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“ let it restrain and arrest a just rage. Indigna- to call the murder of the unhappy priests in the “ tion carried to its height commences proscrip- Carmes, who were under no criminal denunciation “ tions which fall only on the guilty, but in which whatsoever, a vengeance mingled with a sort of “ errour and particular passions may shortly in- justice ;" he observes that “they had been a long 16 volve the honest man.

time spared by the sword of the law," and calls He saw that the able artificers in the trade and by anticipation all those, who should represent this mystery of murder did not choose that their skill effervescence” in other colours, villains and traishould be unemployed after their first work; and tors : he did not then foresee, how soon himself that they were full as ready to cut off their rivals and his accomplices would be under the necessity as their enemies. This gave him one alarm, that of assuming the pretended character of this new was serious. This letter of Roland in every part sort of“ villany and treason,” in the hope of obof it lets out the secret of all the parties in this literating the memory of their former real villanies revolution. Plena rimarum est ; hac, atque and treasons :-he did not foresee, that in the illac, perfluit. We see that none of them con- course of six months a formal manifesto on the demn the occasional practice of murder ; provided part of himself and his faction, written by his conit is properly applied; provided it is kept within federate Brissot, was to represent this “ effervesthe bounds which each of those parties think pro- cence” as another“ St. Bartholomew ;” and speak per to prescribe. In this case Roland feared, that, of it as having made humanity shudder, and if what was occasionally useful should become sullied the Revolution for ever. habitual, the practice might go farther than was It is very remarkable that he takes upon himself convenient. It might involve the best friends of to know the motives of the assassins, their policy, the last revolution, as it had done the heroes of and even what they“ believed.” How could this the first revolution : he feared that it would not be if he had no connexion with them ? He praises be confined to the La Fayettes and Clermont- the murderers for not having taken as yet all the Tonnerres, the Duponts and Barnaves; but that it lives of those who had, as he calls it, " presented might extend to the Brissots and Vergniauxs, to themselves as victims to their fury.” He paints the the Condorcets, the Petions, and to himself. Un- miserable prisoners who had been forcibly piled der this apprehension there is no doubt that his upon one another in the church of the Carmelites, humane feelings were altogether unaffected. by his faction, as presenting themselves as victims

His observations on the massacre of the preced to their fury; as if death was their choice; or, ing day are such as cannot be passed over :-(allowing the idiom of his language to make

Yesterday,” said he, “ was a day upon the this equivocal,) as if they were by some accident “ events of which it is perhaps necessary to leave presented to the fury of their assassins : whereas

a veil; I know that the people with their ven- he knew, that the leaders of the murderers sought

geance mingled a sort of justice ; they did not these pure and innocent victims in the places “ take for victims all who presented themselves to where they had deposited them, and were sure to “their fury; they directed it to them who had find them. The very selection, which he praises

for a long time been spared by the sword of the as a sort of justice tempering their fury, proves,

law, and who they believed, from the peril of beyond a doubt, the foresight, deliberation, and “ circumstances, should be sacrificed without de- method, with which this massacre was made.

lay. But I know that it is easy to villains and He knew that circumstance on the very day of the traitors to misrepresent this effervescence, and commencement of the massacres, when, in all pro“ that it must be checked : I know that we owe bability, he had begun this letter, for he presented “ to all France the declaration, that the executive it to the Assembly on the very next.

power could not foresee or prevent this excess. Whilst, however, he defends these acts, he is “ I know that it is due to the constituted authori-conscious that they will appear in another light “ ties to place a limit to it, or consider themselves to the world. He therefore acquits the executive as abolished.

power, that is, he acquits himself (but only by In the midst of this carnage he thinks of no- his own assertion) of those acts of vengeance thing but throwing a veil over it: which was at mixed with a sort of justice," as an excess which once to cover the guilty from punishment, and to he could neither foresee nor prevent.” He could extinguish all compassion for the sufferers. He not, he says, foresee these acts; when he tells apologizes for it; in fact, he justifies it. He, who us, the people of Paris had sagacity so well to (as the reader has just seen in what is quoted from foresee the designs of the court on the tenth of this letter) feels so much indignation at“ vague August; to foresee them so well, as to mark the “ denunciations" when made against himself, and precise epoch on which they were to be executed, from which he then feared nothing more than the and to contrive to anticipate them on the very subversion of his power, is not ashamed to con- day: he could not foresee these events, though he sider the charge of a conspiracy to massacre the declares in this very letter that victory must bring Parisians brought against his master upon denun- with it some excess ;—" that the sea roars long ciations as vague as possible, or rather upon no de- after the tempest.” So far as to his foresight. As nunciations, as a perfect justification of the mon- to his disposition to prevent, if he had foreseen, the strous proceedings against him. He is not ashamed massacres of that day; this will be judged by his

