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and impracticable, it is superfluous to dwell upon the defects of it. The most striking feature of this extraordinary model of a perfect government was, that the members of the council in which the executive power was proposed to be vested were to be elected by the people at large ; and it was apparent that the whole was the dream of a theorist. This failure was particularly unfortunate, as it left all the powers of government, executive, legifative, and judicial, ftill to be exercised without control by the Conventional Affembly, in which the Jacobins were continually gaining ground upon their adversaries.
In the month of March the celebrated Revolutionary Tribunal, for deciding upon offences against the state, was organised. This dreadful court consisted of fix judges, to be elected by a majority of voices in the assembly, to whom were joined a public accuser and two affiftants. The fentence of this court was wholly arbitrary, and without appeal; and the crimes on which it was to pronounce were yague, undefined, and undefinable-seeming to compre: hend not merely the actions but the words, and even, by a horrid mockery of justice, the thoughts and most secret intentions, of those suspected of disaffection,
On the 1st of April a decree, fatal in its consequences to the Girondist or Brissotine party, was passed, abolishing the inviolability of the deputies of the Convention when accused of crimes against the state. In the same month the powers of the Committee of Public Safety were so much enlarged, that the Executive Council became mere cyphers in the government. The chiefs of the Brissotines appeared to be astonished and · confounded at these daring and desperate measures of their inveterate adversaries, confident in their prowess and popularity, and made no vigorous opposition to decrees evidently intended to pave the way to their destruction. Nearly at the same time it was resolved that the branches of the royal family remaining in France should be detained as hoftages for the safety of general Bournonville and the arrested
deputies ; and that, excepting those confined in the Temple, all the Bourbons should be removed to Marseilles. In this decree the duke of Orléans, though a member of the Convention, and although he had courted popularity by the most degrading and criminal facrifices, was included.
On the 10th of May the republic was, in opposition to the favourite ideas and secret efforts of the Briffotines, who preferred a federal government, upon the plan of that established in America, declared ONE AND INDIVISIBLE. It was now manifest that the Girondists, so inferior to their antagonists in vigor and decision, and even, notwithstanding the intellectual and literary accomplishments of the leaders of the party, grossly deficient in practical talents for government, must finally sink under the conteft, of which they were unequal to the management. On the 13th of May M. Condorcet proposed, that the present Convention should be diffolved, and a new Convention chosen on the ift of November next: but this being violently opposed, the Briffotines, dreading to come to extremities, weakly consented to an adjournment of the motion. On the 18th of May, M. Guadet, infiting that the Convention was no longer free in Paris, and that the power of the state was palling into the hands of the anarchists, moved, much too late to produce any effect, the decisive proposition that the fittings of the Convention be removed to Bourges, and all the constituted authorities of Paris 1hould be broken and diffolved. M. Barrère recommended the appointment of a committee to enquire into the evils complained of, which was, by the pufillanimous compromise of the Girondists, decreed by the Convention,
These half-measures of the Briffotine party only increased the rage and excited the contempt of the Jacobins-accelerating, in all probability, the catastrophe which almost immediately ensued.
The city of Paris, in consequence of the violence of the two parties in the Convention, was kept in a state of extreme agitation, and scarcely could the
inhabitants of that lawless metropolis be restrained from a renewal of the dreadful scenes lately acted there. The fucceffive fittings of the Convention till the zift exhibited a shocking picture of tumult and confusion. Very early on the morning of that day the tocfin was sounded, the générale beaten, and the alarm-gun fired. Terror pervaded
At seven o'clock the Convention met, and soon a deputation appeared at the bar from the Revolu, tionary Committees, demanding, amongst various other things, the immediate arrest of Clavière, minister of finance, and Le Brun, of foreign affairs. The department of Paris next appeared, and demanded a decree of accusation against Briffot, Guadet, Roland, Isnard, Vergniaud, and many others of the most distinguished note in the Gironde party. M. Barrère, who had with infinite art and address vibrated between the two factions, now took a decided part with the Jacobins, and, in the name of the Committee of Public Safety, proposed that the accused deputies should be invited to suspend themselves from their functions. With this the major part of them complied ; and in a short time being inveited with an armed force, and cannon planted at the avenues, a decree passed the Convention, ordering the arTest of the deputies, with the ministers Clavière and Le Brun.
