able reputation. Accordingly, we are indebted I am told that the very sons of such Jew. to this act of his for the preservation of our jobbers have been made bishops ; persons not laws, which some senseless asserters of the to be suspected of any sort of Christian superrights of men were then on the point of en- stition, fit collcagues to the holy prelate of tirely crasing, as relics of foudality and bar. Autun; and bred at the feet of that Gamaliel. barism. Besides, he gave in the appointment We know who it was that drove the money. of that man, to that age, and to all posterity, changers out of the temple. We see too whu the most brilliant example of sincere and fer- it is that brings them in again. We have in vent piety, exact justice, and profound jurispru- London very respectable persons of the Jewish dence.* But these are not the things in which nation, whom we will keep: but we have of your philosophic usurpers choose to follow the same tribe others of a very different deCromwell.

scription,-housebreakers, and receivers of Ono would think, that after an honest and stolen goods, and forgers of paper currency. necessary revolution (if they had a mind that more than we can conveniently hang. These theirs should pass for such) your masters would we can spare to France, to fill the new epishave imitated the virtuous policy of those who copal thrones: men well versed in swearing ; have been at the head of revolutions of that and who will scruple no oath which the fertile glorious character. Burnet tells us, that no- genius of any of your reformers can devise. thing tended to reconcile the English nation In matters so ridiculuus, it is hard to be to the government of king William so much grave. On a view of their consequences, it is as the care he took to fill the vacant bishoprics almost inhuman to treat them liglıtly. To what with men who had attracted the public esteem a state of savage, stupid, servile insensibility by their learning, eloquence, and piety, and must your people be reduced, who can endure above all, by their known moderation in the such proceedings in their church, their state, state. With you, in your purifying revolution, and their judicature, even for a moment! bui whom have you chosen to regulate the church? the deluded people of France are like other Mr. Mirabeau is a fine speaker-and a fine madmen, who, to a miracle, bear hunger, and writer,—and a fine—a very fine man ;-but thirst, and cold, and confinement, and the really nothing gave more surprise to every body chains and lash of their keeper, whilst all the here, than to find him the supreme head of while they support themselves by the imaginayour ecclesiastical affairs. The rest is of tion that they are generals of armies, prophets,

Your assembly addresses a manifesto kings, and emperours. As to a change of mind to France, in which they tell the people, within these men, who consider infamy as honour, an insulting irony, that they have brought the degradation as preferment, bondage to low ty: church to its primitive condition. In one re- rants as liberty, and the practical scorn and spect their declaration is undoubtedly true; for contumely of their upstart masters, as marks they have brought it to a state of poverty and of respect and homage, I look upon it as absopersecution. What can be hoped for after lutely impracticable. These madmen, to be this ? Have not men (if they deserve the cured, must first, like other madmen, be subname) under this new hope and head of the dued. The sound part of the community, church, been made bishops, for no other merit which I believe to be large, but by no means than having acted as instruments of atheists; the largest part, has been taken by surprise, for no other merit than having thrown the and is disjointed, terrified, and disarmed. That children's bread to dogs; and in order to gorge sound part of the community must first be put the whole gang of usurers, pedlars, and itine- into a better condition, before it can do any rant Jew-discounters at the corners of streets, thing in the way of deliberation or persuasion. starved the poor of their Christian flocks, and This must be an act of power, as well as of their own brother pastors? Have not such wisdom; of power, in the hands of firm, determen boen made bishops to administer in tem- mined patriots, who can distinguish the misled ples, in which (if the patriotic donations have from traitors, who will regulate the state (if not already stripped them of their vessels) che such should be their fortune) with a discrimichurchwardens ought to take security for the nating, manly, and provident mercy ; men who altar plate, and not so much as to trust the are purged of the surfeit and indigestion of chalice in their sacrilegious hands, so long as systems, if ever they have been admitted into Jows have assignals on ecclesiastic plunder, the habit of their minds; men who will lay to exchange for the silver stolen from churches? the foundation of a real reform, in effacing Tustralis of morality; men who will fix the vous or more oppressive to human nature than state upon these bases of morals and politics, that of the Turk; yet on mere motives of which are our old, and immemorial, and, 1 policy that prince has interposed with the hope, will be our eternal possession.

