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HINTS FOR A MEMORIAL

TO BE DELIVERED

TO MONSIEUR DE M. M.

WRITTEN IN THE EARLY PART OF 1791.

The king, my master, from his sincere desire His Majesty, having always thought it his greatof keeping up a good correspondence with his est glory, that he rules over a people perfectly most Christian majesty, and the French nation, has and solidly, because soberly, rationally, and lefor some time beheld with concern the condition gally, free, can never be supposed to proceed in into which that sovereign and nation have fallen. offering thus his royal mediation, but with an un

Notwithstanding the reality and the warmth of affected desire, and full resolution, to consider the those sentiments, His Britannick Majesty has settlement of a free constitution in France, as the hitherto forborne in any manner to take part in very basis of any agreement between the sovereign their affairs, in hopes that the common interest of and those of his subjects who are unhappily at king and subjects would render all parties sensible variance with him ; to guarantee it to them, if it of the necessity of settling their government, and should be desired, in the most solemn and authentheir freedom, upon principles of moderation; as tick manner, and to do all that in him lies to prothe only means of securing permanence to both cure the like guarantee from other powers. these blessings, as well as internal and external His Britannick Majesty, in the same manner, tranquillity, to the kingdom of France, and to all assures the most Christian king, that he knows Europe.

too well, and values too highly, what is due to the His Britannick Majesty finds, to his great re- dignity and rights of crowned heads, and to the gret, that his hopes have not been realized. He implied faith of treaties which have always been finds, that confusions and disorders have rather made with the Crown of France, ever to listen to encreased than diminished, and that they now any proposition by which that monarchy shall be threaten to proceed to dangerous extremities. despoiled of all its rights, so essential for the sup

In this situation of things, the same regard to a port of the consideration of the prince, and the neighbouring sovereign living in friendship with concord and welfare of the people. Great Britain, the same spirit of good-will to the If, unfortunately, a due attention should not be kingdom of France, the same regard to the gene- paid to these His Majesty's benevolent and neighral tranquillity, which have caused him to view, bourly offers, or, if any circumstances should prewith concern, the growth and continuance of the vent the most Christian king from acceding (as present disorders, have induced the King of Great His Majesty has no doubt he is well disposed to Britain to interpose his good offices towards a re- do) to this healing mediation in favour of himself concilement of those unhappy differences. This and all his subjects, His Majesty has commanded His Majesty does with the most cordial regard to me to take leave of this court, as not conceiving the good of all descriptions concerned, and with it to be suitable to the dignity of his crown, and the most perfect sincerity, wholly removing from to what he owes to his faithful people, any longer his royal mind all memory of every circumstance to keep a publick minister at the court of a sovewhich might impede him in the execution of a reign who is not in possession of his own liberty. plan of benevolence which he has so much at heart.

THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS, &c. &c.

WRITTEN IN DECEMBER, 1791.

Letter.

In all our transactions with France, and at all pended, by their authority, from his government. periods, we have treated with that state on the Under equally notorious constraint, and under mefooting of a monarchy. Monarchy was considered naces of total deposition, he has been compelled to in all the external relations of that kingdom with accept what they call a constitution, and to agree every power in Europe as its legal and constitu- to whatever else the usurped power, which holds tional government, and that in which alone its him in confinement, thinks proper to impose. federal capacity was vested.

His next brother, who had fled with him, and Montmorin's It is not yet a year since Monsieur his third brother, who had fled before him, all the

de Montmorin formally, and with as princes of his blood, who remained faithful to him, little respect as can be imagined to the king, and and the flower of his magistracy, his clergy, and to all crowned heads, announced a total revolution his nobility, continue in foreign countries, protestin that country.

