Abbildungen der Seite

and render it as futile in its effects, as it is feeble too little importance to suppose the name of the in its principle. But when we consider that the writer could add any weight to the state of things main drift of that defensive alliance must be to contained in this paper. That state of things prevent the operation of intrigue, mischievous presses irresistibly on my judgment, and it lies, doctrine, and evil example, in the success of unpro- and has long lain, with a heavy weight upon my voked rebellion, regicide, and systematick assassi- mind. I cannot think that what is done in France nation and massacre, the absurdity of such a scheme is beneficial to the human race. If it were, the becomes quite lamentable. Open the communica- | English constitution ought no more to stand tion with France, and the rest follows of course. against it than the ancient constitution of the king

How far the interiour circumstances of this dom in which the new system prevails. I thought country support what is said with regard to its it the duty of a man, not unconcerned for the foreign politicks, must be left to better judgments. publick, and who is a faithful subject of the king, I am sure the French faction here is infinitely respectfully to submit this state of facts as this strengthened by the success of the assassins on new step in the progress of the French arms and the other side of the water. This evil in the heart politicks, to His Majesty, to his confidential of Europe must be extirpated from that center, or servants, and to those persons who, though not in no part of the circumference can be free from the office, by their birth, their rank, their fortune, their mischief which radiates from it, and which will character, and their reputation for wisdom, seem spread circle beyond circle, in spite of all the little to me to have a large stake in the stability of the defensive precautions which can be employed ancient order of things. against them.

I do not put my name to these hints submitted Bath, November 5, 1792. to the consideration of reflecting men. It is of

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

As the proposed manifesto is, I understand, to not be the less severe, or the less exemplary, when promulgate to the world the general idea of a it is not threatened at a moment when we have it plan for the regulation of a great kingdom, and not in our power to execute our threats. On the through the regulation of that kingdom probably other side, to pass by proceedings of such a neto decide the fate of Europe for ever, nothing re- farious nature, in all kinds, as have been carried quires a more serious deliberation with regard to on in France, without any signification of resentthe time of making it, the circumstances of those ment, would be in effect to ratify them; and thus to whom it is addressed, and the matter it is to to become accessaries after the fact, in all those contain.

enormities which it is impossible to repeat, or As to the time, (with the due diffidence in my think of without horrour. An absolute silence own opinion,) I have some doubts whether it is not appears to me to be at this time the only safe rather unfavourable to the issuing any manifesto, course. with regard to the intended government of France : The second usual matter of manifestoes is and for this reason, that it is (upon the principal composed of promises to those who co-operate point of our attack) a time of calamity and defeat. with our designs. These promises depend in a Manifestoes of this nature are commonly made great measure, if not wholly, on the apparent when the army of some sovereign enters into the power of the person who makes them to fulfil his enemy's country in great force, and under the im- engagements. A time of disaster on the part of posing authority of that force employs menaces the promiser, seems not to add much to the digtowards those whom he desires to awe, and makes nity of his person, or to the effect of his offers. promises to those whom he wishes to engage in his One would hardly wish to seduce any unhappy favour.

persons to give the last provocation to a merciless As to a party, what has been done at Toulon tyranny, without very effectual means of protectleaves no doubt, that the party for which we de- | ing them. clare must be that which substantially declares for The time, therefore, seems (as I said) not faroyalty as the basis of the government.

vourable to a general manifesto, on account of As to menaces—Nothing, in my opinion, can the unpleasant situation of our affairs. However, contribute more effectually to lower any sovereign I write in a changing scene, when a measure, very in the publick estimation, and to turn his defeats imprudent to-day, may be very proper to-morrow. into disgraces, than to threaten in a moment of Some great victory may alter the whole state of impotence. The second manifesto of the duke of the question, so far as it regards our power of Brunswick appeared, therefore, to the world to be fulfilling any engagement we may think fit to extremely ill-timed. However, if his menaces in make. that manifesto had been seasonable, they were

But there is another consideration of far greater not without an object. Great crimes then appre- importance for all the purposes of this manifesto. hended, and great evils then impending, were to the publick, and the parties concerned, will be prevented. At this time, every act, which look somewhat to the disposition of the promiser early menaces might possibly have prevented, is indicated by his conduct, as well as to his power done. Punishment and vengeance alone remain, of fulfilling his engagements. and God forbid that they should ever be forgotten. Speaking of this nation as part of a general But the punishment of enormous offenders will combination of powers, are we quite sure, that

usurp it?

