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The artifice had thus achieved its came to England. Here he soon purpose; and the records of litera- grew weary of the decencies requiture have never given an example red by English life; felt that the of an artifice more required by the first attentions of curiosity and parinnate deficiencies of a work of fame. tisanship were passing away; and, This celebrated romance realizes the unable to live without perpetual food saying of a witty profligate of Ver- for his vanity, invented a plot for his sailles—“If it were not for the vice, own assassination, and, under cover it would be the dullest affair in the of his imaginary peril, found an exworld.” The New Heloise, if it were cuse for flying back to Paris once not for its guilt, would never have more. But he had now exhausted his been endured even among French- fame; other men had filled up his women. All higher taste is as much place, the subterranean voices of revolted by it as all higher morality. war and revolution were too loud Infinite languor of story, dreary in- for the public to listen to the queruflation of sentiment, and intolerable lousness of a half maniac of sixty, length of description, perpetually who had insulted every benefactor, dispose the English reader more to and whose only enjoyment was that sleep over its pages, than to criticise of continually exclaiming, that he them. The masculine effrontery of was betrayed by all. He now bethe heroine—the gross insensibility came domestic, and married his misof the husband-and the mingled tress! His five children by her the meanness and exaggeration, the cold man of sentiment had previously treachery, and the dry formality of sent to the public hospital for orthe half-mendicant, half-pedagogue, phans, never to see them again. He who acts as the seducer, leave us was now nearly forgotten, when the only to be astonished at the chances eccentric Marquis Girardin gave him which give celebrity. It contains a place of refuge in the grounds of passages of French eloquence, and his chateau at Ermenonville. He therefore eloquence in no other land enjoyed this liberality but for a few or language of earth; ostentatious months. In July, 1777, he was appeals to improbable emotions; la- found dead in his chamber, the vicboured amplifications of common- tim of his own hand ! place thought; and overflowing rap- But his evil was not extinguished tures on skies and stars, winds and with his death. His posthumous waters, by a man whose only delight work,“ The Confessions," contained was in the low sensualities of a life the detail of his first thirty years, and at war with every feeling of purity by its mixture of corrupt details and and nature.
solemn blasphemies, has set the seal Having thus given his contribution to his character as one of the most to the private shame of society, he heartless and abandoned men of the was the fitter to assist in its public most profligate period of Europe. ruin. The double apostate in reli- The writer of this sketch must acgion, the corruptor in morals, he knowledge that he speaks of the was by instinct the Jacobin. He now “Confessions” upon the judgment of turned from profligacy to politics, others. He has never read them, and shewed that the change of sub- and is content to abide in an ignoject had not diminished his venom. rance, which could scarcely be enHe published his “ Social Contract,” lightened without a crime. a work which declared that freedom Through what new illusions wo was incompatible with all govern. must pass,—what new impostor is to ments but a Republic.
lead us after them into the desert, The times were threatening, and and bewilder us with the sight of the advocare of rebellion could not cities in the clouds, and castles faexpect to meet with impunity in the bricated of the vapours of the burndays when kings were in peril. He ing soil of rebellion,-what new was driven successively from France shape of "glory star-bright” the and Switzerland-again stole into tempter is to take in those times of Paris, where he fantastically assu- peril
, which undoubtedly shall yet med the disguise of an Armenian; try the firmness of Europe by a still and from France, in 1766, on the in- keener test, and finish the long sestigation of his brother atheist Hume, ries of falls and restorations by one
vast consummate struggle of national step of the depositary of the national good and evil, is among the secrets interests is prescribed. He never of the future. But it is only by look- moves without the sound of the ing to the wisdom of the past, by re- shackles on his legs. He never opens membering the fallacies that have his lips without remembering that been detected, and the dreadful ca. he is speaking not to the national lamities which were the price even council, but to the dignitaries of the of their detection, that we can reap hovel. His true house of legislature the advantage of the most formi- is the bighway; and his true advisers, dable and anxious experience that masters and makers, are the race has yet fallen to the lot of man. whom he would naturally employ to
sweep his chimneys, or wipe his EstablisHMENTS. « Old estab. shoes. The first acts of regenerated lishments are tried by their effects. France were to put this system into If the people are happy, united, practice. They exiled all the miwealthy, and powerful, we presume nisters from their houses of legislathe rest. We conclude that to be tion, on the established principle good whence good is derived. In that ministers must essentially be old establishments, various correc- traitors. They then curtailed the tives have been found for their aber duration of their legislatures, on the rations from theory. They are not equally established ground that all often constructed after any theory. parliaments must have no other obTheories are rather drawn from ject in their continuance than pubthem. In them we often see the lic robbery, personal corruption, and end best obtained, where the means everlasting despotism. They next seem not perfectly reconcilable to prohibited the continuance of any what we may fancy was the original member in the legislature for more scheme. *
* * * I think all this than two years. They next prohimight be curiously exemplified in bited the re-election of any memthe British Constitution. At worst, bers before an interval of two years. the errors and deviations of every On those regulations, worthy of a kind in reckoning are found and gang of swindlers, trusting their concomputed, and the ship proceeds in cerns to the “honour that exists her course. This is the case of old among thieves,” Burke pounces with establishments."
