ,
with univerlal refpe£l. The executive offer^to
^ appoint him minijler of police^ but he prateft^ that
he would not accept the place. On its being, pro-
pofed to fend him once more amhaifador to Genoa^i
or any other of the Italian courts, he alfo flecloied,.
the propofal with that uncommon perfeverance ^|
peculi^ to his charafler. .. . oy: •• •/

Since that time, he. has not ^vinpedthe^eaft aiyv:-; ,
iety for any fort of employnpient^ Being. ai]fe(|.|^.
reafj^n of fo much apathy,. he told his friends, " thtt -,
he was very glad to have once fcrved his native
country, but he would never appear on the publick
fiage again, before the revolutionary ftorms^had.enr
tirely fubfided/' • "*» , .; r -, . »ji . ,. ^i

TiUy



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TSIy IS t man of about fifty years of age^ ftiart
ftature, thin, fwardiy complexion, and forbidding
look. He is noted for the plainnefs of his drefs ; the
feriottfnefs of his countenances and the franknefs of
his femiments.



TADlERy

Was confidered as a man of the ftrifteft integrity,-
a learned civilian ♦*, and an able magiftratle anteriour
to the fell of the throne. He was appointed" a deputy'
to the National Convemioh, from the department d&
P.JrrugSy and it may not be unworthy of remark,
that all the members of this department, were ufually '
confidered aS mountmneers^ in every fenfe of the
word.

Vadier diftinguiflited himfelf as one of the i>if -
cemvirs during the rfeign of terrour*, and, after the'
ffiifting of tlie. political fcene, became one of thofe
fubjeSed to the Freronian perfecution.

This is little to be wondered at, as he had apper-
tained tb die comrhrttee of general fecurify, arid parti-
cipated in:dyi the violent proceedings ' of hiscoU'
leagues, and- the Convention at large, v

It is alloWedj however, even by his enemies, that
his motives^ throughout the whole of his publick
life, nay, ^ven when- notorioufly faulty, were un-
exceptionable; he was ajfo one of the few plain.

■ — « I III I I " l I I II I I II ■ I III I !■»

• H€ was ConJeUUr a Poffuers,

and



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g8p X VXStEIti

andTipneft nuen, who confcfentioufly cxecna«4 Ro-
befpierre, and, from the lovedP juftioe and virtue
alone, contributed to the downfal of that odious tyrant.
During periods of civil difcord, menr&re frequently
deaf to the voice of reafbn. The more Vadier was:
refpeftable, the more he was reviled, abufed, infiilted,
viKfied ; and the Freronian journal, VOraUur dw
Peupli will always be^confidcred as a mortifying re*
cord of the injuftice and ingratitude of the French .
natron.

VaJier fiipported the moft bitter* iniKidirveS with a
prudence and r^gnaiioo which couU have originated.'
ki a confcioii^ iategi:i£y akme; One day, however,
he could not refrain from exclatnting, in. the hall of
the Convention—" Je n'aurois jamais cra^emes
qompatriotes recompenferoit de cette manieie nus
foixante ans di vertus*!'*

Thefc words fcrved only tO' excite marmitrs
aad laughter in the Ailemblyr to ftipply Freron and
his party with new topicks of ridicule, and to afford
to the Parifian youth the prove£b of Us foixanU am^
de vertus de Vadier.

. The 12th Germinal at length arrived^and Vadier^
with his colleagues, Collot, Billaud, and BarrerOr
were condemned to tranfportation. Some time after,
a decree of accu&tion was ena(!tl]ed againft them, and
oiders given for their trial before the Tribunal de
la Charente Inferieure ; Vadier and Barrere, how-



' • " 1 never could have fuppofcd that my countrymen would
have thus recompenfed fixty years of virtue.'^

cver>:



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1>E lA CltDIX* 381

ever^ found means to efied their efcape. From that
time the forttier has become fo obfcure, that if his
pame had not been occafionally mentioned, fome
mprttfas fincc, by a tFretich journalift, one would have
bdea temfit^d to iuppofe that he had ceaied to exift*



I DB lA CROIX,

Or, M he is now called, la croix,

.Is a Parifiin by birth, and, previoufly to the revo«
ktion, was a iecretary de la eonnttablii in the ca-
pital. This was a fpecies of military magiftracy,
which exercifed a cei :ain jurifdiAion relative to
points of honour, ttiquHU^ duelling, &c« and it was
Comppied of all the marthals of France,
. Charles la Croix had a feat, but never made a great
%ure in the Conftituent Aflembly* In the Con*
irention he was a deputy from the department de la
Mdrne^ and being a mountaineer^ he was very much
attached toCoUot d'Herbois and Thuriot, under the
prefidentlhips of whom, in 1793, he was twice eleded
f^cretary. He waa alfo fent on miffion to feveral
departments. *

If the career of this rcprefentative had ended with
die functions of a legiflator, his name would have

, been plunged in the deep oblivion to which that of
t)loufands of his Colleagues are condemned. But, in
0£lober 1793, he happened to be appointed Minifter
of the French Republick for the department of foreign

affairs^



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3^^ »E LA CKCIX.

affairs, whence may h^c dated that very e^fnivoealf
kind of celebrity that has attached to his perfon.

Unfortunately for him, in this exahred fttuationv
be was expofed to the fcrutinizing eyes of mankind.
Yes, unfortunately for him^ becairfe, in the capacity
of a minifter, he occafionatly difplayed fuch a com-
plete ignorance of geography and diplomatick affairs^
as to become proverbial, and to render himfelf the
fcorn of his countrymen at homeland thedifgface of
the French abroad. In (hort, he was commonly
ternied Pimbicille la Cr^ix,

The writer of this article knows to a certainty
• t^at he fuppofed Tufcany^to be a city, and imagined ,
that Naples belonged to the King of Sardinia !