others can believe us to be sincere, or that we can made in the course of the present campaign. By be even fully assured of our own sincerity, in the these two capitulations, the Christian royalists protection of those who shall risk their lives for were excluded from any participation in the cause the restoration of monarchy in France, when the of the combined powers. They were considered world sees, that those who are the natural, legal, as the outlaws of Europe. Two armies were in constitutional representatives of that monarchy, if effect sent against them. One of those armies it has any, have not had their names so much as (that which surrendered Mentz) was very near mentioned in any one publick act; that in no way overpowering the Christians of Poitou, and the whatever are their persons brought forward, that other (that which surrendered at Valenciennes) has their rights have not been expressly or implicitly actually crushed the people whom oppression and allowed, and that they have not been in the least despair had driven to resistance at Lyons, has consulted on the important interests they have at massacred several thousands of them in cold blood, stake. On the contrary, they are kept in a state pillaged the whole substance of the place, and of obscurity and contempt, and in a degree of in- pursued their rage to the very houses, condemning digence at times bordering on beggary. They that noble city to desolation, in the unheard-of are, in fact, little less prisoners in the village of manner we have seen it devoted. Hanau, than the royal captives who are locked up It is then plain by a conduct which overturns a in the tower of the Temple. What is this, accord - thousand declarations, that we take the royalists of ing to the common indications which guide the France only as an instrument of some convenience judgment of mankind, but, under the pretext of in a temporary hostility with the jacobins, but that protecting the crown of France, in reality to we regard those atheistick and murderous barba

rians as the bonâ fide possessors of the soil of I am also very apprehensive, that there are other France. It appears at least, that we consider them circumstances which must tend to weaken the as a fair government de facto, if not de jure; a force of our declarations. No partiality to the resistance to which in favour of the king of France, allied powers can prevent great doubts on the fair- by any man who happened to be born within that ness of our intentions as supporters of the crown country, might equitably be considered, by other of France, or of the true principles of legitimate nations, as the crime of treason. government in opposition to jacobinism, when it is For my part, I would sooner put my hand into visible that the two leading orders of the state of the fire than sign an invitation to oppressed men to France, who are now the victims, and who must fight under my standard, and then, on every sinister always be the true and sole supports of monarchy event of war, cruelly give them up to be punished in that country, are, at best, in some of their de- as the basest of traitors, as long as I had one of scriptions, considered only as objects of charity, the common enemy in my hands to be put to death and others are, when employed, employed only as in order to secure those under my protection, and mercenary soldiers ; that they are thrown back to vindicate the common honour of sovereigns. out of all reputable service, are in a manner dis- We hear nothing of this kind of security in favour owned, considered as nothing in their own cause, of those whom we invite to the support of our and never once consulted in the concerns of their

Without it, I am not a little apprehensive king, their country, their laws, their religion, and that the proclamations of the combined powers their property? We even affect to be ashamed of might (contrary to their intention no doubt) be them. In all our proceedings we carefully avoid looked upon as frauds, and cruel traps laid for the appearance of being of a party with them. In their lives. all our ideas of treaty we do not regard them as So far as to the correspondence between our what they are, the two leading orders of the king- declarations and our conduct: let the declaration dom. If we do not consider them in that light, be worded as it will, the conduct is the practical we must recognise the savages by whom they have comment by which, and by which alone, it can be been ruined, and who have declared war upon understood. This conduct, acting on the declaEurope, whilst they disgrace and persecute human ration, leaves a monarchy without a monarch ; nature, and openly defy the God that made them, and without any representative or trustee for the as real proprietors of France.

monarch, and the monarchy. It supposes a kingI am much afraid, too, that we shall scarcely be dom without states and orders; a territory without believed fair supporters of lawful monarchy against proprietors; and faithful subjects, who are to be jacobinism, so long as we continue to make and left to the fate of rebels and traitors. to observe cartels with the jacobins, and on fair The affair of the establishment of a government terms exchange prisoners with them, whilst the is a very difficult undertaking for foreign powers royalists, invited to our standard, and employed to act in as principals; though as auxiliaries and under our publick faith, against the jacobins, if mediators, it has been not at all unusual, and may taken by that savage faction, are given up to the be a measure full of policy and humanity, and executioner without the least attempt whatsoever true dignity. at reprisal. For this, we are to look at the king of The first thing we ought to do, supposing us Prussia's conduct, compared with his manifestoes not giving the law as conquerors, but acting as about a twelvemonth ago. For this we are to look friendly powers applied to for counsel and assistat the capitulations of Mentz and Valenciennes, ance in the settlement of a distracted country, is


well to consider the composition, nature, and tem- outline, ought to be made distinct and clear; for per of its objects, and particularly of those who if they are not, (especially with regard to those actually do, or who ought to exercise power in great points, who are the proprietors of the soil, that state. It is material to know who they are, and what is the corporation of the kingdom,) there and how constituted, whom we consider as the is nothing to hinder the complete establishment of people of France ?