He has informed the British ing against all acts done by him in his present ministry, that its frame of government is wholly situation, on the grounds upon which he had himaltered; that he is one of the ministers of the new self protested against them at the time of his flight; system ; and, in effect, that the king is no longer with this addition, that they deny his very comhis master (nor does he even call him such) but petence (as on good grounds they may) to abrothe “ first of the ministers,” in the new system. gate the royalty, or the ancient constitutional orAcceptance of

The second notification was that of ders of the kingdom. In this protest they are the constitu- the king's acceptance of the new con- joined by three hundred of the late assembly

stitution ; accompanied with fanfaro- itself, and, in effect, by a great part of the French nades in the modern style of the French bureaus ; nation. The new government (so far as the people things which have much more the air and character dare to disclose their sentiments) is disdained, I of the saucy declamations of their clubs, than the am persuaded, by the greater number; who, as M. tone of regular office.

de la Fayette complains, and as the truth is, have It has not been very usual to notify to foreign declined to take any share in the new elections courts any thing concerning the internal arrange- to the National Assembly, either as candidates or ments of any state. In the present case, the cir- electors. cumstance of these two notifications, with the In this state of things, (that is, in the case of observations with which they are attended, does divided kingdom,) by* the law of nations, Great not leave it in the choice of the sovereigns of Britain, like every other power, is free to take any Christendom to appear ignorant either of this part she pleases. She may decline, with more or French Revolution, or (what is more important) of less formality, according to her discretion, to acits principles.

knowledge this new system; or she may recogWe know, that, very soon after this manifesto of nise it as a government de facto, setting aside all Monsieur de Montmorin, the king of France, in discussion of its original legality, and considering whose name it was made, found himself obliged to the ancient monarchy as at an end. The law of fly, with his whole family ; leaving behind him a nations leaves our court open to its choice. We declaration, in which he disavows and annuls that have no direction but what is found in the well constitution, as having been the effect of force on understood policy of the king and kingdom. his person and usurpation on his authority. It is This declaration of a new species of government, equally notorious that this unfortunate prince was, on new principles, (such it professes itself to be,) with many circumstances of insult and outrage, is a real crisis in the politicks of Europe. The brought back prisoner, by a deputation of the pre- conduct which prudence ought to dictate to Great tended National Assembly, and afterwards sus- Britain, will not depend (as hitherto our connexion See Vattel, b ii. c. 4. sect. 56. and b. iii. c. 18. sect. 206.

and

others.

or quarrel with other states has for some time de- | alternatives true as to Germany, and false as to pended) upon merely external relations; but in a every other country. Neither are questions of great measure also upon the system which we may theoretick truth and falsehood governed by cirthink it right to adopt for the internal government cumstances any more than by places. On that of our own country.

occasion, therefore, the spirit of proselytism exIf it be our policy to assimilate our government panded itself with great elasticity upon all sides; to that of France, we ought to prepare for this and great divisions were every where the result. change, by encouraging the schemes of authority These divisions, however, in appearance merely established there. We ought to wink at the cap- dogmatick, soon became mixed with the political ; tivity and deposition of a prince, with whom, if and their effects were rendered much more intense not in close alliance, we were in friendship. We from this combination. Europe was for a long ought to fall in with the ideas of Mons. Mont-time divided into two great factions, under the morin's circular manifesto; and to do business of name of catholick and protestant, which not only course with the functionaries who act under the often alienated state from state, but also divided new power, by which that king, to whom his almost every state within itself. The warm parties majesty's minister has been sent to reside, has been in each state were more affectionately attached to deposed and imprisoned. On that idea we ought those of their own doctrinal interest in some other also to withhold all sorts of direct or indirect coun- country, than to their fellow-citizens, or to their tenance from those who are treating in Germany natural government, when they or either of them for the re-establishment of the French monarchy happened to be of a different persuasion. These and of the ancient orders of that state. This con- factions, wherever they prevailed, if they did not duct is suitable to this policy.

absolutely destroy, at least weakened and disThe question is, whether this policy be suitable tracted, the locality of patriotism. The publick afto the interests of the crown and subjects of Great fections came to have other motives and other ties. Britain. Let us, therefore, a little consider the true It would be to repeat the history of the two nature and probable effects of the revolution which, last centuries to exemplify the effects of this revoin such a very unusual manner, has been twice lution. diplomatically announced to his majesty.

