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the approbation of the states, according to their privileges: These remonftrances were of no avail; and the mareschal de Stainville was sent to Rennes, to restore tranquillity by a display of force. But, adds the writer, · while order was beginning to be restored in Britanny, the archbishop entirely destroyed the king's authority all over the kingdom ; fomem times from his neglecting to employ it when it was necessary; and, at other times, from his extravagant abuse of it. At length, when the finances, and public credit, and every refource, were, exhausted, the general disorder of the government forced him to abandon the ministry, and shamefully seek that asylum in a foreign courtry which the public indignation, did not permit him to find in his own.'

The accession of M. Necker to the ministry affords an opportunity of censuring his errors ; but, as these have been frequently canvalled, we shall not follow our author in this part of his course. It may be proper, however, to ftate, that one. reason why the convocation of the states-general was an imprudent measure, is to be found, not in the conduct of Necker, but in that of his predeceffor.

• The are hbifhop of Sens had unfortunately prevailed upon the king to come under the most folemn engagement to convene the states-general in 1789; and as a completion of folly, he issued a decree of the council, authorizing, and even inviting, all who thought themselves capable of publishing, for the instruction of the government, their ideas on the best form of convoking the ftates general, the manner in which the assembly should be composed, and the objects they should take into consideration, as if there never had been an affembly of the states in France before, or rather, as if the motive of their convocation had been to establish an entire new form of government. And, in effect, this was the aim of the greatest part of those pamphlets with which at this time France overflowed.' Vol. i.

P. 116. This is certain ; but what follows is a harth sentence. It is impoflible to suppofe that M. Necker did not foresee these consequences without supposing him uncommonly deficient in point of discernment; and if, foreseeing them, he refolved to meet them, he acted with the presumption of a madman, or the perfidy of a traitor.' For the corroboration of this opinion, a long chapter is devoted entirely to the character of Necker. From this part we shall select the minutes of a conversation, in which the financier does not appear in the light of a philosopher. It was communicated to the narrator by the comte de Vaudreuil himself,

Three months after the nomination of Mr. Necker to the place of director-general of the finance, M. de Vaudreuil went to speak to him on an affair which regarded one of his relations. He was received with politeness, and even with kindness. After

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having finished his business, as he was about to retire, Mr. Necker expreffed a desire to converse with him a few minutes. He began with an eulogium on the king's virtues, and on his application to bufiness. This was followed by another on the queen. When those topics were exhausted, he began to speak of himself, of his labours, his vigilance, of the constant obstacles which he met with in the painful career of his administration. He complained with bitterness, of the attacks of envy, and of the libels which were scattered abroad against him.

The count replied, “ that all persons in eminent situations, and of great reputation, were exposed to that misfortune; but it was to be hoped that he would annihilate envy by the goodness of his measures."

“ I agree with you,” said Mr. Necker; " but a mind of such sensibility as mine can with difficulty fupport so much injustice; for amongst many contemptible libels, there are some which in. Aict cruel wounds, and which make a great impreffion on the credulity of the public."

* M.'de Vaudreuil imagining that he alluded to a pamphlet just published by the count de Lauraguais, answered, with a careless air, “ You have only to peruse the late publication of M. de Lauraguais, and you will immediately be convinced that there is nothing in it that need give you uneasiness. It is much too weak to hurt you."

• M. de Vaudreuil had no sooner made this observation, than he perceived anger and resentment to flash from the


of the philosopher.

“What!” cried he, “ has that villain written a pamphlet against me? How dreadful it is to be restrained by my minifterial character? What pleasure should I feel in plunging a poniard into bis heart."

• M. de Vaudreuil, surprized and shocked at such violence, immediately arose, saying, as he withdrew, “ Believe me, fir, i only mentioned to you the name of M. de Lauraguais, because I thought you were fpeaking to me of his work. Affuredly it was not my intention to act the part of an informer against him.”

