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THE

FRENCH REVOLUTION: SKETCHES OF TTS History

“True freedom is where no restraint is known
That Scripture, justice, and good sense disown;
Where only vice and injury are tied,
And all, from shore to shore, is free
Such freedom is.”

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CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

PAGE

Introductory Remarks—Condition of France previous to the

revolution—Stale of agriculture and commerce—Abuses

in the law—Corrupt state of the monarchy, nobility, and

church—Prevalence of infidelity—Laxity of public morals

—Influence of the American revolutionary war. . . 5

CHAPTER II.

Louis xvi. ascends the throne of France—His character-

Marie Antoinette—Disordered state of the public finances

—Turgot's proposed reforms—Neckar appointed minister,

and dismissed—Calonne's prodigality—Neckar recalled—

His proposal to assemble the States-General—Fermenta-

tion in the public mind ....... 24

CHAPTER III.

Assembling of the States-General—Motley composition of

that body—Disputes between the tiers Stats and the nobles

—Formation of the National Assembly—Vacillation of

Louis xvi.—Capture of the Bastile—Outrages in the pro-

vinces—I roceedings in the assembly—Singular scene in

it—The assembly issues its declaration of the natural

equality of man—Reflections upon that doctrine. . .41

CHAPTER IV.

Formation of a new constitution—The veto—Military ban-

quet at Versailles—Procession of women to Versailles, and

occurrences there—Louis xvi. and his queen brought to

Paris—New constitution sworn to—Singular visitors to the

assembly—Extraordinary preparations for national festival

—Licence of the press—Marat—Mirabeau joins the court

party—Mirabeau dies—Contrast of his death with that of

Dr. Payson 63

CHAPTER V.

The king's flight from Paris—He is intercepted, and returnsto

the metropolis—Insults experienced by the royal family—

Entrance of the mob into the palace—Insurrection of the

10th of August— The king seeks shelter in the assembly

—Is committed with his family to the prison of the Tem-

ple—War declared by Prussia against France—Alarm felt

in Paris—Massacres of September, and remarks . . 85

CHAPTER VI.

PAGE

The National Convention meets—The king Is brought to

trial—Anecdote of Malesherbes—Scenes during the trial—

The king condemned to death—His execution—State of

parties in France after the king's death—The Girondists—

Marat, Danton, and Robespierre—Attack on the Girond-

ists—Trial and execution of their leaders—Marat assas-

sinated by Charlotte Corday—Reflections .' . . 100

CHAPTER VII.

The Committee of Public Safety and Revolutionary Tribu-

nals—The painter David—Fouquier Tinville, the public

prosecutor for France—Trial of Marie Antoinette—Fate of

her son—Madame Roland—Execution of Bailly—Condor-

cet's death—Fruits of infidelity—Alteration in French

Calendar—Christianity abjured—Plunder of the churches—

Installation of the Goddess of Reason, and scene at Notre

Dame .... US

CHAPTER VIII.

"Wars of the French revolution—Prussian invasion repelled

—Thionville, Metz, and Lille besieged—Anecdotes—Alli-

ance of the leading nations of Europe against the revolu-

tion—England joins in the war—Enthusiasm of the French

—Their military Bystem—Civil war breaks out In La

Vende'e—Cruelties committed there—Siege of Lyons—

Coutbon, Collot d'Herbois, and Carryer—Their atrocities . 137

CHAPTER IX.

State of France during the " reign of terror"—Execution of

the authors of the Festival of Reason—Danton's trial and

execution—Theatres in Paris—Remarkable scenes in the

prisons—Character of the revolutionary courts, and anec-

dotes—Prostration of commerce—Robespierre's impious

festival—His downfall—Arrest and execution—Papers

found in his repositories—His character . . , 1$7

CHAPTER X.

Reaction in France after the death of Robespierre, and return

of the nation to sentiments of moderation—Closing reflec-

tions on the French revolution .164

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.

CHAPTER I.

Introductory Remarks—Condition of Franco previous to the revolution—State of agriculture and commerce—Abuses in the law—Corrupt state of the monarchy, nobility, and church— Prevalence of infidelity—Laxity of public morals—influence of the American revolutionary war.

On the 25th of December, 1753, there occurred in a letter, written by a British nobleman in France, the following remarkable passage: "All the symptoms I have ever met with in history, previous to great changes and revolutions in government, now exist and daily increase in this country." Lord Chesterfield was the author of this acute observation; and to him, therefore, must be allowed the credit of having foreseen, more than thirty years before its occurrence, the outbreak of that wonderful and portentous event—the French Eevolution. To .France as a nation, towards the middle and close of the

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