It was towards the end of May before Marshal M?llendorf, the Prussian general, began the campaign. He then attacked the French, and drove them out of their entrenchments at Kaiserslautern with great slaughter. There, however, his activity seemed to cease; and on the 12th of July the French again fell upon him. He fought bravely for four whole days, supported by the Austrians; but both these Powers were compelled to retreat down the Rhine, the Prussians retiring on Mayence and the Austrians crossing the river for more safety. The French marched briskly after the Prussians, took Trèves, and then sent strong detachments to help their countrymen to make a complete clearance of Belgium and to invade Holland. Clairfait, who was still hovering in Dutch Flanders, was attacked by overwhelming numbers, beaten repeatedly, and compelled to evacuate Juliers, Aix-la-Chapelle, and finally Cologne. The French were so close at his heels at Cologne that they shouted after him that “that was not the way to Paris.” Coblenz, where the Royalist Emigrants had so long made their headquarters, though strongly fortified, soon after surrendered. The stout fortress of Venloo, on the Meuse, and Bois-le-Duc, as promptly surrendered, and the French marched on Nimeguen, near which the Duke of York lay, hoping in vain to cover the frontiers of Holland. The people of Holland, like those of Belgium, were extensively Jacobinised, the army was deeply infected by French principles, and to attempt to defend such a country with a mere handful of British was literally to throw away the lives of our men. Yet the duke stood stoutly in this hopeless defence, where half Holland ought to have been collected to defend itself.
On the 19th of October the French attacked the duke with sixty thousand men, and though his little army fought with its usual dogged bravery it was compelled to give way. It did this, however, only to assume a fresh position, still covering Nimeguen, where, on the 27th, the French again attacked it, and compelled it to retire from the contest. The duke led the wreck of his army across the Waal and the Rhine, and posted himself at Arnhem in Guelderland, to throw some impediment in the path of Pichegru, who was advancing, at the command of the Convention, to reduce Holland. Nimeguen, full of Dutch traitors, soon opened its gates; Maestricht did the same to Kleber; and at the end of the campaign the gloomiest prospects hung over Holland.
In the south great successes had been won by the French. A formidable attack was made on the territories of the King of Sardinia and the position of Saorgio was turned. But another division of these French descended from the Alps. It was the month of May when General Dumas, with the army of the Alps, had forced his way through the defiles of Mont Cenis. The Piedmontese garrisons of the forts there had fled without much resistance, astonished and confounded at seeing the French appear on the loftiest heights around them. The French pursued their retreating troops as far as Susa, led on by Jacobinised Savoyards, who hated the Piedmontese. But Dumas, finding that strong forces of Piedmontese and Austrians, under the King of Sardinia and the Austrian General Wallis, were drawn up at the foot of the Alps, did not venture to descend into the plains. Another body of the army of Italy was delayed some time in the Genoese territory, whilst Buonaparte was employed in sounding the condition and intentions of the people of Genoa. All the Alpine passes were in their hands, and Italy was doomed to drink the cup of misery to the very dregs.
Whilst the French armies had been carrying bloodshed and misery into the countries around them, their brethren at home had been equally busy in pushing forward those mutual hatreds which appeared likely to end in the extermination of the whole race of revolutionists. The Girondists being destroyed, new divisions showed themselves in those who had hitherto been allies—Robespierre and his coadjutors. Hébert, Chaumette, Clootz, Ronsin, and others, began to raise their heels against their chief, and their chief doomed every one of them to the guillotine. His most important victim was Danton, a man by no means contemptible (guillotined April 5th, 1794).
