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to secure to himself alone the merits of his resolutions, he thought proper to attack the committee itself, and this was the cause of his failure ; for it compelled the majority of his colleagues, as well as Barère, to turn against him, and to join Tallien, Fréron, and their party in the cry'à bas le Tyran!' and thus the man, who was, either conscientionsly or treacherously, seeking for the honour of avenging outraged humanity, fell and died an object of general execration, as the originator and the promoter of the crimes which he designed to have duly punished.
But if Robespierre, St. Just and Couthon, were justly outlawed, as the authors of the reign of terror, it was clear that there were accomplices who had supported, in the committee of public safety, the plans of the first; otherwise, being in a minority, they could not have carried out their cruel measures. It was of the utmost importance, for Tallien, Freron, Merlin de Thionville, and others, late commissioners in the departments, as well as for all the terrorists, to denounce and to crush those accomplices forming the majority of the committee; for, this being done, all the participators in the revolutionary horrors could justify their conduct by pleading the dire obligation of obeying the orders of the duodecemvirs. The reports of Barère and some acts of Bellaud Varennes, and of Collot d'Herbois, were sufficient grounds for accusations. Yet they might have been contested in a regular trial, even before the revolutionary tribunals ; and dangerous recriminations might have been offered ; it was therefore considered more convenient to sentence them to banishment, without trial, by a decree of the convention.
Our object, in writing this article, has constantly been, we cannot say to show what Barère really was during his revolutionary career, (this is difficult to ascertain even for ourselves), but to give as many features of his character as we had observed, and to assist our readers in re-considering the judgments passed upon him. In our opinion, those judgments have been much too severe; but, at the same time, we cannot countenance the efforts now made, not only to have those judgments reversed, but also to obtain for him a kind of apotheosis; though it is possible, that, in France, these efforts may be crowned with success. Such are the contempt and hatred entertained against the present government, that any one of the preceding governments, even the convention and its awful committees seem, to many Frenchmen, much preferable, as having, to use the expressions of an impartial judge, (Lafayette), 'l'hypocrisie de moins, et le désintéressement de plus.'
There is not a horrid sentence, there is not a crime of the convention, of her committees and of the terrorists, which has
not been repeated and renewed by the French rulers of the day. A government must be unpopular! We must inspire terror! we must be without mercy! Un bon gouvernement doit etre impopulaire. Il faut intimider.-Il faut etre impitoyable,'—such are the doctrines professed by M. Guizot, in the Chamber of Deputies, in 1830, in 1832, and 1834; and these doctrines have been uniformly acted upon by the government of King Egalité, as, in former times, by the worthy friends and associates of his father. Three times has Lyons, three times has Paris been treated by the new terrorists as the former city had been, only once, by their predecessors; and most of the principal towns of France have been subjected, more or less, to the same treatment. Revolutionary tribunals were not established, only because they are not needed—because they have something better, a house of peers led by Pasquier and Decazes, and royal courts which emulate them. Now the royal court of Paris can boast of a Hebert, who has, long ago, eclipsed his homonyme of 1794, in his most furibund accusations. The executioners are not, as of old, a small and ragged portion of the populace, called the revolutionary army; it is a numerous, well-trained, well-fed, and well-dressed, regular army. Instead of Santerre and Henriot, we see Soult and Bugeaud; but the former were,
-one a brewer, and the other we do not remember what; while the latter are dukes and field marshals. This makes all the difference between them, and causes the different estimate of the same foul and abominable misdeeds. The new terrorists are clever, wise, and honest statesmen. The secret service funds of the police salary panegyrists in all the other capitals of Europe, as well as in Paris; and here, in old, honest, and free England, we lately saw, with shame, the highest honours paid to some of these men, whom history will brand with everlasting infamy.
We do not know what the present circumstances of our country may perhaps soon lead to; but we well know, that it is in vain we should expect to prevent the repetition of revolutionary horrors, if, while we launch our anathemas against those who, after a short triumph, have paid with their life, or long exile, the penalty deserved by their atrocities, we prodigally bestow our praises and our homage upon their more successful imitators, who have secured the prolongation of their tyranny, by a greater perfidy and a greater corruption. The reverse would certainly be a more rational, a more beneficial system; and, at the same time, more in keeping with the maxim of noble-minded men, Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.'
Art. III.--Memoirs of Father Ripa; being Thirteen Years' Residence
at the Court of Peking in the Service of the Emperor of China. With an Account of the Foundation of the College for the Education of Young Chinese at Naples. Selected and Translated from the
Italian by Fortunato Prandi. London: John Murray. This is an interesting, and in the present state of our relations with China, a valuable work. It forms the fifteenth volume of Mr. Murray's Home and Colonial Library, and will amply sustain the reputation of that deservedly popular series. We are indebted for it to Sir Woodbine Parish, but for whom Father Ripa's work, like those of many other modern Italian historians, would have remained unknown to the English public. The volume contains a condensation of those portions of the learned Jesuit's History of the Chinese College which relate to the manners and institutions of the Celestial Empire, and will be regarded with considerable interest by all intelligent readers. Though Father Ripa's work was composed about a century ago, its value is very partially, if at all, diminished at the present day. The institutions and habits of the Chinese remain much as they were during his sojourn at Peking, whilst the jealousy of foreign observation has visibly increased. Very few Europeans have had an opportunity during the last century of looking into the interior of Chinese society, much less of noticing the private life and social habits of the ruler of that mysterious people. Our stock of information, therefore, has received very slight additions, and our theories respecting the government and manners of the Chinese have been little more than inferences from the reports of the earlier Jesuit missionaries. The whole history of this people is unique: it forms a chapter by itself, and must be judged of by laws dissimilar in many respects from those which are applicable to European states. We have no other instance on record of a people having advanced so far in civilization, and then suddenly stopping short; depriving themselves of the benefits of past experience, and overruling all the onward tendencies of intellect. They constitute a problem, not yet solved, and are worthy of the attentive study of the philosopher. The first thing requisite in order to understand their history and condition is an accurate knowledge of facts. This is far from having been obtained, as few intelligent Europeans have visited their shores, and of these a very
small number only have been admitted to their dwellings and confidence.
