Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III - Vol. 3

By Lord Henry Brougham | Go to book overview

DANTON.

A MAN of Robespierre's character, and with his great defects as a revolutionary chief, may be able to raise himself in troublous times to great eminence, and possibly even to usurp supreme power, but he never can take the lead in bringing great changes about; he never can be a maker of the revolutions by which he may however profit. His rise to distinction and command may be gained by perseverance, by self-denial, by extreme circumspection, by having no scruples to interfere with his schemes, no conscience to embarrass, no feelings to scare him, above all, by taking advantage of circumstances, and turning each occurrence that happens to his account. These qualities and this policy may even enable him to retain the power which they have enabled him to grasp; but another nature and other endowments are required, and must be added to these, in order to form a man fitted for raising the tempest, and directing its fury against established order of things. Above all, boldness, the daring soul, the callous nerves, the mind inaccessible to fear, and impervious to the mere calculations of personal prudence, almost a blindness sealing his eyes against the perception of consequences as well to himself as to others, is the requisite of his nature who would overturn an ancient system of polity, and substitute a novel regi

-72-

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Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction. vii
  • Contents ix
  • The French Revolution. 1
  • Robespierre. 51
  • Danton. 72
  • Camille Desmoulins.--St. Just. 87
  • SiÉyes. 111
  • John, Fourth Duke of Bedford. 133
  • Earl Camden. 156
  • Lord Ellenborough. 198
  • Lord Chief Justice Bushe. 223
  • Thomas Jefferson. 237
  • Marquess Wellesley. 266
  • Lord Holland. 325
  • Appendix. 349
  • Erratum *
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