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eight days at a time, at a pay of fourteen sols per day-this being the first time that pay was proposed. A most important operation was at this tine planned. Lescure, having leisure during his confinement with his wound to think of such things, wrote a complimentary letter to Charette, with whom till then there had been no communication; a correspondence followed, which ended in concerting an attack upon Nantes. Charette was to approach from the left bank; the Grand Army crossed at Saumur, and Stofflet, to induce the peasants to quit their own country, for their ardour was again abating, caused it to be proclaimed, unknown to the other leaders, that all who remained would be reputed cowards. His immediate purpose was answered, but the injudicious means drew away also the greater part of the garrison of Saumur. . Angers was evacuated at their approach, and here the Prince de Talmont, second son of the Duc de la Trémouille, joined the royalists : he was the first of the court-nobility who fought in France, and the only one who was taken arms in hand.
The siege of Nantes is considered by General Turreau as perhaps the most important military event of the Revolution. Perhaps,' he says in French phrase, the destinies of the Republic were attached to the resistance of that town. There is, indeed, great reason to believe that its capture at that time would have been decisive: Bretagne would have risen in arms, and the coast would have been open to England and to the emigrants. General Canclaux commanded there; his history, as given by the Comte de Puisaye, whose most intimate friend he had been before the Revolution, gives a melancholy proof of the effects which revolutions produce upon the hearts and consciences of men. From principle, from feeling, from a sense of religious and political duty, Canclaux was a royalist. Rigid in his own conduct, indulgent toward others, unaffectedly pious, singularly amiable in all the relations of life,as obliging and as beneficent as man could be, he was beloved by all who knew him, and by all who were under his command. Puisaye knew him as the husband of a wife whom he had loved from her childhood, and to whom he was passionately attached ;he knew him also as a widower, and it was his practice to visit her grave, till political events gave him other occupations. The Prince de Conti had been his patron, and he remained in France, only because the prince did not emigrate. He entered the army, having, as the Comte de Puisaye believes, the example of Monk in his mind. He was employed to fight against the truest friends of the monarchy, the bravest, and most devoted royalists; he was surrounded by spies and by executioners; and this man, says his friend, made by his education, by his principles, by his feelings, and by the habits of a long life, to set an example to his fellows of the practice of every virtue; ended in becoming the deplorable instru-, ment of every crime. To such consequences does the man expose himself who deviates from the straight path! The second in command, Beysser, was a fierce Republican, of the most energetic character, who committed, with all the ardour of revolutionary fury, the crimes and cruelties in which Canclaux coldly, reluctantly, and it may perhaps be said, more guiltily participated. Two representatives were in the city, Merlin of Douay and Gilet. Terrified at their danger, they would have abandoned Nantes, but Canclaux declared that he would answer for its safety; and the people, who dreaded Charette, having the example of Machecoul before their eyes, supported him. Miserable state of things ! even those who sincerely wished for the restoration of the monarchy, and the return of that order which allowed every man to pursue his own occupations in peace, fought now in self-defence for a government which they abhorred. Such was the effect of the reputation which Charette's army had acquired for cruelty; a change from which the Grand Army was not altogether exempt, notwithstanding the exertions of Lescure and Roche Jaquelein; for itappears by the Memoirs of the Marchioness, that Marigny never spared a prisoner, and persisted, in spite of all remonstrance, in this inhuman system, from a false notion that such barbarity was politic. Large and ill-defended as Nantes was, it would probably have fallen, but for some of the accidents of war. Among the first causes of the failure of the expedition, the absence of Lescure and Roche Jaquelein must be accounted. The personal exertions of both would have done much, their presence more; for those officers and soldiers had now mostly dispersed who would have followed them. A delay which had not been calculated was another cause. Charette mnade his attack at the hour appointed, and was repulsed before Cathelineau arrived. The Prince de Talmont committed an error in occupying a road which ought to have been left open for the flying republicans ; they were flying when he drove them back, and then taking courage from despair,
they rallied and made head. Lastly, Cathelineau was mortally wounded, and many other chiefs fell. This loss effectually disheartened the peasants,-they crossed the river in boats,-the right bank was abandoned, and the army dispersed. And the people of Nantes saved themselves from the royalists~-to become the victims of Carrier!