Robespierre believed that there was a majority of the Republicans who thought they had gone too far in abolishing the Deity and setting up the Goddess of Reason. He declared that the people needed festivals, and immediately it was decreed that every decade should be celebrated as a festival. A festival in honour of the Supreme Being inaugurated this series of special holidays, and it was to be followed by festivals to the Human Race, the French People, the Love of Country, Agriculture, Necessity, Misfortune, Posterity, and various other qualities and sentiments, each having one decade in the year. The first festival to the Supreme Being was fixed for the 20th of Prairial, or 8th of June. The painter David was commissioned to prepare the scenes and ceremonies of the festival, which was enacted in the gardens of the Tuileries. Robespierre, in his sky-blue coat and most showy waistcoat, and carrying in his hand a grand bouquet of flowers mixed with ears of wheat, led the procession and officiated as high priest. But though Robespierre had proclaimed the reign of the Supreme Being, he had not the least intention that it should on that account be any the more a reign of mercy. In his speech at the festival of the Supreme Being, he declared that the Republic must be still further purged—that they must remain inexorable. On this point he and all his colleagues were agreed, but they were agreed in nothing else. They immediately broke into fresh schisms, as would necessarily be the case with such men, who must go on exterminating one another to the last. Robespierre, St. Just, and Couthon still hung together; but Barrère, Collot d’Herbois, Billaud-Varennes, and most of the other members of the Committees of Public Welfare and Public Safety, were in the very act of rushing into opposition, and beginning a struggle with the triumvirate—Robespierre, Couthon, and St. Just—to the death. St. Just advised Robespierre to anticipate them, but he, relying on his authority with the Convention, remained inactive. It was a fatal mistake. Barrère and his faction determined to strike a decisive blow at Robespierre; and Tallien volunteered to commence the attack on Robespierre in the Convention. To Robespierre’s utter astonishment, his friends were outnumbered, and decrees were immediately passed for the arrest of Couthon, Lebas, St. Just, Robespierre and his brother. He escaped and fled to the Commune. For a moment it seemed as if a revolution would have restored him to power. But the Parisians were weary of their tyrant, and on the following day Robespierre with twenty members of the Commune perished on the scaffold (July 28th, 1794).
No sooner had Collot d’Herbois, Barrère, and that party triumphed over Robespierre than they summoned the members of the tribunal to their bar—ay, on the very morning of the day of his execution—and 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 afterwards—namely, the 12th of Thermidor, being the 30th of July—they 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, Barrère, 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 Barrère, 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 school—that of Marat.
PARIS UNDER THE REIGN OF TERROR: A VAIN APPEAL. (After the Picture by Paul Svedomsky)
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Whilst these frightful horrors were taking place, Russia, Prussia, and Austria had been completing the extinction of Poland. An ill-advised attempt by the Poles for the recovery of their country had precipitated this event. The Russian Minister in Poland had ordered the reduction of the little army of that country, under its now almost nominal king, Stanislaus Augustus, from thirty thousand to fifteen thousand. The Poles resented this, without considering that they were unable, at the moment, to resist it. Kosciusko was
appointed Commander-in-Chief, and he issued an order for the rising of the people in every quarter of Poland, and for their hastening to his flag. At first, the enthusiasm of the call to liberty and to the rescue of the common country gave some brilliant successes. Kosciusko, on his march from Cracow to Warsaw, at the head of only four thousand men, encountered a Russian army of upwards of twelve thousand, and defeated it with a slaughter of three thousand of the enemy. On the 17th of March, 1794, the Polish troops in Warsaw attacked the Russian garrison, eight thousand strong, and slaughtering more than half of them, drove the rest out of the city, and Kosciusko marched in soon afterwards. A week later the population of Lithuania, Kosciusko’s native province, rose, and drove the Russians with much slaughter from Wilna, its capital. But this could not save Poland: its three mighty oppressors were pouring down their multitudinous legions on every portion of the doomed country. The Emperor of Austria marched an army into Little Poland at the end of June, and an army of fifty thousand Russians and Prussians was in full march on Warsaw. For a time, Kosciusko repulsed them, and committed great havoc upon them on the 27th of July; again, on the 1st and 3rd of August. At the same time, Generals Dombrowski, Prince Joseph Poniatowski, and other Polish generals, were victorious in different quarters, and the King of Prussia was compelled to draw off his army, forty thousand strong, from Warsaw, in order to recover Great Poland. This gleam of success on the part of the Poles, however, was but momentary. Their army in Lithuania, commanded by corrupt, gambling, and gormandising nobles, was beaten at all points by the Russians, and driven out of Wilna on the 12th of August. At the same time, the savage Suvaroff, the man who had cried “Glory to God and the Empress!” over the ruthless massacre of Ismail, was marching down on Warsaw. Kosciusko had unwisely weakened his army by sending a strong detachment under Dombrowski into Great Poland, and, attacking a Russian force under Count Fersen, at Macziewice, about fifty miles from Warsaw, on the 17th of September, he was utterly routed. He had only about twenty thousand men, whilst Fersen had at least sixty thousand. But Kosciusko was anxious to prevent the arrival of Suvaroff before the engagement, and thus rushed into battle with this fatal inequality of strength. He was left for dead on the field, but was discovered to be alive, and was sent prisoner to St. Petersburg, where he was confined till the accession of the Emperor Paul, who set him at liberty. The fall of Kosciusko was the fall of Poland. Not even Kosciusko could have saved it; but this catastrophe made the fatal end obvious and speedy. Still the Poles struggled on bravely against such overwhelming forces for some months. The ultimate partition treaty was at length signed on the 24th of October, 1795; some particulars regarding Cracow, however, not being settled between Prussia and Austria till the 21st of October, 1796. Stanislaus Augustus was compelled to abdicate, and he retired, after the death of Catherine, to St. Petersburg, with a pension of two hundred thousand ducats a year. He died there in the month of February, 1798, only about fifteen months after his former mistress, the Czarina. And thus Poland was blotted out of the map of nations.
