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false policy, though if the matters had been then is, Mr. Pitt or Mr. Fox, must be minister. They taken up and pursued, such a step could not have are, I am sorry for it, irreconcilable. Mr. Fox's appeared so evidently desperate as now it is. So conduct in this session has rendered the idea of his far from pursuing Mr. Pitt, I know that then, power a matter of serious alarm to many people, and for some time after, some of Mr. Fox's friends who were very little pleased with the proceedings were actually, and with no small earnestness, look- of Mr. Pitt in the beginning of his administraing out to a coalition with that gentleman. For tion. They like neither the conduct of Mr. Pitt, years I never heard this circumstance of Mr. Pitt's in 1784, nor that of Mr. Fox, in 1793 ; but they misconduct on that occasion mentioned by Mr. estimate which of the evils is most pressing at the Fox, either in publick or in private, as a ground time, and what is likely to be the consequence of a for opposition to that minister. All opposition, change. If Mr. Fox be wedded, they must be senfrom that period to this very session, has proceed- sible, that his opinions and principles, on the now ed upon the separate measures as they separately existing state of things at home and abroad, must arose, without any vindictive retrospect to Mr. be taken as his portion. In his train must also be Pitt's conduct in 1784. My memory, however, taken the whole body of gentlemen who are may fail me. I must appeal to the printed debates, pledged to him and to each other, and to their which (so far as Mr. Fox is concerned) are un- common politicks and principles.- I believe no usually accurate.

king of Great Britain ever will adopt, for his con52. Whatever might have been in our power, fidential servants, that body of gentlemen, holding at an early period, at this day I see no remedy that body of principles. Even if the present king for what was done in 1784. I had no great hopes or his successor should think fit to take that step, even at the time. I was therefore very eager to I apprehend a general discontent of those, who record a remonstrance on the journals of the house wish that this nation and that Europe should conof commons, as a caution against such a popular tinue in their present state, would ensue; a disdelusion in times to come; and this I then feared, content, which, combined with the principles and and now am certain, is all that could be done. I progress of the new men in power, would shake know of no way of animadverting on the Crown. this kingdom to its foundations. I do not believe I know of no mode of calling to account the house any one political conjuncture can be more certain of lords, who threw out the India bill, in a way than this. not much to their credit. As little, or rather less, 53. Without at all defending or palliating Mr. am I able to coerce the people at large, who be- Pitt's conduct in 1784, I must observe, that the haved very unwisely and intemperately on that crisis of 1793, with regard to every thing at home occasion. Mr. Pitt was then accused, by me as and abroad, is full as important as that of 1784 well as others, of attempting to be minister with- ever was ; and, if for no other reason, by being out enjoying the confidence of the house of com- present, is much more important. It is not to nine mons, though he did enjoy the confidence of the years ago we are to look for the danger of Mr. Crown. That house of commons, whose confi- Fox's and Mr. Sheridan's conduct, and that of dence he did not enjoy, unfortunately did not it- the gentlemen who act with them. It is at this self enjoy the confidence (though we well deserved very time, and in this very session, that, if they it) either of the Crown or of the publick. For had not been strenuously resisted, they would not want of that confidence, the then house of com- merely have discredited the house of commons, (as mons did not survive the contest. Since that pe- Mr. Pitt did in 1784, when he persuaded the king riod Mr. Pitt has enjoyed the confidence of the to reject their advice, and to appeal from them to Crown, and of the lords, and of the house of com- the people,) but in my opinion, would have been mons, through two successive parliaments ; and I the means of wholly subverting the house of comsuspect that he has ever since, and that he does mons and the house of peers, and the whole constill, enjoy as large a portion, at least, of the constitution actual and virtual, together with the safety fidence of the people without doors, as his great and independence of this nation, and the peace rival. Before whom, then, is Mr. Pitt to be im- and settlement of every state in the now christian peached, and by whom? The more I consider the world. It is to our opinion of the nature of jacomatter, the more firmly I am convinced, that the binism, and of the probability, by corruption, facidea of proscribing Mr. Pitt indirectly, when you tion, and force, of its gaining ground every where, cannot directly punish him, is as chimerical a pro- that the question whom and what you are to supject, and as unjustifiable, as it would be to have port is to be determined. For my part, without proscribed Lord North. For supposing, that by doubt or hesitation, I look upon jacobinism as the indirect ways of opposition, by opposition upon most dreadful and the most shameful evil, which measures which do not relate to the business of ever afflicted mankind, a thing which goes beyond 1784, but which on other grounds might prove the power of all calculation in its mischief ; and unpopular, you were to drive him from his seat, that if it is suffered to exist in France, we must this would be no example whatever of punish- in England, and speedily too, fall into that calament for the matters we charge as offences in 1784. mity. On a cool and dispassionate view of the affairs of 54. I figure to myself the purpose this time and country, it appears obvious to me, tlemen accomplished, and this ministry destroyed. that one or the other of those two great men, that I see that the persons, who in that case must rule,

