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cause General Blucher, supported pretext that these objects belongby the public opinion of his coun- ed to the cathedral, and the mutry, had, in his own mind, de- nicipality of those towns. termined upon taking it. The ar- The public mind again became ticle on the respect to be paid to tranquil; it was asserted these public and private property was acts of Prussian violence had neiloosely worded. The Provisionary ther the assent of the Emperor of Government were, perhaps, not Russia, nor of the Duke of Welsorry to have left room for misin- lington, and it was currently beterpretation, since the surrender lieved that they had condemned of Paris was unavoidable. The these measures. allies assert that their respect for Two months bad now passed the monuments of the arts could when the Gallery of the Louvre never be justly applied to the re- was menaced from another quartaking of objects which had atter. The King of the Belgic first been seized by violence. Provinces, now united to Holland,
General Blucher, immediately had published a Constitution in upon his entrance into Paris, sent the modern style, that is, on free a letter to M. Denon, the Director and liberal principles. It was of the Museum, demanding not understood that it had met with a only the objects of the last year's general acceptance, for who would negociation with M. Blacas, but refuse the blessings of liberty? what was also in the Museum. The acceptance, however, was M. Denon answered, that it was not so cordial as had been genean affair which must be negociated rally believed. There was a nuwith his government, and that he merous and respectable class of would not give them up. M. De- the inhabitants of those pronon was arrested during the night vinces who were not eager to by twenty men, and was threaten- adopt strange doctrines, or suffer ed to be sent to the fortress of them to be adopted by those under Graudentz in West Prussia. their influence.
From this argument there was The Catholic clergy, in that no appeal. The objects demanded country, had displayed some enwere delivered. This surrender ergy twenty years since, when, was made in due order, and the threatened with liberal principles, Gladiator, the two pictures of they roused the faithful into inCorregio, and some valuable pieces surrection against such innova. of the old German school, were tions by their then lawful sovecarefully packed up by the persons reign. The Emperor Joseph the employed at the Museum. This Second, who will be ranked in would have been but a trifling the class of philosophic princes, loss had not the King of Prussia was studious to introduce what he taken not only what belonged to deemed free and liberal principles Potzdam and Berlin, but also to among his Belgian subjects. But Cologne and Aix la Chapelle, the clergy saw in toleration the countries on this side of the destruction of religion, and in Rhine, and therefore not in his liberal principles the subversion possession at that period, on the of the privileges of the church.
They resisted, with force of arms, at that time to have corresponding those dangerous tenets, and framed sentiments with the government, for themselves a government ex- and to approve the remoral of the empt from such political heresies. paintings in sympathy with the A clergy who had thus put them- Belgic churches. These two selves into rebellion, for their causes led the English minister good old cause, against a Catholic at Paris to give in a note in their prince, might well hesitate in ac- favour to the Congress of the four cepting the present of liberty powers who now govern the which was now offered them by world, and who were here asseintheir new Protestant sovereign, bled. The arrival of M. Canova the King of Holland. Like the at Paris, at this period, led the cautious High Priest of Troy, English minister to take the same who proclaimed his “fear of the interest for his Holiness the Pope. Greeks, and those who were the He represented that the peace of bearers of gifts ;" so they con- Tolentino could not be the founsidered it as a duty to put them- dation of any right, since the selves on their guard against this French, after taking the objects Protestant protection of the Ca- in question, had themselves bruhen tholic Church, and narrowly in- the treaty, and that it was therespect whether mischief might not fore just that the more powerful luik beneath a Constitution, which sovereigns should support the was at least suspicious since it bore canse of the weaker, which was the name of liberal.
evidently the case with the Pope. This was a knotty affair ; it Lord castlereagh furthermore was an easier enterprize for the represented the advantages which ·allies to overthrow the tyrant of the arts would obtain by being the world, and deliver Europe cultivated at Rome, and that this from its bondage, than for a Pro- idea had been so strongly imtestant Prince to render himself pressed on the French artists popular to a Belgian Catholic themselves, that MM. Quatremer clergy.