After the public commotions had in some degree sub fided, the first step of the triumphant party was to frame the model of a new constitution, which those who were in the actual possession of power, as might also be suspected of the Briffotines, would probably not appear in too much haste to carry into effect. , In about a month the completion of the expected constitution was announced, consisting of no less than 124 articles, which, after a very night discuskon, was recognised by the Convention as the Constitutional Act. But as the execution of this act was suspended during the revolutionary crisis, and never subsequently revived, it may, like the former, be suffered quietly to pass into
oblivion, oblivion. Yet was this Jacobine constitution generally regarded as less effentially defective than that of M. Condorcet. Population was, agreeably to the principles of it, the fole basis of representation, the election of members annual, and the right of suffrage universal. The Legillative Body proposes the plan of laws, which are transmitted for confirmation or rejection to the several departments. The Executive Council, consisting of twenty-four members, is chosen by the legislature from a list composed of one nominee from each department; and half the number is renewed by each legislature in the last month of the session. The judicial power to be exercised by persons to be elected yearly by the Electoral Assemblies.
The transactions of the 31st of May caused a great shock throughout the nation, and France seemed ready to fall a prey to the distractions which, at this fatal period, afflicted the new-created republic. Various of the accused deputies effected their escape to different parts of the country which seemed well disposed to rise in support of the authority of the Convention; but the city of Paris and the foldiery remained firm to the government party. The department of Calvados was the first in arms; and, about the beginning of July, a considerable force had assembled, which assumed the appellation of the Departmental Army, under the direction of the fugitive deputies, Petion, Buzot, Barbaroux, &c. ; but on their approach to Evreux, they were encountered by the national troops, and soon broken and dispersed, most of the deputies being made prisoners. An' insurrection also took place in the department of the Gironde, excited by their own proscribed representatives, Vergniaud, Gensonné, Guadet, &c. which was also quickly suppressed. But by far the most formidable resistance to the reigning faction took place in the south, where the three great cities, Lyons, Marseilles, and Toulon, entered into a sort of federal league, and seemed to menace the dissolution of the existing authorities.
A strong force was dispatched against them, under general Carteaux, about the end of July ; and in the beginning of August the Marseillois were driven from the department of Vaucluse, and on the 24th the republicans captured the town of Aix; after which Marseilles threw open its gates and submitted. But the people of Toulon and the French admiral Trugoff entered into a negotiation with the English admiral, lord Hood, who was then cruizing in the Mediterranean; and he took possession both of the town and the shipping in the name of Louis XVII. and under the express and positive ftipulation that he was to aflift in res storing the constitution of 1789.
In the mean time general Kellerman, who commanded the army of the Alps, was dispatched against Lyons, which contained an immense and motley multitude of disaffected citizens of all claffes--Girondists, royalists, and constitutional monarchists. The city sustained, for more than seven weeks, a close and vigilant blockade, and was gradually reduced to a state of extrerne distress. Kellerman, not being deemed fufficiently zealous in the cause, was superseded by a general Doppet, to whom the city, now become an heap of ruins, surrendered on the 8th of October. The barbarities exercised upon the inhabitants after the furrender, by order of the Conventional commissioners, shock all the feelings of humanity, and almost surpafs the limits of credibility. The guillotine was confi. dered as an instrument of too flow an operation ; numbers were destroyed by grape-shot discharged from artillery; and others crowded together in barks, and sunk in the river, which, in Jacobine language, was styled “ the revolutionary torrent of the Rhône.” After they had satiated themselves with blood and Naughter, a decree passed the Convention, by which the wall and public buildings of the city were ordered to be destroyed, and the name of the city itself, by a farcasm worthy of such an assembly, changed to that of « Ville Affranchie."