The exterior prosperity of the revolution chiefly contributed to the fall of the dictatorial government and of the Jacobin party. The increasing victories of the republic to which they had very greatly contributed by their vigorous measures, and by their enthusiasm, rendered their power superfluous. The committee of public safety, by crushing with its strong and formidable hand the interior of France, had developed resources, organized armies, found generals and guided them to victories which ultimately secured the triumph of the revolution in the face of Europe. A prosperous position no longer required the same efforts; its mission was accomplished, the peculiar province of such a dictatorship being to save a country and a cause, and to perish by the very safety it has secured. Internal events have prevented our rapidly describing the impulse which the committee of public safety gave to the armies after the 31st of May, and the results which it obtained from it.

The levy en masse that took place in the summer of 1793, formed the troops of the Mountain. The leaders of that party soon selected from the secondary ranks generals belonging to the Mountain to replace the Girondist generals. Those generals were Jourdan, Pichegru, Hoche, Moreau, Westermann, Dugommier, Marceau, Joubert, Kleber, etc. Carnot, by his admission to the committee of public safety, became minister of war and commander-in-chief of all the republican armies. Instead of scattered bodies, acting without concert upon isolated points, he proceeded with strong masses, concentrated on one object. He commenced the practice of a great plan of warfare, which he tried with decided success at Watignies, in his capacity of commissioner of the convention. This important victory, at which he assisted in person, drove the allied generals, Clairfait and the prince of Coburg, behind the Sambre, and raised the siege of Maubeuge. During the winter of 1793 and 1794 the two armies continued in presence of each other without undertaking anything.

At the opening of the campaign, they each conceived a plan of invasion. The Austrian army advanced upon the towns on the Somme, Peronne, Saint- Quentin, Arras, and threatened Paris, while the French army again projected the conquest of Belgium. The plan of the committee of public safety was combined in a very different way to the vague design of the coalition. Pichegru, at the head of fifty thousand men of the army of the north, entered Flanders, resting on the sea and the Scheldt. On his right, Moreau advanced with twenty thousand men upon Menin and Courtrai. General Souham, with thirty thousand men, remained under Lille, to sustain the extreme right of the invading army against the Austrians; while Jourdan, with the army of the Moselle, directed his course towards Charleroi by Arlon and Dinan, to join the army of the north.

The Austrians, attacked in Flanders, and threatened with a surprise in the rear by Jourdan, soon abandoned their positions on the Somme. Clairfait and the duke of York allowed themselves to be beaten at Courtrai and Hooglede by the army of Pichegru; Coburg at Fleurus by that of Jourdan, who had just taken Charleroi. The two victorious generals rapidly completed the invasion of the Netherlands. The Anglo-Dutch army fell back on Antwerp, and from thence upon Breda, and from Breda to Bois-le-Duc, receiving continual checks. It crossed the Waal, and fell back upon Holland. The Austrians endeavoured with the same want of success, to cover Brussels and Maestricht: they were pursued and beaten by the army of Jourdan, which since its union had taken the name of the army of the Sambre et Meuse, and which did not leave them behind the Roer, as Dumouriez had done, but drove them beyond the Rhine. Jourdan made himself master of Cologne and Bonn, and communicated by his left with the right of the army of the Moselle, which had advanced into the country of Luxembourg, and which, conjointly with him, occupied Coblentz. A general and concerted movement of all the French armies had taken place, all of them marching towards the Rhenish frontier. At the time of the defeats, the lines of Weissenburg had been forced. The committee of public safety employed in the army of the Rhine the expeditious measures peculiar to its policy. The commissioners, Saint-Just and Lebas, gave the chief command to Hoche, made terror and victory the order of the day; and generals Brunswick and Wurmser were very soon driven from Haguenau on the lines of the Lauter, and not being able even to maintain that position, passed the Rhine at Philipsburg. Spire and Worms were retaken. The republican troops, everywhere victorious, occupied Belgium, that part of Holland situated on the left of the Meuse, and all the towns on the Rhine, except Mayence and Mannheim, which were closely beset.

