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feeble and ill-supported their exertions would prove, in comparison of what they had been on the first breaking out of the refifiance to government. They had at that period introduced order and regularity among their people, and had exercifed hoftilities according to the rules of discipline But thofe, on whom they now prevailed to join them, were no longer guided by the fame fpirit. The generality indeed did not feem inclined to emback in a cause for which they had fo greatly fuffered, and fo vainly difplayed the moft furprising courage and efforts. The majority of thofe, who now followed their fortunes, were individuals long determined never to submit to the republic, and to feize the firft opportunity of acting openly against it. They confifted chiefly of the ruined noblefle, clergymen expelled from their livings, and other perfons deprived of their employments, either for adhering, or being fufpected of adherence to the royal cafe. The mafs of their followers was made up of deferters, peasants, and others of the lower claffes, impelled, by the ill-treatment of the ruling party for their difference of opinion in matters of church and fate, to fly from their homes, and betake themselves to the protection of those who were in arms against government, and whofe numbers were thus encreased and conftan ly recruited by fresh acceffions of the discontented and ill-used.
Those who now prefided over them were Charette and Stoflet, who appeared still determined to encounter new hazards, after having escaped fo many dangers. The former of thefe had, in the course of the preceding year, renounced
the engagements he had contracted with the republic, and publifhed a manifefto, wherein he publicly charged its agents with having, under falfe pretences, inveigled him to lay down his arms and fubmit to government. They had, he faid, given him to understand, that the rulers of the nation had come to a fixed refolution of reftoring royalty, and of replacing the family of Bourbon upon the throne, as foon as fuch an event could take place with fecurity; but the temper of the French, they infinuated, was to be confulted, and a due concurrence of circumftances waited for, before an attempt of such importance could be made. He enumerated a variety of particulars tending to delude him, and concinded by accufing government of having violated its faith with his affociates; and, as a confummation of its iniquity, of having taken off, by poifon, the innocent child of their murdered fovereign. It was, he faid, in confequence of these perjuries and enormities, that he had come to a determination to take up arms again, and never to lay them down till the heir to the crown was restored, and the Catholic religion re-established.
Such were the contents of this extraordinary manifefto, which appeared fo ftrange and unaccountable to numbers, that they were led to doubt its authenticity.
In the mean time, the forces, difpatched by government to fupprefs this infurrection, met with various difficulties, from the nature of the warfare they were engaged in. The infurgents, confcious of their inferiority in the field, avoided all regular action; and, dividing themfelves into a multitude of fmall
kind, and gave themselves up to a predatory fyftem of hoftilities, accompanied with as many fanguinary executions of their enemies, as they thought requifite for the fupport of their own caufe, and the intimidation of their enemies.
-Such had been their plan of acting fince the fecond infurrection, which had broken out in the commencement of the foregoing fum
bodies, occupied all the narrow paffes and defiles throughout the country, and haraffed the republican troops in their marches and motions. The inhabitants in thofe parts, being generally in the intereft of the infurgents, informed them of the most convenient places where to lie in ambufcade, and furprife their enemies. By these means they intercepted the communication between; the republican troops, and often, mer, and had continued with vafeized their convoys of provifions rious fuccefs till the approach of and ftores, and reduced them to the extremeft want of ammunition and neceffaries. Whenever they found an opportunity of attacking them to advantage, they never miffed it, and occafionally defeated them with confiderable flaughter, When these were too well fituated,,, or too ftrong in numbers, as well as pofition, to venture an engagement with them, the others kept within, forefts or faftnelles that were almoft inacceffible, and where, on that account, they fucceeded in defending themselves. Their general mode of attack was with mutketry, never coming to clofe fight, and always, placing hedges, pales, ditches, and other imepediments between themfelves and the foe, whom, as numbers of them were excellent mark(men, they contrived by thefe methods greatly to annoy, in fpite of their courage and difcipline, and their eagerness to rush upon them through all obftacles, and to fight them under all difadvantages.
The chiefs of the infurgents were fo confcious of the impractibility of encountering the republican troops in any other manner, that their own people, lofing all hope of renewing thofe brilliant fucceffes they had formerly obtained, gradually abandoned all attempts of that VOL. XXXVIII.
winter. The difappointment that had befallen the expedition to the coaft of France from England, and the lofs of fo many emigrants, that had either fallen in battle, or been taken prifoners, and put to death, had fo effectually terrified their adherents, that, from that day, they had manifefted little inclination to venture into new dangers, without better grounds of hope, than pro mifes of aflifiance wherein they had been fo much deceived, and exhortations to loyalty, that only led them to ruin.