indignant scorn. “ If your represenOne of the strange absurdities of tative," says he, "act improperly at Republicanism is, that while it uni- the end of his two years' lease, it does versally proclaims the virtues of the not concern him for two years more. multitude, it universally legislates as By the French Constitution, the best if vice were the only quality of man- and wisest representatives go, equalkind. All is the basest suspicion. ly with the worst, into this limbus Every man is to be deemed a villain; patrum. Their bottoms are supposed and the whole manly theory of re- frail, and they must go into dock to liance on public spirit, or personal be refitted. Every man who has feeling, is extinguished in the prac- served in an Assembly is ineligible tice of precautions, at once degra- for two years after. Just as those ding to human nature, and fatal to magistrates begin to learn their trade, the machinery of government. With like chimney-sweepers, they are disthe Republican, all must be repre. qualified from exercising it. Supersentation of the people, for kings ficial, new, petulant acquisition, and must be tyrants, and nobles oppress- interrupted, dronish, broken recolors. Yet even this representation lection, is to be the defined charace has nothing to do with confidence. ter of all your future Governors. The representative is a mere dele. Your Constitution has too much of gate. Every movement of the man jealousy to have much of sense in it. of the people is watched with the You consider the breach of trust in closeness of a fraudulent debtor, and the representative so principally, that every hour of his office is an object you do not at all regard the question of account worthy of the vigilance of his fitness to execute it. The purof a jailer. The whole system is one gatory interval is not unfavourable of checks and hindrances. Every to a faithless representative, who
may be as good a canvasser as he tens of thousands were undone. The was a bad Governor.”
nation was bankrupt, but the Jacobin
Government was rich, and the opeOne of the characteristics of the Re- ration had all the results that it was volution was the enormous issue of ever made for. paper; an issue which is always the All the wisdom of all our rectifiers longing of Jacobinism in all coun- of the Constitution is lavished on tries, and of which the true interpre- libelling the Peerage. With those tation is the making of rapid fortunes sages it is an encumbrance on the in the hands of swindling politicians. shoulders of freedom, a chronic dis
Assignats. —“ Your Legislators temper of the State, a worthless have founded a commonwealth upon effigy of times of popular weakness gaming. The great object in their and lordly insolence. A suit of politics is to metamorphose France the old armour of old tyranny, but from a great kingdom into a great now divested of the spirit within, play-table; to turn its inhabitants in which gave it force, superseded by to a nation of gamesters ; to make more modern instruments of personal speculation as extensive as life; and greatness and national defence, and to divert the whole of the bopes and fit only to be consigned to the natufears of the people from their usual ral receptacles of dust and decay. channels into the impulses, passions, Burke turned the light of his mind and superstitions of those who live on the subject, and shewed that a on chance. The old gaming in Funds House of Peers, or Senate, was essenwas mischievous enough, but it was tial to the peace, power, and contiso only to individuals. Even when nuance of a free constitution; that it it had its greatest extent in the Mis- was, of all the parts of a free constisissippi and South Sea, it affected but tution, that which it was least in the few, comparatively. But where the power of a legislation to make, and law is itself debauched so as to force therefore ought to be most sacredly the subject to this destructive table, preserved; and that, useful as it was by bringing the spirit of gaming into in old times, in standing between the the minutest matters, and engaging prerogative and the populace, it was every body and every thing in it, a still more useful in our own day, more dreadful epidemic of that kind in forming a defence for freedom is spread than has yet appeared in against the rashness of the populace the world. With you, a man can acting upon the fears of the Legislaneither earn nor buy his dinner with- ture. “Your all-sufficient Legislaout a speculation. What he receives tors,” says Burke," have forgot one in the morning, will not have the thing which, I believe, never has same