The army of the Alps did not make much progress in this campaign. It tried to invade Piedmont, but failed. On the Spanish frontier, the war had commenced under ill auspices: the two armies of the eastern and western Pyrenees, few in number and badly disciplined, were constantly beaten; one had retired under Perpignan, the other under Bayonne. The committee of public safety turned its attention and efforts but tardily on this point, which was not the most dangerous for it. But as soon as it had introduced its system, generals, and organization into the two armies, the appearance of things changed. Dugommier, after repeated successes, drove the Spaniards from the French territory, and entered the peninsula by Catalonia. Moncey also invaded it by the valley of Bastan, the other opening of the Pyrenees, and became master of San Sebastian and Fontarabia. The coalition was everywhere conquered, and some of the confederated powers began to repent of their over-confident adhesion.

In the meantime, news of the revolution of the 9th Thermidor reached the armies. They were entirely republican, and they feared that Robespierre's fall would lead to that of the popular government; and they, accordingly, received this intelligence with marked disapprobation; but, as the armies were submissive to the civil authority, none of them rebelled. The insurrections of the army only took place from the 14th of July to the 31st of May; because, being the refuge of the conquered parties, their leaders had at every crisis the advantage of political precedence, and contended with all the ardour of compromised factions. Under the committee of public safety, on the contrary, the most renowned generals had no political influence, and were subject to the terrible discipline of parties. While occasionally thwarting the generals, the convention had no difficulty in keeping the armies in obedience.

A short time afterwards the movement of invasion was prolonged in Holland and in the Spanish peninsula. The United Provinces were attacked in the middle of winter, and on several sides, by Pichegru, who summoned the Dutch patriots to liberty. The party opposed to the stadtholderate seconded the victorious efforts of the French army, and the revolution and conquest took place simultaneously at Leyden, Amsterdam, the Hague, and Utrecht. The stadtholder took refuge in England, his authority was abolished, and the assembly of the states-general proclaimed the sovereignty of the people, and constituted the Dutch Republic, which formed a close alliance with France, to which it ceded, by the treaty of Paris, of the 16th of May, 1795, Dutch Flanders, Maestricht, Venloo, and their dependencies. The navigation of the Rhine, the Scheldt, and the Meuse was left free to both nations. Holland, by its wealth, powerfully contributed towards the continuance of the war against the coalition. This important conquest at the same time deprived the English of a powerful support, and compelled Prussia, threatened on the Rhine and by Holland, to conclude, at Basle, with the French Republic, a peace, for which its reverses and the affairs of Poland had long rendered it disposed. A peace was also made at Basle, on the 10th of July, with Spain, alarmed by our progress on its territory. Figuieres and the fortress of Rosas had been taken; and Perignon was advancing into Catalonia; while Moncey, after becoming master of Villa Real, Bilbao, and Vittoria, marched against the Spaniards who had retired to the frontiers of Old Castile. The cabinet of Madrid demanded peace. It recognised the French Republic, which restored its conquests, and which received in exchange the portion of San Domingo possessed by Spain. The two disciplined armies of the Pyrenees joined the army of the Alps, which by this means soon overran Piedmont, and entered Italy - Tuscany only having made peace with the republic on the 9th of February, 1795.

These partial pacifications and the reverses of the allied troops gave another direction to the efforts of England and the emigrant party. The time had arrived for making the interior of France the fulcrum of the counter-revolutionary movement. In 1791, when unanimity existed in France, the royalists placed all their hopes in foreign powers; now, dissensions at home and the defeat of their allies in Europe left them no resource but in conspiracies. Unsuccessful attempts, as we have seen, never make vanquished parties despair: victory alone wearies and enervates, and sooner or later restores the dominion of those who wait.