What is alm^ft incredible, though recorded in. bis
own difpatches, he once feht to Bartliclemy, then
ambaiTador in Switzerland, a copy of an urrtti . of
the Diredory, with an injunftion to notify it to the
Senate of Berne! This expofed him of courfe'
to the moft hunirllating animadverfions on the part
of the Swifs government, which, in its remorf^
ftrance?, cbfei ved, that the Cantons neither formed a
French diftrivSt, nor the Minifte*^ Plenipotentiary a
buijijt^% erf a tribunal.

And when the inhabitants of the Pruffian domi-
nions, on this fide of the Rhine, prov-ijionally cedetf
to France by the treaty rf Bafle,^ent into mourn^
ing tor t • Prince-RoyaV in 1796, he w^s fo fooHfh

' - •• A ferjeanc, or mace bearer,.

99r



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DX LA CftOIJt. 383

as £0 lend stfi order (p the Fi'ench Gxnnmiflary at
Cleves, to prohibit this mark of refpe&! The late
King of Pruffia was greatly offended at this conduftj
* and was near revenging it by an open rupture i—
XJpon this, Perict the journalift obferved,*' Tot ou
^d nous fentirons que ce n'eft pas impunement que
nous pouvons mettre ua imbecilU ^ la tcte des a&
faires etrangercs*/'

Charles La Croix, notwithftanding this, continued

to exercife his functions as a minifter; but it was

merely owing to his republicanifm that he preserved

his places /of he pofTeiTed no other qualffication

whatever. He was difmifled) however, in Junq^ r

1797, in order to make room for M. Tayllerand,

and was fent foon after jis ambsKflador to the Batavian

Republick. He was judged by the Dlredory to be

Uie heft tool for bringing about: a new revolution

againft the moderates and the .StadchoUerians, by*

means of a coup de main^ or, to fyA more properly,'

tt> effea an i8th FruHidar in HoUand. On this 06-

cafion he proved wonderfully fucceftfiil, and the leg!*'

ilative body as well as thp other conilitated authorities

were, in the language of the day^ completely purified.

It was, however, heaird lyith equal aftoni(hment

and indignation, that among the Dutch moderates, ac?*

Oifed an^perfccuted by him, w;^S the gallant General

JQaendeisy one <Jf the firmed patriots during the^con-

tcft 0* 1787; who had ferved iis a commander of abri-



*'We fhall Team, fometime or another^j that the direfllon of
foreign afair^ cannot be entruAed to a weik man with impunity.

gade^ ;



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384 .IIOUltSAULT.'

gade under Pichegru, and ta whofc ml and exeir«
tioAs the FretKh are chiefly indebted for their en«
trance into Holland !

Charles Xa Ci:oix was about to fet oflFfbr Vienna,
in order to replace Bernadotte, when a new revolu**
tion took place, under his eyp, without his fan£Hon|
find in expreft contradi&ion to his opinions.

The brave Daendels, fhocked at the proconfular
enormities of the French minifter) had repaired to
Paris, and reprefented his adtniniftration In fo true»
and therefore {o odious a light, that the Diref^ory
feems' to have entrufted him with a carte bJancbe.^'^
He accordingly returned with fecret, but unlimited
powers, and the patriots of 1787 have once more
triumphed, in fpite of all the arts and oppofition of
the Minifter.

La Croix is about fifty years of age, fober, aflive^
and laborious, but ignorant, prefumptuous, and devoid'
of talents. ; • =

He has lately returned to Paris, and been fucceedefl'
in- bis mtlBon to Holland by Roberjot^

... f .-••••

,,. , . BOVESAULT^. .< , '

:' I . » : ..

Like Collot d'Herbois aftd Fabra d'Eglantine> was a '
performer, and a nun of great abilities in his own-
line, r . :
Finding himfelf unable to obtain a fortune in bi&~
native country, he became manager ,of a Frepch
company of players, with which he repaired .to Italy i

in



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80URSAULT. 3^5

in queft of bread. On &is occafipn he aiTumed the
name of Malherbes.

Having at length eftabliihed himfelf In Naples, he

was appointed by his Sicilian Majefty direSfor of the

' French thiatr tin that metropolis. He was not beloved

however by his fellow-performers, who were piqued at

the fuperiority of bis genius, nor did he experience

much friendfhip on the part of the Neapolitan nobi*

lity, to whom he never paid that humiliating homlge

which they had obtained from his predeceffors. Thefe

two bodies were too powerful for him to oppofc,

and at the end of the third year (in 1788} he was

difmiiled by the King, and fent back to France. On

that event taking place, the hatred of his foes was

fully gratified ; but not content with their iiiccefs,

they contrived to render their enmity proverbial ; for

when fpeaking of an enemy, they always faid,— « II

eft maavais fiijet comme Malherbes."

It Is a common obfervation in the hiftory 6f man-
kind, that fome accidents, apparently detrimental,
often prove uncommonly fortunate. Had not Bour-
iault loft bis place in Naples, he would have ton^^
nued a performer during his whole life.
'. Having repaired to Paris, he became a partlian of
the new order of things. In confequence of this, he
was received into the fociety of the *' Friends of Li-
berty,^' and permitted to dilplay his eloquence, already
improved by the declamation of the ftage. He was
the intimate friend of Collot d'Herbois, and it was
lufpe^ied that he had ibme fhare in the patriotick
^ LI plays



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