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A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793,

Gregoire is one of the constitutional Clergy


It

is astonishing to see with what facility people daily take on trust things which they have it in their power to ascertain. The seventy-three owe a great part of the interest they have excited to a persuasion of their having voted either for a mild sentence on the King, or an appeal to the nation: yet this is so far from being true, that many of them were unfavourable to him on every question. But supposing it to have been otherwise, their merit is in reality little enhanced: they all voted him guilty, without examining whether he was so or not; and in affecting mercy while they refused justice, they only aimed at conciliating their present views with their future safety.

The whole claim of this party, who are now the Moderates of the Convention, is reducible to their having opposed the commission of crimes which were intended to serve their adversaries, rather than themselves. To effect the dethronement of the King, and the destruction of those obnoxious to them, they approved of popular insurrections; but expected that the people whom they had rendered proficients in cruelty, should become gentle and obedient when urged to resist their own authority; yet they now come forth as victims of their patriotism, and call the heads of the faction who are fallen--martyrs to liberty! But if they are victims, it is to their folly or wickedness in becoming members of such an assembly; and if their chiefs were martyrs, it was to the principles they inculcated.

style="text-align: justify;">The trial of the Brissotins was justice, compared with that of the King. If the former were condemned without proof, their partizans should remember, that the revolutionary jury pretended to be influenced by the same moral evidence they had themselves urged as the ground on which they condemned the King; and if the people beheld with applause or indifference the execution of their once-popular idols, they only put in practice the barbarous lessons which those idols had taught them;--they were forbidden to lament the fate of their Sovereign, and they rejoiced in that of Brissot and his confederates.--These men, then, only found the just retribution of their own guilt; and though it may be politic to forget that their survivors were also their accomplices, they are not objects of esteem--and the contemporary popularity, which a long seclusion has obtained for them, will vanish, if their future conduct should be directed by their original principles.*

* Louvet's pamphlet had not at this time appeared, and the subsequent events proved, that the interest taken in these Deputies was founded on a supposition they had changed their principles; for before the close of the Convention they were as much objects of hatred and contempt as their colleagues.

Some of these Deputies were the hirelings of the Duke of Orleans, and most of them are individuals of no better reputation than the rest of the Assembly. Lanjuinais has the merit of having acted with great courage in defence of himself and his party on the thirty-first of May 1792; but the following anecdote, recited by Gregoire* in the Convention a few days ago will sufficiently explain both his character and Gregoire's, who are now, however, looked up to as royalists, and as men comparatively honest.

* Gregoire is one of the constitutional Clergy, and, from the habit of comparing bad with worse, is more esteemed than many of his colleagues; yet, in his report on the progress of Vandalism, he expresses himself with sanguinary indecency--"They have torn (says he) the prints which represented the execution of Charles the first, because there were coats of arms on them. Ah, would to god we could behold, engraved in the same manner, the heads of all Kings, done from nature! We might then reconcile ourselves to seeing a ridiculous embellishment of heraldry accompany them."


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