value at night. What he is been before, in theory or practice, compelled to take as pay for an old omitted by any projector of a Repubdebt, will not be received as the lic. They have forgotten to constisame when he comes to pay a debt tute a Senate. Never before this contracted by himself. Industry must time was heard of a body politic wither away. Economy must be composed of one legislative and active driven from your country. Careful assembly, and its executive officers, provision will have no existence. without such a council; without Who will labour without knowing something to which foreign States the amount of his pay? Who will might connect themselves; somestudy to increase what none can estic thing to which, in the ordinary detail mate? If you abstract it from its of Government, the people could uses in gaming to accumulate your look up; something which might paper wealth, would not be the pro- give a bias and steadiness, and previdence of a man, but the distemper- serve something like consistency in ed instinct of a jackdaw!"
the proceedings of the State. Such The prediction was fulfilled to the a body Kings generally have as a letter. "The Assignats, after having council. A monarchy may exist poured millions into the coffers of without it, but it seems to be of the the ruling rebellion, suddenly sunk very essence of a Republican Gointo their value in the paper of which vernment. It holds a sort of middle they were made. Thousands and place between the supreme power exercised by the people, or imme- empire, were restrained from public diately delegated from them and the view, and, indulged as they were mere Executive. Of this there are with harmless affectations of autho. no traces in your Constitution, and rity, and equipped with their coroin providing nothing of this kind, nets and sceptres of straw, were kept your Solons and Numas have, as rigidly under the lash of power, much as in any thing else, discovered a sovereign incapacity."
The King.-" They have chosen Absurdities on the topic of Royal- a degraded King. This, their first ty are the trading stock of modern executive officer, is to be a machine, declamation. That the direct re- without any sort of deliberative disvolter should desire first to extin. cretion in any part of his function. guish all reverence for the object
* According to the new which he proposes to destroy, is na. Constitution, the higher parts of ju, tural. But our object is with that dicature in either of its lines are not vast and foolish class, who talk the in the King. The King of France language of insult through the ex. is not the fountain of justice; the cess of ignorance, and who vilify a judges, neither the original nor the King, simply from the obtuseness of appellate, are of his nomination; he brain, which cannot discover the es- is not even the public prosecutor, sential importance of Royalty to the When we look into the true nature peaceful progress of mankind. In of his authority, he appears to be Burke's observations on the French nothing more than a chief of serAssembly, he obviously had the Brigeants-at-mace, catchpoles, jailers, tish Peerage in his view; and, though and hangmen. It is impossible to he talks of the Senate as absolutely place any thing called Royalty in a required in Governments, which, more degrading point of view. A from their nature, refuse to acknow. thousand times better had it been ledge a nobility, yet he continually for this unhappy Prince, that he had turns to the Peerage of this country, nothing at all to do with the admias affording the clearest example of nistration of justice, deprived as he the materials of which a constitu. is of all that is venerable, and all that tional Senate should be composed. is consolatory in that function, withFrance afterwards adopted the idea, out a power of suspension, mitigaand the Senates under the Directory tion, or pardon. Every thing in jusand Napoleon were the fruits of her tice that is vile and odious is thrown discovery of their importance. But upon him. It is not in nature, that, France has been always destined to situated as is the King of the French, be the experimentalist for Europe : he can respect himself, or be respect
