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to make of that property which it enormous and shamclefs aĉt of prolwas their first ruty to protect. cription. It has opened, and will
It is with the exgitation of a lit. more and more open their eves upon tle natural pride I tell you, that those the selfish enlargement of mind, and amungit us who have wilhed to pledge the narrow liberality of sentime:it of the societies of Paris in the cup of insidious men, which commencing in their abominations, have been disap- close hypocrisy and fraud have ended pointed. The robbary of your church in open vioience and rapine. At home has proved a security to the poffefTions we behold limilar beginnings. We are of ours. It has routed the people. on our guard againit fimilar concluThey fee with horror and alarm thé fions.
Letter II. from Brutus to the Right Hor. E. B * * * *.
H EN I. fome time ago took opinióps ; all of them will relish your
V occasion to address you, I wit and your imagery ; your itile, recommended, with an honest wish for even in its defects, will find warm adyour fame, the application of your ta- mirers: these decorations of your lents to nobler objects than the con- work I will not stop to criticise or to tentions of party politics, “ the struggle applaud; I have certainly found more, for place, or the bickerings of faction.” much more room for applause than for I called upon you to exert the powers criticism ; but I will venture a few reyou are acknowledged to possess, “the marks which have struck me, in a first force of a scholar's stile, the richness perusal of your work, on some of its of a poet's imagination, to correct the general principles, and its representaerrors or expose the abuses of public tion of that very striking event of measures." It flatters me to see that which it treats. you have fulfilled the-wish I then Nothing seems to me more just than formed on your behalf: your treatise your developement of the great loadon the French Revolution has evinced ing truths of our constitution, and of the fullest poífellion of your abilities, that renewal or restoration of its prinand shewed them pointed to an object ciples which took place at the revoluof such magnitude in the history of tion in 1688. I have heard that this mankind, as fully deserved to call them part of your work has surprised and forth.
hurt some of your Whig friends and In this performance you have pre- admirers. But I confess that I have served all the fenlibility, bordering on not been able to find in it any offence enthusiasm, which has been always against the principles of reasonable characteristic of your happiest politi- Whiggism; if, as a party-man you cal appearances. Feeling as a Chri- have sometimes been considered as stian for religion, as a Gentleman for professing a żeal in that respect, be. honourable distinction, as a Man for yond the moderation of your prelunt' the distresses of the unfortunate, you performance, it will reinain to be de. will be pardoned for painting is strong, termined on which fide truth and reaand perhaps exaggerated colours, ene' son lies; and whether the fober coninjustice, which, in your opinion, all feffion of your Faith, in this publicaof them have suffered from the pre- tion, be an apostacy or a conversion. sent Democracy of France. Many of Indicating of the proceedings of the your readers will coincide with your Nacional Atembly of France, and of Vol. XII. No 72. 3 D
the new constitution which they wish the dismillion of M. Neckar; the malo ettatlith, you do not secin quite so nifefto from • Veria:lles; the arity of moderate and impartial. The Govern. Marshal Broglio. Those measures of inent of a great nation is a machine vf strong coercion were neceffarily ope fo much complexity, that objections, posed by exertions of tqual force; and those roo of magnitude, will easi. and in such conflicts, in the frock of ly occur to à mind less acute, and less heated and coniended parties, not onjirentive than yours. Objections will ly delicacy and decorum, but even arife, much more easily against the justice and humanity are fometimes operacious of a republican, or any forgotten. Even after the conicit is thing near a republican government, at an end, the principle of victnce than against those of a monarchy. will continue to operate; the form Abfolute power is that perv ding E- may have ceafed, but the fwell of the nergy which fimplises every thing. ocean will remain.. Give it but the adjuncts of wisdom, With the people, especially, that vio. jufiice, and benevolence, and nothing lence will continue, and new authori is to delightful to imagination. You ty will not easily be able to repress know, Sir, that my hology and poetry it. The national quickness and ritari liave always adopted it, because in city of France runs out eally into! their bands it is simple, beautiful, and extremes; the sentimene of the mos" sublime. The difficulty of modelling ment catches with rapidity, and