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been directed the Queen- he speaks, not merely with pity, but with respect and admiration, creditable both to his feelings and his understanding. He attributes the death of the king to the audacity of the Mountain and the lacheté of the Girondins; and he states, very truly, that the people were so little in favour of the execution, that Louis would probably have been rescued, but for the adroit manœuvre of the faction of blood, which-by calling out the National Guard on that day, and keeping them in military order and activity-prevented the union of those who, if at liberty, would have, no doubt, made some effort to save their innocent and still beloved sovereign. “He carried,' says M. Arnault, the quality of passive courage even to sublimity, and died like a martyr.'-(vol. ï. p. 6.) We know not how, with such sentiments, M. Arnault could have been suspected of having contributed to the king's death; but he states that he was so, and he attributes the exile to which he was doomed, after the Hundred Days, to that unfounded imputation.
• The death of the king might have had a political object;' but he adds, in an obvious imitation of Mr. Burke, 'what excuse can be made for that of the queen-for dragging to the scaffold all that mankind ought to reverence and honour-beauty, grace, dignity, goodness ?' • That woman whom I had seen at Versailles resplendent with majesty and happinessthrowing into the shade, by her personal qualities, that most brilliant court and the youngest and most beautiful of those who adorned it—that woman whom nature had made a grace, fortune a queen, enthusiasm a divinity, and revolutionary madness a heroine ! -I saw her again on the 16th Oct. 1793, dragged in a common cart, dressed in mean clothes borrowed for the occasion, and under which her arms were pinioned—I saw her dragged—widow of the king and of the kingdom-to the scaffold, still red with the blood of her husband. It was while I was accidentally crossing a street that leads from the Halles to the Rue de la Ferronerie, that I saw-invon luntarily and at a distance—this frightful procession. In half an hour she was no more, and the blood of Maria Theresa was mingled with that of Henry IV. and St. Louis.'- vol. ii. p. 88.
The guillotine never rested from its labour- even Sunday shone no sabbath-day to it;'-one holiday it however had the day of Robespierre's celebrated · Feast of the Supreme Being.' Yet even that day revived, by a strange incident, the recollections of its bloody predecessors. In a car drawn by twelve bullocks, appeared some deified prostitute, whom Robespierre followed, at the head of a procession of the National Convention. When they came to the site of the guillotine-although the place had been carefully washed, and covered with a thick coat of gravel—the
poor beasts stopped suddenly, and exhibited such marks of horror, that it was not without great difficulty and severe goading that they were at last driven forward.—(vol. ii. p. 90.)
Much as he detested these scenes of blood, Arnault's curiosity induced him to witness the execution of both Danton and Robespierre. He met, he says by accident, the fatal car which carried the former and his associates to that very scaffold to which they had sent so many others. It is well known, but never can be too often repeated, that the Revolutionary Tribunal which condemned him, Danton himself had instituted the atrocious violence which stifled his defence, Danton himself had enacted ! During the fatal procession, Danton was calm, seated between Camille Desmoulins, who was ranting, and Fabre d'Eglantine, who appeared stupified. Camille fancied himself a martyr to his new-born humanity—for he grew humane when he found he was himself in danger; but Fabre, more just, was overwhelmed with remorse and shame. Another person attracted notice in this batch of monsters—it was Herault de Sechelles. The mild tranquillity that reigned on the handsome and interesting countenance of this man (who had been in high legal office under the crown before the Revolution, and was an eminent law reformer in his day) was of another kind from the stern calm of Danton. Danton showed no signs of terror, but Herault exhibited as tranquil an air and as lively a colour as if he were going out to a dinner. Every spectator was interested by his appearance, and inquired with emotion the name of that amiable person; but when it was told —when the inquirer heard it was Herault de Sechelles—the interest vanished, and no one bestowed a second thought on the selfish apostate.