Although the principles to which it gave rise did Difference be- There have been many internal not operate with a perfect regularity and contween this ne revolutions in the government of stancy, they never wholly ceased to operate. Few

countries, both as to persons and wars were made, and few treaties were entered forms, in which the neighbouring states have had into, in which they did not come in for some part. little or no concern. Whatever the government They gave a colour, a character, and direction, to might be with respect to those persons and those all the politicks of Europe. forms, the stationary interests of the nation con- These principles of internal as well New system cerned have most commonly influenced the new as external division and coalition are of politicks. governments in the same manner in which they in- but just now extinguished. But they, who will exfluenced the old; and the revolution, turning on amine into the true character and genius of some matter of local grievance, or of local accommoda- late events, must be satisfied that other sources of tion, did not extend beyond its territory.

faction, combining parties among the inhabitants The present Revolution in France of different countries into one connexion, are French Revo- seems to me to be quite of another opened, and that from these sources are likely to

character and description; and to arise effects full as important as those which had bear little resemblance or analogy to any of those formerly arisen from the jarring interests of the which have been brought about in Europe, upon religious sects. The intention of the several actors principles merely political. It is a revolution of in the change in France is not a matter of doubt. doctrine and theoretick dogma. It has a much It is very openly professed. greater resemblance to those changes which have In the modern world, before this time, there has been made upon religious grounds, in which a been no instance of this spirit of general political spirit of proselytism makes an essential part. faction, separated from religion, pervading several

The last revolution of doctrine and theory which countries, and forming a principle of union behas happened in Europe, is the Reformation. It is tween the partisans in each. But the thing is not not for my purpose to take any notice here of the less in human nature. The ancient world has merits of that revolution, but to state one only of furnished a strong and striking instance of such a its effects.

ground for faction, full as powerful and full as That effect was to introduce other mischievous as our spirit of religious system had Its effects.

interests into all countries than those ever been ; exciting in all the states of Greece which arose from their locality and natural cir- (European and Asiatick) the most violent animosicumstances. The principle of the Reformation ties, and the most cruel and bloody persecutions and was such as, by its essence, could not be local or proscriptions. These ancient factions in each comconfined to the country in which it had its origin. monwealth of Greece connected themselves with For instance, the doctrine of “ Justification by those of the same description in some other states; faith or by works,” which was the original basis and secret cabals and publick alliances were carried of the Reformation, could not have one of its on and made, not upon a conformity of general

Nature of the

every other.

political interests, but for the support and aggran- | it always their business, and often their publick dizement of the two leading states which headed profession, to destroy all traces of ancient estabthe aristocratick and democratick factions. For, lishments, and to form a new commonwealth as in latter times, the king of Spain was at the head in each country, upon the basis of the French of a catholick, and the king of Sweden of a pro- | Rights of Men. On the principle of these testant, interest, (France, though catholick, acting rights, they mean to institute in every country, subordinately to the latter,) in the like manner the and, as it were, the germ of the whole, parochial Lacedemonians were every where at the head of governments, for the purpose of what they call the aristocratick interests, and the Athenians of equal representation. From them is to grow, by the democratick. The two leading powers kept some media, a general council and representative alive a constant cabal and conspiracy in every of all the parochial governments. In that represtate, and the political dogmas concerning the sentative is to be vested the whole national constitution of a republick were the great instru- power; totally abolishing hereditary name and ments by which these leading states chose to office, levelling all conditions of men, (except aggrandize themselves. Their choice was not where money must make a difference,) breaking all unwise; because the interest in opinions, (merely connexion between territory and dignity, and as opinions, and without any experimental refer- abolishing every species of nobility, gentry, and ence to their effects,) when once they take strong church establishments; all their priests, and all hold of the mind, become the most operative of their magistrates, being only creatures of election, all interests, and indeed very often supersede and pensioners at will.

