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A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793,

And hunting is a feodal privilege


--A

similar fate would have been awarded Dorat, [Author of "Les Malheurs de l'Inconstance," and other novels.] for styling himself Chevalier in the title-pages of his novels, had he not commuted his punishment for base eulogiums on the Convention, and with the same pen, which has been the delight of the French boudoir, celebrated Carrier's murders on the Loire under the appellation of "baptemes civiques." Every province in France, we are informed by the eloquent pedantry of Gregoire, exhibits traces of these modern Huns, which, though now exclusively attributed to the agents of Robespierre and Mr. Pitt,* it is very certain were authorized by the decrees of the Convention, and executed under the sanction of Deputies on mission, or their subordinates.

* _"Soyez sur que ces destructions se sont pour la plupart a l'instigation de nos ennemis--quel triomphe pour l'Anglais si il eul pu ecraser notre commerce par l'aneantissement des arts dont la culture enrichit le sien."_--"Rest assured that these demolitions were, for the most part, effected at the instigation of our enemies --what a triumph would it have been for the English, if they had succeeded in crushing our commerce by the annihilation of the arts, the culture of which enriched their own."

--If the principal monuments of art be yet preserved to gratify the national taste or vanity, it is owing to the courage and devotion

of individuals, who obeyed with a protecting dilatoriness the destructive mandates of government.

At some places, orangeries were sold by the foot for fire-wood, because, as it was alledged, that republicans had more occasion for apples and potatoes than oranges.--At Mousseaux, the seals were put on the hot-houses, and all the plants nearly destroyed. Valuable remains of sculpture were condemned for a crest, a fleur de lys, or a coronet attached to them; and the deities of the Heathen mythology were made war upon by the ignorance of the republican executioners, who could not distinguish them from emblems of feodality.*

* At Anet, a bronze stag, placed as a fountain in a large piece of water, was on the point of being demolished, because stags are beasts of chace, and hunting is a feodal privilege, and stags of course emblems of feodality.--It was with some difficulty preserved by an amateur, who insisted, that stags of bronze were not included in the decree.--By a decree of the Convention, which I have formerly mentioned, all emblems of royalty or feodality were to be demolished by a particular day; and as the law made no distinction, it could not be expected that municipalities, &c. often ignorant or timid, should either venture or desire to spare what in the eyes of the connoisseur might be precious.

"At St. Dennis, (says the virtuoso Gregoire,) where the National Club justly struck at the tyrants even in their tombs, that of Turenne ought to have been spared; yet strokes of the sword are still visible on it."--He likewise complains, that at the Botanic Garden the bust of Linnaeus had been destroyed, on a presumption of its being that of Charles the Ninth; and if it had been that of Charles the Ninth, it is not easy to discern how the cause of liberty was served by its mutilation.--The artist or moralist contemplates with equal profit or curiosity the features of Pliny or Commodus; and History and Science will appreciate Linnaeus and Charles the Ninth, without regarding whether their resemblances occupy a palace, or are scattered in fragments by republican ignorance.--Long after the death of Robespierre, the people of Amiens humbly petitioned the Convention, that their cathedral, perhaps the most beautiful Gothic edifice in Europe, might be preserved; and to avoid giving offence by the mention of churches or cathedrals, they called it a Basilique.--But it is unnecessary to adduce any farther proof, that the spirit of what is now called Vandalism originated in the Convention. Every one in France must recollect, that, when dispatches from all corners announced these ravages, they were heard with as much applause, as though they had related so many victories gained over the enemy.


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