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citizen. Was it possible that the member of himself conspicuous even among the crowd
But Barère laboured to small purpose in being sent, with some of his old friends, to both his vocations. Neither as a writer nor as Madagascar.
a spy was he of much use. He complains He made his peace, however, with the go- bitterly that his paper did not sell. While the Fernment so far, that he was not only permittea, Journal des Debals, then flourishing under the during some years, to live unmolested, but able management of Geoffroy, had a circula. was employed in the lowest sort of political tion of at least twenty thousand copies, the drudgery. In the summer of 1803, while he Memorial Antibritannique never, in its most pros. was preparing to visit the south of France, he perous times, had more than fifteen hundred received a letter which deserves to be inserted. subscribers; and these subscribers were, with It was from Duroc, who is well known to have scarcely an exception, persons residing far from enjoyed a large share of Napoleon's confidence Paris, probably Gascons, among whom the and favour.
name of Barère had not yet lost its influence. “The First Consul, having been informed A writer who cannot find readers, generally that Citizen Barère is about to set out for the attributes the public neglect to any cause country, desires that he will stay at Paris. rather than to the true one; and Barère was
“Citizen Barère will every week draw up a no exception to the general rule. His old report of the state of public opinion on ihe hatred to Paris revived in all its fury. That proceedings of the government, and generally city, he says, has no sympathy with France. on every thing which, in his judgment, it will No Parisian cares to subscribe to a journal be interesting to the First Consul to learn. which dwells on the real wants and interests
“ He may write with perfect freedom. of the country. To a Parisian nothing is so
“ He will deliver his reports under seal into ridiculous as patriotism. The higher classes General Duroc's own hand, and General Duroc of the capital have always been devoted to will deliver them to the First Consul. But it England. A corporal from London is better is absolutely necessary that nobody should sus- received among them than a French general. pect that this species of communication takes A journal, therefore, which attacks England place; and, should any such suspicion get has no chance of their support. abroad, the First Consul will cease to receive A much better explanation of the failure of the reports of Citizen Barère.
the Memorial, was given by Bonaparte at St. “ It will also be proper that Citizen Barère Helena. Barère,” said he to Barry O'Meara, should frequently insert in the journals articles " had the reputation of being a man of talent; tending to animate the public mind, particu- but I did not find him so. I employed him to larly against the English."
write; but he did not display ability. He used During some years Barère continued to dis- many flowers of rhetoric, but no solid argucharge the functions assigned to him by his ment; nothing but coglivnerie wrapped up in master. Secret reports, filled with the talk of high-scunding language.”. coffee-houses, were carried by him every week
The truth is, that though Barère was a man to the Tuileries. His friends assure us that he of quick parts, and could do with ease what took especial pains to do all the harm in his he could do at all, he had never been a good power to the returned emigrants. It was not writer. In the day of his power, he had been his fault if Napoleon was not apprised of every in the habit of haranguing an excitable audimurmur and every sarcasm which old mar-ence on exciting topics. The faults of his quesses who had lost their estates, and old cler- style passed uncensured; for it was a time of gymen who had lost their benefices, utt literary as well as of civil lawlessness, and a against the imperial system. M. Hippolyte patriot was licensed to violate the ordinary Carnot, we grieve to say, is so much blinded rules of composition as well as the ordinary by party spirit, that he seems to reckon this rules of jurisprudence and of social morality. dirty wickedness among his hero's titles to But there had now been a literary as well as a public esteem.