Biron meantime had arrived, and taken the command at Niort; from which place he allowed Westermann with his advanced guard to penetrate into the heart of the Bocage. Lescure, whose arm was in a sling, and who had not yet recovered from the fever which his wound occasioned, collected the peasants to oppose him, and took post at Parthenay. The patrole neglected their duty,
and Lescure narrowly escaped being taken in his bed. Roche Jaquelein had not been more fortunate in his ill-chosen station ; he who before Nantes might so probably have led the Vendeans to victory, could not persuade them to remain at their post at Saumur; one after another departed to look after their farms and their oxen; till at length, in spite of every exertion, he had only eight soldiers left. Foreseeing this, he had sent into the Bocage as much artillery and ammunition as he could remove; and leaving Saumur in time, he joined Lescure after his escape from Parthenay, and retired with him to Chatillon, in hopes of rallying the army there. From Par. thenay Westermann advanced to Amaillon, and set fire to the village. This was the commencement of that atrocious system which the republicans from that time unrelentingly pursued. Next he marched upon Clisson; wrote from thence an extravagant despatch to the Convention, boasting that he had at length got to the dwelling of Lescure, that monster vomited from hell, and sent his will and his portrait as trophies. He then burnt the chateau to the ground, and consumed all the stores of provisions which had been collected there. From thence he advanced upon Chatillon, where every exertion had been made to collect a force to resist him: Lescure had even sent his wife into the neighbouring parishes to sound the tecsin and harangue the peasants. It was immediately after the defeat at Nantes; the atrocious system of the Blues had terrified the people: their first thought was to put their wives and children in safety. Scarcely 3000 men could be collected : with these it was intended to cover Chatillon; but they were without hope; at all times they lost their courage when they were to act on the defensive; and now every circumstance tended to dishearten them. Westermann entered Chatillon, and contrary to his usual custom, committed no cruelties there; but he set fire to the neighbouring chateau belonging to Roche Jaquelein, and made the constitutional bishop of St. Maixent perform Te Deum for his successes. The Vendean chiefs were not inactive ;-they collected the wreck of the army from Nantes; and the peasants, recovering from their first astonishment, breathed only the most exasperated hatred against the government which had condemned their country to be laid waste with fire and sword, and the men who were the guilty agents of such enormities. They collected in great force; their movements were as rapid and as bold as those of Westermann himself; and they had the advantage of acting upon their own ground. The jacobine general was not insensible of his danger: he had forced into the army 2000 national guards from St. Maixent and Parthenay, mostly fathers of families, and he had written to Biron to ad. vance with all speed and support him. But Biron remained inactive at Niort, and Westermann allowed himself to be surprised during the night ;-his infantry were cut to pieces the whole of his artillery and ammunition taken--and he himself only escaped with about 300 cavalry by the speed of their horses. A frightful massacre was committed by the conquerors, Marigny leading them on in spite of all D'Elbée's exertions.
Westermann was summoned to Paris, to answer for this defeat; but his hour was not yet come, and the measure of his crimes was not yet full: the party to which he had attached himself were in full power, and to this circumstance he owed his acquittal, not to the unquestionable fact that he had served the government with fidelity. Another attempt was made by the republicans to enter the Bocage from the side of Anjou by the Pont de Cé: the royalists gave them battle ; on both sides great blunders were committed, and the Blues gained an unprofitable victory. Bonchamp, who was just recovered from a former wound, had his elbow shattered; and this in its consequences was of more importance to his party than the loss of the day. Three days after the royalists attacked the enemy near Vibiers, and obtained a most remarkable victory. None of their generals were present; but the Abbé Betnier persuaded the men that they were in the field, and he in great measure directed the movements : they knew that Santerre was with the Blues, and they had the strongest desire to take him prisoner, and chain him in an iron cage, as a punishment for the part which he had borne at the death of the king--he only escaped by making his horse leap a wall six* feet high. Turreau calls this a most frightful defeat: the troops were not rallied till they reached Chinon, fifteen leagues from the scene of action : only 4000 men could be collected three days after the battle ; and some of the fugitives did not think themselves safe till they reached Paris. At this time Cathelineau died of the wounds which he bad received before Nantes ; and D'Elbée, by an intrigue of his own, was chosen to succeed him in command. Bonchamp, who ought to have been appointed, was absent at the time, because of his wound, and Lescure also was ill, and ignorant of what was going on. There were cabals also in the republican army: a wretch named Rossignol, who had been a journeyman goldsmith at Paris, was employed under Biron; he had distinguished himself in the attack of ihe Bastille, and boasted of his share in the September massacrés, holding out his right arm, and saying that it had despatched sixtythree Carmelite priests. Biron arrested this ruffian for his mutinous discourse and for the atrocities which he committed ; but these were the triumphant days of anarchy, and such men were the popular heroes. Biron was accused before the Convention, and the arrest of this brave patriot was one of his crimes. An ex-noble could expect no mercy,-he was delivered over to the revolutionary tribunal, and, on frivolous charges of conspiring against the republic, was condemned to the death which he felt to be his proper punishment for having served it. His words upon the scaffold were I have been false to my God, my order, and my king : 1 die full of faith and repentance. How must this man have envied Lescure and Roche Jaquelein, when he was commanding against them and seeking their destruction! Rossignol was appointed to succeed him. M. Beauchamp calls this monster brave, frank, and disinterested ;-his past history has already been noticed, and his after conduct perfectly corresponded to these hopeful beginnings!
* M. Alphonse de Beauchamp makes the wall ten feet, without appearing to ad. mire tbe leap.
The Brissotines had now paid the earthly penalty of their errors -errors arising from presumption, 'ignorance, irreligion, the shallow philosophy of their age, and the universal corruption of their country. The men for whom they made plain the way, and who brought them to the guillotine, were of a temper to look danger steadily in the face, and go through with the work of blood, in which the others from compunction would have stopped half way. One of their first measures concerning the Vendeans was a direct violation of one of the most sacred compacts between man and man-it was a decree that the prisoners whom the royalists had taken and set at liberty after administering an oath to them not to bear arms again against the king, should be punished if they held themselves bound by that oath. This abominable decree was enacted for the purpose of compelling the royalists to give no quarter, that the republicans might with more vengeance pursue the system of extermination which was now resolved on. The garrisons of Valenciennes and Mentz had surrendered on condition of not bearing arms against the allies ;-by a grievous oversight the allies did not stipulate that they were not to act against the royalists in France—men who assuredly ought to have been regarded as an integral and most important part of the alliance. The French government, no doubt, would have disregarded such a stipulation, if they could have gained any thing by so doing; but it is possible that the troops themselves might have refused to act in breach of their pledged honour ;--for among these troops were some of the best as well as the worst of the French officers; and honour had not yet been extinguished in the army: that object was left for Bonaparte to effect. The project of a decree for destroying La Vendée and exterminating the people, was proposed to the Convention by the Committee of Public Safety, through their mouthpiece Barrère. The Committee,' said he, has proposed mea