Yet when, on the last day of the month, the king visited the Assembly to declare its dissolution, the president addressed him in terms of the most loyal gratitude, affirming that by his acceptance of the Constitution, he had earned the blessings of all future generations; and when he quitted the hall, the populace escorted the royal carriage back to the palace with vociferous cheers. Though, in the eyes of impartial observers, this display of returning good-will was more than counterbalanced when, as the members of the Assembly came out, some of the Royalists and Constitutionalists were hooted, and some of the fiercest Jacobins were greeted with still more enthusiastic acclamations.
Composition of the New Assembly.—Rise of the Girondins,—Their Corruption and Eventual Fate.—Vergniaud’s Motions against the King.—Favorable Reception of the King at the Assembly, and at the Opera.—Changes in the Ministry.—The King’s and Queen’s Language to M. Bertrand de Moleville.— The Count de Narbonne.—Petion is elected Mayor of Paris.—Scarcity of Money, and Great Hardships of the Royal Family.—Presents arrive from Tippoo Sahib.—The Dauphin.—The Assembly passes Decrees against the Priests and the Emigrants.—Misconduct of the Emigrants.—Louis refuses his Assent to the Decrees.—He issues a Circular condemning Emigration.
The new Assembly met on the 1st of October, and its composition afforded the Royalists, or even the Constitutionalists, the party that desired to stand by the Constitution which had just been ratified, very little prospect of a re-establishment of tranquillity. The mischievous effect of the vote which excluded members of the last Assembly from election was seen in the very lists of those who had been returned. In the whole number there were scarcely a dozen members of noble or gentle birth; the number of ecclesiastics was equally small; while property was as little represented as the nobility or the Church. It was reckoned that of the whole body scarcely fifty possessed two thousand francs a year. The general youth of the members was as conspicuous as their poverty; half of them had hardly attained middle age; a great many were little more than boys. The Jacobins themselves, who, before the elections, had reckoned on swaying their decisions by terror, could hardly have anticipated a result which would place the entire body so wholly at their mercy.
But what was still move ominous of evil was the rise of a new party, known as that of the Girondins, from the circumstance of some of its most influential members coming from the Gironde, one of the departments which the late Assembly had carved out of the old province of Gascony. It was not absolutely a new party, since the foundations of it had been laid, during the last two months of the old Assembly, by Petion and a low-born pamphleteer named Brissot, who, as editor of a newspaper to which he gave the name of