civil reaction. As there was again a throne Barère was, at the same time, an indefati- and a court, a magistracy, a chivalry, and a gable journalist and pamphleteer. He set up a hierarchy, so was there a revival of classical paper directed against England, and called the taste. Honor was again paid to the prose of Memorial Antibritannique. He planned a work Pascal and Masillon, and to the verse of Racine entitled, “ France made great and illustrious and La Fontaine. The oratory which had deby Napoleon." When the imperial govern lighted the galleries of the Convention, was not ment was established, the old regicide made only as much out of date as the language of
Villehardouin and Joinville, but was associated weekly to the Tuileries till the year 1807. At in the public mind with images of horror. All length, while he was actually writing the two the peculiarities of the Anacreon of the guillo- hundred and twenty-third of the series, a note tine, his words unknown to the Dictionary of was put into his hands. It was from Duroc, the Acadeiny, his conceits and his jokes, his and was much more perspicuous than polite. Gascon idioms and his Gascon hyperboles, had Barère was requested to send no more of his become as odious as the cant of the Puritans reports to the palace, as the emperor was too was in England after the Restoration.
busy to read them. Bonaparte, who had never loved the men of Contempt, says the Indian proverb, pierces the Reign of Terror, had now ceased to fear even the shell of the tortoise; and the contempt them. He was all-powerful and at the height of the court was felt to the quick even by the of glory; they were weak and universally ab- callous heart of Barère. He had humbled horred. He was a sovereign, and it is probable himself to the dust; and he had humbled himthat he already meditated a matrimonial alli- self in vain. Having been eminent among the ance with sovereigns. He was naturally un-rulers of a great and victorious state, he had willing, in his new position, to hold any inter- stooped to serve a master in the vilest capacicourse with the worst class of Jacobins. Had ties; and he had been told that, even in those Barère's literary assistance been important to capacities, he was not worthy of the pittance the government, personal aversion might have which had been disdainfully flung to him. He yielded to considerations of policy; but there was now degraded below the level even of the was no motive for keeping terms with a worth- hirelings whom the government employed in less man who had also proved a worthless the most infamous offices. He stood idle in writer. Bonaparte, therefore, gave loose to the market-place, not because he thought any his feelings. Barère was not gently dropped, office too infamous; but because none would not sent into an honourable retirement, but hire him. spurned and scourged away like a troublesome Yet he had reason to think himself fortu. dog. He had been in the habit of sending six nate; for, had all that is avowed in these Me. copies of his journal on fine paper daily to the moirs been then krown, he would have received Tuileries. Instead of receiving the thanks and very different tokens of the imperial displeapraises which he expected, he was dryly told sure. We learn from himself, that while pubthat the great man had ordered five copies to lishing daily columns of flattery on Bonaparte, be sent back. Still he toiled on; still he che- and while carrying weekly budgets of calumny rished a hope that at last Napoleon would to the Tuileries, he was in close connection relent, and that at last some share in the with the agents whom the Emperor Alexander, honours of the state would reward so much then by no means favourably disposed towards assiduity and so much obsequiousness. He France, employed to watch all that passed at was bitierly undeceived. Under the imperial Paris; was permitted to read all their secret constitution the elecloral college of the depart- despatches; was consulted by them as to the ments did not possess the right of choosing temper of the public mind and the character senators or deputies, but merely that of pre- of Napoleon; and did his best to persuade senting candidates. From among these can- them that the government was in a tottering didates the emperor named members of the condition, and that the new sovereign was not, senate, and the senate named members of the as the world supposed, a great statesman and legislative bodies. The inhabitants of the soldier. Next, Barère, still the flatterer and Upper Pyrenees were still strangely partial to talebearer of the imperial court, connected Barère. In the year 1805, they were disposed himself in the same manner with the Spanish to present him as a candidate for the senate. envoy. He owns that with that envoy he had On this Napoleon expressed the highest dis- relations which he took the greatest pains to pleasure; and the president of the electoral conceal from his own government; that they college was directed to tell the voters, in plain met twice a day, and that their conversation terms, that such a choice would be disgraceful chiefly turned on the vices of Napoleon, on to the department. All thought of naming his designs against Spain, and on the best Barère a candidate for the senate was conse- mode of rendering those designs abortive. In quently dropped. But the people of Argelès truth, Barère's baseness was unfathomable. ventured to name him a candidate for the In the lowest deeps of shame he found out legislative body. That body was altogether lower deeps. It is bad to be a sycophant; it destitute of weight and dignity; it was not is bad to be a spy. But even among sycopermitted to debate; its only function was to phants and spies there are degrees of meanvote in silence for whatever the government ness. The vilest sycophant is he who privily proposed. It is not easy to understand how slanders the master on whom he fawns; the any man, who had sat in free and powerful vilest spy is he who serves foreigners against deliberative assemblies, could condescend to the government of his native land. bear a part in such a mummery. Barère, how- From 1807 to 1814 Barère lived in obscurity, ever, was desirous of a place even in this mock railing as bitterly as his craven cowardice legislature; and a place even in this mock would permit against the imperial administralegislature was refused to him. In the whole tion, and coming sometimes unpleasantly senate he had not a single vote.