Knowing how opposite a permanent landed inI might further exemplify the possibility of a terest is to that scheme, they have resolved, and it political sentiment running through various states, is the great drift of all their regulations, to reduce and combining factions in them, from the history that description of men to a mere peasantry, for of the middle ages in the Guelfs and Ghibellines. the sustenance of the towns, and to place the true These were political factions originally in favour of effective government in cities, among the tradesthe emperor and the pope, with no mixture of men, bankers, and voluntary clubs of bold, prereligious dogmas: or if any thing religiously doc- suming young persons; advocates, attornies, notrinal they had in them originally, it very soon taries, managers of newspapers, and those cabals disappeared ; as their first political objects disap- of literary men, called academies. Their repubpeared also, though the spirit remained. They lick is to have a first functionary, (as they call him,) became no more than names to distinguish fac- under the name of king, or not, as they think fit. tions: but they were not the less powerful in their This officer, when such an officer is permitted, is, operation, when they had no direct point of doc- however, neither in fact nor name to be considered trine, either religious or civil, to assert. For a long as sovereign, nor the people as his subjects. The time, however, those factions gave no small de- very use of these appellations is offensive to their ears. gree of influence to the foreign chiefs in every This system, as it has first been realized, dogcommonwealth in which they existed. I do not matically, as well as practically, in France, makes mean to pursue further the track of these parties. France the natural head of all factions Partisans of the I allude to this part of history only, as it fur- formed on a similar principle, wher- French system. nishes an instance of that species of faction which ever they may prevail, as much as Athens was broke the locality of public affections, and united the head and settled ally of all democratick facdescriptions of citizens more with strangers, than tions, wherever they existed. The other system with their countrymen of different opinions. has no head.

The political dogma, which, upon This system has very many partisans in every mental princi- the new French system, is to unite country in Europe, but particularly in England,

the factions of different nations, is where they are already formed into a body, comthis, " That the majority, told by the head, of prehending most of the dissenters of the three lead“ the taxable people in every country, is the per- ing denominations; to these are readily aggre

petual, natural, unceasing, indefeasible sove- gated all who are dissenters in character, temper, “ reign; that this majority is perfectly master of and disposition, though not belonging to any of " the form, as well as the administration, of the their congregations—that is, all the restless people

state, and that the magistrates, under what- who resemble them, of all ranks and all parties

ever names they are called, are only func- Whigs, and even Tories—the whole race of half“ tionaries to obey the orders (general as laws bred speculators ;-all the Atheists, Deists, and or particular as decrees) which that majority Socinians ;-all those who hate the clergy, and

may make; that this is the only natural go- envy the nobility;-a good many among the monied

vernment; that all others are tyranny and people ;—the East Indians almost to a man, who “ usurpation."

cannot bear to find that their present importance Practical pro- In order to reduce this dogma into does not bear a proportion to their wealth. These

practice, the republicans in France, latter have united themselves into one great, and, and their associates in other countries, make in my opinion, formidable club,* which, though

French funda

66

ject.

• Originally called the Bengal Club; but since opened to per- sons from the other presidencies, for the purpose of consolidating

the whole Indian interest.

Grounds of se

now quiet, may be brought into action with con- under the royal government to an innumerable siderable unanimity and force.

