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and derived your claims from a more early to overlay it; you would have had a liberal order race of ancestors. Under a pious predilection of commons, to emulate and to recruit that for those ancestors, your imaginations would nobility ; you would have had a protected, have realized in them a standard of virtue and satisfied, laborious, and obedient people, taught wisdom, beyond the vulgar practice of the to seek and to recognize the happiness that is hour: and you would have risen with the to be found by viriue in all conditions ; in example to whose imitation you aspired. which consists the true moral oquality of manRespecting your forefathers, you would have kind, and not in that monstrous fiction, which, been taught to respect yourselves. You by inspiring false ideas and vain expectations would not have chosen to consider the French into men destined to travel in the obscure walk as a people of yesterday, as a nation of low- of laborious life, serves only to aggravate and born servile wretches until the emancipating imbitter that real inequality, which it never year of 1789. In order to furnish, at the can remove; and which the order of civil life expense of your honour, an excuse to your establishes as much for the benefit of those apologists here for several enormities of yours, whom it must leave in an humble state, as you would not have been content to be repre- those whom it is able to exalt to a condition sented as a gang of Maroon slaves, suddenly more splendid, but not more happy. You had broke loose from the house of bondage, and a smooth and easy career of felicity and glory therefore to be pardoned for your abuse of the laid open to you, beyond any thing recorded in liberty to which you were not accustomed, and the history of the world; but you have shewr, were ill fitted. Would it not, my worthy that difficulty is good for man. friend, have been wiser to have you thought, Compute your gains : see what is got by what I, for one, always thought you, a gene. those extravagant and presumptuous specularous and gallant nation, long misled to your tions which have taught your leaders to despise disadvantage by your high and romantic senti- all their predecessors, and all their contempo ments of fidelity, honour, and loyalty; that raries, and even to despise themselves, until events had been unfavourable to you, but that the moment in which they became truly desyou were not enslaved through any illiberal or picable. By following those false lights, servile disposition; that in your most devoted France has bought undisguised calamities at submission, you were actuated by a principle a higher price than any nation has purchased of public spirit

, and that it was your country the most unequivocal blessings ! France has you worshipped, in the person of your king? bought poverty by crime! France has not Had you made it to be understood, that in the sacrificed her virtue to her interest ; but sho has delusion of this amiable errour you had gone abandoned her interest

