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tion of slavery, becomes an economical question upon which the Government must decide.

The plan advocated by the Duke de Broglie in his Report is an amalgamation of three projects. According to the first of these, broached by M. Passy, all new-born children were to be declared free. According to the second, the slave would be bound to purchase his own freedom with his earnings, which the state was to regulate. The third project substituted the state for the slave-owner, who was to be indemnified; the slave was to be hired to the planters by government for a certain period, and then to be emancipated. The commission over which the Duke presided reported also on the English plan of emancipation with a period of apprenticeship, to which the last-named French project most nearly approaches.

In all these projects, as in the Report itself, we see no allusion to one result of the emancipation of our colonies which is of the highest importance,-namely, that the economical calculations relating to the employment of slaves can only be forced upon the planter by emancipation itself. As long as he has the choice even between pecuniary advantages and the indulgence of inveterate habits, he will not reason. Deprive him of the alternative, and you enlist him in aid of sound calculation. The first step is therefore to destroy the bond by which he is now tied to slavery; for this alone the intervention of the legislature is required. The planter will be the first to find the means of protecting himself from loss, and we know that he has those means at command. Whatever theoretical objections may therefore be raised against the plan of the Duke de Broglie, and whatever practical difficulties may present themselves at the outset of its adoption, it would have been the first step towards proclaiming the end of slavery in the French colonies. In the two years that have elapsed since it was published, much progress would have been made in teaching the colonists that a prolonged state of transition was not advantageous to their interests. They would doubtless in this interval have found some friendly peer to suggest a sudden termination of their sufferings. We are almost inclined to suspect that the present enactments for ameliorating the condition of the negroes in the French colonies are intended to prepare the planters for acceding more readily to the

demands of humanity. M. Schoelcher's work has the merit of furnishing a mass of convincing evidence bearing upon the economical side of the question, and proving that the planter is no gainer by substituting human arms for more effective untiring machinery. How long France will continue to regard the privilege of abusing so valuable a portion of her industrial resources as her colonies, in the light of a prescriptive right,how long the waste of capital and deterioration in efficiency of labour, inseparable from slavery, will be tolerated,—how long creoles will be protected in the exercise of tyrannical functions which no citizen dares to assume in France,-it is impossible to predict. Even with freedom of labour, we have, after much waste of time and experience, been brought to see that competition alone will spur men to exertion and to economy. An earlier insight into the efficacy of this remedy would have been of great use to us, and France may profit by our example. The measure now proposed for reducing our differential duties on sugar, if adopted some years back, would have probably saved us the whole indemnity. A similar recognition of the efficacy of competition in trade on the part of France, and we may add of Russia, would instantaneously confer on the governments of those two countries the power of imposing their own terms on the slave-owners. One thing should at all events be borne in mind: the negro is now placed under the shelter of public opinion in the eastern hemisphere. The opprobrium of slavery must be first cast off, before any country can seek the respect or the admiration of the other nations of Europe.



1. Choix de Rapports, Opinions et Discours Prononcés à la Tribune Nationale depuis 1789 jusqu'à nos jours; recueillis dans un ordre chronologique et historique. Tom. 1-14. Paris: Alexis Eymery, 1818-1820. 2. Histoire Parlementaire de la Révolution Française, ou Journal des Assemblées Nationales, depuis 1789 jusqu'en 1815. Par P. J. B. BUCHEZ et P. C. Roux. Tom. 1-36. Paris: Paulin, 1834-1838.

3. Papiers Inédits trouvés chez Robespierre, Saint-Just, Payan, etc., supprimés ou omis par Courtois; précédés du Rapport de ce Député à la Convention Nationale. Tom. 1, 2, 3. 8vo. Paris: Baudouin Frères, 1828.

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4. Lord Brougham's Historical Sketches of Statesmen,'—article Robespierre.' Third Series. London: C. Knight and Co. 1843.