• The next morning the count d'Adhemar, one of M. de Vaudreuil's friends, called upon him, and read a letter which he had just received from madame Necker. The letter was full of inflated panegyrics on M. de Vaudreuil, expressing how much pleafed Mr. Necker' had been with his conversation, and how greatly flattered by the honour of his acquaintance, &c. It concluded, by defiring M. d'Adhemar to procure from his friend a copy of the work of M. de Lauraguais. This the former peremptorily refused, declaring, at the same time, how much he had been shocked at the indecent violence of the man, and protesting that he would never again enter his house.' Vol. i. p. 154.

In other respects, the character of Necker is drawn with ability and candour. Upon calm reflection, the author does not arraign his intentions, or consider his measures as being directed to what they ultimately produced.

Like the earl of Clarendon, M. de Moleville fills a great part of these volumes with a defence of his royal maiter , against the imputation of insincerity. Pofterity, anxious to do justice to the memory of Louis, will investigate the truth of such an accusation. The question is not indifferent, even to the present age ; and it must be confessed, that the best evi. dence which can be obtained, where we have not facts, is the testimony of those in whom Louis implicitly confided. An interview between the king and this writer may be mentioned to the credit of the former,

• M. de Lesfart came to me from the king, and conducted me into his apartment.

C-As it was the first time that I had ever had the honour of speaking to his majesty, on finding myself tête-a-tête with him, I was so overwhelined with timidity, that if it had been my part to speak first, I Mould not have been able to pronounce a fentence. But I acquired courage, on observing that the king was more embarrassed than myself. He stammered out a few words without connection, but at last recovered himself, on seeing me more at my ease, and our conversation soon became interesting.

After some general observations upon the present difficult and perplexed state of public affairs, the king said to me, “ Well, have you any farther objections ?”

“ No, fire," answered I. “ The desire of obeying and pleafing your majesty, is the only sentiment I feel. But that i

may know whether it will be in my power to serve you with utility, I hope your majesty will have the condescension to inform me of your sentiments respecting the new constitution, and the conduct you expect from your minifters regarding it."

" That is but just,” said the king. 6. This, then, is what I think. I am far from regarding this constitution as a chef d'euvre. I believe there are great faults in it; and that if I had been allowed to state my observations upon it, some advantageous alterations might have been adopted. But of this there is no question at present; I have sworn to maintain it, such as it is, and I am determined, as I ought, to be firialy faithful to my oath; for it is my opinion, that an exact execution of the constitution is the best means of making it thoroughly known to the nation, who will then perceive the changes proper to be made. I have not, and I cannot have another plan than this. I certainly shall not recede from it; and I wifii my ministers to conform to the fame."?

- To this. I answered, “ Your plan appears to me extremely wise, fire. I feel myself capable of fulfilling it, and I take the engagement to do so. I have not so fufficiently examined the conftitution, either in general, or in its particular branches, to have a decided and fixed opinion respecting its practicability, nor shall I form one, until experience has more enlightened the nation and myself. My present refolution is, never to deviate from what it prescribes. But may I be permitted to ask, if the queen's way of thinking on this subject, is conformable to that of your ma. jesty ?” added I.

“ Yes, perfe&tly. She will tell you so herself.” • A moment after, I went to the queen's apartment, who, after assuring me with great goodness, that the was as sensible as the king of the obligations I had laid them under by accepting of a part in the administration în circumstances so difficult, the added these words : “ The king has informed you of his intentions relative to the constitution. Don't you think that the only plan he has to follow, is to adhere to his oath ?"

“ Yes, certainly, madam," answered I.

“ Well, be assured,” rejoined she, “ that nothing shall make us alter our resolution. Allons; be of good courage, M. Bertrand, With a little patience, firmness, and consistency of conduct, I hope you will find that all is not yet loft.” Vol. i. P. 214.

In the account of the king's refusing to fanction the decree against the emigrants, we find nothing that can decide the question. The king did what the constitution empowered him to do; and the Jacobins were determined not to suffer any conftitution to interfere with their ambition. When the decree against the unconstitutional priests was presented for the royal affent, Louis ventured to exercise the fame privilege ; and his feelings on this occafion are surely not dishonourable, The bishops had drawn up a niemoria! against this decree.