- her projector, ruined by shewing ed by others. View this new exehow far his projects were extrava- cutive officer on the side of his poligant-the alchymist worn down by tical capacity-as he acts under the his own search after the philoso- orders of the National Assembly. pher's stone-the engineer" hoist To execute laws is a royal office-by his own petard." The French to execute orders is not to be a Senate proved at once the value of King! However, a political exea nobility to form a house of Peers, cutive magistracy is a great trust. and the utter incompetence of the Means of performing the duty ought land of Jacobinism to fabricate one. to be given by regulation; and disThe Parisian Senates were mere bu- positions towards it ought to be inreaus of retired functionaries, meet- fused by the circumstances attending to register the commands of their ant on the trust. It ought to be en. masters--mere cages to pen up the vironed with dignity, authority, and wolves and tigers of Jacobinism as consideration; and it ought to lead an exhibition-a Directorial and Im- to glory. The office of execution is perial menagerie, for the ostentation an office of exertion. It is not from or amusement of the Sovereign for impotence we are to expect the tasks the time being-mere lazar-houses, of power. What sort of person is a in which all the diseased in the sea. King to command executory service, sons of Republican frenzy, augment- who has no means whatever to reed by all the infected in the hot cor- ward it? Not in a permanent office ruptions of the oligarchy and the not in a grant of land-no, not in a pension of fifty pounds a-year--not mendous time. The present race in the vainest and most trivial title. live in perpetual fear. Their royalty In France, the King is no more the is but a hurried gathering of the an. fountain of honour, than he is the cient remnant of the great earthfountain of justice. All rewards, all quake, in which the King is barely distinctions, are in other hands.
distinguished from the multitude. Those who serve their King can be The nation itself is hutted; its whole actuated by no natural motive but constitution is but a scrambling tofear-by a fear of every thing except gether of the old régime, mingled their master.”
with the scarcely cold slag and ashes So much for stripping a King of thrown up by the revolutionary exhis constitutional power to please the plosion. All is temporary, foundarabble, who then can have nothing tionless, and tentative. All is palto strip him of but his crown and pable conviction, too, that it is not his life. Yet, to coerce the monarch, worth while to erect any governto have “
a cheap King,” in other mental fabric of a more solid kind, words, to have a nominal depository while nature continues still to fret of power, to cut away the royal robe the land with perpetual symptoms of until it is too scanty for the royal her old fever; all eyes look for the pereon, to pauperise the royal func- bursting up of those flames which tions, as a preliminary to getting once wrapt the land; every murmur rid of the name of King, is intelli- sounds hollow and predictive; every gible enough in the haters of all darkening of the political horizon constitutions. But it is utter folly makes men look, not abroad, as in those who desire only to live in once, but at home--feel the ground peace, and enjoy liberty. Those quivering under their feet - and should know, that it is the strength think, not of war, but of revolution. of the Government that makes the Is there a man in Europe who would security of the peaceable; that a be surprised to hear to-morrow that King without power is a King with- Paris had risen in a mass-that the out protection; that in striking the King was on his way to exile—that sword out of his hands, they but the National Guard were the masdisarm their defender. At this hour, ters of France-and that a President instead of diminishing the royal of the French Republic, one and inpower of resistance, it would be divisible, was sitting in the Tuilewisdom to invigorate it into active ries? Is there a sound politician in power; to give it the means of meet. Europe who does not see that the ing popular aggressions on the con- only preservative against this sweepstitution; and answer the menaces ing calamity of Europe, would be of insurrection, the trumpets of the to strengthen the hands of the French boasted millions of Jacobins in our Monarch-to give him the power of manufacturing provinces, and the acting with prompt and extensive rebellious signal-fires of Ireland, by energy to render him invincible in a prompt and bold authority, which any contest with the mere brute viowould rescue the land for half a lence of the mob—and, by surroundcentury to come.
ing him with authority fit for a King, The calamities of the French Re- to constitute him the true barrier volution have now, in some measure, of law, religion, and government, passed away; yet the ground is still against the passions of the rabble ? covered with the wrecks of that tre