hur." a new government of this sort is one ries into excess. There is a senij. great reason why reformers have, as ment, even of cruelty, among the you observe, generally contented them- French, which has often been remark." selves with only improving on the old ed with astonishment in so civilized a' fyftem, and have kept as much of that people. It was this sentiment which remaining as the immediate feeling of prompted their inhuman applause, oppreilion or inconvenience would al. when Damien's first fhritk atrefted th: low. But the change muft always fcill of the executioner. They lockbe greater in proportion to the depra- ed on che affaslin of their king, and ut- 1 vity of the former government. The tered this barbarous plaudit at his ter. constitutiou of England, when our'an- turcs. ''Twas a Vive le rod in a faccttors te-chablished it at the Revolu- vage ftile; that Vive le roi which rion, had sustained forne injuries, made them of old forget their coun: from the weakness or bigotry of the try í you need not wonder that, at Monarch, which could be removed prelent, the Vive la nation makes there without much violence; that of France forget their king. had abuses inherent in its principle, Yet those outrages, which every which could not so easily be done a good man like you must regreto 10 way. To use your own favourite al which feeling and eloquence like yours - Jusion, the English conftirution had can give foʻmuch dramatic effea, have only suffered Tonie di'a, idations which not, perhaps, been fo frequent, or to it was not difficult to repair : The great as might have been expected in z? French was rotten at the foundation, period of such commotion and tumali. and it required a great deal of julling The force that could wrench its scep down to remedy the mifchief... i tre from despotifin could not be exerte"
You allowtiothing to tlie violence ed with the casc and I'moothness of inseparable from the application of regular and ordinary power. If it! this remedy. You forget the relitt sometimes fheck the pillars of jaftice, ance of the king to the first proceed. if it sometiines loofened the boods of ing of the National Assembly, which humanity, the transient evil must be unavoidably produced this violence ; endured for the sake of the future per Two bottines and web del
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manent, good. ; If France. Shall ulti-, of his history. To them; no painter' mately obtain freedom at no greater has given colour, no poct description : expenge than the blood which has al. they make no part of the pedestalia ready been spilt, thu' individuals may the statue of the Place des Vittoirer . bave to mourn their private losses, the The distresses of the lower orders public, cannot repent of the purchase, of the people, the Want of food, of
But does humanity never speak on cloathing, of fuel, are not calculated the other side of the question, nor to figure in painting and sculpture, o think of what those wretches suffered, melt in poetry, or to, roule in elow: on whom the former goveroment wrec- quence. These orders, however, are i ked its vengeance uncontroaled? Their wiiat political and philosophical truth sufferings, indeed, were not seen in the must own to be the nation. It was streets, nor related in Journals ; for the misfortune in France, that the man. the dungeons of the Bastile and of the ners, modelied by the form of govern.. Castle of Vincennes, were closed up- meni, established a fori of contempt on their miseries. But have you, Sir, for every individual, who had nie. whose researches have travelled so far rank and fashion to recommend hini, 1 into Asia, for stories of oppression, ne. This mode of thinking was not the less ver heard of those at your door? You fatal, and was much less easy go be will tell us, as the other defeaders of corrected, for its really not being high the French Monarchy have done, of ly censurable in those who indulged it.. the infrequency of such instances. But It was not the effect of selfishnels and a in shę fyltem of government, it is not inhu inanity; it arose from habit mere. what is done, but what may be done, ly; it was worn by a man of the Court i that wisdom and foresight look to.me like his new fuit, without any other You talk of the mildness of Louis conlideration than that his companions ; XVI. you speak with a bombastic rap- ' had the fanie, His sphere of connec-) ture of the charms of his Oneen ; the tiva with mankind reached no fartber poets of Augustus, with a taite as ele- than a few parties of rank and fashion, i gant, and a lile somewhat chaster than whom he called the world. The yours, could tell us of the mildness twenty millions of Frenchmen, who and munificence of his reign ; but that were not of those parties, went for no- , power which in him was mildness and thing in the account. The men of furis muniacence, in his successors was ty. purior rank who thought thus, were in : ranny and murder.