of these gen. can be no other than Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. species of modern politicks not easily comprehensiGrey, the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Thurlow, ble, and which must end in the ruin of the country, Lord Lauderdale, and the Duke of Norfolk, with if it should continue and spread. Mr. Pitt may the other chiefs of the friends of the people, the be the worst of men, and Mr. Fox may be the parliamentary reformers, and the admirers of the best ; but, at present, the former is in the interest French Revolution. The principal of these are all of his country, and of the order of things long formally pledged to their projects. If the Duke established in Europe : Mr. Fox is not. I have, of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam should be ad- for one, been born in this order of things, and mitted into that system, (as they might and pro- would fain die in it. I am sure it is sufficient to bably would be,) it is quite certain they could not make men as virtuous, as happy, and as knowing, have the smallest weight in it; less, indeed, than as any thing which Mr. Fox, and his friends abroad what they now possess, if less were possible: be- or at home, would substitute in its place; and I cause they would be less wanted than they now should be sorry that any set of politicians should are; and because all those who wished to join obtain power in England, whose principles or them, and to act under them, have been rejected schemes should lead them to countenance persons by the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam or factions whose object is to introduce some new themselves; and Mr. Fox, finding them thus by devised order of things into England, or to supthemselves disarmed, has built quite a new fabrick, port that order, where it is already introduced, in upon quite a new foundation. There is no trifling France; a place, in which if it can be fixed, in on this subject. We see very distinctly before us my mind, it must have a certain and decided inthe ministry that would be formed, and the plan fluence in and upon this kingdom. This is my that would be pursued. If we like the plan, we account of my conduct to my private friends. Í must wish the power of those who are to carry it have already said all I wish to say, or nearly so, into execution : but to pursue the political exalta- to the publick. I write this with pain, and with a tion of those whose political measures we disap- heart full of grief. prove, and whose principles we dissent from, is a

PRE FACE

TO THE

ADDRESS OF M. BRISSOT TO HIS CONSTITUENTS.

TRANSLATED

BY THE LATE WILLIAM BURKE, ESQ.

1794.

The French Revolution has been the subject of actor in all the scenes which he presents. No various speculations, and various histories. As man can object to him as a royalist : the royal might be expected, the royalists and the repub- party, and the Christian religion, never had a licans have differed a good deal in their accounts more determined enemy. In a word it is Brisof the principles of that Revolution, of the springs sot. It is Brissot, the republican, the jacobin, which have set it in motion, and of the true cha- and the philosopher, who is brought to give an racter of those who have been, or still are, the account of jacobinism, and of republicanism, and principal actors on that astonishing scene. of philosophy

They, who are inclined to think favourably of It is worthy of observation, that this his account that event, will undoubtedly object to every state of the genius of jacobinism, and its effects, is not of facts which comes only from the authority of a confined to the period in which that faction came royalist. Thus much must be allowed by those to be divided within itself. In several, and those who are the most firmly attached to the cause of very important, particulars, Brissot's observations religion, law, and order, (for of such, and not of apply to the whole of the preceding period, before friends to despotism, the royal party is composed,) the great schism, and whilst the jacobins acted as that their very affection to this generous and one body ; insomuch, that the far greater part of manly cause, and their abhorrence of a Revolu- the proceedings of the ruling powers, since the tion, not less fatal to liberty than to government, commencement of the Revolution in France, so may possibly lead them in some particulars to a strikingly painted, so strongly and so justly repromore harsh representation of the proceedings of bated by Brissot, were the acts of Brissot himself their adversaries, than would be allowed by the and his associates. All the members of the Gicold neutrality of an impartial judge. This sort rondin subdivision were as deeply concerned as of errour arises from a source highly laudable ; any of the Mountain could possibly be, and some but the exactness of truth may suffer even from of them much more deeply, in those horrid transthe feelings of virtue. History will do justice to actions which have filled all the thinking part of the intentions of worthy men ; but it will be on Europe with the greatest detestation, and with its guard against their infirmities; it will exa- the most serious apprehensions for the common mine, with great strictness of scrutiny, whatever liberty and safety. appears from a writer in favour of his own cause. A question will very naturally be asked, what On the other hand, whatever escapes him, and could induce Brissot to draw such a picture ? He makes against that cause, comes with the greatest must have been sensible it was his own. The weight.