across the police. When the Bourbons re. Such treatment was sufficient, it might have turned, he, as might be expected, became a been thought, to move the most abject of royalist, and wrote a pamphlet setting forth the mankind to resentment. Still, however, Ba- horrors of the system from which the Restora rère cringed and fawned on. His letters came tion had delivered France, and magnifying the
wisdom and goodness which had dictated the when compared with those which were de. charter. He who had voted for the death of manded by M. de Labourdonnaye and M. Hyde Louis, he who had moved the decree for the de Neuville. We have always heard, and are trial of Marie Antoinette, he whose hatred of inclined to believe, that the government was monarchy had led him to make war even upon not disposed to treat even the regicides with the sepulchres of ancient monarchs, assures severity. But on this point the feeling of the us with great complacency, that “in this work Chamber of Deputies was so strong, that it monarchical principles and attachment to the was thought necessary to make some concesHouse of Bourbon are nobly expressed.” By sion. It was enacted, therefore, that whoever, this apostacy he got nothing, not even any having voted in January 1793 for the death of additional infamy; for his character was al. Louis the Sixteenth, had in any manner given ready too black to be blackened.
in an adhesion to the government of BuonaDuring the hundred days he again emerged parte during the hundred days, should be banfor a very short time into public life; he was ished for life from France. Barère fell within chosen by his native district a member of the this description. He had voted for the death Chamber of Representatives. But though that of Louis ; and he had sat in the Chamber of assembly was composed in a great measure of Representatives during the hundred days. men who regarded the excesses of the Jaco- He accordingly retired to Belgium, and rebins with indulgence, he found himself an ob- sided there, forgotten by all mankind, till the ject of general aversion. When the President year 1830. After the Revolution of July he first informed the Chamber that M. Barère re- was at liberty to return to France, and he fixed quested a hearing, a deep and indignant mur. his residence in his native province. But he mur ran round the benches. After the battle was soon involved in a succession of lawsuits of Waterloo, Barère proposed that the Cham- with his nearest relations—"three fatal sisters ber should save France from the victorious and an ungrateful brother," to use his own enemy, by putting forth a proclamation about words. Who was in the right is a question the pass of Thermopyla, and the Lacedæmo- about which we have no means of judging, nian custom of wearing flowers in times of and certainly shall not take Barère's word. extreme danger. Whether this composition, The courts appear to have decided some points if it had then appeared, would have stopped in his favour and some against him. The the English and Prussian armies, is a question natural inference is, that there were faults on respecting which we are left to conjecture. all sides. The result of this litigation was, The Chamber refused to adopt this last of the that the old man was reduced to extreme Carmagnoles.
