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Sir Robert Wilson's book falsely ascribes clamation promises, that the persons holdto him, if it had been true, would haveing the administrative and judicial powers been attributable to Divine Providence, and shall keep their places. It promises the not to Buonaparté, any more than my flog same as to the Senate. Now, either these ging publication was attributable to my persons are the best that could have been pen.- -The TIMES news-paper, of a few found in France, or, they are not. If the days ago, under the name of a person of the latter, is it just to keep them in their name of BURDON, asserts, in addition to places? If they are not fit persons, and do all the other abominable falsehoods vomit- not properly administer the laws, would it ed forth against this great soldier and le- not be a detestable act to keep them where gislator, that he caused, in Italy, many they are, and to leave the property and thousands of persons to be buried alive, lives of the people at their disposal? And, even soldiers of his own army. But, sup- if they are the fittest men that could be posing this to be as true as it is false, does found in France; if they do take good care not this Proclamation sanction the deed, of the property and lives of the people, by asserting that Napoleon has been an in- what can the people of France wish for strument of the wrath of Divine Provi- more? And what are they to get from the dence? That is to say, by asserting, that proposed change? What does this propo God forced him to bury these people alive? sition offer them but a mere change of soveNay, it asserts, in fact, that God did the act; reigns, without any offer, without any because no act can be said to be done by hope, of being better, with a risk, at least, the tool made use of in doing it; and be of being worse off?- -When one man, in cause the law says, that he who does an common life, wishes to supplant another, "act by another, does it himself."—— be it in whatsoever line it may, he offers to What injustice, upon the principle of this the parties, interested some advantage or Proclamation, is it, therefore, to call for other. Let me, says A to B, supply you vengeance; for punishment; and even for with shoes instead of G. For what? says the Divine vengeance; upon the head of B. Why, says A, you shall have your Napoleon? For, if men are so wicked, so shoes of the same quality cheaper; or, of a impious, as to wish to punish a fellow man better quality at the prices of C. Here is for having executed the will of God, what a motive for the change; but, what molive a horrible idea is it, that God should punish does the Proclamation hold out? None at a man for doing what he himself has in- all, if we except the mighty consideration duced him, enabled him, and compelled of being again under the sway of the dehim to do?- -But, the Proclamation goes scendants of St. Louis; and, I dare say, further; for, it not only asserts, that Napo- that, by this time, the people of France leon has been an instrument in the hands of have very little preference for the persons God, but says, that he has been an instru- of sainted kings. -But, the Senate is to ment of God's wrath. This embraces all remain; and, moreover, it is designated as the acts of severity imputed to Napoleon containing men justly distinguished by their and his armies. It was, according to this talents and their services.Be it, in the Proclamation, God who made him go to first place, remembered, that it was NapoMoscow; to overset the Bourbons in Spain; leon who instituted this body; that it was to kill the Duke of Brunswick; to capture he who chose these men of talents and of Berlin and Vienna; to drive out the King services; that, in short, it was he who and Queen of Naples; to eject the Italian made this very thing, which the Bourbons Princes; to take away the dominions and promise to support. -The writers of the power of the Pope; and to keep the Bour- Proclamation may, indeed, say, that it was bons from their throne.. According to the not he, but God through him; so that here principle of the Proclamation, all these he would not appear as the instrument of persons and places merited what has been God's wrath, but of his blessings. Howdone to them, unless the authors of it are ever, if you deprive him of the merit here, ready to say, that Divine Providence has you must, in common conscience, exonerate been unjust. -At any rate, if we adopt him from the blame as to all the rest of his this principle, we must acquit Napoleon of acts, and must suppress all your vindictive all blame; and, if we suppose the people wishes against him.But, leaving Die of France to be endowed with only com- vine Providence, for the present, out of the mon sense, and a very small portion even question, what motive is there here held out of that, we must suppose, that they will see to the people of France to accept of the the matter in the same light, The Pro- offer of the Bourbons? They are told, that
hands; but, common sense, self-preservation, dietate to me to make every exertion in my power to prevent such a change.'To the Generals and Soldiers, indeed, who shall signalize them→ selves in his cause, the King offers rewards more substantial, distinctions more honourable, than those they possess. That is to say, he will reward them if they will, by means of a civil war, or any other means in violation of their oath to Napoleon; to him who has created the Tribunals and Senate (which are to remain) assist in restoring the Bourbons! However, there is something in this. More is offered than what is at present enjoyed. But to whom?