The events of Prairial and the defeat of the Jacobin party, had decided the counter-revolutionary movement. At this period, the reaction, hitherto conducted by moderate republicans, became generally royalist. The partisans of monarchy were still as divided as they had been from the opening of the states-general to the 10th of August. In the interior, the old constitutionalists, who had their sittings in the sections, and who consisted of the wealthy middle classes, had not the same views of monarchy with the absolute royalists. They still felt the rivalry and opposition of interest, natural to the middle against the privileged classes. The absolute royalists themselves did not agree; the party beaten in the interior had little sympathy with that enrolled among the armies of Europe; but besides the divisions between the emigrants and Vendeans, dissensions had arisen among the emigrants from the date of their departure from France. Meantime, all these royalists of different opinions, not having yet to contend for the reward of victory, came to an agreement to attack the convention in common. The emigrants and the priests, who for some months past had returned in great numbers, took the banner of the sections, quite certain, if they carried the day by means of the middle class, to establish their own government; for they had a leader, and a definite object, which the sectionaries had not.

This reaction, of a new character, was restrained for some time in Paris, where the convention, a strong and neutral power, wished to prevent the violence and usurpation of both parties. While overthrowing the sway of the Jacobins, it suppressed the vengeance of the royalists. Then it was that the greater part of la troupe doree deserted its cause, that the leaders of the sections prepared the bourgeoisie to oppose the assembly, and that the confederation of the Journalists succeeded that of the Jacobins. La Harpe, Richer-de-Serizy, Poncelin, Troncon-du-Coudray, Marchena, etc., became the organs of this new opinion, and were the literary clubists. The active but irregular troops of this party assembled at the Theatre Feydeau. the Boulevard des Italiens, and the Palais Royal, and began the chase of the Jacobins, while they sang the Reveil du Peuple. The word of proscription, at that time, was Terrorist, in virtue of which an honest man might with good conscience attack a revolutionist. The Terrorist class was extended at the will or the passions of the new reactionaries, who wore their hair a la victime, and who, no longer fearing to avow their intentions, for some time past had adopted the Chouan uniform - a grey turned-back coat with a green or black collar.

But this reaction was much more ardent in the departments where there was no authority to interpose in the prevention of bloodshed. Here there were only two parties, that which had dominated and that which had suffered under the Mountain. The intermediate class was alternately governed by the royalists and by the democrats. The latter, foreseeing the terrible reprisals to which they would be subject if they fell, held out as long as they could; but their defeat at Paris led to their downfall in the departments. Party executions then took place, similar to those of the proconsuls of the committee of public safety. The south was, more especially, a prey to wholesale massacres and acts of personal vengeance. Societies, called Compagnies de Jesus and Compagnies du Soleil, which were of royalists origin, were organized, and executed terrible reprisals. At Lyons, Aix, Tarascon, and Marseilles, they slew in the prisons those who had taken part in the preceding regime. Nearly all the south had its 2nd of September. At Lyons, after the first revolutionary massacres, the members of the compagnie hunted out those who had not been taken; and when they met one, without any other form than the exclamation, "There's a Matavon," (the name given to them), they slew and threw him into the Rhone. At Tarascon, they threw them from the top of the tower on a rock on the bank of the Rhone. During this new reign of terror, and this general defeat of the revolutionists, England and the emigrants attempted the daring enterprise of Quiberon.

The Vendeans were exhausted by their repeated defeats, but they were not wholly reduced. Their losses, however, and the divisions between their principal leaders, Charette and Stofflet, rendered them an extremely feeble succour. Charette had even consented to treat with the republic, and a sort of pacification had been concluded between him and the convention at Jusnay. The marquis de Puisaye, an enterprising man, but volatile and more capable of intrigue than of vigorous party conceptions, intended to replace the almost expiring insurrection of La Vendee by that of Brittany. Since the enterprise of Wimpfen, in which Puisaye had a command, there already existed, in Calvados and Morbihan, bands of Chouans, composed of the remains of parties, adventurers, men without employment, and daring smugglers, who made expeditions, but were unable to keep the field, like the Vendeans. Puisaye had recourse to England to extend the Chouanerie, leading it to hope for a general rising in Brittany, and from thence in the rest of France, if it would land the nucleus of an army, with ammunition and guns.

The ministry of Great Britain, deceived as to the coalition, desired nothing better than to expose the republic to fresh perils, while it sought to revive the courage of Europe. It confided in Puisaye, and in the spring of 1795 prepared an expedition, in which the most energetic emigrants took a share, nearly all the officers of the former navy, and all who, weary of the part of exiles and of the distresses of a life of wandering, wished to try their fortunes for the last time.

