Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, February 01, 1879, Page 29, Image 5

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of power, and with the completion of
this consolidation the existing corrup
lion proporlioniiMy increased.
Being exempted from all taxes the
clergy and nobility lived in luxury and
wealth; but the common people became
poorer and poorer, while struggling to
supply the inordinate demands of a vo
luptuous court. Louis XV, even went
so far as to cstnblish a royal Seraglio in
his palace, and La Pompadour was not
only his mistress but also his counselor
and even ruler for he surrendered to her
all his sacred rights as monarch. She,
thus possessed of the reins of government,
was not slow to take advaulagc of it in
satisfying her personal ambition and
womanly fancies. So energetic was she
in performing her responsible duties, that
the treasury was speedily drained. Thus
was the government hurried on with
quickened pace to its terrible doom.
To add to the weight of destructive
evils the literature of the country was
very degrading, since it ran in the chan
nels of infidelity and licentiousness. The
writers of the day were permitted to
paint with glowing colors the enormous
evils that were fust
decayed monarchy.
tainly did not prove very beneficial to
that tottering structure Monarchy.
Least beneficial were
of Voltaire.
One Minister ufter another was appoin
ted to improve the deranged state of finan
ces only to resign leaving it still more complicated-
Finally after the nation had
become totally bankrupt and the govern
ment had reached the verge of destruc
tion, a meeting of the States-General, an
ancient form of representation, was con
voiced for the purpose of investigating
matters and adopting such measures us
were consistent with the needful reforms.
"This," says an eminent writer, "was in
disputably the first day of the Revolu
tlon." And indeed it was; for from tills
time fortli monarchy, with its two sup
ports, the nobility and clergy, was grndu-
consuming the half
This practise cer
the cutting satires
ally banished. This impetuous assembly
tore away, as it were, the dykes of custom
and royalty to let in that flood of despot,
ic ruin, which soon rolled over the land,
complctly obliterating all the land-marks
of monarchy.
The chief fault to be found witli this as.
scmbly of the States-General is that it too
radicilly changed the laws and customs
then in vogue not that its aim was strict
ly dishonorable, or indeed their legisla
tiou unimpeachable; but the too thor
ough renovation had at least a strong ten
dency to produce, if not the direct eflect
of producing, more confusion. And the
two succeeding bodies, the Legislative
Assembly and the National Convention,
kept up the rapid revolution of a flairs
until the wildest confusion prevailed.
The aims of these, and especially those
of the National Convention a conven
tion that held sway during the most vio
lent part of the Revolution, thus counte
nancing the atrocious deeds there enact
ed can seriously be called in question.
The incarnate fiends, Marat, Dantou
and Robespierre were the principal insti
gators in those bloody tragidies, They
incited the ignorant and brutal populace
to overthrow every emolument that had
the least semblance of right and order.
Prisons were filled with the peaceful and
prosperous citizens, who were seized
solely because they did not show a sufilc
ient amount of brutality. After a mock
trial they were guillotined. Infuriated
mobs rose up in all the principal cities,
scattering deatli and destruction broad
cast ovci the laud.
It was indeed a time when,
''Sighs, tinil groans and shrieks that rent the
Where mailc, not marked; when violent sorrow
A modern ecstacy; the dead man's knell
Was there scarce ask'd, Tor who; and good men's
Expired before the flowers in their caps,
Dying, or 'ere they sickened."
But dark us is the stain the French
Revolution has left upon the pages of