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from court, and appointed to a distant post-the governorship of the province of Auvergne. This disgrace did not change his love of justice, his respect for equity, his disdain for those sacrifices which probity demands.

Auvergne was his native province-endeared to him by associations and family ties. At the time when he was sent there (1770) a terrible famine was desolating the province, so that many of the inhabitants were reduced to live upon grass. It was during that miserable period which followed the wars of Louis XIV., and when the Duke of Orleans one day entered the cabinet of Louis XV.-then a child-and throwing upon the table some bread made of ferns, exclaimed, "Sire, that is what your people eat!"

Montyon was heartily welcomed by the suffering people. Perceiving the magnitude of their distress, he demanded help from Paris. When this did not come, he did not hesitate. Hitherto he had annually given 20,000 francs from his own purse to the poor, now he devoted his fortune for the alleviation of the distress which he saw around him. He not only gave away money and food, where it was necessary, but he also did all in his power to give fresh impetus to industry and to labour, by which the poor might help themselves. He lent seed to those agriculturists who had lost theirs; he embellished the towns of Aurillac and Mauriac by a quay destined to prevent the overflowings of the Vire, and by public promenades, which exist to the present day. When they wished to call

these by his name, he said, "We have not to name them but to finish them; if these works prove useful, and if the poor are fed, that is enough for me."

In the midst of all these useful and beneficial works, when on the point of rescuing a province from the verge of ruin, and occupied by zealous efforts to overcome the distress of the populace by helping them to useful labours, he had to submit to a new trial which fell more heavily perhaps on the people of Auvergne, than it did on himself.

The corrupt and selfish governments of Louis XV. were unable to influence the stern, upright Montyon as they desired. He protested against or resisted measures which were palpably unjust. For this he was disgraced. He was torn away from the grateful people of Auvergne, and sent to Aix, being now appointed governor of Provence.

The population was in despair, every effort was made to retain him, petitions being forwarded to Paris, to the king, to the ministry, but all were in vain.

His reputation was so great that he met with a hearty welcome in his new sphere of action. He soon proved himself as excellent a governor of Provence, as he had been of Auvergne. Everything which affected the real welfare of the people he took deeply to heart; new resources, new strength, new plans, were on all sides called forth by his earnest benevolent spirit. The poor were assisted from some mysterious and invisible source. Fresh life was developed in every branch of the administration.

The noble-minded Montyon soon won the affection of the whole population.

The city of Marseilles especially benefited by his wisdom. The restrictions to which the royal council subjected the corn trade in that port were in these days of scarcity, ruining the merchants and starving the country. Montyon, without waiting for an authorisation which never came, hastened on his own responsibility, to suspend these laws. He pledged his wealth, his whole fortune, his liberty, his honour, his life, to guarantee the prosperity of the city, and the receipts of the treasury. "No consideration could make me timid when the welfare of the country is concerned," he said. Ten times more corn now entered Marseilles than left it. M. de Montyon had thus even increased the royal revenues, and saved the province from that famine which was threatening it. Provence from 1771 to 1773 had but one voice to bless the paternal administration of this good man, who found in his conscientious sincerity, the courage to act in advance of his age, by applying to the first port of the kingdom, that policy of free trade, since adopted by all enlightened European nations.

How was Montyon rewarded for the liberality of his views in the administration of Provence? Six weeks after receiving a letter of congratulation from the minister, accorded with very bad grace, a new decree relegated him to La Rochelle. The heat of the shores of the Mediterranean had already affected his health, the sudden change to the cold fogs of the


ocean imperilled his life. At each fresh success the Government endeavoured to restrict the theatre of his activity, but they were not able to lessen, the energy of the man. In whatever post he was placed, his one grand object was to do good. The fever never left Montyon during the fifteen months which he passed at La Rochelle, but during that time he diminished the taxes by which the town was oppressed, secured to it a gain of 400,000 francs by the lease of its octrois, and in a word, did more than many others would have accomplished in ten years.

His health was so bad that his friends urged the ministry in Paris, that such faithful services to the State and to the nation, merited promotion, but that hitherto they had been unrecognised.

The reply, however, the reward of so many labours, was a definitive disgrace. Montyon was recalled from the governorship of La Rochelle, as the climate did not suit his health. In recognition of his services, the king sent him 4000 francs, allowing him at the same time to retire from all active service, till his health was restored!

This of course was a dismissal. Perhaps it was more disgraceful to be favoured by such a Government than to be rewarded by it. When its favours were reserved for such as the Duc d'Aiguillon, who by his incapacity delivered Poland to its perfidious neighbours; to the Abbé Terray, the Minister of Bankruptcy; to Maupeou, the bare-faced corruptor of the French magistracy, disgrace ennobled, as the scaffold ennobled, fifteen years later.

At last, in 1774, Louis XV. died, after a deplorable reign of fifty-nine years, of which his successor, as an innocent victim, had to bear all the terrible consequences.

The situation which Louis XVI. had to remedy was a very grave one. The labouring classes were groaning under the burden of all kinds of taxes, which weighed upon industry and upon commerce. The whole condition of society was rotten at the core. A century before, Archbishop Fénélon had remarked, that "at the first shock, the old machine must break up." A formidable revolution was at hand.

M. de Malesherbes, who had always been Montyon's friend, was now Minister of Justice. He called the attention of the king, to this faithful servant of the State. In 1775 Montýon had felt himself constrained to defend his administration in a memorial to the king calling down upon his head all the severities of the law, "if, in his three governorships, there was a single person who could cite the least act of injustice, as proceeding from him." He added, that "if such was the order of things that zeal and services were treated as faults, and only repaid by disgrace, the misfortune of a private individual would become the public cause; it would become even that of the sovereign, as these examples would enervate, one of the great means, which he had in his hands, to assure the prosperity of his service." Montyon now no longer took an active part in public affairs. Born without

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