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at that time gamekeeper to the Marquis de Maulevrier. On the 16th of March both these troops joined Cathelineau ; they marched that very day upon Chollet, the most important town in that part of the country, garrisoned by five hundred soldiers. These also fell into their power, and they found there arms, ammunition, and money. Easter was at hand; and the insurgents thinking they had done enough to make themselves feared, thought they might keep the holidays as usual ; they dispersed every man to his own house; and a republican column from Angers traversed the country without meeting with the slightest resistance, and also without committing the slightest act of violence ;-a moderation which M. de la Roche Jaquelein ascribes to fear.

When the holidays were over, the insurgents appeared again; success had given them confidence in their strength; and looking forward with hope of some important results from the devoted spirit of loyalty which they felt in themselves, and which they well knew pervaded the country, they called for the gentry of the country to lead them on. The man who was most respected in their immediate neighbourhood, was M. Gigot d'Elbée-in his youth he had served in the Saxon army, afterwards as a lieutenant in the Regiment Dauphin-Cavalerie, from which he retired in disgust (if General Turreau may be believed) because he was refused a company.--At this time he was about

forty years of age, and resided in the commune of St. Martin de Beaupreau, upon an estate which produced an income of from 3 to 4000 livres. M. Alphonse de Beauchamp, who when plagiarism fails him, makes as little scruple of supplying the wants of knowledge by invention as he does of appropriating to himself the labours of others, pretends that D'Elbée was deeply involved in a plan which the Marquis de la Rouarie had concerted for raising an insurrection in Bretagne ; that he had set on foot the movement of Anjou ; and was only now called upon to direct measures openly, which he had hitherto guided in secret. M. le Bouvier-Desmortiers, the biographer of Charette, derides this imagination, and demonstrates its absurdity. This author knew D'Elbée intimately, and affirms that, like most of the nobles and gentry, he was compelled to take the field by the peasants. D'Elbée was a man of domestic habits, scrupulous religion, and moral life; fondly attached to his wife, who is extolled both for her virtue and personal accomplishments, and whose love and fidelity were attested by her heroic death. She was in child-bed when the insurgents called upon her husband to come forward in the cause of their God and their king. D'Elbée would not, of his own choice, have taken this perilous post, for he was unmolested and happy, and at that time might have hoped to remain so; but when no choice was left him, he made

a virtue of necessity-a wide field was open to his ambition-and he derived also from his thorough devotion to the cause in which he was engaged, and from the satisfaction of performing his duty to the utmost, a more animating support than the most aspiring hopes of mere earthly ambition could have ministered,

M. Artus de Bonchamp dwelt in the same canton with M. D'Elbée, and joined the insurgents at the same time and in the same manner. His military talents were great ; and in the history of these dreadful times few Frenchmen have left a more unsullied reputation, or a more honourable name. While these events took place in Anjou, a more general commotion arose in Bas Poitou, from the same predisposing causes and the same immediate occasion. Scarcely a parish from Fontenay to Nantes submitted to the conscription. A barber, by name Gaston, took the command of a party of insurgents, slew a republican officer, put on his uniform, got possession of Challans, then marched against St. Gervais, and was killed. This man disappeared so soon from the stage, that his name and existence were scarcely known in La Vendée ; but by one of those odd chances whereby temporary celebrity is sometimes acquired, this Gaston became famous throughout France and Europe. We well remember the figure he made in the English newspapers ; Carra denounced him as Generalissimo of the Vendeans, and a member of the Convention who happened to be of the same name, was called upon from the tribune to answer if he were not the brother of the chief of the rebels. The name happened to be distinguished in French history, and to this, no doubt, was owing, in great part, the general reputation of a man who perished as soon as he was heard of. A more conspicuous personage soon appeared upon the same theatre. François Athanase Charette de la Conterie, of a noble and ancient Breton family, was at this time in his 30th year, and had been six years a lieutenant in the navy: his body was feeble; his habits effeminate and frivolous : but the moral picture of a French hero can only fitly be given in the words of a French biographer. We translate the pas. sage; because it ought not to be presumed in this country that every person can read a language which it is scarcely possible to read without contracting some pollution, so extensively and radically is its whole literature depraved.