answer is the inducement was the same with that In this important controversy, the translator of which led him to partake in the perpetration of the following work brings forward to the English all the crimes, the calamitous effects of which he tribunal of opinion the testimony of a witness describes with the pen of a master-ambition. His beyond all exception. His competence is un faction having obtained their stupendous and undoubted. He knows every thing which concerns natural power, by rooting out of the minds of his this Revolution to the bottom. He is a chief unhappy countrymen every principle of religion, morality, loyalty, fidelity, and honour, discovered, Amongst his colleagues were Claviere and Servan. that, when authority came into their hands, it All the three have, since that time, either lost their would be a matter of no small difficulty for them heads by the axe of their associates in rebellion, to carry on government on the principles by which or to evade their own revolutionary justice, bave they had destroyed it.

fallen by their own hands. The rights of men, and the new principles of These ministers were regarded by the king as in liberty and equality, were very unhandy instru- a conspiracy to dethrone him. Nobody who conments for those who wished to establish a system siders the circumstances which preceded the depoof tranquillity and order. They who were taught sition of Louis the Sixteenth, nobody who attends to find nothing to respect in the title and the vir- to the subsequent conduct of those ministers, can tues of Louis the Sixteenth, a prince succeeding to hesitate about the reality of such a conspiracy. the throne by the fundamental laws, in the line of The king certainly had no doubt of it; he found a succession of monarchs continued for fourteen bimself obliged to remove them; and the neceshundred years, found nothing which could bind sity, which first obliged him to choose such regithem to an implicit fidelity, and dutiful allegiance, cidé ministers, constrained him to replace them to Mess. Brissot, Vergniaux, Condorcet, Anachar- by Dumourier the jacobin, and some others of litsis Cloots, and Thomas Paine.

tle efficiency, though of a better description. In this difficulty, they did as well as they could. A little before this removal, and evidently as a To govern the people, they must incline the people part of the conspiracy, Roland put into the king's to obey. The work was difficult, but it was hands, as a memorial, the most insolent, seditious, necessary. They were to accomplish it by such and atrocious libel, that has probably ever been materials and by such instruments as they had in penned. This paper Roland a few days after detheir hands. They were to accomplish the pur- livered to the National Assembly," who instantly poses of order, morality, and submission to the published and dispersed it all over France; and laws, from the principles of atheism, profligacy, in order to give it the stronger operation they deand sedition. If, as the disguise became them, clared, that he and his brother ministers had carthey began to assume the mask of an austere and ried with them the regret of the nation. None of rigid virtue; they exhausted all the stores of their the writings, which have inflamed the jacobin spieloquence (which in some of them were not incon- rit to a savage fury, ever worked up a fiercer fersiderable) in declamations against tumult and con- ment through the whole mass of the republicans fusion ; they made daily harangues on the bless- in every part of France. ings of order, discipline, quiet, and obedience to Under the thin veil of prediction, he strongly authority; they even shewed some sort of dispo- recommends all the abominable practices which sition to protect such property as had not been afterwards followed. In particular he inflamed confiscated. They, who on every occasion had the minds of the populace against the respectable discovered a sort of furious thirst of blood, and a and conscientious clergy, who became the chief greedy appetite for slaughter, who avowed and objects of the massacre, and who were to him the gloried in the murders and massacres of the four- chief objects of a malignity and rancour that one teenth of July, of the fifth and sixth of October, could hardly think to exist in a human heart. and of the tenth of August, now began to be We have the relicks of his fanatical persecution squeamish and fastidious with regard to those of here. We are in a condition to judge of the merits the second of September.

of the persecutors and of the persecuted—I do not In their pretended scruples on the sequel of the say the accusers and accused; because, in all the slaughter of the tenth of August, they imposed furious declamations of the atheistick faction upon no living creature, and they obtained not the against these men, not one specifick charge has smallest credit for humanity. They endeavoured been made upon any one person of those who sufto establish a distinction, by the belief of which fered in their massacre, or by their decree of exile. they hoped to keep the spirit of murder safely bot- The king had declared that he would sooner tled up, and sealed for their own purposes, with- perish under their axe (he too well saw what was out endangering themselves by the fumes of the preparing for him) than give his sanction to the poison which they prepared for their enemies. iniquitous act of proscription, under which those

Roland was the chief and the most accredited innocent people were to be transported. of the faction :-his morals had furnished little On this proscription of the clergy a principal matter of exception against him ;-old, domestick, part of the ostensible quarrel between the king and uxorious, he led a private life sufficiently and those ministers had turned. From the time blameless. He was therefore set up as the Cato of the authorized publication of this libel, some of of the republican party, which did not abound in the manœuvres long and uniformly pursued for such characters.

the king's deposition became more and more eviThis man, like most of the chiefs, was the dent and declared. manager of a newspaper, in which he promoted The tenth of August came on, and in the manthe interest of his party. He was a fatal present ner in which Roland had predicted; it was folmade by the revolutionists to the unhappy king, lowed by the same consequences.—The king was as one of his ministers under the new constitution. deposed, after cruel massacres, in the courts and

• Presented to the king June 13, delivered to him the preceding Monday.-Translator.

excess.