* See p. 12, and p. 13, of this translation.

the sanc

care in putting a stop to the massacre then going chants, substantial tradesmen, hoarders of ason. This was no matter of foresight. He was signats, and purchasers of the confiscated lands in the very midst of it. He does not so much of the clergy and gentry, to join with their party, as pretend, that he had used any force to put as holding out some sort of security to the effects a stop to it. But if he had used


which they possessed, whether these effects were tion given under his hand, to a sort of justice in the acquisitions of fair commerce, or the gains the murderers, was enough to disarm the protect- of jobbing in the misfortunes of their country, ing force.

and the plunder of their fellow citizens. In this That approbation of what they had already done design the party of Roland and Brissot suchad its natural effect on the executive assassins, ceeded in a great degree. They obtained a then in the paroxysm of their fury; as well as on majority in the National Convention. Composed their employers, then in the midst of the execution however as that Assembly is, their majority was of their deliberate cold blooded system of murder. far from steady: but whilst they appeared to He did not at all differ from either of them in the gain the Convention, and many of the outlying principle of those executions, but only in the time departments, they lost the city of Paris entirely of their duration ; and that only as it affected him and irrecoverably; it was fallen into the hands self. This, though to him a great consideration, of Marat, Robespierre, and Danton. Their inwas none to his confederates, who were at the same struments were the sans-culottes, or rabble, who time his rivals. They were encouraged to accom- domineered in that capital, and were wholly at plish the work they had in hand. They did the devotion of those incendiaries, and received accomplish it; and whilst this grave moral epistle their daily pay. The people of property were of no from a grave minister, recommending a cessation of consequence, and trembled before Marat and his their work of “ vengeance mingled with a sort of janizaries. As that great man had not obtained justice,” was before a grave assembly, the authors the helm of the state, it was not yet come to his of the massacres proceeded without interruption in turn to act the part of Brissot and his friends, their business for four days together; that is, until in the assertion of subordination and regular gothe seventh of that month, and until all the victims vern ent. But Robespierre has survived both of the first proscription in Paris and at Versailles, these rival chiefs, and is now the great patron of and several other places, were immolated at the jacobin order. shrine of the grim Moloch of liberty and equality. To balance the exorbitant power of Paris, (which All the priests, all the loyalists, all the first essayists threatened to leave nothing to the National Conand novices of revolution in 1789, that could be vention, but a character as insignificant as that found, were promiscuously put to death.

which the first assembly had assigned to the unThrough the whole of this long letter of Roland, happy Louis the Sixteenth,) the faction of Brissot, it is curious to remark how the nerve and vigour whose leaders were Roland, Petion, Vergniaux, of his style, which had spoken so potently to his Isnard, Condorcet, &c. &c. &c. applied themselves sovereign, is relaxed, when he addresses himself to to gain the great commercial towns, Lyons, Marthe sans-culottes ; how that strength and dexterity seilles, Rouen, Nantz, and Bourdeaux. The reof arm, with which he parries and beats down the publicans of the Brissotin description, to whom the scepter, is enfeebled and lost, when he comes to concealed royalists, still very numerous, joined fence with the poignard! When he speaks to the themselves, obtained a temporary superiority in populace he can no longer be direct. The whole these places. In Bourdeaux, on account of the compass of the language is tried to find synonymes activity and eloquence of some of its representaand circumlocutions for massacre and murder. tives, this superiority was the most distinguished. Things are never called by their common names. This last city is seated on the Garonne, or GiMassacre is sometimes agitation, sometimes effer- ronde; and being the centre of a department vescence, sometimes excess ; sometimes too conti- named from that river, the appellation of Girondists nued an exercise of a revolutionary power. was given to the whole party. These, and some

However, after what had passed had been praised, other towns, declared strongly against the princior excused, or pardoned, he declares loudly against ples of anarchy; and against the despotism of such proceedings in future. Crimes had pioneered Paris. Numerous addresses were sent to the Conand made smooth the way for the march of the vention, promising to maintain its authority, virtues ; and from that time order and justice, and which the addressers were pleased to consider as a sacred regard for personal property, were to legal and constitutional, though chosen, not to become the rules for the new democracy. Here compose an executive government, but to form a Roland and the Brissotines leagued for their own plan for a constitution. preservation, by endeavouring to preserve peace. In the Convention, measures were taken to This short story will render many of the parts of obtain an armed force from the several departBrissot’s pamphlet, in which Roland's views and ments to maintain the freedom of that body, intentions are so often alluded to, the more intel- and to provide for the personal safety of the ligible in themselves, and the more useful in their members ; neither of which, from the fourteenth application by the English reader.

of July 1789, to this hour, have been really Under the cover of these artifices, Roland, Brissot, enjoyed by their assemblies sitting under any and their party, hoped to gain the bankers, mer- denomination.