• Having arrived at that amiable but dangerous age, --(says M. Le Bouvier-Desmortiers ; and be it remembered that this writer is an ancient Magistrate, a Member of the Paris Society of Sciences, Letters and Arts, of the Philosophic and Galvanic Societies, and of the Rouen Academy of Sciences, Fine Literature and Arts,) Having arrived," says this Ancient Magistrate, . at that amiable but dangerous age, when existence abounds and gives to our new inclinations, in spite of ourselves, a direction which influences the bappiness or the unhappiness of life, Charette felt strongly the necessity of loving, or rather let us say of calming the tumult of his senses. Endowed with more ardour than sensibility, he found and constantly followed the maxim of Buffon,* that in love all that is not physical is good for nothing. He loved women very much for his own sake, very little for theirs; always won by them, but never subjected, he gave himself up to the impulse of passion, without bending his soul to the insinuating and sometimes perfidious blandishments of a mistress. This empire over himself, which he knew how to preserve from beauty, did not render bim less tender in his connections, and never did any frivolous indiscretion, stinging irony, or bitter criticism,--failings almost inseparable from a man fortunate in his amours, afflict the object whose pleasure she had partaken. Women of sensibility who have been loved by him, you have had sometimes to complain of his fickleness, but you felt the value of his delicacy, you did not accuse him of languor, and charming recollections may make you proud of having crowned with the myrtles of love, the man who was one day to be adorned with the palms of glory.'

It may safely be admitted that we have not in all the three kingdoms an Ancient Magistrate capable of writing like this! M. Le Bouvier-Desmortiers tells us further that as his hero was thus passionately attached to women, and incessantly animated with the desire of pleasing them, he of course employed the art of adorning himself as one of the most approved means in the empire of the fair ; that he made it his principal study; and that he occupied himself seriously in the most minute details of the toilet, which was to him less from necessity than from choice, an important business. The English reader may be assured, that the expressions of the Ancient Magistrate are not in the slightest point misrepresented; take them in his proper language. Livré aux femmes et sans cesse animé du désir de plaire, Charette dut employer part de la parure comme un des moyens les plus accrédités dans Lempire des belles. Il en faisait sa principale étude. Gravement occupé des plus petits détails de la toilette, c'était chez lui une affaire importante moins encore par nécessité que par gout. Let it not be supposed that we have selected these blossoms of French morality with any intention of disparaging Charette, or detracting from his merits. Rather, if it were needful, would we draw from the follies and vices of his youth, a lesson of toleration and charity.

* Amour, pourquoi fais-tu l'état-herreux de tous les étres, et le malheur de l'homme? c'est qu'il n'y a que le physique de cette passion qui soit bon; c'est que, malgré ce que peuvent dire les gens épris, le moral n'en vaut rien.-Buffon's Discours sur la Nature des Animaux.

Such was the execrable philosophy of Buffon; and the impurities of his life faithfully corresponded to such principles.

The frivolity of his manners and the licentiousness of his life are surely more imputable to the infected atmosphere in which he lived, than to individual depravity; not so the energy, the fidelity, and the heroism which he afterwards displayed, these virtues were his own, and they entitle him to be remembered—if not with Du Guesclin-with the Dunois, the Xaintrailles, the La Hire, of his own country-with the Empecinado, the Porlier, and the Minas of Spain.