The English fleet landed, on the peninsula of Quiberon, fifteen hundred emigrants, six thousand republican prisoners who had embraced the cause of the emigrants to return to France, sixty thousand muskets, and the full equipment for an army of forty thousand men. Fifteen hundred Chouans joined the army on its landing, but it was soon attacked by General Hoche. His attack proved successful; the republican prisoners who were in the ranks deserted, and it was defeated after a most energetic resistance. In the mortal warfare between the emigrants and the republic, the vanquished, being considered as outlaws, were mercilessly massacred. Their loss inflicted a deep and incurable wound on the emigrant party.

The hopes founded on the victories of Europe, on the progress of insurrection and the attempt of the emigrants, being thus overthrown, recourse was had to the discontented sections. It was hoped to make a counter-revolution by means of the new constitution decreed by the convention on the 22nd of August, 1795. This constitution was, indeed, the work of the moderate republican party; but as it restored the ascendancy of the middle class, the royalist leaders thought that by it they might easily enter the legislative body and the government.

This constitution was the best, the wisest, and most liberal, and the most provident that had as yet been established or projected; it contained the result of six years' revolutionary and legislative experience. At this period, the convention felt the necessity of organizing power, and of rendering the people settled, while the first assembly, from its position, only felt the necessity of weakening royalty and agitating the nation. All had been exhausted, from the throne to the people; existence now depended on reconstructing and restoring order, at the same time keeping the nation in great activity. The new constitution accomplished this. It differed but little from that of 1791, with respect to the exercise of sovereignty; but greatly in everything relative to government. It confided the legislative power to two councils; that of theCinq-cents and that of the Anciens; and the executive power to a directory of five members. It restored the two degrees of elections destined to retard the popular movement, and to lead to a more enlightened choice than immediate elections. The wise but moderate qualifications with respect to property, required in the members of the primary assemblies and the electoral assemblies, again conferred political importance on the middle class, to which it became imperatively necessary to recur after the dismissal of the multitude and the abandonment of the constitution of '93.

In order to prevent the despotism or the servility of a single assembly, it was necessary to place somewhere a power to check or defend it. The division of the legislative body into two councils, which had the same origin, the same duration, and only differed in functions, attained the twofold object of not alarming the people by an aristocratic institution, and of contributing to the formation of a good government. The Council of Five Hundred, whose members were required to be thirty years old, was alone entrusted with the initiative and the discussion of laws. The Council of Ancients, composed of two hundred and fifty members, who had completed their fortieth year, was charged with adopting or rejecting them.

In order to avoid precipitation in legislative measures, and to prevent a compulsory sanction from the Council of Ancients in a moment of popular excitement, they could not come to a decision until after three readings, at a distance of five days at least from each other. In urgent cases this formality was dispensed with; and the council had the right of determining such urgency. This council acted sometimes as a legislative power, when it did not thoroughly approve a measure, and made use of the form "Le Conseil des Anciens ne peut pas adopter," and sometimes as a conservative power, when it only considered a measure in its legal bearing, and said "La Constitution annule." For the first time, partial re-elections were adopted, and the renewing of half of the council every two years was fixed, in order to avoid that rush of legislators who came with an immoderate desire for innovation, and suddenly changed the spirit of an assembly.

The executive power was distinct from the councils, and no longer existed in the committees. Monarchy was still too much feared to admit of a president of the republic being named. They, therefore, confined themselves to the creation of a directory of five members, nominated by the council of ancients, at the recommendation of that of the Five Hundred. The directors might be brought to trial by the councils, but could not be dismissed by them. They were entrusted with a general and independent power of execution, but it was wished also to prevent their abusing it, and especially to guard against the danger of a long habit of authority leading to usurpation. They had the management of the armed force and of the finances; the nomination of functionaries, the conduct of negotiations, but they could do nothing of themselves; they had ministers and generals, for whose conduct they were responsible. Each member was president for three months, holding the seals and affixing his signature. Every year, one of the members was to go out. It will be seen by this account that the functions of royalty as they were in 1791, were shared by the council of ancients, who had the veto, and the directory, which held the executive power. The directory had a guard, a national palace, the Luxembourg, for a residence, and a kind of civil list. The council of the ancients, destined to check the encroachments of the legislative power, was invested with the means of restraining the usurpations of the directory; it could change the residence of the councils and of the government.