This scheme, which was well conceived, had not of France, it became absolutely necessary to prepare the desired success. Paris, from which the Con-a manifesto, laying before the publick the whole vention did not dare to move, though some threats policy, genius, character, and conduct, of the partiof such a departure were from time to time thrown sans of club government. To make this exposition out, was too powerful for the party of the Gironde. as fully and clearly as it ought to be made, it was Some of the proposed guards, but neither with of the same unavoidable necessity to go through a regularity nor in force, did indeed arrive ; they series of transactions, in which all those concerned were debauched as fast as they came; or were in this Revolution, were, at the several periods of sent to the frontiers. The game played by the their activity, deeply involved. In consequence revolutionists in 1789, with respect to the French of this design, and under these difficulties, Brissot guards of the unhappy king, was now played prepared the following declaration of his party, against the departmental guards, called together which he executed with no small ability; and for the protection of the revolutionists. Every in this manner the whole mystery of the French part of their own policy comes round, and strikes Revolution was laid open in all its parts. at their own power and their own lives.

It is almost needless to mention to the reader The Parisians, on their part, were not slow in the fate of the design to which this pamphlet was taking the alarm. They had just reason to appre- to be subservient. The jacobins of Paris were more hend, that if they permitted the smallest delay, prompt than their adversaries. They were the they should see themselves besieged by an army readiest to resort to what La Fayette calls the most collected from all parts of France. Violent threats sacred of all duties, that of insurrection. Another were thrown out against that city in the assembly. æra of holy insurrection commenced the thirtyIts total destruction was menaced. A very re- first of last May. As the first fruits of that inmarkable expression was used in these debates, surrection grafted on insurrection, and of that “ that in future times it might be enquired, on rebellion improving upon rebellion, the sacred, “ what part of the Seine Paris had stood.” The irresponsible character of the members of the faction which ruled in Paris, too bold to be intimi- Convention was laughed to scorn. They had dated, and too vigilant to be surprised, instantly themselves shewn, in their proceedings against the armed themselves. In their turn, they accused late king, how little the most fixed principles are the Girondists of a treasonable design to break to be relied upon, in their revolutionary constithe republick one and indivisible (whose unity they tution. The members of the Girondin party in contended could only be preserved by the supre- the Convention were seized upon, or obliged to macy of Paris) into a number of confederate save themselves by flight. The unhappy author of commonwealths. The Girondin faction on this this piece with twenty of his associates suffered account received also the name of federalists. together on the scaffold, after a trial, the iniquity

Things on both sides hastened fast to extremi- of which puts all description to defiance. ties. Paris, the mother of equality, was herself to The English reader will draw from this work of be equalised. Matters were come to this alterna- Brissot, and from the result of the last struggles of tive; either that city must be reduced to a mere this party, some useful lessons. He will be enabled member of the federative republick, or, the Con- to judge of the information of those who have unvention, chosen, as they said, by all France, was dertaken to guide and enlighten us, and who, for to be brought regularly and systematically under reasons best known to themselves, have chosen to the dominion of the common-hall, and even of any paint the French Revolution and its consequences one of the sections of Paris.

in brilliant and flattering colours. They will In this awful contest, thus brought to issue, the know how to appreciate the liberty of France, great mother club of the jacobins was entirely in which has been so much magnified in England. the Parisian interest. The Girondins no longer They will do justice to the wisdom and goodness dared to shew their faces in that assembly. Nine of their sovereign and his parliament, who have tenths at least of the jacobin clubs, throughout put them in a state of defence, in the war audaFrance, adhered to the great patriarchal jaco- ciously made upon us, in favour of that kind of biniere of Paris, to which they were (to use their liberty. When we see (as here we must see) in own term) affiliated. No authority of magistracy, their true colours, the character and policy of our judicial or executive, had the least weight, when- enemies, our gratitude will become an active prinever these clubs chose to interfere; and they chose ciple. It will produce a strong and zealous coto interfere in every thing, and on every occasion. operation with the efforts of our government, in All hope of gaining them to the support of pro- favour of a constitution under which we enjoy perty, or to the acknowledgment of any law but advantages, the full value of which, the querulous their own will, was evidently vain, and hopeless. weakness of human nature requires sometimes the Nothing but an armed insurrection against their opportunity of a comparison, to understand and anarchical authority could answer the purpose of to relish. the Girondins. Anarchy was to be cured by re- Our confidence in those who watch for the bellion, as it had been caused by it.

