« ZurückWeiter »
absolute masters of the Mediterranean, with Gib- principle, and with very little judgment. By raltar on one side, and Toulon on the other, with means, however, of this foolish, mean, and jealous a quiet and composed mind, whilst we do little less policy on our side, all the royalists whom the than declare that we are to take the whole West English might select as most practicable, and most Indies into our hands, leaving the vast, unwieldy, subservient to honest views, are totally excluded. and feeble body of the Spanish dominions, in that of those admitted, the Spaniards are masters. As part of the world, absolutely at our mercy, without to the inhabitants they are a nest of jacobins which any power to balance us in the smallest degree? is delivered into our hands, not from principle, Nothing is so fatal to a nation as an extreme of but from fear. The inhabitants of Toulon may self-partiality, and the total want of consideration be described in a few words. It is differtum nautis, of what others will naturally hope or fear. Spain cauponibus atque malignis. The rest of the seamust think she sees, that we are taking advantage ports are of the same description. of the confusions which reign in France to disable Another thing which I cannot account for is, that country, and of course every country, from the sending for the bishop of Toulon, and afteraffording her protection, and in the end to turn wards forbidding his entrance. This is as directly the Spanish monarchy into a province. If she contrary to the declaration, as it is to the practice saw things in a proper point of light, to be sure, of the allied powers. The king of Prussia did she would not consider any other plan of poli- better. When he took Verdun, he actually reinticks as of the least moment in comparison of the stated the bishop and his chapter. When he extinction of jacobinism. But her ministers (to thought he should be the master of Chalons, he say the best of them) are vulgar politicians. It is called the bishop from Flanders, to put him into no wonder that they should postpone this great possession. The Austrians have restored the clergy point, or balance it, by considerations of the com- wherever they obtained possession. We have promon politicks, that is, the questions of power posed to restore religion as well as monarchy; between state and state. If we manifestly endea- and in Toulon we have restored neither the one vour to destroy the balance, especially the mari- nor the other. It is very likely that the jacobin time and commercial balance, both in Europe and sans-culottes, or some of them, objected to this the West Indies, (the latter their sore and vulner- measure, who rather choose to have the atheistick able part,) from fear of what France may do for buffoons of clergy they have got to sport with, till Spain, hereafter, is it to be wondered, that Spain, they are ready to come forward, with the rest of infinitely weaker than we are, (weaker indeed than their worthy brethren, in Paris and other places, such a mass of empire ever was,) should feel the to declare that they are a set of impostors, that same fears from our uncontrouled power, that we they never believed in God, and never will preach give way to ourselves from a supposed resurrection any sort of religion. If we give way to our jacoof the ancient power of France under a monarchy? bins, in this point, it is fully and fairly putting the It signifies nothing whether we are wrong or right government, civil and ecclesiastical, not in the in the abstract; but in respect to our relation to king of France, to whom, as the protector and Spain, with such principles followed up in prac- governour, and in substance the head, of the Galtice, it is absolutely impossible that any cordiallican church, the nomination to the bishopricks alliance can subsist between the two nations. If belonged, and who made the bishop of Toulon ; it Spain goes, Naples will speedily follow. Prussia is does not leave it with him, or even in the hands of quite certain, and thinks of nothing but making a the king of England, or the king of Spain ; but in market of the present confusions. Italy is broken the basest jacobins of a low sea-port, to exercise, and divided ; Switzerland is jacobinized, I am pro tempore, the sovereignty. If this point of reliafraid, completely. I have long seen with pain thegion is thus given up, the grand instrument for progress of French principles in that country. reclaiming France is abandoned. We cannot, if Things cannot go on upon the present bottom. we would, delude ourselves about the true state of The possession of Toulon, which, well managed, this dreadful contest. It is a religious war. It might be of the greatest advantage, will be the includes in its object undoubtedly every other ingreatest misfortune that ever happened to this terest of society as well as this, but this is the nation. The more we multiply troops there, the principal and leading feature. It is through this
. more we shall multiply causes and means of quar- destruction of religion that our enemies propose rel amongst ourselves. I know but one way of the accomplishment of all their other views. The avoiding it, which is to give a greater degree of French Revolution, impious at once and fanatical, simplicity to our politicks. Our situation does had no other plan for domestick power and foreign necessarily render them a good deal involved. empire. Look at all the proceedings of the Na