In England there had been a coalition of what was called the Portland section of the Whigs, with Pitt’s Ministry. These Whigs had not only separated from Fox and his friends, but they had, from the first outbreak of the French Revolution, followed the lead of Burke and supported all Pitt’s measures. The Duke of Portland, therefore, was, in July, made Third Secretary of State; Lord Fitzwilliam, President of the Council, and, in December, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; Earl Spencer was made, at the same time, Lord Privy Seal, and, in December, First Lord of the Admiralty; Pitt’s elder brother, Lord Chatham, being removed for him, and made Privy Seal; and Windham became Secretary of War in place of Sir George Yonge.
But this large infusion of Whiggery did not render the Administration any the more liberal. It was determined to bring the politically accused, now out on bail, to trial. On the 6th of October true bills were found by the grand jury of Middlesex against Thomas Hardy, the secretary of the Corresponding Society, John Horne Tooke, John Augustus Bonney, Stewart Kyd, the Rev. Jeremiah Joyce, Thomas Wardle, Thomas Holcroft, John Richter, Matthew Moore, John Thelwall, Richard Hodgson, and John Baxter, for high treason. Hardy was put upon his trial first at the Old Bailey, October 29th, before Chief Justice Eyre, a judge of noted severity, Chief Baron Macdonald, Baron Hotham, Mr. Justice Buller, and Mr. Justice Grose, with other judges. Sir John Scott, afterwards Lord Eldon, as Attorney-General, opened the case against him in a speech of nine hours. In this he laboured to represent the Corresponding Society, and Hardy as its secretary, as guilty of a treasonable intercourse 长沙桑拿推荐 with the French revolutionists, and read numbers of documents expressing great admiration of the French institutions. But these were merely the documents which had long and openly been published by the Society, and were well known through insertion in the newspapers. There was nothing clandestine about them, nothing suggestive of a concealed and dangerous conspiracy. Their invariable burthen was the thorough reform of Parliament, and the utter disfranchisement of the rotten boroughs, by which the whole representation of the country was transferred to the aristocracy. Next a strong attempt was made to connect the secretary of the Society with the men lately condemned in Scotland, especially Margarot, with whom, as all undoubtedly engaged in the same object of Reform, Hardy, as secretary, had considerable correspondence. The 长沙桑拿按摩中心 whole failed to impress an English jury, and Hardy was acquitted after a trial of eight days.
The next who took his trial was Horne Tooke. The evidence was much the same, but the man was different. Tooke was one of the keenest intellects of the time, full of wit and causticity, by which he had worsted even Junius. He summoned as witnesses the Prime Minister himself, the Duke of Richmond, Master-General of the Ordnance, and others of the Cabinet, who had all in their time been ardent Reformers, and cross-questioned them in a style which, if he were guilty, showed that they had once been as much so. Tooke’s trial was very damaging to the Government, and he was also acquitted after a trial of six days, during the whole of which the jury had not been allowed to separate, that they might not receive any popular impressions from 长沙桑拿哪里好 without—a course which was not calculated to put them in a particularly good humour with the prosecutors.
On the 1st of December Bonney, Joyce, Kyd, and Holcroft were brought up, but the evidence was precisely the same against them as against Tooke; they were discharged without trial. Holcroft would have made a speech condemnatory of these prosecutions, but was not allowed. As these gentlemen were removed from the bar, John Thelwall, the well-known elocutionist and political lecturer, was brought up. As the Government thought there were some other charges against him, the trial went on, and lasted four days, but with the same result; and as it was found that it was hopeless to expect verdicts of guilty from English juries for mere demands of Reform, the rest of the accused were discharged. To the honour of the nation, people of 长沙桑拿夜生活论坛 all parties appeared to rejoice at the independent conduct of the juries.