The foresight of this constitution was infinite: it prevented popular violence, the encroachments of power, and provided for all the perils which the different crises of the revolution had displayed. If any constitution could have become firmly established at that period, it was the directorial constitution. It restored authority, granted liberty, and offered the different parties an opportunity of peace, if each, sincerely renouncing exclusive dominion, and satisfied with the common right, would have taken its proper place in the state. But it did not last longer than the others, because it could not establish legal order in spite of parties. Each of them aspired to the government, in order to make its system and its interests prevail, and instead of the reign of law, it was still necessary to relapse into that of force, and of coups-d'etat. When parties do not wish to terminate a revolution - and those who do not dominate never wish to terminate it - a constitution, however excellent it may be, cannot accomplish it.

The members of the Commission of Eleven, who, previously to the events of Prairial, had no other mission than to prepare the organic laws of the constitution of '93, and who, after those events, made the constitution of the year III., were at the head of the conventional party. This party neither belonged to the old Gironde nor to the old Mountain. Neutral up to the 31st of May, subject till the 9th Thermidor, it had been in the possession of power since that period, because the twofold defeat of the Girondists and the Mountain had left it the strongest. The men of the extreme sides, who had begun the fusion of parties, joined it. Merlin de Douai represented the party of that mass which had yielded to circumstances, Thibaudeau, the party that continued inactive, and Daunou, the courageous party. The latter had declared himself opposed to all coups-d'etat, ever since the opening of the assembly, both the 21st of January, and to the 31st of May, because he wished for the regime of the convention, without party violence and measures. After the 9th Thermidor, he blamed the fury displayed towards the chiefs of the revolutionary government, whose victim he had been, as one of the seventy-three. He had obtained great ascendancy, as men gradually approached towards a legal system. His enlightened attachment to the revolution, his noble independence, the solidity and extent of his ideas, and his imperturbable fortitude, rendered him one of the most influential actors of this period. He was the chief author of the constitution of the year III., and the convention deputed him, with some others of its members, to undertake the defence of the republic, during the crisis of Vendemiaire.

The reaction gradually increased; it was indirectly favoured by the members of the Right, who, since the opening of that assembly, had only been incidentally republican. They were not prepared to repel the attacks of the royalists with the same energy as that of the revolutionists. Among this number were Boissy d'Anglas, Lanjuinais, Henri La Riviere, Saladin, Aubry, etc.; they formed in the assembly the nucleus of the sectionary party. Old and ardent members of the Mountain, such as Rovere, Bourdon de l'Oise, etc., carried away by the counter-revolutionary movement, suffered the reaction to be prolonged, doubtless in order to make their peace with those whom they had so violently combated.

But the conventional party, reassured with respect to the democrats, set itself to prevent the triumph of the royalists. It felt that the safety of the republic depended on the formation of the councils, and that the councils being elected by the middle class, which was directed by royalists, would be composed on counter-revolutionary principles. It was important to entrust the guardianship of the regime they were about to establish to those who had an interest in defending it. In order to avoid the error of the constituent assembly, which had excluded itself from the legislature that succeeded it, the convention decided by a decree, that two-thirds of its members should be re-elected. By this means it secured the majority of the councils and the nomination of the directory; it could accompany its constitution into the state, and consolidate it without violence. This re-election of two-thirds was not exactly legal, but it was politic, and the only means of saving France from the rule of the democrats or counter-revolutionists. The convention granted itself a moderate dictatorship, by the decrees of the 5th and 13th Fructidor (22nd and 30th of August, 1795), one of which established the re-election, and the other fixed the manner of it. But these two exceptional decrees were submitted to the ratification of the primary assemblies, at the same time as the constitutional act.