. And, to this evil, instead of encreasing it, we tional Assembly from the first day of declaring itought to apply all the remedies in our power. self such in the year 1789, to this very hour, and
See what is, in that place, the consequence (to you will find full half of their business to be say nothing of every other) of this complexity. directly
directly on this subject. In fact it is the spirit of Toulon has, as it were, two gates, an English and the whole. The religious system, called the cona Spanish. The English gate is, by our policy, stitutional church, was, on the face of the whole
, fast barred against the entrance of any royalists. proceeding, set up only as a mere temporary amuseThe Spaniards open theirs, I fear, upon no fixed ment to the people, and so constantly stated in all
their conversations, till the time should come, have behaved shockingly since the very beginning when they might with safety cast off the very ap- of this rebellion, and have been uniformly conpearance of all religion whatsoever, and persecute cerned in its worst and most atrocious acts. Their Christianity throughout Europe with fire and clergy are just the same atheists with those of the sword. The constitutional clergy are not the mi-constitutional catholicks; but still more wicked and nisters of any religion : they are the agents and daring. Three of their number have met from their instruments of this horrible conspiracy against all republican associates the reward of their crimes. morals. It was from a sense of this, that in the As the ancient catholick religion is to be restored English addition to the articles proposed at St. for the body of France, the ancient Calvinistick Domingo, tolerating all religions, we very wisely religion ought to be restored for the protestants refused to suffer that kind of traitors and buffoons. with every kind of protection and privilege. But
This religious war is not a controversy between not one minister concerned in this rebellion ought sect and sect as formerly, but a war against all sects to be suffered amongst them. If they have not and all religions. The question is not whether clergy of their own, men well recommended as you are to overturn the catholick, to set up the untainted with jacobinism, by the synods of those protestant. Such an idea in the present state of places where Calvinism prevails and French is the world is too contemptible. Our business is spoken, ought to be sought. Many such there are. to leave to the schools the discussion of the con- The presbyterian discipline ought, in my opinion, troverted points, abating as much as we can the to be established in its vigour, and the people proacrimony of disputants on all sides. It is for Chris- fessing it ought to be bound to its maintenance. tian statesmen, as the world is now circumstanced, No man, under the false and hypocritical pretence to secure their common basis, and not to risk the of liberty of conscience, ought to be suffered to subversion of the whole fabrick by pursuing these have no conscience at all. The king's commisdistinctions with an ill-timed zeal. We have, in sioner ought also to sit in their synods as before the the present grand alliance, all modes of govern- revocation of the edict of Nantz. I am conscious ment as well as all modes of religion. In govern that this discipline disposes men to republicanism: ment, we mean to restore that, which, notwith- but it is still a discipline, and it is a cure (such as it standing our diversity of forms, we are all agreed is) for the perverse and undisciplined habits which in as fundamental in government. The same prin- for some time have prevailed. "Republicanism reciple ought to guide us in the religious part ; pressed may have its use in the composition of a conforming the mode, not to our particular ideas, state. Inspection may be practicable, and respon(for in that point we have no ideas in common,) sibility in the teachers and elders may be estabbut to what will best promote the great, general lished in such an hierarchy as the presbyterian. ends of the alliance. As statesmen we are to see For a time like ours, it is a great point gained, that which of those modes best suits with the interests people should be taught to meet, to combine, and of such a commonwealth as we wish to secure and to be classed and arrayed in some other way
than promote. There can be no doubt, but that the in clubs of jacobins. If it be not the best mode catholick religion, which is fundamentally the re- of protestantism under a monarchy, it is still an ligion of France, must go with the monarchy of orderly Christian church, orthodox in the fundaFrance; we know that the monarchy did not sur- mentals, and, what is to our point, capable enough vive the hierarchy, no not even in appearance, for of rendering men useful citizens. It was the immany months ; in substance, not for a single hour. politick ambition of their discipline which exposed As little can it exist in future, if that pillar is taken them to the wild opinions and conduct, that have away, or even shattered and impaired.