, that she might prostitute further than your wise ancestors ; that you were her virtue. All other nations have begun the resolved to resume your ancient privileges, whilst fabric of a new government, or the reformation you preserved the spirit of your ancient and of an old, by establishing originally, or by enyour recent loyalty and honour; or, if diffident forcing with greater exactness some rites or other of yourselves, and not clearly discerning the of religion. All other people have laid the foundaalmost obliterated constitution of your ances- tions of civil freedom in severer manners, and a tors, you had looked to your neighbours in this system of a more austere and masculine morali. land, who had kept alive the ancient principles ty. France, when she let loose the reigns of regal and models of the old common law of Europe, authority, doubled the licence of a ferocious dismeliorated and adapted to its present state-by_soluteness in manners, and of an insolent irrefollowing wise examples you would have given ligion in opinions and practices; and has new examples of wisdom to the world. You extended through all ranks of life, as if she would have rendered the cause of liberty were communicating some privilege, or laying venerable in the eyes of every worthy mind in open some secluded benefit, all the unhappy every nation. You would have shamed des- corruptions that usually were the disease of potism from the earth, by shewing that free wealth and power. This is one of the new dom was not only reconcileable, but as, when principles of equality in France. well disciplined, it is, auxiliary to law. You France, by the perfidy of her leaders, has would have had an unoppressive but a produc- utterly disgraced the tone of lenient council in tive revenuo. You would have had a flourishing the cabinets of princes, and disarmed it of its commerce lo feed it. You would have had a free most potent topics. She has sanctified the constitution ; a potent monarchy; a disciplined dark suspicious maxims of tyrannous distrust; army; a reformed and venerated clergy; a miti- and taught kings to tremble at (what will horegated but spirited nobility, to lead vour virtue, not after be called) the delusive plausibilities, of mora. politicians. Sovereigns will consider rate struggle of determined patriots, compelled those who advise them to place an unlimited to wade through blood and tumult, to the quiet confidence in their people, as subverters of shore of a tranquil and prosperous liberty ? their thrones"; as traitors who aim at their No! nothing like it. The fresh ruins of destruction, by leading their easy good-nature, France, which shock our feelings wherever under specious pretences, to admit combina- we can turn our eyes, are not the devastation tions of bold and faithless men into a participa of civil war; they are the sad but instructive tion of their power. This alone (if there were monuments of rash and ignorant counsel in nothing else) is an irreparable calamity to you time of profound peace. They are the display and to mankind. Remember that your parlia- of inconsiderate and presumptuous, because ment of Paris told your king, that in calling unresisted and irresistible authority. The the states together, he had nothing to fear but persons who have thus squandered away the the prodigal excess of their zeal in providing precious treasure of their crimes, the persons for the support of the throne. It is right that who have made this prodigal and wild waste these men should hide their heads. It is right of public evils (the last stake reserved for the that they should bear their part in the ruin ultimate ransom of the state) have met in which their counsel has brought on their sove their progress with little, or rather with no reign and their country. Such sanguine opposition at all. Their whole march was declarations tend to lull authority asleep; to more like a triumphal procession than the encourage it rashly to engage in perilous ad- progress of a war. Their pioneers have gone ventures of untried policy; to neglect those before them, and demolished and laid every provisions, preparations and precautions, which thing level at their feet. Not one drop of distinguish benevolence from imbecility; and their blood have they shed in the cause of the without which no man can answer for the salu- country they have ruined. They have made tary effect of any abstract plan of government

no sacrifice to their projects of grcater conseor of freedom. For want of these, they have quence than their shoe-buckles, whilst they seen the medicine of the state corrupted into were imprisoning their king, murdering their its poison. They have seen the French rebel fellow-citizens, and bathing in tears, and against a mild and lawful monarch, with more plunging in poverty ard distress, thousands of sury, outrage, and insult, than ever any people has worthy men and wority families. Their crubeen known to rise against the most illegal usur- elty has not even been the base result of fear, per, or the most sanguinary tyrant. Their re- It has been the effuct of their sense of perfoci sistance was made to concession; their revolt safety, in authorizing treasons, robberies, was from protection; their blow was aimed at a rapes, assassinations, slaughters, and burhand holding out graces, favours, and immunities. nings, throughout their harassed land. But

This was unnatural. The rest is in order. the cause of all was plain from the beginning They have found their punishment in their This unforced choice, this fond election of

Laws overturned; tribunals sub- evil, would appear perfectly unaccountable, if verted ; industry without vigour ; commerce we did not consider the composition of the expiring; the revenue unpaid, yet the people national assembly: I do not mean its formal impoverished; a church pillaged, and a state constitution, which as it now stands is excepnot relieved; civil and military anarchy made tionable enough, but the materials of which, the constitution of the kingdom; every thing in a grcat measure, it is composed, which is human and divine sacrificed to the idol of of ten thousand times greater consequence public oredit, and national bankruptcy the con- than all the formalities in the world. If we sequence; and to crown all, the paper securi- were to know nothing of this assembly but by ties of new, precarious, tottering power, the its title and function, no colours could paint to discredited paper securities of impoverished the imagination any thing more venerable. In fraud. and beggared rapine, heki out as a cur- that light the mind of an inquirer, subdued by rency for the support of an empire, in lieu of the such an awful image as that of the virtue and two great recognized species that represent the wisdom of a whole people collected into one lasting conventional credit of mankind, which focus, would pause and hesitate in condemn. disappeared and hid themselves in the earthing things even of the very worst aspect. Infrom whence they came, when the principle of stead of blameable, they would appear only property, whose creatures and representatives mysterious. But no name, no power, no they are, was systematically subverted. function, no artificial institution whatsoever,