poverty, and was forced to seil his paternal The Emperor had abdicated. The Bourbons house. returned. The Chamber of Representatives, As far as we can judge from the few facts after burlesquing during a few weeks the pro- which remain to be mentioned, Barère con. ceedings of the National Convention, retired tinued Barère to the last. After his exile he with the well-earned character of having been turned Jacobin again, and, when he came back the silliest political assembly that had met in to France, joined the party of the extreme left France. Those dreaming pedants and praters in railing at Louis Philippe, and at all Louis never for a moment comprehended their posi- Philippe's ministers. M. Casimir Périer, M. tion. They could never understand that Eu- de Broglie, M. Guizot, and M. Thiers, in par. rope must be either conciliated or vanquished; ticular, are honoured with his abuse; and the that Europe could be conciliated only by the king himself is held up to execration as a hyrestoration of Louis, and vanquished only by pocritical tyrant. Nevertheless, Barère had means of a dictatorial power entrusted to Na- no scruple about accepting a charitable donapoleon. They would not hear of Louis; yet tion of a thousand francs a year from the privy they would not hear of the only measures purse of the sovereign whom he hated and rewhich could keep him out. They incurred the viled. This pension, together with some small enmity of all foreign powers by putting Napo- sums occasionally doled out to him by the deleon at their head; yet they shackled him, partment of the Interior, on the ground that he thwarted him, quarrelled with him about every was a distressed man of letters, and by the trifle, abandoned him on the first reversé. department of Justice, on the ground that he They then opposed declamations and disquisi- had formerly held a high judicial office, saved lions to eight hundred thousand bayonets; him from the necessity of begging his bread. played at making a constitution for their coun- Having survived all his colleagues of the reiry, when it depended on the indulgence of the nowned committee of public safety, and almost victor whether they should have a country; all his colleagues of the Convention, he died and were at last interrupted in the midst of in January 1841. He had attained his eighty. their babble about the rights of man and the sixth year. sovereignty of the people, by the soldiers of We have now laid before our readers what Wellington and Blucher.
we believe to be a just account of this man's A new Chamber of Deputies was elected, life. Can it be necessary for us to add any so bitterly hostile to the Revolution, that there thing for the purpose of assisting their judgwas no small risk of a new reign of terror. ment of his character? If we were writing It is just, however, to say that the king, his about any of his colleagues in the committee ministers, and his allies, exerted themselves to of public safety, about Carnot, about Robes. restrain the violence of the fanatical royalists, pierre, or St. Just, nay, even about Couthon, and that the punishments inflicted, though in Collot, or Billaud, we might feel it necessary nur opinion unjustifiable, were few and lenient to go into a full examination the arguments
which have been employed to vindicate or to Terror. Violence, and more violence, blocd, excuse the system of Terror. We could, we and more blood, made up their whole policy. think, show that France was saved from her In a few months these poor creatures succeeded foreign enemies, not by the system of Terror, in bringing about a reaction, of which none of but in spite of it; and that the perils which them saw, and of which none of us may see, were made the plea for the violent policy of the the close; and, having brought it about, they Mountain, were, to a great extent, created by marvelled at it; they bewailed it; they exe that very policy. We could, we think, also crated it; they ascribed it to every thing but show that the evils produced by the Jacobin the real cause—their own immorality and their administration did not terminate when it fell; own profound incapacity for the conduct of that it bequeathed a long series of calamities great affairs. to France and to Europe; that public opinion, These, however, are considerations to which, which had during two generations been con- on the present occasion, it is hardly necessary stantly becoming more and more favourable for us to advert; for, the defence which has to civil and religious freedom, underwent, dur- been set up for the Jacobin policy, good or bad, ing the days of Terror, a change of which the it is a defence which cannot avail Barère. traces are still to be distinctly perceived. It From his own life, from his own pen, from his was natural that there should be such a change, own mouth, we can prove that the part which when men saw that those who called them- he took in the work of blood is to be attributed, selves the champions of popular rights had not even to sincere fanaticism, not even to compressed into the space of twelve months misdirected and ill-regulated patriotism, but more crimes than the kings of