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the sentiments of Rousseau, they have made rality, through his means. This I confess them your rivals. In this manner, these great makes me nearly despair of any attempt upon legislators complete their plan of levelling, and the minds of their followers, through reason, establish their rights of men on a sure foun- honour, or conscience. The great object of dation.
your tyrants, is to destroy the gentlemen of I am certain that the writings of Rousseau France; and for that purpose they destroy, to lead directly to this kind of shameful evil. I the best of their power, all the effect of those have often wondered how he comes to be so relations which may render considerable men much more admired and followed on the con- powerful or even safe. To destroy that order, tinent than he is here. Perhaps a secret charm they vitiate the whole cornmunity. That no in the language may have its share in this means may exist of confederating against their extraordinary difference. We certainly per- tyranny, by the false sympathies of this Nouceive, and to a degree we feel, in this writer, velle Eloise, they endeavour to subvert those a style glowing, animated, enthusiastic; at the principles of domestic trust and fidelity, which same time that we find it lax, diffuse, and not form the discipline of social life. They proin the best taste of composition; all the mem- pagate principles by which every servant may bers of the piece being pretty equally laboured think it, if not his duty, at least his privilege, and expanded, without any due selection or to betray his master. By these principles, subordination of parts. He is generally too every considerable father of a family loses the much on the stretch, and his manner has little sanctuary of his house. Debet sua cuique dovariety. We cannot rest upon any of his mus esse perfugium tutissimum, says the law, works, though they contain observations which which your legislators have taken so much occasionally discover a considerable insight pains first to decry, then to repeal. They into human nature. But his doctrines, on the destroy all the tranquillity and security of dom whole, are so inapplicable to real life and man- mestic life; turning the asylum of the house ners, that we never dream of drawing from into a gloomy prison, where the father of the them any rule for laws or conduct, or for forti- family must drag out a miserable existence, fying or illustrating any thing by a reference to endangered in proportion to the apparent means his opinions. They have with us the fate of of his safety; where he is worse than solitary older paradoxes,
in a crowd of domestics, and more appre
hensive from his servants and inmates, than Cum ventum ad verum est sensus moresque from the hired blood-thirsty mob without doors,
repugnant, Atque ipsa utilitas justi prope mater etæqui.
who are ready to pull him to the lanterne.
It is thus, and for the same end, that they Perhaps bold speculations are more accepl- endeavoured to destroy that tribunal of conable, because more new to you than to us, science which exists independently of edicts who have been long since satiated with them. and decrees. Your despots govern by terrour. We continue, as in the two last ages, to read They know, that he who fears God fears nomore generally, than I believe is now done on thing else ; and therefore they eradicate from the continent, the authors of sound antiquity. the mind, through their Voltaire, their HelThese occupy our minds. They give us an- vetius, and the rest of that infamous gang, that other taste and turn; and will not suffer us to only sort of fear which generates true coube more than transiently amused with para- rage. Their object is, that their fellow-citidoxical morality. It is not that I consider this zens may be under the dominion of no awe, writer as wholly destitute of just notions. but that of their committee of research, and Among his irregularities, it must be reckoned of their lanterne. that he is sometimes moral, and moral in a Having found the advantage of assassination very sublime strain. But the general spirit in the formation of their tyranny, it is the and tendency of his works is mischievous; and grand resource in which they trust for the the more mischievous for this mixture : For support of it. Whoever opposes any of their perfect depravity of sentiment is not reconcil- proceedings, or is suspected of a design to able with eloquence; and the mind (though oppose them, is to answer it with his life, or corruptible, not complexionally vicious) would the lives of his wife and children. This infareject and throw off with disgust, a lesson of mous, cruel, and cowardly practice of assaspure and unmixed evil. These writers make sination, they have the impudence to call mereven virtue a pander to vice.