Were all these dreadful things necessary ? can make the men of whom any system of were they the inevitable results of the despe- authority is composed, any other than Goda


and nature, and education, and their habits of great departure from the ancient course. I life have made them. Capacities beyond found the representation for the third estate these the people have not to give. Virtue composed of six hundred persons. They and wisdom may be the objects of their were equal in number to the representatives choice; but their choice confers neither the of both the other orders. If the orders were one nor the other on those upon whom they to act separately, the number would not, belay their ordaining hands. They have not yond the consideration of the expense, be of the engagement of nature, they have not the much moment. But when it became apparent promise of revelation for any such powers. that the three orders were to be melted down

After I had read over the list of the persons into one, the policy and necessary effect of and descriptions elected into the Tiers Etat, this nunierous representation became obvious. nothing which they afterwards did could ap- A very small desertion from either of the pear astonishing. Among them, indeed, I other two orders must throw the power of both saw some of known rank; some of shining into the hands of the third. In fact, the talents ; but of any practical experience in whole power of the state was soon resolved the state, not one man was to be found. The into that body. Its due composition became best were only nen of theory. But whatever therefore of intinitely the greater importance. the distinguished few may have been, it is the Judge, Sir, of my surprise, when I found substance and mass of the body which consti- that a very great proportion of the assembly tutes its character, and must finally determing (a majority, I believe, of the members who its direction. In all bodies, those who will attended) was composed of practitioners in lead, must also, in a considerable degree, fol- the law. It was composed, noi of distinguishlow. They must conform their propositions ed magistrates, who had given pledges to to the taste, talent, and disposition of those their country of their science, prudence, and whom they wish to conduct: therefore, if an integrity; not of leading advocates, the glory assembly is viciously or feebly composed in a of the bar; not of renowned professors in univery great part of it, nothing but such a su- versities; but for the far greater part, as it preme degree of virtue as very rarely appears must in such a number, of the inferiour, in the world, and for that reason cannot enter unlearned, mechanical, merely instrumental into calculation, will prevent the men of members of the profession. There were distalents disseminated through it from becoming tinguished exceptions ; but the general comonly the expert instruments of absurd projects! position was of obscure provincial advocates, If, what is the more likely event, instead of of stewards of petty local jurisdictions, counthat unusual degree of virtue, they should be try attornies, notaries, and the whole train of actuated by sinister ambition, and a lust of the ministers of municipal litigation, the form meretricious glory, then the feeble part of the menters and conductors of the petty war of assembly, to whom at first they conform, be- village vexation. From the moment I read comes in its turn the dupe and instrument of the list, I saw distinctly, and very nearly as it their designs. In this political traffic the has happened, all that was to follow. leaders will be obliged to bow to the ignorance The degree of estimation in which any proof their followers, and the followers to become session is held becomes the standard of the subservient to the worst designs of their leaders. estimation in which the professors hold them

To secure any degree of sobriety in the selves. Whatever the personal meriis of propositions made by the leaders in any public many individual lawyers might have been, and assembly, they ought to respect, in some de- in many it was undoubtedly very considerable, gree perhaps to fear, those whom they conduct. in that military kingdom no part of the profesTo be led any otherwise than blindly, the fol- sion had been much regarded, except the lowers must be qualified, if not for actors, at highest of all, who often united to their proleast for judges; they must also be judges of fessional offices great family splendour, and natural weight and authority. Noibing can were invested with great power and authority. secure a steady and moderate conduct in such These certainly were highly respected, and assemblies, but that the body of them should even with no small degree of awe. 'The be respectably composed, in point of condition next rank was not much esteemed; the mo. in life, of permanent property, of education, chanical part was in a very low degree of and of such habits as enlarge and liberalise repute. the understanding.