the Senate contains men of great taleists and virtues, and that it shall remain a part of the government. Well, then, the people of France need no change whatever to secure to them the services of the Senate. They have the Senate now. They are promised nothing more; and, they may very reasonably suppose, that no one is so likely to preserve this body as he who has created it. The offer, in short, which they here have again, is that of a risk of loss, without even the hope of any gain to counterbalance that risk.- -Was there ever, in the whole world, any man, in his senses, that accepted of such an offer? Men very often give the ready money out of their hands, and risk the loss of it upon a pro-Why, to that part of the nation who have missory note; but, as a compensation for this risk, they have the interest of their money, which, by lying dead in their hands, would bring them nothing. But, who changes his money against a promise to be paid the same sum again? Who ever voluntarily runs a risk without the hope of gain?The same observations apply to the promise, made in the Proclamation, as to the ownership of property. It "engages to interdict all proceedings "in the Tribunals, contrary to the settle"ments now in existence.". This refers to the property, , which includes a great part of all the lands of France, which was, by the Republican government, taken from the Crown, the Church, and the Nobility, and sold to individuals. What will these proprietors say, in answer to such a promise? I know very well what I should say, if I were one of them. I should answer thus: You may be perfectly sincere, " but I do not know that you are; and, if I knew you to be sincere, I should not • know, that you would have the power to act according to your intentions. If you ' are restored, you must restore the Nobility and the Church; and, what would * these be without property? Be your intentions, therefore, what they may, I cannot be certain, that they will be acted upon, and that your promise will be fulfilled. But, I know that I have my pro"perty now; I know, that the quiet possession of it is secured to me, not only by the settled laws, but by the interests of *all my rulers, great and small. I know, that, if no change take place in my rulers, my property is safe. I know, that I cannot gain by your offer; and I know, that I risk the loss of my all. There fore, I not only reject any proposition, tending to shift the government into your
arms in their hands. To those who have
and customs" were; "we shall see how they ground an industrious, an ingenious, a gallant people, in the fairest part of the world, down into slaves of the lowest cast; how they peopled the galleys and the jails; how they spread misery and death around them. And those who have read the Code Napoleon, civil as well as criminal, know, that it has completely abolished those hor rible laws and customs. But, for the
sake of the argument, and to place the va- nious priests, to make the property of the lue of this promise as high as possible, let church closely connected with the doctrines us, for the present, suppose all the inter- of religion; and thus, without any breach larded assertions to be true, If it be of promise, the whole of those persons who true, then, that Napoleon has formed a have purchased that property, might be code, for the most part consisting of the left to beg their bread, not without some ancient ordinances and customs of the danger of being punished as heretics. realm, only that these are here so embodied Here, at any rate, the Proclamation is a and arranged as to give them a more uni- denunciation against the proprietors; and form effect, and a more easy application, the only thing that astonishes one is, how with what justice; . . . . no, I will not any man in his senses could suppose it talk of justice in a case where he is the ob- likely to seduce the people of France from ject of attack; but, with what consistency; their present ruler.After all, and upon with what sense, is coupled with this as- a review of the whole matter, what does sertion, the assertion that his government this Proclamation amount to? What does is that of a capricious tyrant ? If he rule it hold out to the people of France? What by the same laws that the Bourbons ruled boon does it promise them? What are the by, and, if he be a capricious lyrant, what blessings which they are to enjoy if ther were they? And, what is stili more accept of the King's generous offer? Why, worthy of being asked, what do they intend they are to enjoy the same property which to be, if they intend to govern by the same they now enjoy; the same degree of liber code which he has established?- Here, ty; the same law-makers; the same laws; as in the former instances, there is a risk the same executors of those laws; and the of loss, without the offer of any gain, even same army. This is the offer; this is the contingent. Either the Code, as it now boon tendered to them; these are the only stands, is good or bad. If bad, what mo- blessings, which an exiled king can find tive is held out to the people to make a out to promise his people as a reward for change which is only to perpetuate it? If their undertaking a civil war for his restor good, what motive to run even the slightest ration.Is it possible for the mind of risk of losing it, or of seeing it impaired ? man to invent a higher compliment to the Is it reasonable to suppose, that the peo-person who now governs France? Is it ple of France will think this Gode safer in the hands of those, who wish to overthrow and utterly destroy him who has established it, than in the hands of that person himself? -The promise, in this case, as in all the others, amounts to nothing more than that of not injuring the people of France; but, to this generous, this munificent promise, there is, in the present case,, a reservation; yes, a reservation tacked by way of rider even to a promise, which, in its greatest extent is no more than a negative. -There is an exception made with regard to the doctrines of religion.Some priest must have advised this. The good sense of LOUIS XVIII, and his sufferings from this source more than from any other, would surely have prevented him from the making of this exception. What is meant by the doctrines of "religion?" The Code Napoleon does not meddle with those doctrines in any other way than as it leaves every man to follow his own opinions as to religion, and compels no man to belong to any particular sect, except the Royal Family, whose reli gion is to be that of the Roman Catholic. This exception, therefore, leaves room, and very little would be wanted to inge