Diheartened by the fevere andatrocious vengeance executed upon their country, and the dreadful flaughter and chaftifement of its inhabitants, the Vendeans had not, as before, crowded to the royal ftandards erected among them. The amnefty published after the former pacification, and the lenient treat ment they had experienced in confequence of their fubmiflion to the republic, had produced the effects that had been expected. The remaining majority of that unfortunate people had returned to their coun try, and refumed their former occupations, with the intent of never leaving them again for the rath enterprifes to which they had been prompted, by the vain profpect of [G]
being able to overturn the republic, and restore the monarchy.
But thofe, who had led them forth to this defperate attempt, did not despair to excite them to a fecond undertaking of the fame nature. They held out every motive that had formerly been prevalent; attachment to their religion, love of their kings, hatred to the present innovations. Multitudes were induced accordingly to lift again under their banners: but the greater part remained quiet in their habitations, and the flower of the infurgents was not, as antecedently, compofed of the Vendeans, but of the mixed and numerous mafs of the inhabitants of the feveral provinces of Britanny, Poitou, Maine, Anjou, and others lying on the banks of the Loire.
Thofe who chiefly figured among them, were that body of men known by the appellation of Chouans, and whofe origin and primitive tranfactions and character have already been noticed. From thefe, the whole infurrection now borrowed that denomination; and, as many of their actions had been marked with blood thirstinefs, as well as rapacity, thofe who were united with them, incurred the like imputation; whence they became equally dreaded and abhorred, and acquired the general name of plunderers and murderers among the adherents to the republican party, of which their detefiation was no lefs notorious, as well as their zeal and readinefs to doom its partifans to extermination.
This reciprocal dil; ofition was of courfe productive of many atrocious deeds. The republican foldery fhewed them little mercy, confidering them in hardly any other light than that of highway robbers. It became at laft a war of reciprocal
deftruction, not only of men, but of. whatever they poffeffed. Slaughter and conflagration went hand in hand, and the country round prefented a picture of death and defolation. No man nor family were fafe in their houses: the republican foldiers broke into them, and maffacred all they found. The oppofite parties waylayed each other on the roads, and gave no quarter. Their whole attention was employ ed in framing and perpetrating thofe horrors, and executing every scheme of public and private vengeance.
The pretext, for the commiffion of all thofe enormities, was the fame on both fides: the royalists charged the republicans with having violated the late treaty, and these retorted the accufation. The truth was, that neither party much ap proved of it, and had acceded to it, rather as a rather as a fufpenfion of hoftilities, than as an abfolute pacification, intending to abide by the conditions agreed to, no longer than they found it convenient. Hence no confidence was established on either fide, and they both watched each others motions with equal fufpicion of their malevolence.
After a long fluctuation of fortune between the contending parties, the principal commander of the royalifts, the famous Charette, encountered a ftrong body of the republicans near Roche Suryan, on the twenty-eighth of December, 1795, and was totally defeated. His men were fo completely routed, that he was unable to rally them. They fled from the field in various directions, and were fo clofely pursued, that they difperfed on every fide, and he was never able again to embody them. He was compelled, for his own fafety, to difguite himfelf like
a peafant. In this drefs he wandered about the country without a companion, in hope of efcaping his purfuers, and gaining the fea fide, where he might find an opportunity of flying to England. But the fearch made after him was fo ftrict and inceffant, that he fell into the hands of a patrole that was in queft of him. He was tried and fentenced to be hot. His execution took place at Nantes on the twenty-eighth of April. His affociate, the well known Stoflet, who had also been made a prifoner, fuffered death in the fame manner, about two months before him.
The fall of thefe two principal chiefs of the infurrection, efpecially the former, gave it a blow from which it did not recover. Nei ther the Vendeans, nor the Chouans who had joined them, feemed to have been overcome by defpondency on this occafion, and they ftill continued to maintain their ground with as much obftinacy as ever: but whether none of their remaining leaders were of equal ability, or that their people did not repole the fame confidence in them, their defeats became continual, and fuch numbers were flaughtered, that the generality of the infurgents began to loofe courage, particularly after the loffes of those who commanded them. No lefs than thirteen of their principal chiefs fell in battle, and ten others were taken and condemned to be fhot.