every vestige of that philosophy which pre. See Burnet's Life of Hales.

tends to have made discoveries in the terra


threat of all his force, to snatch even the Turk This power, to such men, must come from from the pounces of the imperial eagle. If without. It may be given to you in pity; for this is done in favour of a barbarous nation, surely no nation ever called so pathetically on with a barbarous neglect of polico, fatal to the the compassion of all its neighbours. It may human race, in favour of a nation, by principle be given by those neighbours on motives of in eternal enmity with the Christian name; a safety to themselves. Never shall I think any nation which will not so much as give the salucountry in Europe to be secure, whilst there tation of peace (Salam) to any of us; nos is established, in the very centre of it, a state make any pact with any Christian nation be(if so it may be called) founded on principles yond a truce ;-if this be done in favour of the of anarchy, and which is, in reality, a college Turk, shall it be thought either impoliiic, or of armed fanatics, for the propagation of the unjust, or uncharitable, to employ the same principles of assassination, robbery, rebellion, power, to rescue from captivity a virtuous fraud, faction, oppression, and impiety. Ma- monarch (by the courtesy of Europe considered homet, hid, as for a time he was, in the bottom as Most Christian) who, after an intermission of the sands of Arabia, had his spirit and cha- of one hundred and seventy-five years, had racter been discovered, would have been an called together the states of his kingdom, to object of precaution to provident minds. What reform abuses, to establish a free government, if he had erected his fanatic standard for the and to strengthen his throne; a monarch, who destruction of the Christian religion in luce at the very outset, without force, even without Asiæ, in the midst of the then noon-day splen- solicitation, had given to his people such a dour of the then civilized world? The princes Magna Charta of privileges, as never was of Europe, in the beginning of this century, given by any king to any subjects ?- Is it to be did well not to suffer the monarchy of France tamely borne by kings who love their subjects, to swallow up the others. They ought not now, or by subjects who love their kings, that this in my opinion, to suffer all the monarchie sand monarch, in the midst of these gracious acts commonwealths to be swallowed up in the was insolently and cruelly torn from his relace, gulph of this polluted anarchy. They may be by a gang of traitors and assassins, and kept tolerably safe at present, because the compara- in close prison to this very hour, whilst his tive power of France for the present is little. royal name and sacred character were used for But times and occasions make dangers. In- the total ruin of those whom the laws had po testine troubles may arise in other countries. pointed him to protect? There is a power always on the watch, qua- The only offence of this unhappy monarch lified and disposed to profit of every conjunc- towards his people, was his attempt, under a ture, to establish its own principles and modes monarchy, to give them a free constitution. of mischief, wherever it can hope for success. For this, by an example hitherto unheard of la What mercy would these usurpers have on the world, he has been deposed. It might well other sovereigns, and on other nations, when disgrace sovereigns to take part with a deposed they treat their own king with such unparal- tyrant. It would suppose in them a vicious leled indignities, and so cruelly oppress their sympathy. But not to make a common cause own countrymen ? :

with a just prince, dethroned by traitors and The king of Prussia, in concurrence with us, rebels, who proscribe, plunder, confiscate, and nobly interfered to save Holland from con- in every way cruelly oppress their fellow-citifusion. The sare power, joined with the zens, in my opinion is to forget what is due to rescued Holland and with Great Britain, has the honour, and to the rights of all virtuous and put the empereur in the possession of the Ne- legal government. therlands; and secured, under that prince, I think the king of France to be as much an ob from all arbitrary innovation, the ancient,

he- ject both of policy and compassion as the Grand reditary constitution of those provinces. The Seignior or his states. I do not conceive that chamber of Wetzlar bas restored the bichop the total annihilation of France (if that could of Liege, unjusdy diapossessed by the rebellion be effected) is a desirable thing to Europe ; a of his subjac 3. The king of Prussia was even to this, its rival nation. Provident patriots bound by no ucaly, nor alliance of blood, nor did not think it good for Rome, that even had any particular reasons for thinking the em- Carthage should be quite destroyed; and he Derour's government would be more mischie- was a wise Greek, wise for the general Gre cian interests, as well as a brave Lacedemo. will probably first assassinate the queen, whennian enemy, and generous conquerour, who did ever the renewed menace of such an assassi. not wish, by the destruction of Athens, to pluck nation loses its effect upon the anxious mind of out the other eye of Greece.