multitude of places, real and nominal, that were Formerly few, except the ambitious great, or vendible; and such nobility were as capable of the desperate and indigent, were to be feared as every thing as their degree of influence or interest instruments in revolutions. What has happened could make them, that is, as nobility of no conin France teaches us, with many other things, siderable rank or consequence. M. Necker, so far that there are more causes.than have commonly from being a French gentleman, was not so much been taken into our consideration, by which go- as a Frenchman born, and yet we all know the vernment

may

be subverted. The monied men, rank in which he stood on the day of the meeting merchants, principal tradesmen, and men of let- of the states. ters, (hitherto generally thought the peaceable and As to the mere matter of estimation Mercantile

interest. even timid part of society,) are the chief actors in of the mercantile or any other class, the French Revolution. But the fact is, that as this is regulated by opinion and prejudice. In money encreases and circulates, and as the circu- England, a security against the envy of men in lation of news, in politicks, and letters, becomes these classes is not so very complete as we may more and more diffused, the persons who diffuse imagine. We must not impose upon ourselves. this money, and this intelligence, become more What institutions and manners together had done and more important. This was not long undis- in France, manners alone do here. It is the nacovered. Views of ambition were in France, for tural operation of things where there exists a the first time, presented to these classes of men. crown, a court, splendid orders of knighthood, Objects in the state, in the army, in the system of and an hereditary nobility ;-where there exists a civil offices of every kind. Their eyes were daz- fixed, permanent, landed gentry, continued in zled with this new prospect. They were, as it greatness and opulence by the law of primogeniwere, electrified and made to lose the natural spirit ture, and by a protection given to family settleof their situation. A bribe, great without example ments ;—where there exists a standing army and in the history of the world, was held out to them navy ;—where there exists a church establishment, —the whole government of a very large king- which bestows on learning and parts an interest dom.

combined with that of religion and the state ; There are several who are persuaded in a country where such things exist, wealth, new curity suppos. that the same thing cannot happen in in its acquisition, and precarious in its duration,

England, because here (they say) the can never rank first, or even near the first; though occupations of merchants, tradesmen, and manu- wealth has its natural weight further than it is facturers, are not held as degrading situations. I balanced and even preponderated amongst us as once thought that the low estimation in which amongst other nations, by artificial institutions commerce was held in France might be reckoned and opinions growing out of them. At no period among the causes of the late Revolution ; and I in the history of England have so few peers been am still of opinion, that the exclusive spirit of the taken out of trade or from families newly created French nobility did irritate the wealthy of other by commerce. In no period has so small a numclasses. But I found long since, that persons in ber of noble families entered into the countingtrade and business were by no means despised in house. I can call to mind but one in all England, France in the manner I had been taught to be- and his is of near fifty years standing. Be that lieve. As to men of letters, they were so far from as it

may,

it appears plain to me, from my best being despised or neglected, that there was no observation, that envy and ambition may, by art, country, perhaps, in the universe, in which they management, and disposition, be as much excited were so highly esteemed, courted, caressed, and amongst these descriptions of men in England, as even feared : tradesmen naturally were not so in any other country; and that they are just as much sought in society, (as not furnishing so large- capable of acting a part in any great change. ly to the fund of conversation as they do to the What direction the French spirit of revenues of the state,) but the latter description got proselytism is likely to take, and in French spirit Literary forward every day. M. Bailly, who what order it is likely to prevail in the

made himself the popular mayor on several parts of Europe, it is not easy to deterthe rebellion of the Bastile, and is a principal mine. The seeds are sown almost every where, actor in the revolt, before the change, possessed a chiefly by newspaper circulations, infinitely more pension or office under the Crown, of six hundred efficacious and extensive than ever they were. pounds English, a year; for that country, no con- And they are a more important instrument than temptible provision : and this he obtained solely generally is imagined. They are a part of the

as a man of letters, and on no other reading of all, they are the whole of the reading

title. As to the monied men—whilst of the far greater number. There are thirty of the monarchy continued, there is no doubt, that, them in Paris alone. The language diffuses them merely as such, they did not enjoy the privileges of more widely than the English, though the Engnobility, but nobility was of so easy an acquisi-lish too are much read. The writers of these tion, that it was the fault or neglect of all of that papers, indeed, for the greater part, are either undescription, who did not obtain its privileges, for known or in contempt, but they are like a battery their lives at least, in virtue of office. It attached in which the stroke of any one ball produces no

Progress of the

-Its course.

interest.

Monied interest.

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