de Quincy, Denon, David, GiThe English government was raudet, and forty other artists, highly interested in supporting had signed a petition, before the authority of his new Belgian their removal, to the Directory, Majesty. It was, in fact, a kind not to displace those objects. of common concern. Thechurches Those to whom the English miof those provinces had been stript nister's observations were known, of their principal ornaments, and seemed to consider them as made it was believed that the restoration rather in compliance with a feel. of the pictures from their bond- ing of national jealousy than of age in the Museum of Paris, strict justice; and, as actions are would be an homage rendered to seldom placed to the account of the faithful and the church, and the principal agents, the ardour would, perhaps, soften the op- of the English cabinet was attriposition of its ministers to the ac- buted to the Under Secretary, ceptance of liberty.
Mr. Hamilton, a gentleman known The public in England secmed in the literary world by his Tra
rels in Greece and Egypt, and The war of diplomacy now highly interested in the progress ceased; sentence was passed upon of the aris.
the Gallery; a decree of retaliaBut however doubtful might tion had gone forth, and the ato have been the right of the French tack on the Museum began. 'after the treaty of Tolentino had The King gave orders to the been broken, this reasoning could Dire -tors of the Museum to aunot be applied to the anterior thenticate whatever violence might treaty made with the Prince of be offered. The Museum was Parma, which was the first treaty shut up. It was opened on the in which there was any article re- requisition of an English colonel, specting paintings.
who demanded, with authority, In answer to the note of Lord the surrender of the objects which Castlereagh, a note was given in had belonged to the Belgic proby M. de Vesselrode on the part vinces. English troops of the Emperor Alexander. In placed on guard at the Louvre. this note, the justice or the in- The king ordered the gates to be justice of the measure was less in- opened, but that on no pretence sisted on than its expediency. It any assistance should be given to represented the painful situation the invaders. in which it placed Louis XVIII. A kind of Custom-house was with regard to the public; and established at the gate to examine that if the allies forbore retaking, what should be taken. Sentinels the last year, what they deemed were posted along the Gallery of their property in the Museum, the Museum at every twenty from their respect for the king, steps, but this did not entirely this motive ought to operate with prevent fraud. The Belgic amadouble force at the present period. teurs, aided by the English soldi
It was for a short time believed ery, exercised in allience their that the Russian note had pro- energies. The turn of the Ausduced some effect; but whether trians came next, who, though the Emperor Alexander relaxed in always slow in their operations, the energy of his representations, never swerve from their purpose. or because the Russian troops had They had appeared to have limited withdrawn from the capital, this their pretensions to the Horses of hope proved delusive.
Corinth; but, encouraged by the Further observations were made large and liberal example of the to the French government by Belgians in taking, they decided Lord Castlerengn, and some irri- on removing the pictures which tation excited at first by the silence had come from Parma, such as which attended them; but still the St. Jerom of Corregio, those more by a severe note from M. from Milan and Modena, and the Talleyrand. The dismission of a Titians from l'enice. It was now popular minister at this period that the losses of the Muscum had not, it was said, contributed were swelled into magnitude. to increase the cordiality of the The report that a strong guard Duke of Wellington with the of foreign troops were posted at Tuileries.
night at the Louvre was now repeated from mouth to mouth. Chart; all principles, feelings, The Parisians seemed ready to hopes, and fears, were absorbed apostrophize the allies in the same in this one great and horrible tone of bitter irony with which huniliation. Achilles addresses Agamemnon in Whatever has been recorded in the Iphigenia of Racine : history of the depredations of the
Goths and Vandals seemed light “Uo bruit assez étrange est arrivé jusqu'à to the public of Paris when
moi, “ Seigneur, je l'ai jugé trop peu digne de weighed in the balance with these fui."
outrages of the nineteenth century.