an affectionate husband. At present, the adHowever, Sir, what I have here said of the vantage which they derive from the daily threats interference of foreign princes is only the opinion against her life, is her only security for preser cf a private individual; who is neither the re- ving it. They keep their sovereign alive for presentative of any state, nor the organ of any the purpose of exhibiting him, like some wild party; but who thinks himself bound to ex- beast at a fair; as if they had a Bajazet in a press his own sentiments with freedom and cage. They choose to make monarchy cononergy in a crisis of such importance to the temptible by exposing it to derision, in the whole human race.

person of the most benevolent of their kings. I am not apprehensive that in speaking freely In my opinion, their insolence appears more on the subject of the king and queen of France, odious even than their crimes. The horrours I shall accelerate (as you fear) the execution of the 5th and 6th of October were less detestof traitorous designs against them. You are able than the festival of the 14th of July. There of opinion, Sir, that the usurpers may, and are situations (God forbid I should think that that they will, gladly lay hold of any pretext to of the 5th and 6th of October one of them) in throw off the very name of a king:-assuredly which the best men may be confounded with I do not wish ill to your king; but better for the worst, and in the darkness and confusion, him not to live (he does not reign) than to in the press and medley of such extremities, live the passive instrument of tyranny and it may not be so easy to discriminate the one usurpation.

from the other. The necessities created, even I certainly meant to show, to the best of my by ill designs, have their excuse. They may power, that the existence of such an executive be forgotten by others, when the guilty themofficer, in such a system of republic as theirs, selves do not choose to cherish their recollecis absurd in the highest degree. But in de- tion, and by ruminating their offences, nourish monstrating this—10 them, at least, I can have themselves through the example of their past, made no discovery. They only held out the to the perpetration of future crimes. It is in royal name to catch those Frenchmen to whom the relaxation of security, it is in the expanthe name of king is still venerable. They cale sion of prosperity, it is in the hour of dilatation culate the duration of that sentiment; and of the heart, and of its softening into festivity when they find it nearly expiring, they will not and pleasure, that the real character of men is trouble themselves with excuses for extinguish- discerned. If there is any good in them, it ing the name, as they have the thing. They appears then or never. Even wolves and used it as a sort of navel-string to nourish their tygers, when gorged with their prey, are safe unnatural offspring from the bowels of royalty and gentle. It is at such times that noble minds itself. Now that the monster can purvey for give all the reins to their good nature. They its own subsistence, it will only carry the mark indulge their genius even to intemperance, in about it, as a token of its having torn the womb kindness to the afflicted, in generosity to the it came from. Tyrants seldom want pretexts. conquered; forbearing insults, forgiving injuFraud is the ready minister of injustico; and ries, overpaying benefits. Full of dignity themwhilst the currency of false pretence and se selves, they respect dignity in all, but they feel it phistic reasoning was expedient to their designs, sacred in the unhappy. But it is then, and baske they were under no necessity of drawing uponing in the sunshine of unmerited fortune, that me to furnish them with that coin. But pre- low, sordid, ungenerous, and reptile souls swel: texts and sophisms have had their day; and with their hoarded poisons; it is then that they have done their work. The usurpation no display their odious splendour, and shine oui longer seeks plausibility. It trusts to power. in the full lustre of their native villany and