ciful. They boast that they operated their However, I less consider the author, than usurpation rather by terrour than by force; the system of the assembly in perverting mo and that few seasonable murders have pre
vented the bloodshed of many battles. There is not intended, in the first operation, or in its is no doubt they will extend these acts of certain consequences, for his own destructim, mercy whenever they see an occasion. Dread- your army seems to make one of the principal ful, however, will be the consequences of their links in the chain of that servitude of anarchy, attempt to avoid the evils of war, by the by which a cruel usurpation holds an undova merciful policy of murder. If, by effectual people at once in bondage and confusion. punishment of the guilty, they do not-wholly You ask me what I think of the conduct of disavow that practice, and the threat of it too, general Monk. How this affects your case, I as any part of their policy ; if ever a foreign cannot tell. I doubt whether you posses, in prince enters into France, he must enter it as France, any persons of a capacity to serve the into a country of assassins. The mode of French monarchy in the same manner in civilized war will not be practised; nor are which Monk served the monarchy of England. the French who act on the present system en- The army which Monk commanded bad been titled to expect it. They, whose known policy formed by Cromwell to a perfection of disciis to assassinate every citizen whom they sus- pline which perhaps has never been exceeded. pect to be discontented by their tyranny, and That army was besides of an excellent compo to corrupt the soldiery of every open enemy, sition. The soldiers were men of extraordimust look for no modified hostility. All war, nary piety after their mode, of the greatest which is not battle, will be military execution. regularity, and even severity of manners; This will beget acts of retaliation from you; brave in the field, but modest, quiet and or and every retaliation will beget a new revenge. derly, in their quarters ; men who abhorred the The hell-hounds of war, on all sides, will be idea of assassinating their officers or any other uncoupled and unmuzzled. The new school persons; and who they at least who served of murder and barbarism, set up in Paris, in this island) were firmly attached to those having destroyed (so far as in it lies) all the generals, by whom they were well treated other manners and principles which have hi- and ably commanded. Such an army, cace therto civilized Europe, will destroy also the gained, might be depended on. I doubt aucti, mode of civilized war, which, more than any if you could now find a Monk, whether a Monk thing else, has distinguished the Christian could find in France such an army. world. Such is the approaching golden age, I certainly agree with you, thai in all prowhich the Virgil* of your assembly has sung bability we owe our whole constitution to the to his Pollios!
restoration of the English monarchy. The In such a situation of your political, your state of things from which Monk relieved Eng civil, and your social morals and manners, land, was however by no means, at that time, how can you be hurt by the freedom of any so deplorable in any sense, as yours is now, discussion? Caution is for those who have and under the present sway is likely to consomething to lose. What I have said to jus- tinue. Cromwell had delivered England from tify myself in not apprehending any ill conse- anarchy. His government, though military quence from a free discussion of the absurd and despotic, had been regular and orderly. consequences which flow from the relation of Under the iron, and under the yoke, the soil the lawful king to the usurped constitution, yielded its produce. After his death, the will apply to my vindication with regard to the evils of anarchy were rather dreaded than felt. exposure I have made of the state of the army Every man was yet safe in his house and in under the same sophistic usurpation. The his property. But it must be admiued, that present tyrants want no arguments to prove, Monk freed this nation from great and just what they must daily feel, that no good army apprehensions both of future anarchy and of can exist on their principles. They are in probable tyranny in some form or other. The no want of a monitor to suggest to them the king whom he gave us was indeed the very policy of getting rid of the army, as well as of reverse of your benignant sovereign, who in the king, whenever they are in a condition to reward for his attempt to bestow liberty on his affect that measure. What hopes may be subjects, languishes himself in prison. The entertained of your army for the restoration of person given to us by Monk was a man with your liberties, I know not. At present, yield- out any sense of his duty as a prince ; without ing obedience to the pretended orders of a any regard to the dignity of his crown; withking, who, they are perfectly apprised, has no out any love to his people ; dissolute, false, will, and who never can issue a mandate which venal, and destitute of any positive good
quality whatsoever, except a pleasant temper, * Mirabeau's speech concerning universal peace. and the manners of a gentleman. Yet the
restoration of our monarchy, even in the per- it is more than enough if they are allowed son of such a prince, was every thing to us; what will keep them from absolute famine, and for without monarchy in England, most cer- that for the rest, they must let their gray hairs tainly we never can enjoy either peace or fall over the plough, to make out a scanty subliberty. It was under this conviction that the sistence with the labour of their hands ! Last, very first regular step which we took on the and worst, who could endure to bear this unrevolution of 1688, was to fill the throne with a natural, insolent, and savage despotism called real king; and even before it could be done in liberty? If, at this distance, sitting quietly due form, the chiefs of the nation did not by my firo, I cannot read their decrees and attempt themselves to exercise authority so speeches without indignation, shall I condemn much as by interim. They instantly requested those who have fled from the actual sight and the prince of Orange to take the government hearing of all these horrours ? No, no! manon himself. The throne was not effectively kind has no title to demand that we should be vacant for an hour.