EXACTLY half a century has elapsed since the individual who bore the name of Maximilien Robespierre*, commenced that dark journey on which he had sent so many. The time is probably not yet arrived for forming a completely correct estimate of him, and of many others who were actors in the same great drama. The subject is one beset with great and peculiar difficulties; for if Robespierre, instead of his half-century, had "outlived his century," it could hardly be said of him, as of the great poet to whom Johnson applied the words, that "the effects of favour and competition were at an end," that "the tradition of his friendships and his enmities had perished." Even in the case of politicians in ordinary times, to baffled rivals, disappointed suitors, unsatisfied claimants, delinquents justly punished and unprosperous men of all kinds and degrees, there naturally belong feelings of disappointment, hatred and revenge, so strong that their poison circulates through the veins of successive generations. But, as a politician, Robespierre was far more than ordinarily successful, in times anything but ordinary. A man who wielded a political power so

*His name at full was François Maximilien Joseph Isidore Robespierre. He was entered at college and elected to the States-General as de Robespierre. But when the de fell into bad repute, he dropped it.

much superior to that attained by average politicians, could hardly escape from his share of hostile feeling, and, as a natural consequence, the spoken and written expression of it. But although we are not surprized at the obloquy heaped upon his name, we should have expected a more correct estimate of his character than has been furnished recently in this country by such writers as Mr. Carlyle and Lord Brougham. Mr. Carlyle, while he has striven to elevate Mirabeau into a miracle of genius, if not of virtue,—a man thoroughly immoral, intellectually possessed of a few superficial accomplishments, capable indeed of occasional effective bursts of eloquence, but endued with little of the real genius of a statesman,-while he has represented Danton as not unredeemed by some virtues, and possessing much energy and even generosity of character, -while he extols the eloquence of Vergniaud and Guadet, though belonging to a party which he deems signally deficient in vigour, has described Maximilien Robespierre, as a "poor 66 sea-green atrabiliar formula of a man; without head, with❝out heart, or any grace, gift, or even vice beyond common, "if it were not vanity, astucity, diseased rigour as of a cramp: "meant by nature for a methodist parson of the stricter sort, "to doom men who departed from the written confession; "to chop fruitless shrill logic; to contend and suspect and "ineffectually wrestle and wriggle."

"It would be difficult," says Lord Brougham, "to point "out within the whole range of history, ancient or modern, "any person who played so great a part as Robespierre with "so little genius*." But how can a man be said to have little genius, whose speeches went, if not as directly, as surely to their end as Napoleon's shot,-that end being the attainment of the supreme power of the state, during (to use Lord Brougham's own words) "by far the most critical period of French history in any age"? Indeed Lord Brougham is too great an orator himself to mistake, as some have done, the value of Robespierre's speeches; and the opinion he expresses respecting them seems strangely at variance with the above dictum respecting Robespierre's poverty of intellect. Does it then require little genius to produce passages of elo

Historical Sketches, Third Series, p. 51.

quence possessing, according to Lord Brougham's admission, "merit of the highest order,"-passages of the kind "most "surely calculated to awaken, to gratify, to control an assem"bly deliberating on the actual affairs of men"? Does it in short require little genius to be capable, as Lord Brougham also admits, of putting forth occasional powers of oratory, unequalled save by Demosthenes? Robespierre may have been, most probably was, a coward; so too was Demosthenes; so too was Cicero, and a boaster besides, which Robespierre was not. He had indeed other qualities not of a magnanimous nature: but that he was altogether "pusillanimous and vile ".... beyond most men that ever lived, hateful, selfish, un"principled, cruel, unscrupulous;" that (though he might be "one of the most execrable") he was "one of the most despi"cable characters recorded in the annals of our race," are conclusions which we deem to be entirely contrary to evidence.

What did Robespierre accomplish? What were the deeds that made him powerful and what were the deeds that made him hateful?

Among the members of the Constituent Assembly there appeared an obscure advocate of the bar of Arras, of a mean and repulsive aspect, a diminutive and feeble body and weak health, with a harsh discordant voice and slow hesitating utterance, by name Maximilien Robespierre. The son of an advocate, if possible more obscure than himself, who had quitted France during the infancy of his children, leaving them to be educated by charity, his personal disadvantages were uncompensated by either wealth or connection. Such being the gifts which nature and fortune had bestowed upon him, it was hardly to be expected that the feeble, friendless and obscure advocate of Arras should attract much attention on the stage, until the high-born and the rich, the strong-bodied and the strongvoiced had strutted there and fretted out their hour. And assuredly in the drama in which Robespierre had to act, if something beyond mere physical strength and courage had not prevailed, the spirit that once dwelt in that mean and feeble body could not have left behind it so terrible a name. Look at the man, and then turn from him to the patrician Lafayette and Lameth, to the handsome Barbaroux and the brawny Mirabeau and Danton, and you might say

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