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    To contend against this enormous force, Buonaparte, by the most surprising exertions, had again collected upwards of two hundred thousand men of considerable military practice; but he dared not to name the conscription to a people already sore on that point; and he endeavoured to raise further reinforcements by an enrolment of National Guards all over France. For this purpose commissioners were sent down into the Departments, on the authority of an Imperial decree of April the 5th; and he proposed to raise as many federates, or volunteers of the lower ordersthe only class which had raised a cheer for him on his return. But these schemes proved, for the most part, abortive. In the northern Departments, where heretofore the commands of Buonaparte had been most freely obeyed, the inhabitants showed a sullen and dogged resistance, and the same was the case in Brittany. Farther south matters were worse. In the Departments of Gard, Marne, and Nether Loire, the white flag and cockade were openly displayed; and wherever the tree of liberty was plantedfor it was now the trick of Buonaparte to associate the sacred name of liberty with his, a name and a thing on which he had so uniformly trampledit was cut down and burnt. It was in such circumstances that Buonaparte had to put his frontiers into a state of defence against the advancing hosts. He had defended the northern side of Paris with a double line of fortifications; strongly fortified Montmartre, and on the open southern side cast up some field-works, relying, however, on the Seine as the best barrier. Paris he placed under the command of General Haxo; and the fortresses on the side of Alsace, the Vosges, and Lorraine were all strongly garrisoned. Lyons, Guise, Vitry, Soissons, Chateau-Thierry, Langres, and other towns were made as strong as forts, redoubts, field-works, and garrisons could make them; and trusting by these to retard the slow Austrians, and even the Russians, till he could have given a desperate blow to the Allies in the Netherlands, of whom he was most afraid, on the 11th of June he quitted Paris, saying, "I go to measure myself with Wellington!"

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    Meanwhile the Convention determined to proceed to the abolition of the Constitution of '93, and to the establishment of one more accordant[448] with their own tendencies. In 1793 the Revolutionists were as violent against aristocracy as against monarchy, and had allowed only one legislative body. The precipitate acts of the last three years had now persuaded them that at least a second, if not an aristocratic, chamber might be useful, as a balance against legislation under violent impulses. They proposed, then, to have two chambersone called the Council of Five Hundred, composed of that number of members of at least thirty years of age, having exclusively the right of proposing laws, of whom one-third should be renewed every year; the second, called the Council of the Ancients, to consist of two hundred and fifty members, of at least forty years of age, all either widowers or married, having the sanctioning of the law, and also to be annually renewed by one-third. No sooner were these decrees passed than there was a violent outburst of discontent. On April 1st, and again on May 20th, the Parisian mob rose in insurrection, but were completely suppressed. This was the death-blow of the Democratic party. Then came the turn of the Royalists. A meeting took place in the Odon theatre, on the 3rd of October, under protection of some battalions of National Guard. The Duke of Nivernois presided. The Committees of Public Safety and Welfare gave the alarm to the Convention, and the Convention sent a force to disperse the meeting, but it had already dissolved itself. The Sections had committed the mistake of refusing to allow the ultra-Jacobins to vote, and the Convention now embodied and armed one thousand eight hundred of these, ready, in their indignation, to do anything. On the 4th, the Section Lepelletier beat to arms, and the committee held its meeting in the convent of Filles St. Thomas, in the Rue Vivienne. General Menou was summoned from the camp at Sablons, and ordered to disperse the meeting. He proceeded to the convent, found the committee of the Section armed, and, instead of dispersing them, agreed to retire on a promise that they would withdraw of themselves. The Convention immediately arrested Menou as a traitor, and deprived him of his command. They forthwith appointed Barras general of the interior in the place of Menou, and ordered him to clear the streets, and place troops in a position to insure the safety of the Convention. Barras was a general of brigade, but he was not too fond of exposing himself and, fortunately for him and for another, he had his eye on one who would execute the orders of the Convention without shrinking. This was Napoleon Buonaparte. The Convention had about five thousand troops; but the decision of the conflict must depend on the cannon. These were in the camp at Sablons. Buonaparte instantly dispatched Murat to secure them, and received the insurrectionists with such a shower of grape that after a short resistance they were completely defeated.