prevailed amongst the Hugonots. The toleration If it should please God to give to the allies the in 1787 was owing to the good disposition of the means of restoring peace and order in that focus late king; but it was modified by the profligate of war and confusion, I would, as I said in the folly of his atheistick minister the Cardinal de Lobeginning of this memorial, first replace the whole menie. This mischievous minister did not follow of the old clergy: because we have proof more in the edict of toleration the wisdom of the edict than sufficient, that whether they err or not in the of Nantz. But his toleration was granted to nonscholastick disputes with us, they are not tainted catholicks—a dangerous word, which might sigwith atheism, the great political evil of the time. nify any thing, and was but too expressive of a I hope I need not apologize for this phrase, as if fatal indifference with regard to all piety. I speak I thought religion nothing but policy; it is far from for myself: I do not wish any man to be conmy thoughts, and I hope it is not to be inferred verted from bis sect. The distinctions which we from my expressions. But in the light of policy have reformed from animosity to emulation may alone I am here considering the question. I speak be even useful to the cause of religion. By some of policy too in a large light; in which large light, moderate contention they keep alive zeal. Whereas
; policy too is a sacred thing. а
people who change, except under strong convicThere are many, perhaps half a million or more, tion, (a thing now rather rare,) the religion of their calling themselves protestants, in the south of early prejudices, especially if the conversion is France, and in other of the provinces. Some raise brought about by any political machine, are very them to a much greater number, but I think this apt to degenerate into indifference, laxity, and nearer to the mark. I am sorry to say, that they often downright atheism.
Another political question arises about the mode | can abandon. If, contrary to all expectations,
. of government which ought to be established. I under such a disgraced and impotent government, think the proclamation (which I read before I had any energy should remain in that country, she proceeded far in this memorial) puts it on the best will make every effort to recover her security, footing, by postponing that arrangement to a time which will involve Europe for a century in war and
blood. What has it cost to France to make that When our politicks lead us to enterprise a great frontier ? What will it cost to recover it ? Austria and almost total political revolution in Europe, we thinks without a frontier she cannot secure the ought to look seriously into the consequences of Netherlands. But without her frontier France what we are about to do. Some eminent persons cannot secure herself. Austria has been however discover an apprehension that the monarchy, if secure for an hundred years in those very Netherrestored in France, may be restored in too great lands, and has never been dispossessed of them by strength for the liberty and happiness of the na- the chance of war, without a moral certainty of tives, and for the tranquillity of other states.- receiving them again on the restoration of peace. They are therefore of opinion that terms ought to Her late dangers have arisen not from the power be made for the modification of that monarchy. or ambition of the king of France. They arose They are persons too considerable from the powers from her own ill policy, which dismantled all her of their mind, and from their situation, as well as towns, and discontented all her subjects by jacofrom the real respect I have for them, who seem to binical innovations. She dismantles her own entertain these apprehensions, to let me pass them towns, and then says, Give me the frontier of by unnoticed.