France, Mero- either to cowardice, or to delight in human vingian, Carlovingian, and Capetian, had per- misery. Will it be pretended that it was from petrated in twelve centuries. Freedom was public spirit that he murdered the Girondists? regarded as a great delusion. Men were will. In these very Memoirs he tells us that he al. ing to submit to the government of hereditary ways regarded their death as the greatest princes, of fortunate soldiers, of nobles, of calamity that could befall France. Will it be priests; to any government but that of philo- pretended that it was from public spirit that he sophers and philanthropists. Hence the im- raved for the head of the Austrian woman? perial despotism, with its enslaved press and in these very Memoirs he tells us that the time its silent tribune, its dungeons stronger than spent in attacking her was ill-spent, and ought the old Bastile, and its tribunals more obse- to have been employed in concerting measures quious than the old parliaments. Hence the of national defence. Will it be pretended that restoration of the Bourbons and of the Jesuits, he was induced by sincere and earnest abhor. the Chamber of 1815, with its categories of rence of kingly government to butcher the living proscription, the revival of the feudal spirit, and to outrage the dead; he who invited Na' the encroachments of the clergy, the persecu- poleon to take the title of King of Kings, he tion of the Protestants, the appearance of a new who assures us, that after the Restoration he breed of De Montforts and Dominics in the full expressed in noble language his attachment 10 light of the nineteenth century. Hence the monarchy, and to the house of Bourbon ? Had admission of France into the Holy Alliance, he been less mean, something might have been and the war waged by the old soldiers of the said in extenuation of his cruelty. Had he tri-colour against the liberties of Spain. Hence, been less cruel, something might have been too, the apprehensions with which, even at the said in extenuation of his meanness. But for present day, the most temperate plans for widen- him, regicide and court-spy, for him who pa. ing the narrow basis of the French represen- tronized Lebon and betrayed Demerville, for tation are regarded by those who are especially him who wantoned alternately in gasconades interested in the security of property and the of Jacobinism, and gasconades of servility, maintenance of order. Half a century has not what excuse has the largest charity to offer? sufficed to obliterate the stain which one year We cannot conclude without saying someof deprawy and madness has left on the thing about two parts of his character, which noblest of causes.
his biographer appears to consider as deserving Nothing is more ridiculous than the manner of high admiration. Barère, it is admitted, was in which writers like M. Hippolyte Carnot somewhat fickle; but in two things he was defend or excuse the Jacobin administration, consistent, in his love of Christianity, and in while they declaim against the reaction which his hatred to England. If this were so, we followed. That the reaction has produced and must say that England is much more beholden is still producing much evil, is perfectly true. to him than Christianity. But what produced the reaction? The spring It is possible that our inclinations may bias flies up with a force proportioned to that with our judgment; but we think that we do not which it has been pressed down. The pendu- flatter ourselves when we say, that Barère's lum which is drawn far in one direction swings aversion to our country was a sentiment as as far in the other. The joyous madness of deep and constant as his mind was capable of intoxication in the evening is followed by lan- entertaining. The value of this compliment guor and nausea on the morrow. And so, in is, indeed, somewhat diminished by the cir. politics, it is the sure law that every excess cumstance, that he knew very little about us. shall generate its opposite; nor does he deserve His ignorance of our institutions, manners, and the name of a statesman who strikes a great history, is the less excusable, because, accord. blow without fully calculating the effect of the ing to his own account, he consorted much, rebound. But such calculation was infinitely during the peace of Amiens, with Englishmeu beyond the reach of the authors of the Reign of of note, such as that eminent nobleman Lound
Greaten, and that not less eminent philosopher mote the honour of our country; but that little Mr Mackenzie Cæfhis. In spite, however, of he did strenuously and constantly. Renegade, his connection with these well-known orna- traitor, slave, coward, liar, slanderer, murderer, ments of our country, he was so ill informed hack-writer, police-spy--the one small service about us as to fancy that our government was which he could render to England, was to hate always laying plans to torment him. If he her: and such as he was may all who hate was hooted at Saintes, probably by people her be. whose relations he had murdered, it was be- We cannot say that we contemplate with cause the cabinet of St. James had hired the equal satisfaction that servent and constant mob. nobody would read his bad books, it zea for religion, which, according to M. Hipwas because the cabinet of St. James had polyte Carnot, distinguished Barère; for, as we secured the reviewers. His accounts of Mr. think that whatever brings dishonour on reliFox, of Mr. Pitt, of the Duke of Wellington, of gion is a serious evil, we had, we own, induiged Mr. Canning, swarm with blunders, surpassing a hope that Barère was an atheist. We now
