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

By Lord Henry Brougham | Go to book overview
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CAMILLE DESMOULINS.--ST. JUST.

THE great leaders whom we have been contemplating had each a trusty and devoted follower, Danton in Camille, and Robespierre in St. Just; and these in some sort resembled their chiefs, except only that St. Just was more enthusiastic than Robespierre, and was endowed with perfect courage, both physical and moral.

Camille had long before the Revolution ardently embraced republican opinions, and only waited withîimpatience for an opportunity of carrying them into effective operation. He was a person of good education, and a writer of great ability. His works are, excepting the pamphlets of Siéyes, the only ones, perhaps, of that countless progeny with which the revolutionary press swarmed, that have retained any celebrity. The very names of the others have perished, while the periodical work of Camille, the Vieux Cordelier, is still read and admired. This exemption from the common lot of his contemporary writers, he owes not merely to the remarkable crisis in which his letters appeared, the beginning of general disgust and alarm at the sanguinary reign of the Triumvirate; these pieces are exceedingly well written, with great vigour of thought, much happy classical allusion, and in a

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