possible to discover more forcible means of convincing them, that they ought to venture the shedding of the last drop of their blood to maintain the government of that person?- And, I should be glad to hear what can be said by those unprincipled men, in this country, who are incessantly crying out against the tyranny of Napoleon, when they see it, in so solemn a manner, avowed by him whom they call the King of France, that, if restored to his throne, the utmost that he can promise is to secure to his people that which they now enjoy under this same Napoleon? One would think, that, if this Proclamation be calculated to produce no other good effect, it might produce that of striking dumb their calumnious impudence. But (I had nearly overlooked, it) there is one thing, promised by the Proclamation, which, though still of a negative kind, would make a change for the better; namely; the pro mise to abolish the conscription. Yes, and so will Napoleon, when he has made peace The conscription is founded on no esta❤ blished law; it is not a thing of permanent duration; it is, to meet the emergencies of war; aud, though we affect not to perceive the fact, it is, and must be, well known
to the people of France. Besides, what actions. The people of France, putting is a conscription? What is it but a ballot these facts together; seeing that the Profor military service? And, have not we clamation is applauded and circulated by ballots for military service? The nature those, who wish to see them punished, of the service differs in some degree; but will not fail to draw the appropriate conare not we too compelled to wear soldiers' clusion.We might now leave this Proclothes, to carry arms, and to submit to clamation to make its way in the world. military discipline and law, and to be But, justice to the Emperor Napoleon; flogged too, if we disobey that law?I and, a still more powerful motive, justice' shall be told, that we are not compelled to to the people of France, who seem to remain go on foreign service. Ours is an island. firm in their attachment to him; these deFrance is not so situated. If our Local mand an inquiry into the nature and effect militia were in France, they would, if in a of the Bourbon government; into the situ county on the frontier, be liable to meet ation of the people of that fine country, the enemy. Besides, the arming of men while they were ruled by those ancient always must suppose the possibility, and Ordinances and Customs, of which the even the strong probability, of their being Proclamation says, the Code Napoleon, called upon to use those arms; else why for the most part consists.WHAT, are they armed at all? Why are they then, were those Ordinances and Customs? compelled to submit to military law ?- How did they affect this industrious and So that, after all, this conscription; this gallant people? Were they free and hapballot for military service, an end of which py, or were they slaves, and miserable, is the only thing which the Proclamation under those Ordinances and Customs? It speaks of as a change for the better, amounts is notorious, that, for ages, previous to to just nothing at all; besides, that the the French revolution, we, in this counconscription falls indiscriminately upon the try, constantly described the French as whole nation, while, as we shall soon see, slaves; our histories, our moral essays, the ballot for the militia did, under the our political writings, our poems, our Bourbons, fall upon the common people plays, all describe them as slaves, and as only. So much, then, for this famous, cowards for submitting to such a governthis published and re-published Proclama- ment as then existed. Now, indeed, our tion, which, as, I think, I have clearly conductors of news-papers, with a degree shown, taking it in its best light, supposing of impudence absolutely without parallel, the Bourbons to be perfectly sincere in their abuse the French people for having deprofessions, and to have full power to give stroyed the PATERNAL sway of the effect to their intentions, is calculated to Bourbons!—Let us now see, then, what unite the French nation as one man in de- was the nature of that "paternal sway;" fence of their present ruler and his house, and, when we have taken a full view of instead of inducing them to side with those it, and of its effects, we shall be able to who wish to overthrow him. But, in judge, whether it be probable, that the estimating the probable power of this do- people of France will listen to those, cument in effecting the object which it has who are endeavouring to bring them back to in view, we must not, blind as we are, the blessings of that "paternal sway." quite overlook its local origin and the chan- But, how are we to get at a true account of nels, through which it is passing, and by the nature and effects of the Bourbon gowhich it is recommended to the people of vernment? We must resort to some auFrance. They will not fail to perceive, thority; to somebody's word, whose word that it comes to them (supposing them to is to be relied on. see it) from England. If they read it in the Times news-paper, or in the Courier, or in almost any of our prints, they will see it accompanied with the most outrageous attacks upon themselves. They will also see, that those very persons, who patronise this Proclamation, do, in the very same prints, breathe destruction, not only to Napoleon, but to the power of the French nation; that they insist upon the necessity of humbling, reducing, punishing the French people themselves for their past
-The authority, to which I am about to refer, is that of MR. ARTHUR YOUNG, who is, and who has been, for many years past, Secretary to the Board of Agriculture, with a salary, paid by the public, of £500 a year. Mr. Young is, in the first place, a man of great talents; and, perhaps, it is impossible to find out a person so fit to be referred to as Mr. Young. His studies had been of that kind, which peculiarly fitted him for an inquiry of this description; and, he was in France at precisely the time for making it.