This noble independence was in bright contrast to that of Scottish juries. In this very autumn, fresh trials of accused seditionists had taken place at Edinburgh, in which the conduct of Government and the servility of the Scottish juries were equally reprehensible. One Robert Watt, a ruined tradesman of that city, was put upon his trial, on the 14th of August, charged with eighteen overt acts of high treason—in exciting many individuals to arm themselves, and to meet in convention to concoct plans for the overthrow of the Government. But it appeared on the trial that Watt had long been a Government spy, employed to instigate people to these courses, by direct orders from Mr. Secretary Dundas and the Lord Advocate of Scotland. Letters from these gentlemen 长沙桑拿洗浴中心哪里好 containing these orders, and proofs of Watt being in the pay of Government for these purposes, were produced by Mr. Henry Erskine, the prisoner’s counsel. It was shown unanswerably that he had been encouraged to have arms made and distributed, and to tempt soldiers in Edinburgh. He had been thus employed to mislead and ensnare unsuspecting persons from August, 1792, to October, 1793—more than twelve months; and it was shown that after this the Government had abandoned him, and that he had then joined the Reformers in earnest. Notwithstanding this display of the infamous conduct of the Government, Watt was condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.
One Samuel Downie was next arraigned on the same charges, on the 5th of September, as an accomplice of Watt. But it appeared that he had been rather the dupe of Watt 长沙桑拿按摩 and the spy-employing Government than anything else; and though the jury pronounced him guilty, they recommended him to mercy. He was respited and eventually pardoned; but Watt underwent his sentence, so far as being hanged and beheaded,—a warning to spies how they trusted a Government equally faithless to the people and to the tools by which they sought to betray them.
The last act of this year, 1794, was the opening of Parliament on the 30th of December. The king, in his speech, was compelled to confess the deplorable defeat of our Allies, and of our own army under the Duke of York. He had to admit that, Robespierre having fallen, there might possibly be a more pacific spirit in France; that Holland, the only ally for whom we were verbally bound to take up arms, was negotiating a peace with the French; that the United States of America had refused to coalesce with the French against us, and had, on the contrary, made a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation with us. Here, then, was an end of all real causes for anything more than a mere defensive war on our part. Yet the speech breathed a most warlike spirit, and made a great deal of the secession of the island of Corsica from France and its adhesion to England. In the same spirit were the Addresses from both Houses carried by overwhelming Ministerial majorities.
Canning, now rising into note, and Windham, declared that there were no motives for peace, but everything to necessitate the active prosecution of the war; and Windham could not help severely condemning the acquittal of Horne Tooke, Hardy, Thelwall, and the rest of the accused Reformers. He was called to order for thus impugning the conduct of independent juries, and reminded that no legal proofs of the guilt of the prisoners had been produced—on which he replied that they ought to have been condemned, then, on moral proofs.
Sheridan marked the opening of the year 1795 by moving, on the 5th of January, for the repeal of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. He showed that the very grounds on which this suspension had been based had miserably given way on the trials of Tooke, Hardy, and the rest; that the whole amount of arms and money on which the so-called “formidable” conspiracy had rested had been shown to be one pike, nine rusty muskets, and a fund of nine pounds and one bad shilling! He said that the great thing proved was the shameful conspiracy of the Government against the people, and their infamous employment of spies for that end; that eight thousand pounds had been spent on the Crown lawyers, and a hundred witnesses examined, only to expose the guilt of the Ministry. Windham defended the measures of Government, and charged the juries with ignorance and incapacity, for which Erskine severely reprimanded him. But the standing majorities of Pitt were inaccessible to argument, and the continuance of the suspension was voted by a majority of two hundred and thirty-nine against fifty-three. A like result attended the debate in the Lords, where, however, the Dukes of Norfolk and Bedford, the Marquis of Lansdowne, and the Earls of Lauderdale and Guildford strongly opposed the suspension.
These debates were immediately followed by the opening of the Budget on the 23rd of February—an opening which was enough to have made any men but such as were then at the head of British affairs pause in their ruinous career. There was a call for one hundred thousand seamen, for one hundred and sixty thousand regulars, and fifty-six thousand militia—total, two hundred and sixteen thousand soldiers, besides volunteers, fencibles, and foreign troops in British pay, amounting, by land and sea, to at least four hundred thousand men! For their support there were demanded sixteen million and twenty-seven thousand pounds, in addition to other taxes to make up deficiencies and interest on the Debt; the whole revenue demanded was twenty-seven million five hundred thousand pounds. Besides this there was an annual subsidy to the King of Sardinia of two hundred thousand pounds, although there was no prospect whatever of saving him. To raise all this, new duties had to be laid on tea, coffee, raisins, foreign groceries and fruits, foreign timber, insurances, writs, affidavits, hair-powder, licences, etc., and the revenue from the Post Office, while the privilege of franking had to be abridged. The only tax that the compliant aristocracy protested against was that on the powdered pates of their menials; but the country cried lustily and in vain against the increase of taxation, which, gross as it was, was but the beginning of their burdens and of the burden of posterity.