publick will not be lessened. We shall be sensible As a preliminary to this attempt on the jacobins that to alarm us in the late circumstances of our and the commons of Paris, which it was hoped affairs, was not for our molestation, but for our would be supported by all the remaining property security. We shall be sensible that this alarm was

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not ill-timed—and that it ought to have been It is true, that, in this present work, which the given, as it was given, before the enemy had time author professedly designed for an appeal to fofully to mature and accomplish their plans, for reign nations and posterity, he has dressed up

the reducing us to the condition of France, as that philosophy of his own faction in as decent a garb condition is faithfully and without exaggeration as he could to make her appearance in publick ; described in the following work. We now have but through every disguise her hideous figure may our arms in our hands; we have the means of be distinctly seen. If, however, the reader still opposing the sense, the courage, and the resources, wishes to see her in all her naked deformity, I of England to the deepest, the most craftily de- would further refer him to a private letter of vised, the best combined, and the most extensive Brissot, written towards the end of the last year, design, that ever was carried on, since the begin- and quoted in a late very able pamphlet of Mallet ning of the world, against all property, all order, du Pan. “ We must" (says our philosopher) all religion, all law, and all real freedom.

set fire to the four corners of Europe ;" in that The reader is requested to attend to the part of alone is our safety.

Dumourier cannot suit this pamphlet which relates to the conduct of the I always distrusted him.

Miranda is jacobins, with regard to the Austrian Netherlands, “ the general for us : he understands the revowhich they call Belgia or Belgium. It is from lutionary power, he has courage, lights, &c."* page seventy-two to page eighty-four of this Here every thing is fairly avowed in plain lantranslation. Here the views and designs upon guage. The triumph of philosophy is the universal all their neighbours are fully displayed. Here conflagration of Europe ; the only real dissathe whole mystery of their ferocious politicks is tisfaction with Dumourier is a suspicion of his laid open with the utmost clearness. Here the moderation; and the secret motive of that premanner, in which they would treat every nation, ference which in this very pamphlet the author into which they could introduce their doctrines gives to Miranda, though without assigning his and influence, is distinctly marked. We see that reasons, is declared to be the superiour fitness of no nation was out of danger, and we see what that foreign adventurer for the purposes

of subverthe danger was with which every nation was sion and destruction.—On the other hand, if there threatened. The writer of this pamphlet throws can be any man in this country so hardy as to unthe blame of several of the most violent of the dertake the defence or the apology of the present proceedings on the other party. He and his monstrous usurpers of France; and if it should be friends, at the time alluded to, had a majority in said in their favour, that it is not just to credit the National Assembly. He admits that neither he the charges of their enemy Brissot against them, nor they ever publickly opposed these measures ; who have actually tried and condemned him on but he attributes their silence to a fear of ren- the very same charges among others; we are dering themselves suspected. It is most certain, luckily supplied with the best possible evidence in that, whether from fear, or from approbation, they support of this part of his book against them : never discovered

any dislike of those proceedings it comes from among themselves. Camille Destill Dumourier was driven from the Netherlands. moulins published the “History of the Brissotins” But whatever their motive was, it is plain that the in answer to this very address of Brissot. It was most violent is, and since the Revolution has the counter-manifesto of the last Holy Revolution always been, the predominant party.

of the thirty-first of May; and the flagitious If Europe could not be saved without our in- orthodoxy of his writings at that period has been terposition, (most certainly it could not,) I am sure admitted in the late scrutiny of him by the jacobin there is not an Englishman who would not blush club, when they saved him from that guillotine to be left out of the general effort made in favour “ which he grazed.” In the beginning of his of the general safety. But we are not secondary work he displays “the task of glory,” as he calls parties in this war ; 'we are principals in the dan- it, which presented itself at the opening of the ger, and ought to be principals in the exertion. Convention. All is summed up in two points : If any Englishman asks whether the designs of “ to create the French republick, and to disorgathe French assassins are confined to the spot of “nize Europe ; perhaps to purge it of its tyrants, Europe which they actually desolate, the citizen" by the eruption of the volcanick principles of Brissot, the author of this book, and the author equality.+ The coincidence is exact; the of the declaration of war against England, will proof is complete and irresistible. give him his answer. He will find in this book, In a cause like this, and in a time like the that the republicans are divided into factions, full present, there is no neutrality. They who are not of the most furious and destructive animosity actively, and with decision and energy, against against each other : but he will find also that jacobinism, are its partisans. They who do not there is one point in which they perfectly agree dread it, love it. It cannot be viewed with --that they are all enemies alike to the govern- indifference. It is a thing made to produce a ment of all other nations, and only contend with powerful impression on the feelings. Such is the each other about the means of propagating their nature of jacobinism, such is the nature of man, tenets, and extending their empire by conquest. that this system must be regarded either with enthusiastick admiration, or with the highest degree | may not have the worst intentions will see, that of detestation, resentment, and horrour.