Whenever the supreme authority is vested In the calling of the states general a body so composed, it must evidently proFrance, the first thing that struck me, duce the consequences of supreme authoritv

was a

placed in the hands of men not taught habitu- had not, any more than that of the law, pos ally to respect themselves; who had no pre- sessed in France its just estimation. Its provious fortune in character at stake; who could fessors, therefore, must have the qualities of not be expected to bear with moderation, or to men not habituated to sentiments of dignity. conduct with discretion, a power, which they But supposing they had ranked as they ought themselves, more than any others, must be to do, and as with us they do actually, the surprised to find in their hands. Who could sides of sickbeds are not the academies for flatier himself that these men, suddenly, and, forming statesmen and legislators. Then came as it were, by enchantment, snatched from the the dealers in stocks and funds, who must be aumblest rank of subordination, would not be eager, at any expense, to change their ideal intoxicated with their unprepared greatness ? paper wealth for the more solid substance of Who could conceive, thai men, who are ha- land. To these were joined men of other debitually meddling, daring, subtle, active, of scriptions, from whom as little knowledge of litigious dispositions and unquiet minds, would or attention to the interests of a great staie easily fall back into their old condition of was to be expected, and as little regard to the obscure contention, and laborious, low, and stability of any institution ; men formed to be unprofitable chicane? Who could doubt but instruments not controuls. Such in general was that, at any expense to the state, of which the composition of the Tiers Etat in the nathey understood nothing, they must pursue tional assembly; in which was scarcely to be their private interests, which they understood forceived the slightest traces of what we cali but too well? It was not an event depending the natural landea interest of the country. on chance or contingency. It was inevitable; We know that the British house of commons, it was necessary; it was planted in the nature without shutting its doors to any merit in any of things. They must join (if their capacity class, is, by the sure operation of adequate did not permit them to lead) in any project causes, filled with every thing illustrious in which could procure to them a litigious consti- rank, in descent, in hereditary and in acquired tution ; which could lay open to them those opulence, in cultivated talenis, in military, innumerable lucrative jobs which follow in the civil, naval, and politic distinction, that the train of all great convulsions and revolutions country can afford. But supposing, what hardly in the state, and particularly in all great and can be supposed as a case, that the house of violent permutations of property. Was it to commons should be composed in the same be expected that they would attend to the sta- manner with the Tiers Elat in France, would bility of property, whose existence had always this dominion of chicane be borne with padepended upon whatever rendered property tience, or even conceived without horrour? questionable, ambiguous, and insecure? Their God forbid I should insinuate anything derogaobjects would be enlarged with their elevation, tory to that profession, which is another priestbut their disposition and habits, and mode of hood, administering the rights of sacred jusaccomplishing their designs, must remain the tice. But whilst I revere men in the functions

which belong to them, and would do, as much Well! but these men were to be tempered as one man can do, to prevent their excluand restrained by other descriptions, of more sion from any, I cannot, to Natter them, give sober minds, and more enlarged understandings. the lie to nature. They are good and useful Were they then to be awed by the super-emi- in the composition; they must be mischievous nent authority and awful dignity of a handful if they preponderate so as virtually to become of country-clowns, who have seats in that as- the whole. Their very excellence in their sembly, some of whom are said not to be able peculiar functions may be far from a qualificato read and write ? and by not a greater num

tion for others. It cannot escape observation, ber of traders, who, though somewhat more that when men are too much confined to proinstructed, and more conspicuous in the order fessional and faculty habits, and, as it were, of society, had never known any thing beyond inveterate in the recurrent employment of that their counting-house? No! both these descrip- narrow circle, they are rather disabled than tions were more formed to be overborne and qualified for whatever depends on the knowswayed by the intrigues and artifices of law- ledge of mankind, on experience in mixed yers, than to become their counterpoise. With affairs, on a comprehensive connected view of such a dangerous disproportion, the whole must the various complicated external and internal needs be governed by them. To the faculty interests which go to the formation of that mul of law was joined a pretty considerable pro- tifarious thing called a state. portion of the faculty of medicine. This faculty After all, if the house of commons were to


