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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Antoine Louis Leon de Richebourg de Saint-Just

ANTOINE LOUIS LEON DE RICHEBOURG DE SAINT-JUST (1767-1794), French revolutionary leader, was born at Decize in the Nivernais on the 25th of August 1767. At the outbreak of the Revolution, intoxicated with republican ideas, he threw himself with enthusiasm into politics, was elected an officer in the National Guard of the Aisne, and by fraud - he being yet under age - admitted as a member of the electoral assembly of his district. Early in 1789 he had published twenty cantos of licentious verse, in the fashion of the time, under the title of Organt au Vatican. Henceforward, however, he assumed a stoical demeanour, which, united to a policy tyrannical and pitilessly thorough, became the characteristic of his life. He entered into correspondence with Robespierre, who, flattered by his worship, admitted him to his friendship. Thus supported, Saint-Just became deputy of the department of Aisne to the National Convention, where he made his first speech on the condemnation of Louis XVI. - gloomy, fanatical, remorseless in tone - on the 13th of November 1792. In the Convention, in the Jacobin Club, and among the populace his relations with Robespierre became known, and he was dubbed the "St John of the Messiah of the People." His appointment as a member of the Committee of Public Safety placed him at the centre of the political fever-heat. In the name of this committee he was charged with the drawing up of reports to the Convention upon the absorbing themes of the overthrow of the party of the Gironde (report of the 8th of July 1793), of the Herbertists, and finally, of that denunciation of Danton which consigned him and his followers to the guillotine. What were then called reports were rather appeals to the passions; in Saint-Just's hands they furnished the occasion for a display of fanatical daring, of gloomy eloquence, and of undoubted genius; and - with the shadow of Robespierre behind him - they served their turn. Camille Desmoulins, in jest and mockery, said of Saint-Just - the youth with the beautiful countenance and the long fair locks- "He carries his head like a Holy Sacrament." "And I," savagely replied Saint-Just, "will make him carry his like a Saint Denis." The threat was not vain: Desmoulins accompanied Danton to the scaffold. The same ferocious inflexibility animated Saint-Just with reference to the external policy of France. He proposed that the National Convention should itself, through its committees, direct all military movements and all branches of the government. (report of the 10th of October 1793). This was agreed to, and Saint-Just was despatched to Strassburg, in company with another deputy, to superintend the military operations. It was suspected that the enemy without was being aided by treason within. Saint-Just's remedy was direct and terrible: he followed his experience in Paris, "organized the Terror," and soon the heads of all suspects sent to Paris were falling under the guillotine. But there were no executions at Strassburg, and Saint-Just repressed the excesses of J. G. Schneider, who as public prosecutor to the revolutionary tribunal of the Lower Rhine had ruthlessly applied the Terror in Alsace. Schneider was sent to Paris and guillotined. The conspiracy was defeated, and the armies of the Rhine and Moselle having been inspirited by success - Saint-Just himself taking a fearless part in the actual fighting - and having effected a junction, the frontier was delivered and Germany invaded. On his return Saint-Just was made president of the Convention. Later, with the army of the North, he placed before the generals the dilemma of victory over the enemies of France or trial by the dreaded revolutionary tribunal; and before the eyes of the army itself he organized a force specially charged with the slaughter of those who should seek refuge by flight. Success again crowned his efforts, and Belgium was gained .for France (May, 1794). Meanwhile affairs in Paris looked gloomier than ever, and Robespierre recalled Saint-Just to the capital. SaintJust proposed a dictatorship as the only remedy for the convulsions of society. At last, at the famous sitting of the 9th Thermidor, he ventured to present as the report of the committees of General Security and Public Safety a document expressing his own views, a sight of which, however, had been refused to the other members of committee on the previous evening. Then the storm broke. He was vehemently interrupted, and the sitting ended with an order for Robespierre's arrest (see Robespierre). On the following day, the 28th of July 1794, twenty-two men, noarly all young, were guillotined. Saint-Just maintained his proud self-possession to the last.

See Muvres de Saint-Just, precedees d'une notice historique sur sa vie (Paris, 18 331$ 34); E. Fleury, Etudes revolutionnaires (2 vols., 1851), with which cf. articles by Sainte Beuve ( Causeries du lundi, vol. v.), Cuvillier-Fleury ( Portraits politiques et revolutionnaires); E. Hamel, Histoire de Saint-Just (1859), which brought a fine to the publishers for outrage on public decency; F. A. Aulard, Les Orateurs de la Legislative et de la Convention (2nd ed., Paris, 1905). The euvres completes de Saint-Just have been edited with notes by C. Vellay (Paris, 1908).

