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A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793,

Las barbares etendirent leur stupide vengeance


--Quantities

of curious medals have been melted down for the trifling value of the metal; and at Abbeville, a silver St. George, of uncommon workmanship, and which Mr. Garrick is said to have desired to purchase at a very high price, was condemned to the crucible--

_"----Sur tant de tresors "Antiques monumens respectes jusqu'alors, "Par la destruction signalant leur puissance, "Las barbares etendirent leur stupide vengeance." "La Religion,"_ Racine.

Yet the people in office who operated these mischiefs were all appointed by the delegates of the Assembly; for the first towns of the republic were not trusted even with the choice of a constable. Instead, therefore, of feeling either surprise or regret at this devastation, we ought rather to rejoice that it has extended no farther; for such agents, armed with such decrees, might have reduced France to the primitive state of ancient Gaul. Several valuable paintings are said to have been conveyed to England, and it will be curious if the barbarism of France in the eighteenth century should restore to us what we, with a fanaticism and ignorance at least more prudent than theirs, sold them in the seventeenth. The zealots of the Barebones' Parliament are, however, more respectable than the atheistical Vandals of the Convention; and, besides the benefit of our example, the interval of a century and an half,

with the boast of a philosophy and a degree of illumination exceeding that of any other people, have rendered the errors of the French at once more unpardonable and more ridiculous; for, in assimilating their past presentations to their present conduct and situation, we do not always find it possible to regret without a mixture of contempt.

Amiens, Nov. 29, 1794.

The selfish policy of the Convention in affecting to respect and preserve the Jacobin societies, while it deprived them of all power, and help up the individuals who composed them to abhorrence, could neither satisfy nor deceive men versed in revolutionary expedients, and more accustomed to dictate laws than to submit to them.*

* The Jacobins were at this time headed by Billaud Varenne, Collot, Thuriot, &c.--veterans, who were not likely to be deceived by temporizing.

Supported by all the force of government, and intrinsically formidable by their union, the Clubs had long existed in defiance of public reprobation, and for some time they had braved not only the people, but the government itself. The instant they were disabled from corresponding and communicating in that privileged sort of way which rendered them so conspicuous, they felt their weakness; and their desultory and unconnected efforts to regain their influence only served to complete its annihilation. While they pretended obedience to the regulations to which the Convention had subjected them, they intrigued to promote a revolt, and were strenuously exerting themselves to gain partizans among the idle and dissolute, who, having subsisted for months as members of revolutionary committees, and in other revolutionary offices, were naturally averse from a more moderate government. The numbers of these were far from inconsiderable: and, when it is recollected that this description of people only had been allowed to retain their arms, while all who had any thing to defend were deprived of them, we cannot wonder if the Jacobins entertained hopes of success.


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