have an wholly professional and faculty com- upon a body of wealth, in which they could position, what is the power of the house of hardly look to have any share, except in a gem commons, circumscribed and shut in by the neral scramble. Instead of balancing the immovable barriers of law, usages, positive power of the active chicaners in the other rules of doctrine and practice, counterpoised by assembly, these curates must necessarily bethe house of lords, and every moment of its come the active coadjutors, or at best the existence at the discretion of the crown to passive instruments of those by whom they have continue, prorogue, or dissvive us? The power been habitually guided in their petty village of the house of commons, direct or indirect, is concerns. They too could hardly be the most indeed great; and long may it be able to pre- consciencious of their kind, who, presuming upor. serve its greatness, and the spirit belonging to their incompetent understanding, could intrigue true greatness, a' the full; and it will do so, for a trust which led them from their natural as long as it can keep the breakers of law in relation to their flocks, and their natural spheres India from becoming the makers of law for of action, to undertake the regeneration of England. The power, however, of the house kingdoms. This preponderating weight being of commons, when least diminished, is as a added to the force of the body of chicane in drop of water in the ocean, compared to that the Tiers Etat, completed that momentum of residing in a settled majority of your national ignorance, rashness, presumption, and lust of assembly. That assembly, since the destruc- plunder, which nothing has been able to resist. tion of the orders, has no fundamental law, no To observing men it must have appeared strict convention, no respected usage to re- from the beginning, that the majority of the strain it. Instead of finding themselves obliged Third Estate, in conjunction with such a deto conform to a fixed constitution, they have a putation from the clergy as I have described, power to make a constitution which shall con- whilst it pursued the destruction of the nobility, form to their designs. Nothing in heaven or would inevitably become subservient to the upon earth can serve as a controul on them. worst designs of individuals in that class. In What ought to be the heads, the hearts, the the spoil and humiliation of their own order dispositions, that are qualified, or that dare, these individuals would possess a sure fund for not only to make laws under a fixed constitu- the pay of their new followers. To squander tion, but at one heat to strike out a totally away the objects which made the happiness of new constitution for a great kingdom, and in their fellows, would be to them no sacrifice at every part of it, from the monarch on the all. Turbulent, discontented men of quality, throne to the vestry of a parish? But—" fools in proportion as they are puffed up with perrush in where angels fear to tread.” In such a sonal pride and arrogance, generally despise state of unbounded power, for undefined and their own order. One of the first symptoms undefinable purposes, the evil of a moral and they discover of a selfish and mischievous amalmost physical inaptitude of the man to the bition, is a profligate disregard of a dignity function, must be the greatest we can conceive which they partake with others. To be aito happen in the management of human affairs. tached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon

Having considered the composition of the we belong to in society, is the first principle third estate as it stood in its original frame, (the germ as it were) of public affections. It I took a view of the representatives of the is the first link in the series by which we proclergy. There too it appeared, that full as ceed towards a love to our country and to little regard was had to the general security of mankind. The interest of that portion of social property, or to the aptitude of the deputies for arrangement is a trust in the hands of all those iheir public purposes, in the principles of their who compose it; and as none but bad men election. That election was so contrived, as would justify it in abuse, none but traitors to send a very large proportion of mere country would barter it away for their own personal curates to the great and arduous work of new- advantage. modelling a state; men who never had seen There were, in the time of our civil troubles the state so much as in a picture; men who in England, (I do not know whether you have knew nothing of the world beyond the bounds any such in your assembly in France,) seveof an obscure village ; who, immersed in hope- ral persons, like the then Earl of Holland, who less poverty, could regard all property, whether by themselves or their families had brought ar: secular or ecclesiastical, with no other eye than odium on the throno, by the prodigal dispensathat of envy; among whom must be many, who, tion of its bounties towards them, who afterfor the smallest hope of the meanest dividend wards joined in the rebellions arising from the in plunder, would readily ioin in any attempts discontents of which they were 'hemselves the

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