France. But let us depend upon it, whatever As to the power of France, as a state, and in its tends, under the name of security, to aggrandize exteriour relations, I confess my fears are on the Austria, will discontent and alarm Prussia. Such part of its extreme reduction. There is undoubt- a length of frontier on the side of France, sepaedly something in the vicinity of France, which rated from itself, and separated from the mass of makes it naturally and properly an object of our the Austrian country, will be weak, unless conwatchfulness and jealousy, whatever form its go- nected at the expence of the elector of Bavaria vernment may take. But the difference is great (the elector Palatine) and other lesser princes, or between a plan for our own security, and a scheme by such exchanges as will again convulse the emfor the utter destruction of France. If there were pire. no other countries in the political map but these Take it the other way, and let us suppose that two, I admit that policy might justify a wish to France so broken in spirit as to be content to relower our neighbour to a standard which would main naked and defenceless by sea and by land; even render her in some measure, if not wholly, is such a country no prey ? Have other nations no our dependant. But the system of Europe is ex- views ? Is Poland the only country of which it is tensive and extremely complex. However formi- worth while to make a partition ? We cannot be dable to us as taken in this one relation, France so childish as to imagine, that ambition is local, is not equally dreadful to all other states. On the and that no others can be infected with it but those contrary my clear opinion is, that the liberties of who rule within certain parallels of latitude and Europe cannot possibly be preserved but by her longitude. In this way I hold war equally cerremaining a very great and preponderating power. tain. But I can conceive that both these princiThe design at present evidently pursued by the ples may operate : ambition on the part of Austria combined potentates, or of the two who lead, is to cut more and more from France; and French totally to destroy her as such a power. For Great impatience under her degraded and unsafe condiBritain resolves that she shall have no colonies, no tion. In such a contest will the other powers commerce, and no marine. Austria means to take stand by ? Will not Prussia call for indemnity as away the whole frontier, from the borders of Swit- well as Austria and England ? Is she satisfied with zerland to Dunkirk. It is their plan also to ren- her gains in Poland ? By no means. Germany der the interiour government lax and feeble, by must pay; or we shall infallibly see Prussia prescribing by force of the arms of rival and jea- leagued with France and Spain, and possibly with lous nations, and without consulting the natural other powers, for the reduction of Austria; and interests of the kingdom, such arrangements as in such may be the situation of things, that it will the actual state of jacobinism in France, and the not be so easy to decide what part England may unsettled state in which property must remain for take in such a contest. a long time, will inevitably produce such distrac- I am well aware how invidious a task it is to tion and debility in government, as to reduce it to oppose any thing which tends to the apparent nothing, or to throw it back into its old confusion. aggrandizement of our own country. But I think One cannot conceive so frightful a state of a na- no country can be aggrandized whilst France is tion. A maritime country without a marine, and jacobinized. This post removed, it will be a seriwithout commerce ; a continental country without ous question how far her further reduction will a frontier, and for a thousand miles surrounded contribute to the general safety, which I always with powerful, warlike, and ambitious neighbours! consider as included. Among precautions against It is possible, that she might submit to lose her ambition, it may not be amiss to take one precaucommerce and her colonies; her security she never tion against our own. I must fairly say, I dread
our own power, and our own ambition ; I dread | impost. The former is in their habits and their our being too much dreaded. It is ridiculous to dispositions. They consider it as transient, and as say we are not men; and that, as men, we shall what, in their turn, they may exercise. But the never wish to aggrandize ourselves in some way terrours of the present power are such as no reguor other. Can we say, that even at this very hour lar government can possibly employ. They who we are not invidiously aggrandized? We are al- enter into France do not succeed to their resources. ready in possession of almost all the commerce of They have not a system to reform, but a system to the world. Our empire in India is an awful thing. begin. The whole estate of government is to be If we should come to be in a condition not only re-acquired. to have all this ascendant in commerce, but to be
What difficulties this will meet with in a counabsolutely able, without the least controul, to hold try exhausted by the taking of the capital, and, the commerce of all other nations totally depen- among a people, in a manner new principled, dent upon our good pleasure, we may say that we trained, and actually disciplined to anarchy, reshall not abuse this astonishing, and hitherto un bellion, disorder, and impiety, may be conceived heard-of, power. But every other nation will by those who know what jacobin France is, and think we shall abuse it. It is impossible but that, who may have occupied themselves by revolving sooner or later, this state of things must produce in their thoughts, what they were to do if it fell a combination against us which may end in our to their lot to re-establish the affairs of France. ruin.