the ordinary blunders committed by learn, however, that he was at no time even a Frenchmen who write about England. Mr. sceptic, that he adhered to his faith through the Fox and Mr. Pitt, he tells us, were ministers in whole Revolution, and that he has left several two different reigns. Mr. Pit's sinking fund manuscript works on divinity. One of these was instituted in order to enable England to is a pious treatise, entitled, “Of Christianity pay subsidies to the powers allied against the and of its Influence.” Another consists of French Republic. The Duke of Wellington's meditations on the Psalms, which will doubihouse in Hyde Park was built by the nation, less greatly console and edify the church. which twice voted the sum of £200,000 for the This makes the character complete. Whatpurpose. This, however, is exclusive of the soever things are false, whatsoever things are cost of the frescoes, which were also paid for dishonest, whatsoever things are unjust, whatout of the public purse. Mr. Canning was the soever things are impure, whatsoever things first Englishman whose death Europe had rea- are hateful, whatsoever things are of evil reson to lament; for the death of Lord Ward, a port, if there be any vice, and if there be any relation, we presume, of Lord Greaten and Mr. infamy, all these things, we knew, were blended Coef his, had been an immense benefit to man- in Barère. But one thing was still wanting, kind.
and that M. Hyppolyte Carnot has supplied. Ignorant, however, as Barère was, he knew When to such an assemblage of qualities a enough of us to hate us; and we persuade our nigh profession of piety is added, the effect selves that, had he known us better, he would becomes overpowering. We sink under the have hated us more. The nation which has contemplation of such exquisite and manicombined, beyond all example and all hope, fold perfection; and feel, with deep humility, the blessings of liberty with those of order, how presumptuous it was in us to think of might well be an object of aversion to one who composing the legend of this beatified athlete had teen false alike to the cause of order and of the faith, Saint Bertrand of the Carmagto the cause of liberty. We have had amongst noles. us intemperate zeal for popular rights; we Something more we had to say about him. have had amongst us also the intemperance of But let him go. We did not seek him out, and losalty. But we have never been shocked by will not keep him longer. If those who call such a spectacle as the Barère of 1794, or as themselves his friends had not forced him on the Barère of 1804. Compared with him, our our notice, we should never have vouchsafed fiercest demagogues have been gentle; com- to him more than a passing word of scorn and pared with him, our meanest courtiers have abhorrence, such as we might_fling at his been manly. Mix together Thistlewood and brethren, Hébert and Fouquier Tinville, and Bubb Dodington, and you are still far from Carrier and Lebon. We have no pleasure in having Barère. The antipathy between him seeing human nature thus degraded. We turn and us is such, that neither for the crimes of with disgust from the filthy and spiteful Yahoos his earlier, nor for those of his later life, does of the fiction; and the filthiest and most spiteour language, rich as it is, furnish us with ade- ful Yahoo of the fiction was a noble creature quate names. We have found it difficult to when compared with the Barère of history. relate his history without having perpetual But what is no pleasure, M. Hyppolyte Carnot recourse to the French vocabulary of base has made a duty. It is no light thing, that a ness. It is not easy to give a notion of his man in high and honourable public trust, a conduct in the Convention, without using those man who, from his connections and position, emphatic terms, guillotinade, noyade, fusillade, may not unnaturally be supposed to speak the nitraillade. It is not easy to give a notion of sentiments of a large class of his countrymen, his conduct under the consulate and the em- should come forward to demand approbation pire, without borrowing such words as mouchard for a life, black with every sort of wickedness, and mouton.
and unredeemed by a single virtue. 'This M. We, therefore, like his invectives against us Hippolite Carnot has done. By attempting to much better than any thing else that he has enshrine this Jacobin carrion, he has forced written; and dwell on them, not merely with us to gibbet it; and we venture to say that, complacency, but with a feeling akin to grati- from the eminence of infamy on which we luide. It was but little that he could do to pro- have placed it, he will not easily take it down