It was but a few weeks before his own exhibition on the same stage, that Herault had happened to meet the cart conveying Hebert, Cloots, and others of his former associates, to execution.
It was by chance,' he afterwards said, that I met them; I was not looking for them, but I am not sorry to have seen them-it was refreshing. This Arnault relates with just indignation; yet when he-a tragedian, be it remembered, by trade—met this batch of victims, he exclaimed, Here is a tragedy well begun, let us see the last act;'—and he followed it to the Place de la Révolution. We think that his exclamation is well worthy a place beside Herault's.
Of this batch—as it was commonly called—Danton died last : ' it was growing dark-at the foot of the horrible statue (a colossal effigy of Liberty, in plaster-of-Paris, erected on the pedestal of the ci-devant statue of Louis XV.) which looked black against the sky, the dark figure of Danton rose, defined rather than illuminated
by the dying sun.' His air was audacious, his attitude formidable, and that head about to fall had still, says M. Arnault, an air of authority and dictation. His last words addressed to the executioner, were-- Don't forget to show my head to the people; 'tis worth looking at.' Danton is a kind of hero with the Liberals now-a-days, just because Robespierre survived him; as Brissot and Vergniaud are still greater favourites and have their statues on bridges and in palaces, merely because Danton and Robespierre put them to death. In this there is a kind of injusticethey were all alike villains; and if they had all perished on the 31st of May, Marat, and Hebert, and Danton, and Robespierre, would have been universally lamented as more innocent at that period than the Brissotins ! It was only by living a little longer that the Mountain attained its bad pre-eminence'-he that lived longest had most scope for his natural ferocity; and Robespierre is become the scape-goat by which the reputations of all the rest are to be purified, because he happened to have better luck or more talents than the rest, and to have maintained his power a little longer. If one could make distinctions in extreme cases, we should, after a most attentive, and we might almost say personal, observation of the whole course of the Revolution, venture to pronounce that Robespierre, monster as he was, was not originally and substantially a worse man than Brissot, Louvet, Desmoulins, Danton, and fifty others, whom it is now the fashion to consider as comparatively innocent victims of the atrocities of which they were the prime inventors and hottest instigators. Robespierre fell, not because he carried those atrocities farther than his predecessors, but because he was suspected of a vague intention of putting a stop to them.
Amidst all these bloodstained anecdotes Arnault mingles, with the most Parisian indifference, the trash of his own little pursuits and the gossip of the theatres. When he followed Danton to the scaffold, he was within a moment of being 'too late, because he just looked in on Mehul, the musical composer, to say three words about one of his operas; and Mehul would have accompanied him to the last act of the tragedy,' but that he happened to be in his night-gown and slippers. In such a state of society and feeling we are not surprised that one of the favourite exclamations of the Parisian public--who must always have a vive' something or other—was "Vive la mort.'
Trembling, scribbling-shuddering, singing-vibrating between the coulisse and the scaffold, the café and the guillotine, Arnault contrived to carry his head on his own shoulders, through the reign of terror; and when Buonaparte began to take the lead, he, by the help of Regnauld (nicknamed de St. Jean
d'Angely), his brother-in-law, made some advances in the good graces of the Corsican conqueror, by whom he was entrusted with a mission to the Ionian islands, which he abandoned (we do not quite understand why) to make a tour in Italy ; and this tour, in the dullest style of a guide-book, occupies about a volume of M. Arnault's Memoirs. The only thing remarkable in this portion of the work is the proof it affords of the bold and pertinacious mendacity with which Buonaparte afterwards belied his own proper name. When Arnault visits Vesuvius, he inscribed some lines in an album which is kept there :
• Soldat' (which he was not) du fier Bonaparte,
Avec l'altier panache où resplendit sa gloire,
Les trois couleurs de la Victoire.--vol. iii. p. 127. The rhyme here puts the Italian pronunciation beyond all doubt; yet read the series of petty falsehoods which Buonaparte thought it worth while to dictate at St. Helena, in contradiction of this notorious fact. See also our former contradictions* of this falsehood—one which we cannot think trivial when we see what strenuous efforts Buonaparte made to give it vogue.