They were in vain reminded that It was sullenly whispered that these precious objects were the the allies were going to take away spoils of the vanquished, who had some pictures of the Flemish now become the conquerors in school. A fearful apprehension, their turn; despair seldom regindeed, of something more dread- sons. The artists tore their hair, ful, dwelt in every mind; but no and even the lower classes of the one dared to express it. We were people partook the general inin the situation of Madame de dignation. In the liberal access Longueville, when she lamented which in this country is accorded the death of her brother, who to all objects of art and science, had fallen in battle ; but dared the poor had not been excluded. not inquire for her son. To be They too had visited these models bereaved of the Greek chefs- of perfection, and felt that all had d'auvre, and of the Italian school, a right to lament the loss of what was an idea too full of horror to all had been permitted to enjoy. be borne; a sacrilege from which It may be observed by the way, the minds of the Parisians started that this violence of resentment, back aghast.
this desperate fury at the remoral But when the direful truth of those master-pieces of art, was promulgated, what language denote the feelings of a people arcan paint the variety and violence rived at a very high degree of ciof passion which raged in every vilization. The Parisians, while Frenchman's breast ! Curses, they had supported with equanilouder and longer than those mity the most signal calamities, heaped on the head of Obadiah, and endured with cheerfulness were poured out on the allies by the most cruel privations, dethe enraged Parisians. They for- plored with sensibility, and goadgot all other miseries; the pro- ed almost to madness, the loss of ject of blowing up bridges, pillage, objects which, far from being nespoliations, massacres, war-taxes, cessary to the wants of ordinary the dismeniberment of empire;- life, are only fitted to charm and all these they wiped away" from embellish its highest state of retheir tablets." No longer were finement. their heads plotting on tyranny, While restitution carried on its on liberty; they thought no more labours within the galleries, the of the cession of fortresses, and four Corinthian horses, once des. the fate of the Constitutional tined to be harnessed to the
Chariot of the Sun, placed almost mals on the fourth morning still since their birth on triumphal stood on their arch, pawing the arches, by ancient and modern air. tyrants ; those fiery animals who But it was now deemed useless have pranced from east to west, to consult feelings of any kind, and from west to east, as symbols except those of the claimants of of victory, were now to descend the horses ; and the operation of from their gilded car at the entry making them descend from their of the Palace of the Tuileries, in heights was continued in open day. order to proceed on their travels The square was, however, distowards St. Mark's church at embarrassed of all French specVenice, where they had been till tators, who were very noisy and lately stationed.
troublesome in their disapproval It must be observed, in honour of this spoliation. Piquets of of the Austrians, that, in their Austrians were placed at every attempt on the Corinthian steeds, avenue leading to the Place of the they had at first the moderation to Carrousel, to prevent the entrance spare the royal feelings at the of any French. The palace and Tuileries, by making their ap- the court of the Tuileries were proaches under cover of the night; thus put into a state of siege, of perhaps also to avoid wounding which it was not the king, but the public, as well as the royal the bronze horses, who were the eye. There was some delicacy in object. Foreigners alone were this proceeding; but the gardes admitted ; and the monarch might du corps, on service at the palace, have seen from his windows an unsuspicious of such a mark of English engineer exercising his deference, mistook these Austrian industry to unfetter the animals dilettanti for robbers, and charg- from their pedestal, the Austrians ed and drove them from their la- being clumsy artisans ; while bours.
English ladies placed themselves The following night, an Aus- triumphantly on the Car of Victrian piquet summoned to its aid tory to which the steeds were yet a body of the National Guard. harnessed. This was a most unwelcome duty If, in these days of retributive to those citizen-soldiers; but as justice, due respect were to be the police of the capital always re- paid to property, those steeds bequired their presence in any mo- longed neither to his Austrian ment of contention between the majesty nor to the municipality of foreign troops and the inhabitants Venice. In a conversation which of Paris, they were, in the pre- passed between-M. de Tolstoi, the sent case, forced to become the ambassador from Russia, and unwilling spectators, at least, of Bonaparte, in his days of triumph, this act of national humiliation. on a question respecting the right Peace was thus preserved; but no to the Byzantine dominions, toprogress was made in these mighty wards which Alexander was susoperations towards the removal of pected to turn his thoughts; it the horses ; and after three nights was hinted with some pleasantry of ineffectual labour, those ani- by the anıbassador, that if Na