What support, or what limitations, the restored As to France, I must observe, that for a long monarchy must have, may be a doubt, or how time she has been stationary. She has, during this it will pitch and settle at last. But one thing whole century, obtained får less by conquest or I conceive to be far beyond a doubt : that the setnegociation than any of the three great continental tlement cannot be immediate ; but that it must powers. Some part of Lorraine excepted, I re- be preceded by some sort of power, equal at least collect nothing she has gained; no, not a village. in vigour, vigilance, promptitude, and decision, to In truth, this Lorraine acquisition does little more a military government. For such a preparatory than secure her barrier. In effect and substance government, no slow-paced, methodical, formal, it was her own before.
lawyer-like system, still less that of a shewy, suHowever that may be, I consider these things at perficial, trifling, intriguing court, guided by present chiefly in one point of view, as obstructions cabals of ladies, or of men like ladies ; least of all, to the war on jacobinism, which must stand as long a philosophick, theoretick, disputatious school of as the
powers think its extirpation but a secondary sophistry. None of these ever will, or ever can, object, and think of taking advantage under the lay the foundations of an order that can last. name of indemnity and security to make war upon Whoever claims a right by birth to govern there, the whole nation of France royal, and jacobin, for must find in his breast, or must conjure up in it, the aggrandizement of the allies on the ordinary an energy not to be expected, perhaps not always principles of interest, as if no jacobinism existed to be wished for, in well ordered states. The in the world.
lawful prince must have, in every thing but crime, So far is France from being formidable to its the character of an usurper. He is gone, if he neighbours for its domestick strength, that I con- imagines himself the quiet possessor of a throne. ceive it will be as much as all its neighbours can He is to contend for it as much after an apparent do, by a steady guarantee, to keep that monarchy conquest as before. His task is to win it; he at all upon its basis. It will be their business to must leave posterity to enjoy and to adorn it. nurse France, not to exhaust it. France, such as No velvet cushions for him. He is to be always it is, is indeed highly formidable. Not formid-(I speak nearly to the letter) on horseback. This able, however, as a great republick; but as the opinion is the result of much patient thinking on mest dreadful gang of robbers and murderers that the subject, which I conceive no event is likely to ever was embodied. But this distempered strength alter. of France will be the cause of proportionable A valuable friend of mine, who I hope will conweakness on its recovery. Never was a country duct these affairs, so far as they fall to his share, so completely ruined; and they who calculate the with great ability, asked me what I thought of resurrection of her power by former examples, acts of general indemnity and oblivion, as a means have not sufficiently considered what is the pre- of settling France, and reconciling it to monsent state of things. Without detailing the in- archy. Before I venture upon any opinion of my ventory of what organs of government have been own in this matter, I totally disclaim the interdestroyed, together with the very materials of ference of foreign powers in a business that prowhich alone they can be recomposed, I wish it to perly belongs to the government which we have be considered what an operose affair the whole declared legal. That government is likely to be system of taxation is in the old states of Europe. the best judge of what is to be done towards the Ti is such as never could be made but in a long security of that kingdom, which it is their duty course of years. In France all taxes are abolished. and their interest to provide for by such measures The present powers resort to the capital; and to of justice or of lenity, as at the time they should the capital in kind. But a savage, undisciplined find best. But if we weaken it, not only by arpeople suffer a robbery with more patience than an bitrary limitations of our own, but preserve such
persons in it as are disposed to disturb its future first, the body and mass of the people never ought peace, as they have its past, I do not know how to be treated as criminal. They may become an a more direct declaration can be made of a dispo- object of more or less constant watchfulness and sition to perpetual hostility against a government. suspicion, as their preservation may best require, The persons saved from the justice of the native but they can never become an object of punishmagistrate by foreign authority will owe nothing ment. This is one of the few fundamental and to his clemency. He will, and must, look to those unalterable principles of politicks. to whom he is indebted for the power he has of To punish then capitally would be to make dispensing it. A jacobin faction, constantly massacres. Massacres only encrease the ferocity of fostered with the nourishment of foreign protec- men, and teach them to regard their own lives tion, will be kept alive.