slaves to their guilt and insolence; or that we Your fundamental laws, as well as ours, should serve them in spite of themselves. suppose a monarchy. Your zeal, Sir, in stand- Minds, sore with the poignant sense of insuling so firmly for it as you have done, shews ted virtue, filled with high disdain against the not only a sacred respect for your honour and pride of triumphant baseness, often have it not fidelity, but a well-informed attachment to the in their choice to stand their ground. Their real welfare and true liberties of your country. complexion (which might defy the rack) cannot I have expressed myself ill, if I have given go through such a trial. Something very high you cause to imagine, that I prefer the con- must fortify men to that proof. But when I duct of those who have retired from this war- am driven to comparison, surely I cannot hesifare to your behaviour, who, with a courage tate for a moment to prefer to such men as are and constancy almost supernatural, have strug- common, those heroes, who, in the midst of gled against tyranny, and kept the field to the despair, perform all the tasks of hope ; who last. You see I have corrected the exception- subdue their feelings to their duties; who, in able part in the edition which I now send you. the cause of humanity, liberty, and honour, Indeed, in such terrible extremities as yours, abandon all the satisfactions of life, and every it is not easy to say, in a political view, what day incur a fresh risk of life itself. Do me tho line of conduct is the most advisable. In that justice to believe that I never can prefer any state of things, I cannot bring myself severely fastidious virtue (virtue still) to the unconto condemn persons who are wholly unable to quered perseverance, to the affectionate pabear so much as the sight of those inen in the tience of those who watch day and night, by throne of legislation, who are only fit to be the bed-side of their delirious country, who, the objects of criminal justice. If fatigue, if for their love to that dear and venerable name, disgust, if unsurmountable nausea, drive them bear all the disgusts, and all the buffets they away from such spectacles, ubi miseriarum receive from their frantic mother. Sir, I do pats non minima eral, videre et aspici, I cannot look on you as true martyrs; I regard you as blame them. He must have an heart of ada- soldiers who act far more in the spirit of our mant who could hear a set of traitors puffed Commander in chief, and the Captain of our op with unexpected and undeserved power, salvation, than those who have left you; though obtained by an ignoble, unmanly, and perfi- I must first bolt myself very thoroughly, and dious rebellion, treating their honest fellow- know that I could do better, before I can censure citizens as rebels, because they refused to bind them. I assure you, Sir, that, when I consider themselves through their conscience, against your unconquerable fidelity to your sovereign, the dictates of conscience itself, and had de- and to your country; the courage, fortitude, clined to swear an active compliance with magnanimity, and long-suffering of yourself, their own ruin. How could a man of common and the Abbé Maury, and of Mr. Cazales, and nesh and blood endure, that those, who but the of many worthy persons of all orders, in your other day had skulked unobserved in their assembly, I forget, in the lustre of these great antichambers, scornfully insulting men, illus- qualities, that on your side has been displayed trious in their rank, sacred in their func- an eloquence so rational, manly, and convintion, and venerable in their character, now in cing, that no time or country, perhaps, has decline of life, and swimming on the wrecks ever excelled. But your talents disappear in of their fortunes, that those miscreants should my admiration of
your virtues. tell such men scornfully and outrageously, after As to Mr. Mounier and Mr. Lally, I have they had robbod them of all their property, that always wished to do justice to their parts, and
their eloquence, and the general purity of their these classes are not to be confounded in order motives. Indeed I saw very well from the to be afterwards revived and separated ; if they beginning, the mischiefs which, with all these are not convinced that the scheme of parochial talents and good intentions, they would do their and club governments takes up ihe state at the country, through their confidence in systems. wrong end, and is a low and senseless contriBut their distemper was an epidemic malady. vance, (as making the sole constitution of a They were young and inexperienced; and supreme power,) I should then allow, that thek when will young and inexperienced men learn early rashness ought to be remembered to the