a jacobin republick, (such as that formed in 1790 The next consideration is, through whom our and 1791,) under the name of a Democracie Royarrangements are to be made, and on what prin- ale. Jacobinism does not consist in the having, ciples the government we propose is to be estab- or not having, a certain pageant under the name lished.

of a king, but " in taking the people as equal inThe first question on the people is this, Whe-“dividuals, without any corporate name or dether we are to consider the individuals now actu- scription, without attention to property, without ally in France, numerically taken and arranged “division of powers, and forming the government into jacobin clubs, as the body politick, constitut- “of delegates from a number of men, so constiing the nation of France ? or, Whether we are to “tuted; in destroying or confiscating property, consider the original individual proprietors of “ and bribing the publick creditors, or the poor, lands, expelled since the Revolution, and the with the spoils, now of one part of the commustates and the bodies politick, such as the colleges “nity, now of another, without regard to prescripof justice called parliaments, the corporations “tion or profession." noble and not noble of bailliages, and towns, and I hope no one can be so very blind as to imacities, the bishops and the clergy, as the true con- gine that monarchy can be acknowledged and supstituent parts of the nation, and forming the legally ported in France upon any other basis than that organized parts of the people of France ? of its property, corporate and individual, or that

In this serious concern it is very necessary that it can enjoy a moment's permanence or security we should have the most distinct ideas annexed to upon any scheme of things, which sets aside all the terms we employ; because it is evident, that the ancient corporate capacities and distinctions an abuse of the term people, has been the original of the kingdom, and subverts the whole fabrick of fundamental cause of those evils, the cure of its ancient laws and usages, political, civil, and which, by war and policy, is the present object of religious, to introduce a system founded on the all the states of Europe.

supposed rights of man, and the absolute equality If we consider the acting power in France, in of the human race. Unless, therefore, we declare any legal construction of publick law, as the peo- clearly and distinctly in favour of the restoration ple, the question is decided in favour of the repub- of property, and confide to the hereditary prolick one and indivisible. But we have decided perty of the kingdom, the limitation and qualififor monarchy. If so, we have a king and subjects; cations of its hereditary monarchy, the blood and and that king and subjects have rights and privi- treasure of Europe is wasted for the establishment leges which ought to be supported at home; for Iof jacobinism in France. There is no doubt that do not suppose that the government of that king- Danton and Robespierre, Chaumette and Barrere, dom can, or ought to be regulated, by the arbi- that Condorcet, that Thomas Paine, that La Faytrary mandate of a foreign confederacy.

ette, and the ex-bishop of Autun, the abbé GreAs to the faction exercising power, to suppose goire, with all the gang of the Syeyeses, the Henthat monarchy can be supported by principled re- riots, and the Santerres, if they could secure themgicides, religion by professed atheists, order by selves in the fruits of their rebellion and robbery, clubs of jacobins, property by committees of pro- would be perfectly indifferent, whether the most scription, and jurisprudence by revolutionary tri- unhappy of all infants, whom by the lessons of the bunals, is to be sanguine in a degree of which I shoemaker, his governour and guardian, they are am incapable. On them I decide, for myself, that training up studiously and methodically to be an these persons are not the legal corporation of idiot, or what is worse, the most wicked and base France, and that it is not with them we can (if we of mankind, continues to receive his civick educawould) settle the government of France.

tion in the Temple or the Tuilleries, whilst they, Since, then, we have decided for monarchy in and such as they, really govern the kingdom. that kingdom, we ought also to settle who is to be It cannot be too often and too strongly inculthe monarch, who is to be the guardian of a minor, cated, that monarchy and property must, in and how the monarch and monarchy is to be mo- France, go together ; or neither can exist. To dified and supported ? If the monarch is to be think of the possibility of the existence of a perelected, who the electors are to be? if hereditary, manent and hereditary royalty, where nothing what order is established corresponding with an else is hereditary or permanent in point either of hereditary monarchy, and fitted to maintain it? | personal or corporate dignity, is a ruinous chimera Who are to modify it in its exercise ? Who are worthy of the abbé Syeyes and those wicked fools to restrain its powers where they ought to be his associates, who usurped power by the murders limited, to strengthen them where they are to be of the 19th of July and the 6th of October 1789, supported, or to enlarge them, where the object, and who brought forth the monster which they the time, and the circumstances, may demand called Democracie Royale, or the Constitution. their extension? These are things which, in the I believe that most thinking men would prefer