The royalist party was taken by surprise by the decrees of Fructidor. It hoped to form part of the government by the councils, of the councils by elections, and to effect a change of system when once in power. It inveighed against the convention. The royalist committee of Paris, whose agent was an obscure man, named Lemaitre, the journalists, and the leaders of the sections coalesced. They had no difficulty in securing the support of public opinion, of which they were the only organs; they accused the convention of perpetuating its power, and of assailing the sovereignty of the people. The chief advocates of the two-thirds, Louvet, Daunou, and Chenier, were not spared, and every preparation was made for a grand movement. The Faubourg Saint Germain, lately almost deserted, gradually filled; emigrants flocked in, and the conspirators, scarcely concealing their plans, adopted the Chouan uniform.

The convention, perceiving the storm increase, sought support in the army, which, at that time, was the republican class, and a camp was formed at Paris. The people had been disbanded, and the royalists had secured the bourgeoisie. In the meantime, the primary assemblies met on the 20th Fructidor, to deliberate on the constitutional act, and the decrees of the two-thirds, which were to be accepted or rejected together. The Lepelletier section (formerly Filles Saint Thomas) was the centre of all the others. On a motion made by that section, it was decided that the power of all constituent authority ceased in the presence of the assembled people. The Lepelletier section, directed by Richer-Serizy, La Harpe, Lacretelle junior, Vaublanc, etc., turned its attention to the organization of the insurrectional government, under the name of the central committee. This committee was to replace in Vendemiaire, against the convention, the committee of the 10th of August against the throne, and of the 31st of May against the Girondists. The majority of the sections adopted this measure, which was annulled by the convention, whose decree was in its turn rejected by the majority of the sections. The struggle now became open; and in Paris they separated the constitutional act, which was adopted, from the decrees of re-election, which were rejected.

On the 1st Vendemiaire, the convention proclaimed the acceptance of the decrees by the greater number of the primary assemblies of France. The sections assembled again to nominate the electors who were to choose the members of the legislature. On the 10th they determined that the electors should assemble in the Theatre Francais (it was then on the other side of the bridges); that they should be accompanied there by the armed force of the sections, after having sworn to defend them till death. On the 11th, accordingly, the electors assembled under the presidency of the duc de Nivernois, and the guard of some detachments of chasseurs and grenadiers.

The convention, apprised of the danger, sat permanently, stationed round its place of sitting the troops of the camp of Sablons, and concentrated its powers in a committee of five members, who were entrusted with all measures of public safety. These members were Colombel, Barras, Daunou, Letourneur, and Merlin de Douai. For some time the revolutionists had ceased to be feared, and all had been liberated who had been imprisoned for the events of Prairial. They enrolled, under the name of Battalion of Patriots of '89, about fifteen or eighteen hundred of them, who had been proceeded against, in the departments or in Paris, by the friends of the reaction. In the evening of the 11th, the convention sent to dissolve the assembly of electors by force, but they had already adjourned to the following day.

During the night of the 11th, the decree which dissolved the college of electors, and which armed the battalion of patriots of '89, caused the greatest agitation. Drums beat to arms; the Lepelletier section declaimed against the despotism of the convention, against the return of the Reign of Terror, and during the whole of the 12th prepared the other sections for the contest. In the evening, the convention, scarcely less agitated, decided on taking the initiative, by surrounding the conspiring section, and terminating the crisis by disarming it. Menou, general of the interior, and Laporte the representative, were entrusted with this mission. The convent of the Filles Saint Thomas was the headquarters of the sectionaries, before which they had seven or eight hundred men in battle array. These were surrounded by superior forces, from the Boulevards on each side, and the Rue Vivienne opposite. Instead of disarming them, the leaders of the expedition began to parley. Both parties agreed to withdraw; but the conventional troops had no sooner retired than the sectionaries returned reinforced. This was a complete victory for them, which being exaggerated in Paris, as such things always are, increased their number, and gave them courage to attack the convention the next day.