Father Ripa was one of the latter class, and his work consequently throws more light on the facts of the case than any other with which we have been fortunate enough to meet. His personal character and biography are highly interesting, and the latter, as told by himself, is marked by a simplicity and earnestness which the disciples of a purer faith might profitably imitate. At the age of eighteen his life was frivolous and dissipated; he was then a resident at Naples, and in the year 1700, when strolling about the streets in search of amusement, came suddenly on a Franciscan friar, who was preaching to the people in the
open air. The doctrine of the preacher was subversive of the truths of the gospel, yet it tended to awaken in his youthful auditor a sense of demerit which filled him with alarm, and determined him on reformation. Methought,' he remarks, 'I saw God himself menacing me from above, while below the torments of hell lay ready to receive me.' His struggle was severe, but the firm character of his mind soon shewed itself. He resolved on entering the church, and looked about him for some special vocation in which to render more than ordinary service to the Deity. On the 26th of May, 1701, he entered the church, and was possessed with a strong desire to institute a new religious community, without any definite notion of what its character or special design should be. This was explained on his return from Salerno, whither he had been for ordination; and as the narrative is brief, and is, moreover, highly characteristic, we give it in the writer's own words :
Being determined to obey Father Torres, I waited upon him as soon as I came back to Naples, and requested an order of admission to my novitiate. He had returned from Rome only the day before, and was surrounded by a number of his penitents. The moment he saw me, he said, 'Good morning to you, good man; prepare for China.'
‘I was surprised, and wondered what he could mean; for I had never heard any thing about China. Perceiving this, Father Torres added, that China was a nation of idolaters, who, from want of labourers in the Gospel, lived in the darkness of heathenism; that Clement XI., the reigning pope, with a view to remedy this evil, had recently attached to the propaganda a college for the instruction of European ecclesiastics in the Chinese language, that they might carry the light of the Holy Gospel to those benighted heathens, and that accordingly his holiness had commanded him to send some of his penitents to Rome for that purpose.
* As Father Torres spake these words, the mist which filled my mind vanished, and I now, greatly to my wonder, perceived that this was the very service to which God had called me. When we were left alone, I asked bim whether he had spoken in jest or in earnest, as in the latter case I would go to China willingly. Whether you will or not, to China you shall go,' he replied.
*How then can I pass my novitiate with you, if I am to enter the college at Rome in order to go to China ?' said I.
• At first he did not understand me, for he had forgotten that he
had ordered me to become a Pious Labourer; but after I had reminded him of this, he answered, Pious Labourer! Pious Labourer! God has destined you for the Chinese mission.'
* This made me perfectly happy; and I walked home so elevated in spirit, that I scarcely felt the ground I trod on.'—pp. 4, 5.
He immediately repaired to Rome to qualify for his mission, where, he says: 'I mended my own clothes, washed my only shirt at night, and even slept on a mat, owing to which I have been dreadfully tormented with rheumatism ever since.' During his vacations he went on preaching missions into the surrounding country, and seems to have exerted no small influence over the people whom he visited. The following narrative reads a lesson of simple-minded earnestness which rebukes the supineness and indifference of better-informed men :
• An old man of that place, with six of his sons, had for several years sought the life of a relative who had murdered his seventh son. Neither the exhortations of several ecclesiastics nor the authority of Cardinal Barberini and other distinguished personages who had inter posed, had been sufficient to reconcile them. The unfortunate. murderer wandered day and night about the mountains and forests to escape from his pursuers. Various persons informed me of this circumstance, and solicited me to do my utmost to pacify the family. The fugitive himself, accompanied by several of his friends, all in arms, came down from the mountains under cover of the night, to entreat me to the same effect.
I waited till Easter, when I knew that his uncle and cousins would come to confession. The latter did, one after the other, come to my feet, and I exhorted them to peace. They all replied that they bore no hatred in their hearts to the assassin, and that they were ready to forgive him, if the permission of their father, in whose power they were, could be obtained. Last of all, the father came to confession; and after I had admonished bim at great length, he told me that he did not entertain any resentment against bis nephew, but that he wished justice to take its course. I at once understood his object in this subterfuge, and therefore commanded him to repeat the Lord's Prayer, which he did, not suspecting my intentions. When he came to the words, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us,' I desired him to explain their force and meaning; whereupon, by the Divine grace, he burst into a flood of tears. Having recovered his composure, he promised to pardon and embrace his nephew, for the love of Jesus Christ, the first time he should meet him. As, however, I feared that his resolution might be a transient ebullition rather than a holy purpose, I sent secretly to the fugitive nephew, directing him to conceal bimself in the belfry on a. certain evening, when I intended to preach upon the subject of love to our enemies, and if in the course of the sermon I should call him,