EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

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thelivyjr
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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:40 p

LET US NOW TURN OUR EYES to what they have done toward the formation of an executive power.

For this they have chosen a degraded king.

This their first executive officer is to be a machine without any sort of deliberative discretion in any one act of his function.

At best he is but a channel to convey to the National Assembly such matter as it may import that body to know.

If he had been made the exclusive channel, the power would not have been without its importance, though infinitely perilous to those who would choose to exercise it.

But public intelligence and statement of facts may pass to the Assembly with equal authenticity through any other conveyance.

As to the means, therefore, of giving a direction to measures by the statement of an authorized reporter, this office of intelligence is as nothing.

To consider the French scheme of an executive officer, in its two natural divisions of civil and political.

In the first, it must be observed that, according to the new constitution, the higher parts of judicature, in either of its lines, are not in the king.

The king of France is not the fountain of justice.

The judges, neither the original nor the appellate, are of his nomination.

He neither proposes the candidates, nor has a negative on the choice.

He is not even the public prosecutor.

He serves only as a notary to authenticate the choice made of the judges in the several districts.

By his officers he is to execute their sentence.

When we look into the true nature of his authority, he appears to be nothing more than a chief of bum bailiffs, sergeants at mace, catchpoles, jailers, and hangmen.

It is impossible to place anything called royalty in a more degrading point of view.

A thousand times better had it been for the dignity of this unhappy prince that he had nothing at all to do with the administration of justice, deprived as he is of all that is venerable and all that is consolatory in that function, without power of originating any process, without a power of suspension, mitigation, or pardon.

Everything in justice that is vile and odious is thrown upon him.

It was not for nothing that the Assembly has been at such pains to remove the stigma from certain offices when they are resolved to place the person who had lately been their king in a situation but one degree above the executioner, and in an office nearly of the same quality.


It is not in nature that, situated as the king of the French now is, he can respect himself or can be respected by others.

View this new executive officer on the side of his political capacity, as he acts under the orders of the National Assembly.

To execute laws is a royal office; to execute orders is not to be a king.

However, a political executive magistracy, though merely such, is a great trust.

It is a trust indeed that has much depending upon its faithful and diligent performance, both in the person presiding in it and in all its subordinates.

Means of performing this duty ought to be given by regulation; and dispositions toward it ought to be infused by the circumstances attendant on the trust.

It ought to be environed with dignity, authority, and consideration, and it ought to lead to glory.

The office of execution is an office of exertion.

It is not from impotence we are to expect the tasks of power.

What sort of person is a king to command executory service, who has no means whatsoever to reward it?

Not in a permanent office; not in a grant of land; no, not in a pension of fifty pounds a year; not in the vainest and most trivial title.

In France, the king is no more the fountain of honor than he is the fountain of justice.

All rewards, all distinctions are in other hands.

Those who serve the king can be actuated by no natural motive but fear — by a fear of everything except their master.

His functions of internal coercion are as odious as those which he exercises in the department of justice.

If relief is to be given to any municipality, the Assembly gives it.

If troops are to be sent to reduce them to obedience to the Assembly, the king is to execute the order; and upon every occasion he is to be spattered over with the blood of his people.

He has no negative; yet his name and authority is used to enforce every harsh decree.

Nay, he must concur in the butchery of those who shall attempt to free him from his imprisonment or show the slightest attachment to his person or to his ancient authority.


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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:40 p

Executive magistracy ought to be constituted in such a manner that those who compose it should be disposed to love and to venerate those whom they are bound to obey.

A purposed neglect or, what is worse, a literal but perverse and malignant obedience must be the ruin of the wisest counsels.

In vain will the law attempt to anticipate or to follow such studied neglects and fraudulent attentions.

To make them act zealously is not in the competence of law.

Kings, even such as are truly kings, may and ought to bear the freedom of subjects that are obnoxious to them.

They may, too, without derogating from themselves, bear even the authority of such persons if it promotes their service.

Louis the Thirteenth mortally hated the Cardinal de Richelieu, but his support of that minister against his rivals was the source of all the glory of his reign and the solid foundation of his throne itself.

Louis the Fourteenth, when come to the throne, did not love the Cardinal Mazarin, but for his interests he preserved him in power.

When old, he detested Louvois, but for years, whilst he faithfully served his greatness, he endured his person.

When George the Second took Mr. Pitt, who certainly was not agreeable to him, into his councils, he did nothing which could humble a wise sovereign.

But these ministers, who were chosen by affairs, not by affections, acted in the name of, and in trust for, kings, and not as their avowed, constitutional, and ostensible masters.

I think it impossible that any king, when he has recovered his first terrors, can cordially infuse vivacity and vigor into measures which he knows to be dictated by those who, he must be persuaded, are in the highest degree ill affected to his person.

Will any ministers who serve such a king (or whatever he may be called) with but a decent appearance of respect cordially obey the orders of those whom but the other day in his name they had committed to the Bastille?

Will they obey the orders of those whom, whilst they were exercising despotic justice upon them, they conceived they were treating with lenity, and from whom, in a prison, they thought they had provided an asylum?

If you expect such obedience amongst your other innovations and regenerations, you ought to make a revolution in nature and provide a new constitution for the human mind.


Otherwise, your supreme government cannot harmonize with its executory system.

There are cases in which we cannot take up with names and abstractions.

You may call half a dozen leading individuals, whom we have reason to fear and hate, the nation.

It makes no other difference than to make us fear and hate them the more.

If it had been thought justifiable and expedient to make such a revolution by such means, and through such persons, as you have made yours, it would have been more wise to have completed the business of the fifth and sixth of October.