About eleven at night the convention learned the issue of the expedition and the dangerous effect which it had produced; it immediately dismissed Menou, and gave the command of the armed force to Barras, the general in command on the 9th Thermidor. Barras asked the committee of five to appoint as his second in command, a young officer who had distinguished himself at the siege of Toulon, but had been dismissed by Aubry of the reaction party; a young man of talent and resolution, calculated to do good service to the republic in a moment of peril. This young officer was Bonaparte. He appeared before the committee, but there was nothing in his appearance that announced his astonishing destiny. Not a man of party, summoned for the first time to this great scene of action, his demeanour exhibited a timidity and a want of assurance, which disappeared entirely in the preparations for battle, and in the heat of action. He immediately sent for the artillery of the camp of Sablons, and disposed them, with the five thousand men of the conventional army, on all the points from which the convention could be assailed. At noon on the 13th Vendemiaire, the enclosure of the convention had the appearance of a fortified place, which could only be taken by assault. The line of defence extended, on the left side of the Tuileries along the river, from the Pont Neuf to the Pont Louis XV.; on the right, in all the small streets opening on the Rue Saint Honore, from the Rues de Rohan, de l'Echelle and the Cul-de-sac Dauphin, to the Place de la Revolution. In front, the Louvre, the Jardin de l'Infante, and the Carrousel were planted with cannon; and behind, the Pont Tournant and the Place de la Revolution formed a park of reserve. In this position the convention awaited the insurgents.

The latter soon encompassed it on several points. They had about forty thousand men under arms, commanded by generals Danican, Duhoux, and the ex-garde-du-corps Lafond. The thirty-two sections which formed the majority, had supplied their military contingent. Of the other sixteen, several sections of the faubourgs had their troops in the battalion of '89. A few, those of the Quinze-vingts and Montreuil, sent assistance during the action; others, though favourably disposed, as that of Popincourt, could not do so; and lastly, others remained neutral, like that of L'Indivisibilite. From two to three o'clock, general Carteaux, who occupied the Pont Neuf with four hundred men and two four-pounders, was surrounded by several columns of sectionaries, who obliged him to retire on the Louvre. This advantage emboldened the insurgents, who were strong on all points. General Danican summoned the convention to withdraw its troops, and disarm the terrorists. The officer entrusted with the summons was led into the assembly blindfold, and his message occasioned some agitation, several members declaring in favour of conciliatory measures. Boissy d'Anglas advised a conference with Danican; Gamon proposed a proclamation in which they should call upon the citizens to retire, promising then to disarm the battalion of '89. This address excited violent murmurs. Chenier rushed to the tribune. "I am surprised," said he, "that the demands of sections in a state of revolt should be discussed here. Negotiation must not be heard of; there is only victory or death for the national convention." Lanjuinais wished to support the address, by dwelling on the danger and misery of civil war; but the convention would not hear him, and on the motion of Fermond, passed to the order of the day. The debates respecting measures of peace or war with the sections were continued for some time, when, about half-past four several discharges of musketry were heard, which put an end to all discussion. Seven hundred guns were brought in, and the convention took arms as a body of reserve.

The conflict had now commenced in the Rue Saint Honore, of which the insurgents were masters. The first shots were fired from the Hotel de Noailles, and a murderous fire extended the whole length of this line. A few moments after, on the other side, two columns of sectionaries, about four thousand strong, commanded by the count de Maulevrier, advanced by the quays, and attacked the Pont Royal. The action then became general, but it could not last long; the place was too well defended to be taken by assault. After an hour's fighting, the sectionaries were driven from Saint Roch and Rue Saint Honore, by the cannon of the convention and the battalion of patriots. The column of the Pont Royal received three discharges of artillery in front and on the side, from the bridge and the quays, which put it entirely to flight. At seven o'clock the conventional troops, victorious on all sides, took the offensive; by nine o'clock they had dislodged the sectionaries from the Theatre de la Republique and the posts they still occupied in the neighbourhood of the Palais Royal. They prepared to make barricades during the night, and several volleys were fired in the Rue de la Loi (Richelieu), to prevent the works. The next day, the 14th, the troops of the convention disarmed the Lepelletier section, and compelled the others to return to order.