general polite, obliging, lionourable' The circle that sees and can best and brave. Some of them, whon: talk of Kings, is a parrow and a par- strangers were most likely to see, were tial one; and the delegated power of poffefed allo of the more folid and eftir the Sorcreign is often mischievous in mable qualities of taite, of sentiment, the extreme, while he, from whom it of infur nation. But they still retain- i flows, is amiable and beneficent, Kings ed the aristocrat c prejudices of their : may be praised by poets, and idolized order. These are, indeed, not unnaby courtiers, even without the aid of tural to minds of a certain refioement much imagination or flattery, wbile The herois o af knight errantry, the their people are groaning under the gallaatry of a Cavalier, the spirit of her oppreffions of their government. On recitary Nobility, all these interest the such testimony Lewis XIV, has been feelings and captivate the imagination. celebra:ed as the most liberal, the moft We are, therefore, not surprised, that. magnificeat, the greatest of Monarchs ; you, Sir, should be feduced by them. the miseries of millions of his subjects It is noi, perhaps, unfair to bring make no figure in his hiftory, or at the very abasement which the nobileast in the common and current ideas lity of France has suffered, in proof of
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its having somewhat deserved that a- the revenues of the church had beea basement. That this great and nu. laid out in the best possible way, yet merous body, poffested for so many the charity of the state, like the chacenturies of its elevated station, with rity of individuals, must be a second. so much power, and so much proper- ary consideration to its own immediate ty to attach niens interests, with al! fublilence or support. State necefity its present and all its traditionary called for retrenci ments and for imgrandeur to overawe their minds, that pofls. Had the King retained that such a body should have shrunk into power which this very necefity tend. annihilation withont a struggle, is ed to overthrow, he would probably 'pretty strong evidence of iis having have wrung some more millions of livlot by some demerit, that influence res from the poverty of the people. which it should have had in the coun- Was it mucho be regreted that his lactry ; ihat it held the people in a Vaf- cessors in that power found a resource in Talage intolerably oppreslive, and had the éxorbitant wealth of the church? exercised all the feudal tyranny with. I easily allow for your feelings on out having gained any of the feudal behalf of the monastic establishments. attachinent,
There is a“ dim religious" reference, "A similar argument may be brought a tenderness for itoried melancholy, with regird to the church. The which the heart and the fancy will higher ecclcsiaftics must have forfeit- readily acknowledge towards their ed the eilcem and regard of their own 6 antient solitary reign ;" but the a
subordinate clergy, and of the people, bolishment of their cold ascetic aufie. * bifore their power and their domains rities, (for in a cloyster 'there can · could have been wr.ited from them, fcarcely be any virtues) will nor, I
without the im; refion of facrilege or believe, be confiderc by philosophy, impiety, a'most without the idea of (or philanthropy, if you should dilo injustice. Had thcy claimed veneration like the word philosophy) as one of by their fanéti:y, or good will by their the evils of the Revolution, . benevolence, ihe reverence, or the love “From you, Sir, one would hardly of the people would have felt and re- have expected that viclent and fomesented the infringment; on their por: what illiberal attack on the philosose tions. The people would have com- phers, and men of letters in France
plained from Sentiment, but it would which your book contains. Do you : have still been a quellion how far they really, in your cooler judgment, be. complained with re-fon. The property lieve, that the world has gained no
of the church certainly stood on a very thing by their labours? Has your different fuoring from that ofan heredi- sympathy in the pride or prosperity tary defcendible estate. No man is born of mankind found nothing with which Archbishop of Paris, or Abbé of St it could congratulate itfelt in all the Germains. Their great incomes were increased koowledge and bumanity of a stipendiary allowance, though they the present century, for a part of arofo from the poffeffion of land. The which we are indebted to the mea function of ecclefiaftical is more sacred whon your zeal in this argunent bas than that of temporal offices; but if condemned in thegross? Would you their emolumenis are beyond the abi- forego all the discoveries of their litics of the fiare, or if any of those science, all the productions of their
religious offices are entirely' unnecef- genius, to retire again into the fade · sary, it may fairly enough be argued of that gloomy superstition which your
shat the power of reliimpuion of the fancy has hallowed? In all ages phiaotient'stipends, or of abolition of the losophers have been fcepiiod, and anticnt offices, lies. with the people. Wits licencious: but it is not like the Even if it were to be granted that all liberality of Mr B. to proscrite phi.