* See the translation of Mallet du Pan's work, printed for + See the translation of the History of the Brissotins, by Ca. Owen, page 53.

mille Desmoulins, printed for Owen, p. 2.

the principles, the plans, the manners, the morals, Another great lesson may be taught by this and the whole system, of France are altogether as book, and by the fortune of the author, and his adverse to the formation and duration of any raparty : I mean a lesson drawn from the conse- tional scheme of a republick, as they are to that quences of engaging in daring innovations, from of a monarchy absolute or limited. It is indeed a hope that we may be able to limit their mis- a system which can only answer the purposes of chievous operation at our pleasure, and by our robbers and murderers. policy to secure ourselves against the effect of the The translator has only to say for himself, that evil examples we hold out to the world. This he has found some difficulty in this version. His lesson is-taught through almost all the important original author, through haste perhaps, or through pages of history; but never has it been taught so the perturbation of a mind filled with a great and clearly and so awfully as at this hour. The arduous enterprise, is often obscure. There are revolutionists who have just suffered an ignomi- some passages too, in which his language requires nious death, under the sentence of the revolution to be first translated into French, at least into such ary tribunal, (a tribunal composed of those with French as the academy would in former times whom they had triumphed in the total destruction have tolerated. He writes with great force and of the ancient government,) were by no means vivacity; but the language, like every thing ordinary men, or without very considerable talents else in his country, has undergone a revolution. and resources.

But with all their talents and re- The translator thought it best to be as literal as sources, and the apparent momentary extent of possible ; conceiving such a translation would their power, we see the fate of their projects, their perhaps be the most fit to convey the author's power, and their persons. We see before our peculiar mode of thinking. In this way the eyes the absurdity of thinking to establish order translator has no credit for style ; but he makes upon principles of confusion, or, with the materials it up in fidelity. Indeed the facts and observaand instruments of rebellion, to build up a solid tions are so much more important than the style, and stable government.

that no apology is wanted for producing them in Such partisans of a republick amongst us as any intelligible manner.


[The address of M. Brissot to his Constituents being now almost forgotten, it has been thought right to add, as an Appendix, that part of it to which Mr. Burke points our particular attention, and upon which he so forcibly comments in his Preface.)

**** Three sorts of anarchy have ruined our of right, would establish equality of fact ? This is affairs in Belgium.

universal equality, the scourge of society, as the The anarchy of the administration of Paché, other is the support of society. An anarchical which has completely disorganized the supply of doctrine which would level all things, talents, and our armies : which by that disorganization re- ignorance, virtues, and vices, places, usages, and duced the army of Ďumourier to stop in the services; a doctrine which begot that fatal promiddle of its conquests; which struck it motion-ject of organizing the army, presented by Dubois less through the months of November and De- de Crance, to which it will be indebted for a comcember; which hindered it from joining Bournon- plete disorganization. ville and Custine, and from forcing the Prussians Mark the date of the presentation of the system and Austrians to repass the Rhine, and afterwards of this equality of fact, entire equality. It had from putting themselves into a condition to invade been projected and decreed even at the very openHolland sooner than they did.

ing of the Dutch campaign. If any project could To this state of ministerial anarchy, it is neces- encourage the want of discipline in the soldiers, sary to join that other anarchy which disorga- any scheme could disgust and banish good officers, nized the troops, and occasioned their habits of and throw all things into confusion at the moment pillage; and lastly, that anarchy which created when order alone could give victory, it is this prothe revolutionary power, and forced the union to ject, in truth so stubbornly defended by the anarchFrance of the countries we had invaded, before ists, and transplanted into their ordinary tacticks. things were ripe for such a measure.

How could they expect that there should exist Who could, however, doubt the frightful evils any discipline, any subordination, when even in the that were occasioned in our armies by that doctrine camp they permit motions, censures, and denunof anarchy, which under the shadow of equality ciations of officers, and of generals? Does not

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