minant power

No individual

infinitely some sober and sensible form of a repub-errour if we act upon an idea that there exists in lick, in which there was no mention at all of a that country any organized body of men who king, but which held out some reasonable security might be willing to treat, on equitable terms, for to property, life, and personal freedom, to a scheme the restoration of their monarchy; but who are of things like this Democracie Royale, founded nice in balancing those terms, and who would on impiety, immorality, fraudulent currencies, the accept such as to them appeared reasonable, but confiscation of innocent individuals, and the pre- who would quietly submit to the predominant tended rights of man; and which, in effect, ex- power, if they were not gratified in the fashion of cluding the whole body of the nobility, clergy, some constitution which suited with their fancies. and landed property of a great nation, threw every I take the state of France to be totally different, thing into the hands of a desperate set of obscure I know of no such body, and of no such party. adventurers, who led to every mischief a blind and So far from a combination of twenty men, (always bloody band of sans-culottes. At the head, or excepting Poitou,) I never yet heard, that a single rather at the tail, of this system, was a miserable man could be named of sufficient force or influpageant as its ostensible instrument, who was to be ence to answer for another man, much less for treated with every species of indignity, till the mo- the smallest district in the country, or for the most ment when he was conveyed from the palace of incomplete company of soldiers in the army. contempt to the dungeon of horrour, and thence see every man, that the jacobins choose to appreled by a brewer of his capital through the applauses hend, taken up in his village or in his house, and of an hired, frantick, drunken multitude, to lose conveyed to prison without the least shadow of his head upon a scaffold.

resistance; and this indifferently, whether he is This is the Constitution, or Democracie Royale; suspected of royalism, or federalism, moderantism, and this is what infallibly would be again set up in democracy royal, or any other of the names of France to run exactly the same round, if the predo- faction which they start by the hour. What is

should so far be forced to submit as much more astonishing, (and if we did not careto receive the name of a king, leaving it to the fully attend to the genius and circumjacobins (that is, to those who have subverted stances of this Revolution, must indeed influence, civil

or military. royalty and destroyed property) to modify the one, appear incredible,) all their most acand to distribute the other as spoil. By the jaco- credited military men, from a generalissimo to a bins I mean indiscriminately the Brissotins and corporal, may be arrested, (each in the midst of the Maratists, knowing no sort of difference be- his camp, and covered with the laurels of accutween them. As to any other party, none exists mulated victories,) tied neck and heels, thrown in that unhappy country. The royalists (those in into a cart, and sent to Paris to be disposed of at Poitou excepted) are banished and extinguished; the pleasure of the revolutionary tribunals. and as to what they call the Constitutionalists, or As no individuals have power and No corpora. Democratus Royaur, they never had an existence influence, so there are no corporations, commerce, scor

, of the smallest degree of power, consideration, or whether of lawyers or burghers, ex- police. authority; nor, if they differ at all from the rest isting. The assembly called Constituent, deof the atheistick banditti, (which from their actions stroyed all such institutions very early. The priand principles I have no reason to think,) were mary and secondary assemblies, by their original they ever any other than the temporary tools and constitution, were to be dissolved when they instruments of the more determined, able, and sys- answered the purpose of electing the magistrates ; tematick regicides. Several attempts have been and were expressly disqualified from performing made to support this chimerical Democracie Royale any corporate act whatsoever. The transient

-the first was by La Fayette—the last by Du- magistrates have been almost all removed before mourier :—they tended only to shew, that this the expiration of their terms, and new have been absurd project had no party to support it. The lately imposed upon the people, without the form Girondists under Wimpfen, and at Bordeaux, or ceremony of an election : these magistrates durhave made some struggle. The constitutionalists ing their existence are put under, as all the execunever could make any; and for a very plain rea- tive authorities are from first to last, the popular son; they were leaders in rebellion. All their societies (called Jacobin Clubs) of the several principles, and their whole scheme of government, countries, and this by an express order of the being republican, they could never excite the National Convention : it is even made a case of smallest degree of enthusiasm in favour of the death to oppose or attack those clubs. They too unhappy monarch, whom they had rendered con- have been lately subjected to an expurgatory scrutemptible, to make him the executive officer in tiny, to drive out from them every thing savourtheir new commonwealth. They only appeared ing of what they call the crime of moderantism, of as traitors to their own jacobin cause, not as faith-which offence however few were guilty. But as ful adherents to the king.

people began to take refuge from their persecutions In an address to France, in an attempt to treat -amongst themselves, they have driven them from with it, or in considering any scheme at all relative that last asylum. to it, it is impossible we should mean the geogra- The state of France is perfectly simple. It conphical, we must always mean the moral and poli-sists of but two descriptions—The oppressors and tical, country. I believe we shall be in a great the oppressed.

« ZurückWeiter »