« The king appeared much affected by this memorial, and said to me, with the energy which he ever shewed in the cause of religion, “ They may be assured I never will fan&tion it : but the difficulty is to know whether I ought simply to refuse my assent, and to afsign the motives of my refusal

, or to temporize, on account of the prefent circumstances. Endeavour,” continued he, " to discover the opinion of your colleagues, before the subject is mentioned in the council.” I remarked to the king, that he was not, by the constitution, obliged to assign the motives of his refusal; and that although the assembly ought to be pleased to see his majesty give up that important prerogative, it was so ill difpofed, that it might refuse to listen to his motives, and might even reproach him with this breach of the constitution, as if it were a violation of his oatlı; that to temporize was only a display of weakness, and would encourage the affembly to become ftill more enterprising; and besides that, a simple negative was at orice more sure and more proper. The affair was discusled the day afe ter, in a committee of the ministers, and the indispensable necessity of a negative was acknowledged by all.

At the following council, this measure was proposed to the king, who adopted it, with extreme satisfaction. But this interval of happiness was interrupted by the proposal which the misister of the home department made to him, of appointing con. stitutional priests to the queen's chapel and his own, as the furest means of filencing the malcontents, and convincing the people of his ancere attachment to the constitution. " No, fir, 'no," faid the king, in a firm voice; " let no one speak to me upon this subje£t ; since liberty of worship is made general, certainly I Qught to enjoy it as well as others.”. Vol. j. p. 261,

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As emigration had deprived the king of most of the civil officers of his household, it became neceffary for him to supply their places with others. It was fupposed, that, from a desire of conciliating the minds of the people, he would form this establishment in the most popular manner. It

appears that he was aware of the delicacy of this business.

6. I feel,” said he, “ that the queen cannot, without inconve. niency, retain the wives of the emigrants about her, and I have already spoken to her upon the subject : but it cannot be expected that she is to form her fociety of madame Petion, madame Condorcet, and women of that staip. With respect to myself, those whose services were most agreeable to me, have deserted me; and amongst those who remain, there are some who are the torment of my life : for instance, there is Chauvelin, who is a {py in my family, always commenting upon what is said, and giving a false account of all that passes.

" Why, then, does not your majesty dismiss him?” said I.

« From regard to his father's memory,” answered his majesty,! Vol. i. p. 286.

In the fecond volume of these memoirs, we meet with another interesting circumstance: . In this same council we were witnesses to a fcene ..

:: much too interesting to be passed over in silence. M. Cahier de Gerville read aloud the sketch or rough draught of a proclamation he proposed, relative to the assassination, pillag. ing, and other acts of violence, at that time very frequent; particularly against the nobility, on the pretext of aristocracy, &c. In the proposed proclamation was the following sentence, "Those disorders interrupt the happiness we at present enjoy.” He had no sooner pronounced it than the king said, “That fentence must be altered."

• M. de Gerville having read the expression again, replied, “ I perceive nothing that requires to be altered, fire."

« Do not make me speak of my happiness,” resumed his ma. jesty, with emotion. 66 I cannot authorize such a falsehood. How can I be happy, M. de Gerville, at a time when nobody is happy in France? No, fir, the French are not happy : I see it but too well. They will be fo, I hope ; and I wilh it very ardently. When that time arrives, I also shall be happy, and shall then be able, with truth, to declare it.”'

· These words, which the king uttered with a faultering voice, made a lively impression upon us, and was [ zvere) followed by a generál filence, which prevailed some minutes. His inajesty being ap. prehensive that those marks of sensibility, which he had not been able to repress, would raise a suspicion against his attachment to the constitution, seized an opportunity, which M. de Gerville af. forded him a fex minutes after, of thowing that he was determined to adhere very scrupulously to his engagements in support of it; for in an affair reported by M. de Gerville, he pronounced an opinion more strictly conformable to the letter of the confti.

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