« EelmineJätka »
After this the victors shewed such mercy as might be expected from them.
Not content with butchering their prisoners in cold blood, they took a pleasure in making them die by inches, and in insulting them in the pangs of death. Placing several together, they killed one of them at a time, to render death more terrible to the rest. Neither sex nor age had any weight with them. Above two hundred women, thirty of whom had children at the breast, whom conjugal love had led to follow their husbands; more than fifty old men, whom filial piety bad snatched from the assassin's stab, were all most savagely butchered. The death of Madame de VISAGU E deserves particular notice. This young lady was about seventeen years of age, and very near her time of delivery. A party of the demo. crats found her behind a hedge, to which place she had drawn her husband, who was mortally wounded. When they discovered her, she was on her knees, supporting his head with her arm. One of them fired upon her with a carabine, another quartered her with his hanger, while a third held up the expiring husband to be a spectator of their more than hellish cruelty.
Several wounded prisoners were collected together, and put into a ditch, with sentinels placed round them, to prevent them from killing themselves, or one another; and thus were they made to linger, some of them two or three days, while their enemies testified their ferocious pleasure by all the insulting gesticulations of savages.,
Such was the fury of the triumphant democrats*, that the deputies from the Convention gave an order against burying
destroying the works, returned in perfect order to the town, without the enemy daring to harcss them. What feats did not Sir CHARLES GREY perform in the West Indies ? What has become of the French East India possessions ?
See Le MESURIER's Thoughts on a French In vasion, and WILLYAMS's Account of the Campaign in the West Indies in the year 1784.
* The world has now existed near 6000 years ; and we who live in the present period are favoured with the experience of all former ages. During those ages, every kind of government has been tried. And it is found by experience, that every kind of government has its peculiar ad. vantages and disadvantages. To guard against the inconveniencies peculiar to each, the wisdom of TACITUS conceived, that a mixed form of the dead, till they had been cut in morsels. TOLL&T, the infamous apostate priest of Trevoux, went, blood-hound like, in quest of a few unhappy wretches who had escaped destruction ; and when, by perfidious promises, he had drawn them from their retreats, he delivered them up to the daggers of their assassins.
Of the little army that attempted the retreat, six hundred and eighteen were brought back in chains; some of them died of their wounds, and all those, who were not relieved from life this way, were dragged forth to an ignominious death.
Prior to these misfortunes there was an infamous assembly in Lyons, which took the name of the democratic club. In this club a plot was laid for the assassination of all the rich in one night. Their oath was—“We swear to exterminate “ all the rich and aristocrats; their bloody corpses, thrown “ into the Rbone, shall bearour terrors to the affrighted sea." This plot was happily discovered in time to prevent its effects; and the president CHALLIER, with two others were
government, consisting of King, Lards, and Commons, if it were prac. ticable, would be the most perfect; but yet he could not conceive such a government to be possible. His words are: “Cunctas nationes aut Reges,
aut Primores, aut Populus rexerunt, dilecta ex his et consociata Rei. “ publicæ forma laudari faciliùs quam evenire ; aut si eveniat, non diu.
turna esse, potest.” Tact. Ann. 1.
The British government, however, has long reduced this idea, by him deemed impossible, to practice. And it should really seem, not only from our own experience in this country, but from the conduct of the Americans in forming their constitution, and from the conduct of the French in forming theirs, that three estates, to act as checks one upon another, forms the most perfect system of government human wisdom can contrive for the happiness of man. The ilmericans have two houses and a president, who is the same as our king, only called by another name.
And the French have two estates, and five directors---fools that they are ! who occupy the place of our king and his privy council. So that after all their experience, convulsions, and blood, the British government is at last the model they are constrained to follow. This consideration ought to induce us Englishmen, not only to be contented with, but to glory in our constitution, as a most finished model of human wisdom. change, but it is impossible we can change for the better. All that we shouid desire is, that every thing may be removed from it, which is inconsistent with its purity and perfeétion. Our present Legislature is competent to the correction of every abuse.—See a just account of the excellence of the British constitution in MonTESQUIEU's Spirit of Laws, b. 11. c. 6.
condemned to die. This CHALLIER was looked person
of infamous character before the revolution : since the revolution, he had imbrued his hands in tai blood of his own father!
After the capture of the city, the above democratic club was re-organized, and JAVOGUES, the deputy from the Convention, became its new president. After having represented CHALLier as a martyr to the cause of liberty, he addressed hiinself to the assembly in nearly these terms :
Think,” said he, “ of the slavery into which you are plunged, by being the servants, and workmen of others ; the nobles, the priests, the proprietors, the rich of every description, have long been in a combination to rob the democrats, the real sans culotte republicans, of their birthright. Go, citizens; take what belongs to you, and what you should have enjoyed long ago. Nor must you stop here; while there exists an aristocracy in the buildings, half remains undone. Down with those edifices, raised for the profit or pleasure of the rich; down with them all: coinmerce and arts are useless to a warlike people, and the destruction of that subline equality, which France is determined to spread over the whole globe.” He told this deluded populace, that it was the duty of every good citizen to discover all those, whom he knew to be guilty of having, in thought, word, or deed, conspired against the republic. He exhorted them to fly to the offices, open for receiving such accusations, and not to spare one lowjer, priest, or nobleman. He concluded this harangue, worthy of one of the damned, with declaring, that for a man to accuse his own father was an act of civisin worthy a true republican, and that to neglect it was a crime that should be punished with death.