Nothing that I can say, or that you can say, baseness. It is in that season that no man of will hasten them by a single hour, in the exe- sense or honour can be mistaken for one of cution of a design which they have long since them. It was in such a season, for them of entertained. In spite of their solemn declara- political ease and security, though their people tions, their soothing addresses, and the multi- were but just emerged from actual famine, and plied oaths which they have taken, and forced were ready to be plunged into a gulph of penury others to take, they will assassinate the king and beggary, that your philosophic lords chose, when his name will no longer be necessary to with an ostentatio'is pomp and luxury, to feast hoir designs; but not a moment sooner. They an incredible number of idle and thoughtless pcople collected, with art and pains, from all cially foment these evil dispositions, and cren quarters of the world. They constructed a form them into springs of action. Nothing vası amphitheatre in which they raised a species ought to be more weighed than the nature of of pillory.* On this pillory they set their lawo books recommended by public authority. So rül king and queen, with an insulting figure recommended, they soon form the character of over their heads. There they exposed these the age. Uncertain indeed is the efficacy, objects of pity, and respect to all good minds, limited indeed is the extent of a virtuous instito the derision of an unthinking and unprin- tution. But if education takes in vice as any cipled multitude, degenerated even from the part of its system, there is no doubt but that i: versatile tenderness which marks the irregular will operate with abundant energy, and to an and capricious feelings of the populace. That extent indefinite. The magistrate, who in fa. their cruel insult might have nothing wanting vour of freedom thinks himself obliged to suffer to complete it, they chose the anniversary of all sorts of publications, is under a stricter duty that day in which they exposed the life of their than any other, well to consider what sort of prince to the most imminent dangers, and the writers he shall authorise; and shall recom. vilest indignities, just following the instant when mend, by the strongest of all sanctions, that is, the assassins, whom they had hired without by public honours and rewards. He ought to owning, first openly took up arms against their be cautious how he recommends authors of king, corrupted his guards, surprised his caste, mixed or ambiguous morality. He ought to be butchered some of ihe poor invalids of his gar- fearful of putting into the hands of youth wririson, murdered his governour, and like wild ters indulgent to the peculiarities of their own beasts, tore to pieces the chief magistrate of complexion, lest they should teach the humours his capital city, on account of his fidelity to his of the professor, rather than the principles of service.

the science. He ought above all, to be cauTill the justice of the world is awakened, tious in recommending any writer who has such as these will go on, without admonition, carried marks of a deranged understanding; aid wibout provocation, to every extremity. for where there is no sound reason, there can Those who have made the exhibition of the be no real virtue ; and madness is ever vicious 14h of July, are capable of every evil. They and malignant. do not coinmit crimes for their designs; but The assembly procceds on maxims the very they form designs that they may commit reverse vi vese. The assembly recommends crimes. It is not their necessity, but their to its youth the study of the bold experimentes nature, that inipels them. They aro modern in morality. Every body knows that there is philosophers, which when you say of them, a great dispute among their leaders, which of vou express every thing that is ignoble, savage, them is the best resemblance of Rousseau. and hard-hearted.

In truth, they all resemble him. His blood Besides the sure tokens which are given by they transfuse into their minds and into their the spirit of their particular arrangements,

Him they study; him they medithere are some characteristic lineamients in the tate ; him they turn over in all the time they general policy of your tumultuous despotism, can spare from the laborious mischief of the which, in my opinion, indicate, beyond a doubt, day, or the debauches of the night. Rousseau that no revolution whatsoever in their disposi- is their canon of holy writ; in his life he is tion is to be expected. I mean their scheme of their canon of Polyclctus ; he is their standard educating the rising generation, the principles figure of perfection. To this man and this which they intend to instil

, and the sympathies writer, as a pattern to authors and to Frenche which they wish to form in the mind, at the men, the founderies of Paris are now running season in which it is the most susceptible. for statues, with the kettles of their poor and Instead of forming their young minds to that

tho bells of their churches. If an author had docility, to that modesty, which are the grace written like a great genius on geometry, though art charın of youth, to an admiration of famous his practical and speculative morals were piexamples, and to an averseness 10 any thing cious in the extreme, it might appear, that in which approaches to pride, petulance, and voting the statue, they honoured only the geoself-concei:, (distempers to which that time of metrician. But Rousseau is a moralist, or life is of itself sufficiently liable,) they artific he is nothing. It is impossible, therefore,

putting the circumstances together, to mistake made very high, like tha: raised for exposing they have begun to recommend a course of

• The pillory (carcan) in England is generalls their design in choosing the author, with whan the king of France.