Charette's morals did not interfere with his religion,--rather the religion in which he was bred interfered little with morality. A faithful observer of public worship, (says his biographer,) he used to escape from the arms of voluptuousness to church, where he behaved with the reverence due to the sacred mysteries. About three years before this time, he had married a woman much older than himself, the rich widow of one of his kinsmen; he was now living upon his estate called La Fonte-Clause, about two leagues from

the town of Machecoul, when the insurgents called upon him to take the command. He refused at first, and pointed out to them the perilous consequences of so rash a measure; a second time they came, and were a second time dismissed with the same prudential advice. But, on the 18th of March, a week after Cathelineau had raised the standard in Anjou, the insurgents again appeared, and declared they would put him to death unless he consented to be their leader. 'Well, said he, you force me to it, I will lead you on; but remember that you obey me, or I will punish you severely. An oath of obedience was voluntarily taken; and the chief and the people swore to be faithful to the king, and to combat and die for the re-establishment of their religion and the monarchy. Voilà, said Charette to those who stood near him, a business of which a naval officer understands nothing, and I shall commit many blunders without suspecting it.

A charge of cruelty has been made against Charette. M. de la Roche Jaquelein says, that from the dayofhis elevation, he approved, from policy, the cruelties of the insurgents, and suffered them to continue for some time, that there might be no longer any hope of an amnesty, or any thoughtof arrangements with the ruling powers. Turreau calls him the most ferocious of all the rebel chiefs; and the massacres which were at this time committed by the insurgents at Machecoul, a town of which he was in possession, are imputed to him not only by republican but by royalist writers. From this charge his biographer attempts to vindicate him. Immediately before he took the command, these insurgents had been defeated before Paimbauf, and their leader, M. Danjui, was made prisoner and carried to Nantes, where he was the first person who perished by the guillotine : they had afterwards taken Pornic, got drunk,

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there, and being surprised in that state by the republicans, a dreadful carnage was made among them

all ages, all sexes, were butchered with refinements of cruelty. One youth was buried up to the neck, and then bowled at with stones till he was killed. Twelve prisoners were promised their lives if they would dig a pit capacious enough to receive the slain,—when they had done their work, they were shot upon the bodies of their companions. These things had exasperated the insurgents ; they had arrested many of the patriots as they were called, and imprisoned them at Machecoul; it was difficult to secure and inconvenient to feed them; and the Royalist Committee in that town reasoned, upon those premises, as Bonaparte did at Jaffa. The President of the Committee, a villain, by name Souches, cleared the prisons four times by nightmassacres ! This fellow afterwards mounted the bonnet rouge, when the republicans were the strongest, and got his brains beat out by a miner's pick-axe. Charette's biographer asserts that this general was not in Machecoul when either of the massacres took place--that he reprimanded one of his aides-de-camp for having borne a part in them--that he even kept guard himself at the prison two nights. A man, he says, who was suspected of being connected with the republican party, though acting like a furious royalist, came into his bed-room one morning, and presenting a pistol at his breast, demanded a list of the prisoners who were to be put to death. Charette made answer that he was not the commander of the town, and had no orders upon the subject to give; and immediately left the town. The biographer has perhaps succeeded in showing that Charette did not command the massacres, but it does not appear that he took any vigorous measures for preventing or checking them. It will be seen that the Vendean chiefs, who were really desirous of saving human life and mitigating the horrors of civil war, succeeded in their noble endeavours, under far more difficult circumstances than those in which Charette was at this time placed; but the national character of the French is so cruel, that humanity, when thus displayed, must always be accounted for an especial virtue in him who possesses it; and that cruelty which is the disgrace and the guilt of the nation must, for that reason, not be imputed to individuals as their own peculiar crime. But to whomsoever the massacres of Machecoul may be ascribed, the consequences were the same. The fact, says M. de Puisaye, 'may have been charged with circumstances more odious, and barbarities which were never committed ; but unhappily the grounds for such exaggerations were but too true. Nantes, which would have opened its gates to Bonchamp, preferred the chance of burying itself under its ruins, in the belief

that it would be surrendered to Charette ; and the people submitted

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VOL. XV. NO, XXIX.

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