The deeds that followed this diabolical exhortation were such as might be expected. The bloody democrats left not a house, not a hole unsearched; men and women were led forth from their houses with as little ceremony as cattlefrom
The square where the guillotine stood was reddened with blood like a slaughter-house, while the piercing cries of the surviving relations were drowned in the more vociferous howlings of Vieve la Republique.
Soon after this, orders were given from the Convention for the demolition of the city. A hundred houses were destroyed per day. All the hospitals, manufactories, banks, &c. &c. were destroyed, without exception. Before the revolution, the city contained above 150,000 inhabitants. It was the second town, with respect to population, in France, and the first manufacturing town in all Europe. It does not now contain 70,000 inhabitants, and those are all reduced to beggary and ruin. As for trade, there is 'no such thing thought of. The last report to the Convention, respecting Lyons, declares the inhabitants without work or bread. :- It is difficult to stifle the voice of nature, and to stagnate the involuntary movements of the soul; yet even this was attempted, and in some degree effected by the deputies of the Convention. Perceiving that the above scenes of blood and devastation had spread a gloom over the countenances of the innocent inhabitants, and that even some of their soldiers seemed touched with compunction, they issued a mandate, declaring every one suspected of aristocracy, who should discover the least symptom of pity, either by his words or his looks!
The preamble of this mandate makes the blood run cold : “By the thunder of God! in the name of the re
presentatives of the French people ; on pain of death it " is ordered,” &c. &c. Who would believe, that this terrific mandate, forbidding men to weep, or look sorrowful, on pain of death, concluded with, Vive la Liberté! Liberty forever! Who would believe that the people, who suffered this mandate to be stuck up about their city like a play-bill, had sworn to live free, or die* ?
In spite, however, of all their menaces, they still found, that remorse would sometimes follow the murder of a friend or relation. Conscience is a troublesome guest to the villain, who yet believes in an hereafter. The deputies, therefore, were resolved to banislı this guest from the bosoms
* Under the most extravagant professions of liberty, the French are now become the greatest slaves in Europe. Wherever they go, they pretend to offer the peopie liberty; but no sooner do the silly folks listen and believe, than they find themselves plundered and enslaved.
of their partizans, as it had already been banished from their own.
With this object in view, they ordered a solemn civic festival in honour of CHALLIER. His image was carried round the city, and placed in the churches.
Those tem ples, which had, many of them, for more than a thousand years resounded with hosannas to the SUPREME BEING, were now profaned by the adorations paid to the image of a parricide.
All this was but a prelude to what was to follow the next day. It was Sunday*, the day consecrated to the worship of our blessed REDEEMER. A vast concourse of democrais, men and women, assembled at a signal agreed on, formed themselves into a sort of mock procession, preceded by the image of CHALLIER, and followed by a little detached troop, each bearing in his hand a chalice, or some other vase of the church. One of these sacrilegious wretches led an ass, covered with a priest's vestment, and with a mitre un his head. He was loaded with crucifixes and other symbols of the Christian religion, and had the Old and New Testaments suspended to his tail. Arrived at the square called the Terreaux, they then threw the two Testaments, the cruci
* The French, before the Revolution, were extremely inattentive to the sanctification of the sabbath ; and by a most striking retaliation of Providence, they are now entirely deprived of the sabbath! We, in this country, especially the nobility and gentry of the land, are almost universally treading in the same steps ; and have we reason to suppose we shall not, ere long, be treated in the same manner? Were I an Infidel in principle, I would observe the sabbath-day, for the sake of example. For if religion could be proved to have no foundation in 'truth, it must be allowed to be extremely convenient for the purpose of keeping mankind
“I go to church sometimes,” said the late infidel Earl of Orford, sin order to induce my servants to go to church. A good mo.
instruct and benefit them. I only set them an example of listening, not of believing.” And what injury would his Lordship have sustained, if he had both listened, believed, and obeyed? All hy. pocrites are base and contemptible characters, whatever specious attain. merits they may possess of a literary, philosophical, or political kind. It does not appear that his Lordship, any more than Humë and FrankLIN, ever gave Christianity a serious and conscientious investigation. They were all too busy in life, and had little inclination to religious pursuits. The carnal minds of a Nobleman and a Philosopher are equal. . ly at enmity against God.
"ral sermon may