lofophy and it in a peevith indul- perfect confidence of the future. A gence of his averfion to Icepticism and little more difhdence in opinioo, and licentiousness. i .
a little more reserve ju, expression, n As I am not a.pleader so determi- might have been fater,, as well as
ned for one of the parties in this great more conciliating. One copfiderai question as you, Sir, I will freely con- tion hould have especially induced - fels, that in the opinion of thinking this, which might have great weiglit 3. and impartial men, there are, in the in a calm and difpallionate view of : the present sate of France, con- this whole business. The bulk of the
fiderable abuses, and that in the prof people seem to be satisfied with the pect of her future condition, there are Revolurion. After a considerable to be foreseen much difficulty and time to cool from the fervor of newdanger. In some of the members of ly-acquired freedom, a great majority her National Asembly, there is a want of the nation bave, on trying occaof ristite, in more there is a want of fions, declared for, and Supported the wisdom, and in a ftill greater number mealures of the National Assembly.
a want of moderation; while in the It is bold in an individual foreigner, .- aggregate body there is a deficiency however able and enlightened, to ar
of power to enable it always to adopt raign the measures which so general a the best measures, or to enforce those suffrage of the people, whose interesis which it has found a necellity of a. they concern, has fanctioned. dopting. From the impofition and While I venture these remarks on collection of the revenue, from the your performance, I mean not to de. construction of the inferior munici- pretiate its merit, or to doubt the pal jurisdi&tions, but especially from goodness of those motives with which the situation of the army, they are it was written. I feel all its genius threatened with the overthrow of all and its ability, with that partiality they liave done in correction of the wnich is infpired by its virtue and its old, or in the eitablishment of the benevolence. This is an advantage
new Conilirution. Bot many of the which the writings of its author, ja · friendls of mankind will hope, as cere general poffefs. The defects of his
tainly all of them must will, that all character are pardoned lik: the defects those dargers inay be avoided and of his writings, because they pročied
the difficulties overcome ; itat the rather from the extrine ceftimable m wisdom of the enlightened, and the qualities, than from the want of them ;
1 virtue of the good among them, may from overtrailied feeling, from mil** fucceed in ett ablishing, though not a takur humanity, from the zcai of right y pertect or an uoexcecionable govern. pufhed almo't to fanat:cilin.
wieni, oge at it more confumant to · With mc, Sr, the repict of such "the natural rights (tur the expreffion, defedis is always aftcnded by a wish
after all thorabase, and your ridicule, for their ccrrcction, and a lore of ir is still in itlelt a good one) and more the usefulacis et os talents by rl friendly to the happiness of man than which bey are accompanied. From
1 tbat' which they have abclithed. the lirit of your present perior ance, on Your objections are stated when I anticipate a concuct beneficial 10
the new conititutions are yet in their tie communi:y. I fee in it a dread beginning, beirre tie elleas of their of the inconfiderato cefire of reform; genzial operation can be seen, or the a jealcul; of needlets inrotation, errors in their detail are carrec.d. which it forms to me extremely use.
You write with the decifion of a iup- ful to keep awake at the prtlint tiine. '.poked perfect knowledge of the pre- Even when the outcry for change i fent circamítances, and predio with a and innovation is bonelt, it ma, the
. w . • hurtful;