ST Just (St Just in Penwith), a market town in the St Ives parliamentary division of Cornwall, England, 72 m. by road W. of Penzance. Pop. of urban district (1901) 5646. This is the most westerly town in England, lying in a wild district 1 m. inland from Cape Cornwall, which is 4 m. N. of Land's End. The urban district has an area of 7633 acres, and includes the small industrial colonies near some of the most important mines in Cornwall. The Levant mine is the chief, the workings extending beneath the sea. Traces of ancient workings and several exhausted mines are seen. The church of St Just is Perpendicular, with portions of the fabric of earlier date. There are ruins of an oratory dedicated to St Helen on Cape Cornwall.

A city of Bourke county, Victoria, Australia, 32 m. by rail S. of, and suburban to, Melbourne. Pop. (1901) 2 0,544. It is a fashionable watering-place on Hobson's Bay, and possesses the longest pier in Australia. The esplanade and the public park are finely laid out; and portions of the sea are fenced in to protect bathers. The town hall, the public library, the assembly hall, and the great Anglican church of All Saints are the chief buildings.

ST Kilda (Gaelic Hirta, " the western. land"), the largest of a small group of about sixteen islets of the Outer Hebrides, Inverness-shire, Scotland. It is included in the civil parish of Harris, and is situated 40 m. W. of North Uist. It measures 3 m. from E. to W. and 2 m. from N. to S., has an area of about 35 00 acres, and is 7 m. in circumference. Except at the landingplace on the south-east, the cliffs rise sheer out of deep water, and on the north-east side the highest eminence in the island, Conagher, forms a precipice 1220 ft. high. St Kilda is probably the core of a Tertiary volcano, but, besides volcanic rocks, contains hills of sandstone in which the stratification is distinct. The boldness of its scenery is softened by the richness of its verdure. The inhabitants, an industrious Gaelic-speaking community (110 in 1851 and 77 in 1901), cultivate about 40 acres of land (potatoes, oats, barley), keep about 1000 sheep and a few head of cattle. They catch puffins, fulmar petrels, guillemots, razorbirds, Manx shearwaters and solan geese both for their oil and for food. Fishing is generally neglected. Coarse tweeds and blanketing are manufactured for home use from the sheep's wool which is plucked from the animal, not shorn. The houses are collected in a little village at the head of the East Bay. The island is practically inaccessible for eight months of the year, but the inhabitants communicate with the outer world by means of "sea messages," which are despatched in boxes when a strong west wind is blowing, and generally make the western islands or mainland of Scotland in a week.

The island has been in the possession of the Macleods for hundreds of years. In 1779 the chief of that day sold it, but in 1871 Macleod of Macleod bought it back, it is stated, for £3000. In 1724 the population was reduced by smallpox to thirty souls. They appear to catch what is called the "boat-cold" caused by the arrival of strange boats, and at one time the children suffered severely from a form of lockjaw known as the "eight days' sickness." See works by Donald Munro, high dean of the Isles (1585), M. Martin (1698), Rev. K. Macaulay (1764), R. Connell (1887); Miss Goodrich-Freer, The Outer Isles; Richard and Cherry Kearton, With Nature and a Camera (1896).

Or ST Christopher, an island in the British West Indies, forming, with Nevis and Anguilla, one of the presidencies in the colony of the Leeward Islands. It is a long oval with a narrow neck of land projecting from the south-eastern end; total length 23 m., area 63 sq. m. Mountains traverse the central part from N.W. to S.E., the greatest height being Mount Misery (377 1 ft.). The island is well watered, fertile and healthy, and its climate is cool and dry (temperature between 78° and 85° F.; average annual rainfall 38 in.). The circle of land formed by the skirts of the mountains, and the valley of Basseterre constitute nearly the whole of the cultivated portion. The higher slopes of the hills afford excellent pasturage, while the summits are crowned with dense woods. Sugar, molasses, rum, salt, coffee and tobacco are the chief products; horses and cattle are bred. Primary education is compulsory. The principal towns are Old Road, Sandy Point and the capital Basseterre, which lies on the S.W. coast (p'p. about io,000). One good main road, macadamized throughot, encircles. the island. The local legislature consists of 6 official and 6 unofficial members nominated by the Crown. St Kitts was discovered by Columbus in 1 493 and first settled by Sir Thomas Warner in 1623. Five years later it was divided between the British and the French, but at the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 it was entirely ceded to the British Crown. Population, mostly negroes, 29,782.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Antoine Louis Leon de Richebourg de Saint-Just'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/bri/a/antoine-louis-leon-de-richebourg-de-saint-just.html. 1910.

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