caution and distrust of themselves ? And when last moment of their lives. will men, young or old, if suddenly raised to You genuly reprehend me, because in bolde far higher power than that which absolute kingsing out the picture of your disastrous situatia, and emperours commonly enjoy, learn any I suggest no plan for a remedy. Alas! Sir, thing like moderation? Monarchs in general the proposition of plans, without an attention respect some settled order of things, which to circumstances, is the very cause of all your they find it difficult to move from its basis, and misfortunes; and never shall you find me to which they are obliged to conform, even aggravating, by the infusion of any speculations when there are no positive limitations to their of mine, the evils which have arisen from the power. These gentlemen conceived that they speculations of others. Your malady, in this were chosen to new model the state, and even respect, is a disorder of repletion. You seem the whole order of civil society itself. No to think, that my keeping back my poor ideas, wonder that they entertained dangerous visions, may arise from an indifference to the welfare when the king's ministers, trustees for the of a foreign, and sometimes an hostile nalica. sacred deposit of the monarchy, were so in. No, Sir, I faithfully assure you, my reserve is fected with the contagion of project and system, owing to no such causes. Is this letter, svelled (I can hardly think it black premeditated to a second book, a mark of national antipathy, treachery,) that they publicly advertised for or even of national indifference? I should act plans and schemes of government, as if they altogether in the spirit of the same caution, in were to provide for the rebuilding of an hos- a similar state of our own domestic affairs. If pital that had been burned down. What was I were to venture any advico, in any case, it this, but to unchain the fury of rash speculation would be my best. The sacred duty of an among a people, of itself but too apt to be adviser (one of the most inviolable that exists) guided by a heated imagination, and a wild would lead me, towards a real enemy, to act as spirit of adventure ?
if my best friend were the party concerned. The fault of Mr. Mounier and Mr. Lally But I dare not risk a speculation with no betwas very great; but it was very general. If ter view of your affairs than at present I can those gentlemen stopped when they came to command; my caution is not from disregard, the brink of the gulph of guilt and public misery, but from solicitude for your wellare. It is sug. that yawned before them in the abyss of these gested solely from my dread of becoming the dark and bottomless speculations, I forgive author of inconsiderate counsel. their first errour: in that they were involved It is not, that as this strange series of actions with many. Their repentance was their own, has passed before my eyes, I have no indulged
They who consider Mounier and Lally as my mind in a great variety of political specudeserters, must regard themselves as mur- lations concerning them. But compelled by co derers and as traitors: for from what else than such positive duty as does not permit me to murder and treason did they desert? For my evade an opinion; called upon by no ruling part, I honour them for not having carried mis- power, without authority as I ann, and without take into crime. If, indeed, I thought that confidence, I should ill answer my own ideas they were not cured by experience; that they of what would become myself, or what would were not made sensible that those who would be serviceable to others, if I were, as a volun. reform a state, ought to assume some actual teer, to obtrude any project of mine upon a constitution of government which is to be re- nation, to whose circumstances I could not be formed; if they are not at length satisfied that sure it might be applicable. it is become a necessary preliminary to liberty Permit me to say, that if I were as confident, in France, to commence by the re-establish- as I ought to be diffident in my own loose, ment of order and property of every kind, and, general ideas, I never should venture to broach through the re-establishment of their monarchy, them, if but at twenty leagues distance from of every one of the old habitual distinctions and the centre of your affairs. I must see with classes of the state; if they do not see that my own eyes, I must, in a manner, touch with
my own hands, not only the fixed, but the mo- operation, as a general reform at the hands of mentary circumstances, before I could venture those who were much more filled with a sense to suggest any political project whatsoever. I of the disease, than provided with rational must know the power and disposition to accept, means of a cure. to execute, to persevere. I must see