He made, during the years 1787, 1788, excesses could not be common in any counand 1789, an agricultural and politico-try; and they were reduced almost to noeconomical survey of the kingdom of France. thing, from the accession of the present He was there when the revolution began; King. The great mass of the people, by he was there during its progress until the which I mean the lower and middle ranks, new constitution was formed. He was not could suffer very little from such engines, only living in great intimacy with many of and as few of them are objects of jealousy, the most respectable leaders in that work; had there been nothing else to complain of, but, he himself, crossing the kingdom in all it is not probable they would ever have directions, made himself minutely acquaint- been brought to take arms. The abuses ed, by the means of personal inquiry and attending the levy of taxes were heavy and the evidence of his senses, of every particu- universal. The kingdom was parcelled lar, relating to the nature and effect of those into generalities, with an intendant at the ancient Ordinances and Customs," of head of each, into whose hands the whole which the Bourbon Proclamation boasts. power of the crown was delegated for every During his travels, he gives an account thing except the military authority; but of these, by citing numerous instances, of particularly for all affairs of finance. The the abominable tyranny, under which the generalities were subdivided into elections, people groaned; and, at the close of his at the head of which was a sub-delegué, work, he publishes reflections on the Revo-appointed by the intendant. The rolls of lution, beginning with a summary description of the state of the people under the Bourbon government, and, to the evidences of his own observation, adding, as he proceeds, the complaints, contained in the Cahiers, that is to say, the lists of complaints, made to the National Assembly by the most respectable people of the different provinces, to which Cahiers he refers in the notes. -This part of Mr. Young's work, I am now about to insert. I beg the reader ambassador in France, about the year 1753, to go through it with attention. He will negociating the fixing of the limits of the Amesee how every part of it applies to the sub-duced the war, calling one day on the minister rican colonies, which, three years after, preject on which we are, and also to the present crisis. -When he has read it to the end, not omitting the Notes, I shall have to trouble him with some further observations of my own.
ON THE REVOLUTION OF FRANCE.
"The gross infamy which attended lettres de cachet and the Bastile, during the whole reign of Louis XV. made them esteemed in England, by people not well informed, as the most prominent features of the despotism of France. They were certainly carried to an excess hardly cridible; to the length of being sold, with blanks, to be filled up with names at the pleasure of the purchaser; who was thus able, in the gratification of private revenge, to tear a man from the bosom of his family, and bury him in a dungeon, where he would exist forgotten, and die unknown But such
a An anecdote, which I have from an autho rity to be depended on, will explain the profligacy of government, in respect to these arbitrary imprisonments. Lord Albemarle, when
the taille, capitation, vingtiemes, and other taxes, were distributed among districts, parishes, and individuals, at the pleasure of the intendant, who could exempt, change, add, or diminish, at pleasure. Such an enormous power, constantly acting, and from which no man was free, must, in the nature of things, degenerate in many cases into absolute tyranny. It must be obvi
for foreign affairs, was introduced, for a few minutes, into his cabinet, while he finished a short conversation in the apartment in which he usually received those who conferred with him. As his lordship walked backwards and forwards, in a very small room (a French cabinet is never a large one), he could not help seeing a paper lying on the table, written in a large legible hand, and containing a list of the prisoners in the Bastile, in which the first name was Gordon. apologized for his involuntarily remarking the When the minister entered, Lord Albemarle paper; the other replied, that it was not of the least cousequence, for they made no secret of the nanies. Lord A. then said, that he had seen the name of Gordon first in the list, and he begged to know, as in all probability the person of this name was a British subject, on what account he had been put into the Bastile. The minister told him, that he knew nothing of the matter, time he saw Lord Albemarle, he informed him, but would make the proper inquiries. The next that, on inquiring into the case of Gordon, he could find no person who could give him the least information; on which he had had Gordon that he had not the smallest knowledge, or even himself interrogated, who solemnly affirmed, suspicion, of the cause of his imprisonment, but that he had been confined 30 years; however, added the minister, I ordered him to be immediately released, and he is now at large. Such a case wants no comment.