The assembly, which had only fought in its own defence, displayed much moderation. The 13th Vendemiaire was the 10th of August of the royalists against the republic, except that the convention resisted the bourgeoisie much better than the throne resisted the faubourgs. The position of France contributed very much to this victory. Men now wished for a republic without a revolutionary government, a moderate regime without a counter- revolution. The convention, which was a mediatory power, pronounced alike against the exclusive domination of the lower class, which it had thrown off in Prairial, and the reactionary domination of the bourgeoisie, which it repelled in Vendemiaire, seemed alone capable of satisfying this twofold want, and of putting an end to the state of warfare between the two parties, which was prolonged by their alternate entrance into the government. This situation, as well as its own dangers, gave it courage to resist, and secured its triumph. The sections could not take it by surprise, and still less by assault.

After the events of Vendemiaire, the convention occupied itself with forming the councils and the directory. The third part, freely elected, had been favourable to reaction. A few conventionalists, headed by Tallien, proposed to annul the elections of this third, and wished to suspend, for a longer time, the conventional government. Thibaudeau exposed their design with much courage and eloquence. The whole conventional party adopted his opinion. It rejected all superfluous arbitrary sway, and showed itself impatient to leave the provisional state it had been in for the last three years. The convention established itself as a national electoral assembly, in order to complete the two-thirds from among its members. It then formed the councils; that of the Ancients of two hundred and fifty members, who according to the new law had completed forty years; that of The Five Hundred from among the others. The councils met in the Tuileries. They then proceeded to form the government.

The attack of Vendemiaire was quite recent; and the republican party, especially dreading the counter-revolution, agreed to choose the directors only, from the conventionalists, and further from among those of them who had voted for the death of the king. Some of the most influential members, among whom was Daunou, opposed this view, which restricted the choice, and continued to give the government a dictatorial and revolutionary character; but it prevailed. The conventionalists thus elected were La Reveillere-Lepaux, invested with general confidence on account of his courageous conduct on the 31st of May, for his probity and his moderation; Sieyes, the man who of all others enjoyed the greatest celebrity of the day; Rewbell, possessed of great administrative activity; Letourneur, one of the members of the commission of five during the last crisis; and Barras, chosen for his two pieces of good fortune of Thermidor and Vendemiaire. Sieyes, who had refused to take part in the legislative commission of the eleven, also refused to enter upon the directory. It is difficult to say whether this reluctance arose from calculation or an insurmountable antipathy for Rewbell. He was replaced by Carnot, the only member of the former committee whom they were disposed to favour, on account of his political purity, and his great share in the victories of the republic. Such was the first composition of the directory. On the 4th Brumaire, the convention passed a law of amnesty, in order to enter on legal government; changed the name of the Place de la Revolution into Place de la Concorde, and declared its session closed.

The convention lasted three years, from the 21st of September, 1792, to October 26, 1795 (4th Brumaire, year IV.). It took several directions. During the six first months of its existence it was drawn into the struggle which arose between the legal party of the Gironde, and the revolutionary party of the Mountain. The latter had the lead from the 31st of May, 1793, to the 9th Thermidor, year II. (26th July, 1794). The convention then obeyed the committee of public safety, which first destroyed its old allies of the commune and of the Mountain, and afterwards perished through its own divisions. From the 9th Thermidor to the month of Brumaire, year IV., the convention conquered the revolutionary and royalist parties, and sought to establish a moderate republic in opposition to both.

During this long and terrible period, the violence of the situation changed the revolution into a war, and the assembly into a field of battle. Each party wished to establish its sway by victory, and to secure it by founding its system. The Girondist party made the attempt, and perished; the Mountain made the attempt, and perished; the party of the commune made the attempt, and perished; Robespierre's party made the attempt, and perished. They could only conquer, they were unable to found a system. The property of such a storm was to overthrow everything that attempted to become settled. All was provisional; dominion, men, parties, and systems, because the only thing real and possible was - war. A year was necessary to enable the conventional party, on its return to power, to restore the revolution to a legal position; and it could only accomplish this by two victories - that of Prairial and that of Vendemiaire. But the convention having then returned to the point whence it started, and having discharged its true mission, which was to establish the republic after having defended it, disappeared from the theatre of the world which it had filled with surprise. A revolutionary power, it ceased as soon as legal order recommenced. Three years of dictatorship had been lost to liberty but not to the revolution.