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History of the Girondists, Volume I Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution   By: (1790-1869)

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[Illustration: Portrait of Robespierre]

HISTORY

OF

THE GIRONDISTS;

OR

Personal Memoirs of the Patriots

OF

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.

FROM UNPUBLISHED SOURCES.

BY

ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE,

Author of "Travels in the Holy Land," &c.

IN THREE VOLUMES. VOL. I.

TRANSLATED BY H. T. RYDE.

LONDON: HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN. 1856. LONDON PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO. NEW STREET SQUARE

Transcriber's Note: You may notice some inconsistencies in accentation. These have been left as they are in the original.

ADVERTISEMENT.

We have not thought it necessary to preface this recital by any introduction of the preceding epochs of the Revolution.

We have not re produced, with the minute elaboration of an annalist, the numerous parliamentary and military details of all the events of these forty months. Two or three times we have, in order to group men and circumstances in masses, made unimportant anachronisms.

We have written after having scrupulously investigated facts and characters: we do not ask to be credited on our mere word only. Although we have not encumbered our work with notes, quotations, and documentary testimony, we have not made one assertion unauthorised by authentic memoirs, by unpublished manuscripts, by autograph letters, which the families of the most conspicuous persons have confided to our care, or by oral and well confirmed statements gathered from the lips of the last survivors of this great epoch.

If some errors in fact or judgment have, notwithstanding, escaped us, we shall be ready to acknowledge them, and repair them in sequent editions, when the proofs have been transmitted to us. We shall not reply one by one to such denials and contradictions as this book may give rise to; it might be a tedious and unprofitable paper war in the newspapers. But we will make notes of every observation, and reply en masse , by our proofs and tests, after a certain lapse of time. We seek the truth only, and should blush to make our work a calumny of the dead.

As to the title of this book, we have only assumed it, as being unable to find any other which can so well define this recital, which has none of the pretensions of history, and therefore should not affect its gravity. It is an intermediate labour between history and memoirs. Events do not herein occupy so much space as men and ideas. It is full of private details, and details are the physiognomy of characters, and by them they engrave themselves on the imagination.

Great writers have already written the records of this memorable epoch, and others still to follow will write them also. It would be an injustice to compare us with them. They have produced, or will produce, the history of an age. We have produced nothing more than a "study" of a group of men and a few months of the Revolution.

A. L.

Paris, March 1. 1847.

CONTENTS.

BOOK I.

Introduction. Mirabeau. Marries. Enters the National Assembly. His Master Mind. His Death and Character. Glance at the Revolution. The New Idea. Revolution defined. Revolutions the Results of Printing. Bossuet's Warnings. Rousseau. Fénélon. Voltaire. The Philosophers of France. Louis XVI. The King's Ministers. The Queen. Her Conduct and Plans. The National Assembly. Maury. Cazalès. Barnave and the Lameths. Rival Champions. Robespierre. His Personal Appearance. Revolutionary Leaders. State of the Kingdom. Jacobin Club. Effects of the Clubs. Club of the Cordeliers. La Fayette. His Popularity. Characters of the Leaders. What the Revolution might have been 1

BOOK II.

State of the Assembly. Discussions. The Periodical Press. The King and his Brothers. He meditates Escape. Various Plans of Flight. The King's embarrassed Position... Continue reading book >>




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