Arnault was one of the savans selected to accompany Buonaparte to Egypt, and he embarked with him in L'Orient. He however went no farther than Malta, where he, in a rather unceremonious manner, deserted, as Buonaparte afterwards reproached him. We shall select a few anecdotes of the passage from Toulon to Malta.
Poor Arnault, being only a pekin-civilian--underwent great contempt, and consequently suffered many hardships. The military men shoved him to the far end of the dinner table, seized his cabin, unslung his cot, and left him to sleep upon the bare deck. This ill-treatment, however, and an extra glass of punch, saved, in fact, L'Orient, the fleet, the expedition, and the embryo-emperor. Troubled with insomnie and indigestion, Arnault arose one night from his hard pallet, and went to the upper deck, where his experienced eyes beheld what the naval officers of the watch had not seen —that the ship was nearly ashore. He gave the alarnlike the goose of the Capitol and the world was saved. But the French are not so grateful as the Romans; the latter almost deified their saviour geese-Buonaparte told his goose to hold his tongue ; the matter was hushed up, and is now only told when there is no one to contradict it, or, may we add, to believe it. The secret was so well kept, says our goose, that, ten years after, Ganthaume (the admiral, in whose ear Arnault says he cackled his alarm) forgot and denied it.
* Quart. Rev., Vol. XII, p. 239; and Vol. XXVIII., 9. 254,
To alleviate the tedium of the voyage, Buonaparte used to hold, in the evenings, what he called an Institute in the great cabin, at which the savans, and followers, and naval and military officers were expected, that is, ordered, to attend. There Buonaparte, seated on a kind of throne, would give a theme for discussion. It is evident that he was already indeed he had been from an early stage of his Italian successes--playing the autocrat.
• Déjà Napoléon perçait sous Bonaparte.' These formal discussions were clearly intended to relieve the haughty general from the indignity of taking a share in social amusements—from that equality which stood at the head of all his public acts, but never entered into his presence; but they were dreadfully dull to all but the great man and the sarans. The members of the Institute sat round a table, covered with a green cloth, at the head of which sat Buonaparte, as president; the military myrmidons were placed on back seats round the cabin. Junot, very ill-bred, very unlettered, but giddy and candid, could not abide these sermons, and often disturbed them. One evening he insisted that Lannes—just as illiterate as himself, but a graver personage, who had the fear of the general ever before his eyes—was entitled to a seat at the green table
his very name'(l'Ane), says Junot, proclaims him to be of the Institute. This passed off, and the debate continued. By-and-by it was interrupted by a loud snoring, which drowned the voice of the speaker. "Who is that,' exclaimed the General, indignantly, 'who snores here?'- ''Tis Junot,' replied Lannes, taking his revenge for the late joke. "Wake him,' ordered the commander-inchief: but a moment after the snoring began louder than ever.
Wake him, I say ;' and then, with a tone of impatience, why do you snore here at such a rate ?'—General,' answered the harebrained Junot (who was always half mad, and died wholly so), o'tis your sacre fichu Institute, which sets every body asleep but yourself.'-Go, then, and sleep in your bed. That's all I want,' rejoined Junot; who immediately departed, and was no more pressed to assist at the sittings of the Institute.
Arnault next gives us a specimen of Buonaparte's taste and temper, which, from so devoted a worshipper, is of some little value towards estimating the real talents and character of that emperor of mountebanks. One day during the voyage, he summoned Arnault to read to him :
• Arn. What will you have me read-philosophy—politics—poetry? Buon. Poetry.--Arn. Choose. Buon. What you will.- Arn. Shall it be Homer, the father of all poets ? Buon. Homer let it be.Arn. The Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Batrachomyomachia ? Buon.