and those of others as of little value; whereas the This desire of securing the safety of the actors great policy of government is to teach the people in the present scene is owing to more laudable to think both of great importance in the eyes of motives. Ministers have been made to consider God and the state, and never to be sacrificed or the brothers of the late merciful king, and the even hazarded to gratify their passions, or for any nobility of France, who have been faithful to thing but the duties prescribed by the rules of their honour and duty, as a set of inexorable and morality, and under the direction of publick law remorseless tyrants. How this notion has been and publick authority. To punish them with lesser infused into them I cannot be quite certain. I penalties would be to debilitate the commonam sure it is not justified by any thing they have wealth, and make the nation miserable, which it is done. Never were the two princes guilty, in the the business of government to render happy and day of their power, of a single hard or ill-natured Aourishing.
No one instance of cruelty on the part of As to crimes too, I would draw a strong line of the gentlemen ever came to my ears.
It is true limitation. For no one offence, politically an ofthat the English jacobins, (the natives have not fence of rebellion, by council, contrivance, perthought of it) as an excuse for their infernal suasion, or compulsion, for none properly a military system of murder, have so represented them. It offence of rebellion, or any thing done by open is on this principle, that the massacres in the month hostility in the field, should any man at all be of September 1792 were justified by a writer in called in question ; because such seems to be the the Morning Chronicle. He says, 'indeed, that proper and natural death of civil dissensions. The “ the whole French nation is to be given up to offences of war are obliterated by peace. “ the hands of an irritated and revengeful no- Another class will of course be included in the “ blesse :"—and, judging of others by himself and indemnity, namely, all those who by their activity his brethren, he says, "Whoever succeeds in a in restoring lawful government shall obliterate “ civil war will be cruel. But here the emigrants, their offences. The offence previously known,
flying to revenge in the cars of military vic- the acceptance of service is a pardon for crimes. “ tory, will almost insatiably call for their victims I fear that this class of men will not be very “ and their booty; and a body of emigrant numerous. “traitors were attending the king of Prussia, and So far as to indemnity. But where are the “ the duke of Brunswick, to suggest the most objects of justice, and of example, and of future “ sanguinary counsels.” So
this wicked security to the publick peace? They are naturally jacobin; but so cannot say the king of Prussia nor pointed out, not by their having outraged political the duke of Brunswick, who never did receive any and civil laws, nor their having rebelled against sanguinary counsel; nor did the king's brothers, the state, as a state, but by their having rebelled or that great body of gentlemen who attended against the law of nature, and outraged man as those princes, commit one single cruel action, or man. In this list, all the regicides in general, hurt the person or property of one individual. It all those who laid sacrilegious hands on the king, would be right to quote the instance. It is like who without any thing in their own rebellious the military luxury attributed to those unfortunate mission to the convention to justify them, brought sufferers in our common cause.
him to his trial and unanimously voted him If these princes had shewn a tyrannical dispo- guilty; all those who had a share in the cruel sition, it would be much to be lamented. We have murder of the queen, and the detestable proceedno others to govern France. If we screened the ings with regard to the young king, and the unbody of murderers from their justice, we should happy princesses; all those who committed coldonly leave the innocent in future to the mercy of blooded murder any where, and particularly in men of fierce and sanguinary dispositions, of which, their revolutionary tribunals, where every idea in spite of all our intermeddling in their constitu- of natural justice and of their own declared rights tion, we could not prevent the effects.
But as we
of man have been trodden under foot with the have much more reason to fear their feeble lenity most insolent mockery; all men concerned in the than any blamable rigour, we ought, in my opinion, burning and demolition of houses or churches, to leave the matter to themselves,
with audacious and marked acts of sacrilege and If, however, I were asked to give an advice scorn offered to religion ; in general, all the leaders merely as such—here are my ideas. I am not for of jacobin clubs;—not one of these should escape a total indemnity, nor a general punishment. And a punishment suitable to the nature, quality, and