the apartments of his palace, and in almost all | formed for a massacre of the people of Paris, and parts of the city. In reward of his treason to his which, he more than insinuates, was the work of his old master, Roland was by his new masters named late unhappy master; who was universally known minister of the home department.

to carry his dread of shedding the blood of his The massacres of the second of September were most guilty subjects to an excess. begotten by the massacres of the tenth of August. “ Without the day of the tenth,” says he, “ it They were universally foreseen and hourly ex- “ is evident that we should have been lost. The pected. During this short interval between the court, prepared for a long time, waited for the two murderous scenes, the furies, male and female, “ hour which was to accumulate all treasons, to cried out havock as loudly and as fiercely as ever. display over Paris the standard of death, and to The ordinary jails were all filled with prepared "reign there by terrour. The sense of the people, victims; and, when they overflowed, churches were “ (le sentiment,) always just and ready when their turned into jails. At this time the relentless Ro- “ opinion is not corrupted, foresaw the epoch land had the care of the general police; he had “ marked for their destruction, and rendered it for his colleague the bloody Danton, who was mi- fatal to the conspirators.” He then proceeds, nister of justice :—the insidious Petion was mayor in the cant which has been applied to palliate all of Paris—the treacherous Manuel was procurator their atrocities from the fourteenth of July, 1789, of the Common-hall. The magistrates (some or to the present time ;—“ It is in the nature of all of them) were evidently the authors of this things,” continues he, “ and in that of the human massacre. Lest the national guards should, by their “ heart, that victory should bring with it some very name, be reminded of their duty in preserving

The sea, agitated by a violent storm, the lives of their fellow citizens, the common roars long after the tempest; but every thing council of Paris, pretending that it was in vain has bounds, which ought at length to be obto think of resisting the murderers, (although in

66 served.” truth neither their numbers nor their arms were In this memorable epistle, he considers such at all formidable,) obliged those guards to draw excesses as fatalities arising from the very nature the charges from their musquets, and took away of things, and consequently not to be punished. their bayonets. One of their journalists, and, He allows a space of time for the duration of these according to their fashion, one of their leading agitations : and lest he should be thought rigid statesmen, Gorsas, mentions this fact in his news- and too scanty in his measure, he thinks it may be paper, which he formerly called the Galley long. But he would have things to cease at length. Journal. The title was well suited to the paper But when, and where ?—When they may approach and its author. For some felonies he had been his own person. sentenced to the gallies; but, by the benignity Yesterday," says he, “ the ministers were of the late king, this felon (to be one day ad- denounced : vaguely indeed as to the matter, vanced to the rank of a regicide) had been par- “ because subjects of reproach were wanting ; doned and released at the intercession of the am- “ but with that warmth and force of assertion, bassadors of Tippoo Sultan. His gratitude was such “ which strike the imagination and seduce it for a

might naturally have been expected; and it has moment, and which mislead and destroy confilately been rewarded as it deserved. This libe- “ dence, without which no man should remain in rated galley-slave was raised, in mockery of all “ place in a free government. Yesterday again, in criminal law, to be minister of justice : he became an assembly of the presidents of all the sections, from his elevation a more conspicuous object of “convoked by the ministers, with a view of conaccusation, and he has since received the punish- ciliating all minds, and of mutual explanation, ment of his former crimes in proscription and “ I perceive that distrust which suspects, interrodeath.

gates, and fetters operations." It will be asked, how the minister of the home In this manner (that is, in mutual suspicions department was employed at this crisis? The day and interrogatories) this virtuous minister of the after the massacre had commenced, Roland ap- home department, and all the magistracy of Paris, peared ; but not with the powerful apparatus of a spent the first day of the massacre, the atrocity of protecting magistrate, to rescue those who had which has spread horrour and alarm throughout survived the slaughter of the first day: nothing of Europe. It does not appear that the putting a this. On the third of September (that is, the day stop to the massacre had any part in the object of after the commencement of the massacre)* he their meeting, or in their consultations when they writes a long, elaborate, verbose epistle to the were met. Here was a minister tremblingly alive Assembly, in which, after magnifying, according to his own safety, dead to that of his fellow-citito the bon ton of the Revolution, his own inte zens, eager to preserve his place, and worse than grity, humanity, courage, and patriotism, he first indifferent about its most important duties. Speakdirectly justifies all the bloody proceedings of the ing of the people, he says, “ that their hidden tenth of August. He considers the slaughter of “ enemies may make use of this agitation" (the that day as a necessary measure for defeating a tender appellation which he gives to horrid massaconspiracy, which (with a full knowledge of the cre) “ to hurt their best friends, and their most falsehood of his assertion) he asserts to have been "able defenders. Already the example begins ;

• Letter to the National Assembly, signed-The Minister of the interior, ROLAND, dated Paris, Sept. 3d, 4th year of Liberty.

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