Their great problem is to find a substitute action. It is such a life he chooses to offer to for all the principles which hitherto have been the attention of mankind. It is such a life, employed to regulate the human will and action. that, with a wild defiance, he flings in the face They find dispositions in the mind of such of his Creator, whom he acknowledges only to force and quality, as may fit men, far better brave. Your assembly, knowing how much than the old morality, for the purposes of more powerful example is found than precept, such a state as theirs, and may go much fur- has chosen this man (by his own account withther in supporting their power, and destroying out a single virtue) for a model. To him they their enemies. They have therefore chosen å erect their first statue. From him they comselfish, flattering, seductive, ostentatious vice, mence their series of honours and distinctions. in the place of plain duty. True humility, the It is that new invented virtue which your basis of the Christian system, is the low, but masters canonize, that led their moral hero deep and firm foundation of all real virtue. constantly to exhaust the stores of his powerful But this, as very painful in the practice, and rheloric in the expression of universal benevolittle imposing in the appearance, they have lence ; whilst his heart was incapable of hartotally discarded. Their object is to merge bouring one spark of common parental affecill natural and all social sentiment in inordi- tion. Benevolence to the whole species, and nate vanily. In a small degree, and conver- want of feeling for every individual withi whom sant in little things, vanity is of little moment. the professors come in contact, form the c!iaWhen full grown, it is the worst of vices, and racter of the new philosophy. Setting up for the occasional mimic of them all. It makes an unsocial independence, this their hero of he whole man false. It leaves nothing sin- vanity refuses the just price of common labour, cere or trust-worthy about him. His best as well as the tribute which opulence owes to qualities are poisoned and perverted by it, and genius, and which, when paid, honours the operate exactly as the worst. When your giver and the receiver; and then he pleads his lords had many writers as immoral as the ob- beggary as an excuse for his crimes. He melts ject of their statue (such as Voltaire and with tenderness for those only who touch him others) they chose Rousseau; because in him by the remotest relation, and then, without one that peculiar vice which they wished to erect natural pang, casts away, as a sort of offal and into ruling virtue, was by far the most con- excrement, the spawn of his disgustful amours, spicuous.

and sends his children to the hospital of foundWe have had the great professor and foun- lings. The bear loves, licks, and forms her der of the philosophy of vanity in England. As young; but bears are not philosophers. VaI had good opportunities of knowing his pro- nity, however, finds its account in reversing ceedings almost from day to day, he left no the train of our natural feelings. Thousands doubt on my mind, that he entertained no prin- admire the sentimental writer; the affectionate ciple either to influence his heart, or to guide father is hardly known in his parish. his understanding, but vanity. With this vice Under this philosophic instructor in the he was possessed to a degree little short of elhics of vanity, they have attempted in France madness. It is from the same deranged ec- a regeneration of the moral constitution of man. centric vanity, that this, the insane Socrates Statesmen, like your present rulers, exist by of the national assembly, was impelled to pub- very thing which is spurious, fictitious, and lish a mad confession of his mad faults, and to false; by every thing which takes the man from attempt a new sort of glory, from bringing nis house, and sets him on a stage, which makes hardily to light the obscure and vulgar vices him up an artificial creature, with painted, which we know may sometimes be blended theatric sentiments, fit to be seen by the glare with eminent talents. He has not observed of candle-light, and formed to be contemplated on the nature of vanity, who does not know at a due distance. Vanity is too apt to prethat it is omnivorous ; that it has no choice in vail in all of us, and in all countries. To the its food ; that it is fond to talk even of its own improvement of Frenchmen it seems not abson faults and vices, as what will excite surprise lutely necessary that it should be taught upon and draw attention, and what will pass at worst system. But it is plain that the present ra. for openness and candour.

bellion was its legitimate offspring, and it is It was this abuse and perversion, which piously sed by that rebellion with a daily do.o. vanity makes even of hypocrisy, which has If the system of institution recommended by driven Rousseau to record life not so much the assembly, is false and theatric, it is bem as chequered, or spotted here and there, with cause their system of government is or tho virtues, or even distinguished by a single good

same character. To that, and to that alone.

« ForrigeFortsett »