The death of thefe officers proved an irreparable lofs: they were men of confpicuous refolution, and had long conducted the affairs of their party with remarkable kill and perfeverance in the arduous trials they had to frequently experienced. None at this period feemed capable
fupplying their place; but what
chiefly accelerated the fubmiffion of the infurgents, was the lenity with which the government came to the refolution of treating all thofe who laid down their arms. A proclamation had already been iffued, during the heat of hoftilities, inviting the infurgents to return to obedience, under a folemn promife of burying their revolt in oblivion, and of granting them every just conceffion they could require: the directory availed itfelf of the advantages it had obtained, to convince thofe who had been concerned in the infurrection, that the only use the government would make of the fituation to which they were now reduced, would be to deprive them of the means of exciting difturbances; and that, provided they acquiefed in the injunctions laid upon them, they would be placed on the fame footing with their fellows citizens, and enjoy fimilar rights.
So anxious was the directory to imprefs them with this perfuafion, that it published a circular addrefs to the commanders of the troops employed in fuppreffing the infurrection, ftrictly enjoining them to keep the intentions of the government in conftant view, and not to exceed them by needlefs acts of feverity.
But the animofity of the republicans against the infurgents was fuch, that they occafionally exercised great rigour over them, to the ferious concern of the directory, which reprehended, with marked feverity, those who had been guilty of these exceffes. It anxiously reiterated it's orders to abftain from all harshness, and to receive all who fubmitted with a generous forgivenefs of the paft; confidering them as deluded brethren, whole attachment it was the duty of their conquerors to win [G]
through mildness and conciliation, which were the only effectual means of reftoring them to the bofom of their country, and converting them into good citizens.
In purfuance of thefe maxims, every diftrict that furrendered its arms, and punctually conformed to the conditions' prefcribed, was immediately placed under the completeft protection of the laws, and no infraction of thefe fuffered to their detriment.
The measures thus taken, by the directory, availed them more than military coercion would have done. The dread of punishment had kept feveral bodies of the infurgents together: but the moment they found that a pardon would be granted to them, on acceding to the terms of the proclamation that had fo long been circulated; and to which government was yet willing to adhere, they repaired in crowds to the head quarters of the republican generals, declaring their readinefs to accept of the conditions proffered to them. Thefe fubmiffions gradually took place in the courfe of March and April. By the clofe of this month, the infurrection was fo far quelled, that no apprehentions were entertained from the few ftraggling parties that remained, and which were looked upon as people determined to lead a predatory life, rather than in arms for the cause they had embraced, and of which no hopes any longer exifted.
After fubduing this dangerous infurrection by force of arms, the next measure was to pacify the minds of thofe who had fo obftinately perfifted in it, and yielded at length only from the impractibility of any farther refiftance. To this end, in addition to the punctual obfervance
of the promifes made to the infur gents, to induce them to lay down their arms, a number of publications, fuited to the capacity of those for whom they were defigned, were diftributed in the diftricts where the infurrection had taken place: and thofe individuals on whofe fidelity and attachment to republican principles the government could depend, were encouraged to take all poffible pains to inculcate the propriety of uniting with the majority of their countrymen, and of unfeignedly abjuring those fentiments that had coft them fo many lives, and plunged their families into fo much mifery.
The neceffity of acting conformably to this advice, became fo apparent, that even the royalift generals thought themselves bound no longer to obftruct the submission of the infurgents, convinced that it was the only means left them to ef cape deftruction. A proclamation to this purpose was iffued and signed by vifcount Scepeaux, the principal in command in the weftern department. After lamenting the fruitless efforts to reftore monarchy and the Catholic religion, it acknow ledged that to perfift in this attempt would only be conducting the infurgents to the flaughter. It exhorted them, therefore, to defift, and yield to fuperior force, in order to fecure their lives, and be permitted to dwell in fafety at their homes.
An exhortation of this kind did not fail to convince them of the inutility of any farther oppofition: and, by the latter end of July, the country of the infurgents was for thoroughly pacified, that martial law was repealed, and civil government reftored.