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    No sooner had Collot d'Herbois, Barrre, and that party triumphed over Robespierre than they summoned the members of the tribunal to their baray, on the very morning of the day of his executionand voted them honours amid much applause. The tribunal replied, that though a few traitors like Coffinhal and Dumas had found their way into the tribunal, the majority of them were sound and devoted to the Convention. Accordingly, the next day the Convention handed over to Fouquier-Tinville and his colleagues a list of fresh proscriptions of sixty-nine municipals, and a few days afterwardsnamely, the 12th of Thermidor, being the 30th of Julythey added twelve more, completing eighty-one victims! These were all executed within twenty-four hours. The Convention then fell into new divisions, some members contending for its being time to cease these tragedies, others insisting on maintaining them. Billaud-Varennes, Barrre, and Collot d'Herbois defended the guillotine and Fouquier-Tinville, but the greater number of the enemies of Robespierre denounced them, declared themselves the overthrowers of Robespierre, and assumed the name of Thermidorians, in honour of the month in which they had destroyed him. For the Thermidorians saw that the better part of the public had become sick of blood, and they set about contracting the Reign of Terror. They reduced the powers of the two governing Committees; they decreed that one-fourth of the members should go out every month; they reduced the revolutionary sections of Paris from forty-eight to twelve, and abolished the forty sous a day to the sansculotte patriots for their attendance. A month after the execution of Robespierre, Tallien made a fierce onslaught on the Terrorist system, and declared that there were numbers yet living who had been equally merciless with Robespierre, Couthon, and St. Just; and the next day Lecointre denounced by name Barrre, Billaud-Varennes, and Collot d'Herbois. To put an end to the Jacobin resistance, the Convention closed the Jacobin Club altogether, which had thus only survived the fall of Robespierre about four months. Thereupon the Jacobins began to denounce the Thermidorians as anti-Republicans, but they retorted that they were Republicans of the purest schoolthat of Marat.

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    It was not long before the Third Estate was discovered to be in hopeless antagonism with the Court and privileged Orders, and they resolved to act separately. They must act for themselves and for the people at large, or, by further delays, lose all the advantages of the moment. They resolved to assume the character of the representatives of the entire nation. Siys declared that the Commons had waited on the other Orders long enough. They had given in to all the conciliations proposed; their condescensions had been unavailing; they could delay no longer, without abandoning their duty to the country. A great debate arose regarding the name that the body of deputies which resolved to become the real legislative power should choose. Mirabeau proposed, the "Representatives of the People;" Mounier, "The Deliberative Majority in the absence of the Minority;" and Legrand, "The National Assembly." The proposal of Mounier was soon disposed of; but there was a strong inclination in favour of "The National Assembly," and Mirabeau vehemently opposed it. The name of "National Assembly" had, it is said, been recommended to Lafayette by Jefferson, the American Minister, and as Lafayette had not yet ventured to move before his Order, and join the Tiers tat, Legrand, an obscure member, and lately a provincial advocate, was employed to propose it. But Siys had, in his famous brochure on the "Rights of Man," long before thrown out these words:"The Tiers tat alone, it will be said, cannot form a States General. So much the better; it will constitute a National Assembly!" On the 15th of June, Siys proposed that the title should be "The National Assembly of Representatives, known and verified by the French Nation." Mirabeau indignantly repelled the title in any shape. He declared that such a title, by denying the rights and existence of the other two Orders, would plunge the nation into civil war. Legrand proposed to modify the name by making it "The General Assembly." Siys then came back to his original title of simply "The National Assembly," as devoid of all ambiguity, and Mirabeau still more violently opposed it. But it was soon seen that this name carried the opinion of the mob with it; the deputies cried out loudly for it; the galleries joined as loudly in the cries. Mirabeau in a fierce rage read his speech, said to have been written by his friend Dumont, before the president Bailly, and withdrew, using violent language against the people who had hooted him down, declaring that they would soon be compelled to seek his aid. He had protested in his speech that the veto, which some of the deputies wished to refuse to the king, must be given to him; that without the royal veto he would rather live in Constantinople than in France; that he could conceive nothing more dreadful than the sovereignty of six hundred persons; that they would very soon declare themselves hereditary, and would[360] finish, like all other aristocracies that the world had ever seen, by usurping everything. These words, only too prophetic, had brought down upon him a tempest of execration; and writhing under it he had hastened to the Court and had an interview with Necker, warning him of the danger of the crisis, and offering to use his influence in favour of the king's authority. Necker received him coldly, and thus Mirabeau was thrown back on the people. Siys's motion was carried by a majority of four hundred and ninety-one against ninety; and the National Assembly was proclaimed amid loud acclamations, mingled with cries of "Vive le Roi!"

