Mirabeau's Letters, During His Residence in England: With Anecdotes, Maxims, &c, Volume 1

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E. Wilson, 1832
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Page 392 - I do; I know their virtues and their valor; I know they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of British America is an impossibility. You cannot, my Lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there ? We do not know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing, and suffered much.
Page 382 - We shall be forced ultimately to retract ; let us retract while we can, not when we must. I say we must necessarily undo these violent, oppressive acts; they must be repealed — you will repeal them ; I pledge myself for it that you will in the end repeal them ; I stake my reputation on it — I will consent to be taken for an idiot, if they are not finally repealed.
Page 394 - What makes ambition virtue? The sense of honor. But is the sense of honor consistent with a spirit of plunder or the practice of murder? Can it flow from mercenary motives, or can it prompt to cruel deeds ? Besides these murderers and plunderers, let me ask our ministers: What other allies have they acquired? What other powers have they associated to their cause? Have they entered into alliance with the king of the gipsies' Nothing, my lords, is too low or too ludicrous to be consistent with their...
Page lix - Cependant, pour éviter toute équivoque et tout délai, je vous déclare que, si l'on vous a chargé de nous faire sortir d'ici, vous devez demander des ordres pour employer la force, car nous ne quitterons nos places que par la puissance de la baïonnette.
Page 382 - ... becoming your exalted situation, make the first advances to concord, to peace, and happiness; for that is your true dignity, to act with prudence and justice. That you should first concede is obvious from sound and rational policy. Concession comes with better grace and more salutary effect from superior power.
Page 389 - ... assistance. As it is the right of parliament to give, so it is the duty of the crown to ask it. But on this day, and in this extreme momentous exigency, no reliance is reposed on our constitutional counsels...
Page 393 - To overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder ; devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty ! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms — never — never — never...
Page 394 - The Americans, contending for their rights against arbitrary exactions, I love and admire. It is the struggle of free and virtuous patriots. But, contending for independency and total disconnection from England, as an Englishman, I cannot wish them success ; for in a due constitutional dependency, including the ancient supremacy of this country in regulating their commerce and navigation, consists the mutual happiness and prosperity both of England and America.
Page 399 - You cannot subdue her by your present or by any measures. What, then, can you do ? You cannot conquer ; you cannot gain ; but you can address ; you can lull the fears and anxieties of the moment into an ignorance of the danger that should produce them.
Page 399 - My Lords, I have submitted to you, with the freedom and truth which I think my duty, my sentiments on your present awful Situation. I have laid before you the ruin of your power, the disgrace of your reputation, the pollution of your discipline, the contamination of your morals, the complication of calamities, foreign and domestic, that overwhelm your sinking country.

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