It may be said, that this care, and these aids, and all the obstacles. I must see the precautions, were more naturally the duty of means of correcting the plan, where correctives the king's ministers, than that of the parliawould be wanted. I must see the things; I ment. They were so; but every man must must see the men. Without a concurrence answer in his estimation for the advice he and adaptation of these to the design, the very gives, when he puts the conduct of his measure best speculative projects might become not into hands who he does not know will execute only useless but mischievous. Plans must be his plans according to his ideas. Three or made for men. We cannot think of making four ministers were not to be trusted with the men, and binding nature to our designs. Pea- being of the French monarchy, of all the orple at a distance must judge ill of men. They ders, and of all the distinctions, and all the do not always answer to their reputation when property of the kingdom. What must be the you approach them. Nay, the perspective prudence of those who could think, in the then varies, and shews them quite otherwise than known temper of the people of Paris, of assemyou thought them. At a distance, if we judge bling the states at a place situated as Veruncertainly of men, we must judge worse of sailles ? opportunities, which continually vary their The parliament of Paris did worse than to shapes and colours, and pass away like clouds. inspire this blind confidence into the king. For, The Eastern politicians never do any thing as if names were things, they took no notice of without the opinion of the astrologers on the indeed they rather countenanced) the deviafortunate moment. They are in the right, if tions which were manifest in the execution, they can do no better; for the opinion of for- from the true ancient principles of the plan tune is something towards commanding it. which they recommended. These deviations Statesmen of a more judicious prescience, (as guardians of the ancient laws, usages, and look for the fortunate moment too; but they constitution of the kingdom) the parliament of seek it, not in the conjunctions and oppositions Paris ought not to have suffered, without the of planets, but in the conjunctions and oppo- strongest remonstrances to the throne. It ought sitions of men and things. These form their to have sounded the alarm to the whole nation, almanac.
as it had often done on things of infinitely less To illustrate the mischief of a wise plan, importance. Under pretence of resuscitawithout any attention to means and circum- ting the ancient constitution, the parliament stances, it is not necessary to go farther than saw one of the strongest acts of innovation, to your recent history. In the condition in and the most leading in its consequences, carwhich France was found three years ago, what ried into effect before their eyes; and an innobetter system could be proposed, what less, vation through the medium of despotism; that even savouring of wild theory, what fitter to is, they suffered the king's ministers to new provide for all the exigencies, whilst it reformed model the whole representation of the tiers etat, all the abuses of government, than the conven- and, in a great measure, that of the clergy too, tion of the states general? I think nothing and to destroy the ancient proportions of the better could be imagined. But I have cen- orders. These changes, unquestionably the sured, and do still presume to censure your king had no right to make ; and here the parparliament of Paris, for not having suggested liaments failed in their duty, and along with to the king, that this proper measure was of their country, have perished by this failure. all measures the most critical and arduous ; one What a number of faults have led to this in which the utmost circumspection, and the multitude of misfortunes, and almost all from greatest number of precautions, were the most this one source, that of considering certain geabsolutely necessary. The very confession neral maxims, without attending to circumthat a government wants either amendment in stances, to times, to places, to conjunctures, its confirmation, or relief to great distress, and to actors! If we do not attend scrupulously causes it to lose half its reputation, and as to all these, the medicine of to-day becomes great a proportion of its strength as depends the poison of to-morrow. If any measure was upon that reputation. It was therefore neces- in the abstract better than another, sary, first to put government out of danger, call the states--ea visa salus morientibus una.whilst at its own desire it suffered such an Certainly it had the appearance.-But sea