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    05.

    Here, then, our history of the political transactions of the reign of George III. terminates. That reign really terminated in 1811, with the appointment of the Regency, which continued the ruling power during the remainder of his life. From that date it is really the history of the Regency that we have been prosecuting. But this was necessary to maintain the unity of the narrative of that most unexampled struggle which was involving the very existence of every nation in Europe. Of all this the poor old, blind, and deranged king knew nothinghad no concern with it. The reins of power had fallen from his hands for ever: his "kingdom was taken from him, and given to another." He had lived to witness the rending away of the great western branch of his empire, and the sun of his intellect went down in the midst of that tempest which threatened to lay in ruins every dynasty around him. We have watched and detailed that mighty shaking of the nations to its end. The events of the few remaining years during which George III. lived but did not rule, were of a totally different character and belong to a totally different story. They are occupied by the national distresses consequent on the war, and the efforts for reform, stimulated by these distresses, the first[119] chapter of which did not close till the achievement of the Reform Bill in 1832.

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    The Repeal Agitation in Ireland, which had been thoroughly organised in 1842 by "Repeal Missionaries" who had visited every parish in the country, reached its culminating point in 1843. Early in February that year Mr. O'Connell, who had filled the civic chair the previous year, and was then an alderman of the Dublin Corporation, gave notice that, on the 21st of that month, he would move a resolution, affirming the right of Ireland to a resident Parliament, and the necessity of repealing the union. Alderman Butt expressed his determination of opposing the motion. Mr. Butt was one of the ablest members of the Irish bar, and a leader of the Conservative party. The debate was therefore anticipated with the greatest interest, as it promised to be a very exciting political duel. The old Assembly House, since abandoned for the more commodious City Hall, was densely crowded by the principal citizens, while the street was thronged by the populace during the debate. Mr. O'Connell marshalled his arguments under many heads: Ireland's capacity for independenceher right to have a Parliament of her ownthe establishment of that right in 1782the prosperity that followedthe incompetence of the Irish Parliament to destroy the Constitutionthe corrupt means by which the union was carriedits disastrous results, and the national benefits that would follow its repeal. The speech, which lasted four hours, was mainly argumentative and statistical. It was accepted by his followers as an elaborate and masterly statement of the case. Mr. Butt replied with equal ability and more fervid eloquence. The debate was adjourned. Next day other members took part in it. It was again adjourned, and as the contest proceeded the public excitement rose to fever heat. At two o'clock on the third day Mr. O'Connell rose to reply. "No report," says Mr. O'Neil Daunt, "could possibly do justice to that magnificent reply. The consciousness of a great moral triumph seemed to animate his voice, his[526] glance, and his gestures. Never had I heard him so eloquent, never had I witnessed so noble a display of his transcendent powers." The division showed that 41 were in favour of a domestic legislature and 15 were opposed to it.

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    11.

    THE TOLBOOTH, EDINBURGH.

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    Groaned to be gone.

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    12.

    QUATRE BRAS.

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