The new executive officer would then owe his situation to those who are his creators as well as his masters; and he might be bound in interest, in the society of crime, and (if in crimes there could be virtues) in gratitude to serve those who had promoted him to a place of great lucre and great sensual indulgence, and of something more; for more he must have received from those who certainly would not have limited an aggrandized creature, as they have done a submitting antagonist.

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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:40 p

A king circumstanced as the present, if he is totally stupefied by his misfortunes so as to think it not the necessity but the premium and privilege of life to eat and sleep, without any regard to glory, can never be fit for the office.

If he feels as men commonly feel, he must be sensible that an office so circumstanced is one in which he can obtain no fame or reputation.

He has no generous interest that can excite him to action.

At best, his conduct will be passive and defensive.

To inferior people such an office might be matter of honor.

But to be raised to it, and to descend to it, are different things and suggest different sentiments.

Does he really name the ministers?

They will have a sympathy with him.

Are they forced upon him?

The whole business between them and the nominal king will be mutual counteraction.

In all other countries, the office of ministers of state is of the highest dignity.

In France it is full of peril, and incapable of glory.

Rivals, however, they will have in their nothingness, whilst shallow ambition exists in the world, or the desire of a miserable salary is an incentive to short-sighted avarice.

Those competitors of the ministers are enabled by your constitution to attack them in their vital parts, whilst they have not the means of repelling their charges in any other than the degrading character of culprits.

The ministers of state in France are the only persons in that country who are incapable of a share in the national councils.

What ministers!

What councils!

What a nation!

But they are responsible.

It is a poor service that is to be had from responsibility.

The elevation of mind to be derived from fear will never make a nation glorious.

Responsibility prevents crimes.

It makes all attempts against the laws dangerous.

But for a principle of active and zealous service, none but idiots could think of it.

Is the conduct of a war to be trusted to a man who may abhor its principle, who, in every step he may take to render it successful, confirms the power of those by whom he is oppressed?

Will foreign states seriously treat with him who has no prerogative of peace or war?

No, not so much as in a single vote by himself or his ministers, or by any one whom he can possibly influence.

A state of contempt is not a state for a prince; better get rid of him at once.

I know it will be said that these humors in the court and executive government will continue only through this generation, and that the king has been brought to declare the dauphin shall be educated in a conformity to his situation.

If he is made to conform to his situation, he will have no education at all.

His training must be worse, even, than that of an arbitrary monarch.

If he reads — whether he reads or not — some good or evil genius will tell him his ancestors were kings.

Thenceforward his object must be to assert himself and to avenge his parents.

This you will say is not his duty.

That may be; but it is nature; and whilst you pique nature against you, you do unwisely to trust to duty.

In this futile scheme of polity, the state nurses in its bosom, for the present, a source of weakness, perplexity, counteraction, inefficiency, and decay; and it prepares the means of its final ruin.

In short, I see nothing in the executive force (I cannot call it authority) that has even an appearance of vigor, or that has the smallest degree of just correspondence or symmetry, or amicable relation with the supreme power, either as it now exists or as it is planned for the future government.

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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:40 p

You have settled, by an economy as perverted as the policy, two establishments of government — one real, one fictitious.

Both maintained at a vast expense, but the fictitious at, I think, the greatest.

Such a machine as the latter is not worth the grease of its wheels.


The expense is exorbitant, and neither the show nor the use deserve the tenth part of the charge.

Oh! but I don't do justice to the talents of the legislators: I don't allow, as I ought to do, for necessity.

Their scheme of executive force was not their choice.

This pageant must be kept.

The people would not consent to part with it.

Right; I understand you.

You do, in spite of your grand theories, to which you would have heaven and earth to bend — you do know how to conform yourselves to the nature and circumstances of things.

But when you were obliged to conform thus far to circumstances, you ought to have carried your submission further, and to have made, what you were obliged to take, a proper instrument, and useful to its end.

That was in your power.

For instance, among many others, it was in your power to leave to your king the right of peace and war.

What! to leave to the executive magistrate the most dangerous of all prerogatives?

I know none more dangerous, nor any one more necessary to be so trusted.

I do not say that this prerogative ought to be trusted to your king unless he enjoyed other auxiliary trusts along with it, which he does not now hold.

But if he did possess them, hazardous as they are undoubtedly, advantages would arise from such a constitution, more than compensating the risk.

There is no other way of keeping the several potentates of Europe from intriguing distinctly and personally with the members of your Assembly, from intermeddling in all your concerns, and fomenting, in the heart of your country, the most pernicious of all factions — factions in the interest and under the direction of foreign powers.

From that worst of evils, thank God, we are still free.

Your skill, if you had any, would be well employed to find out indirect correctives and controls upon this perilous trust.

If you did not like those which in England we have chosen, your leaders might have exerted their abilities in contriving better.

If it were necessary to exemplify the consequences of such an executive government as yours, in the management of great affairs, I should refer you to the late reports of M. de Montmorin to the National Assembly, and all the other proceedings relative to the differences between Great Britain and Spain.

It would be treating your understanding with disrespect to point them out to you.

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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:40 p

I hear that the persons who are called ministers have signified an intention of resigning their places.

I am rather astonished that they have not resigned long since.

For the universe I would not have stood in the situation in which they have been for this last twelvemonth.

They wished well, I take it for granted, to the revolution.

Let this fact be as it may, they could not, placed as they were upon an eminence, though an eminence of humiliation, but be the first to see collectively, and to feel each in his own department, the evils which have been produced by that revolution.

In every step which they took, or forbore to take, they must have felt the degraded situation of their country and their utter incapacity of serving it.

They are in a species of subordinate servitude, in which no men before them were ever seen.

Without confidence from their sovereign, on whom they were forced, or from the Assembly, who forced them upon him, all the noble functions of their office are executed by committees of the Assembly without any regard whatsoever to their personal or their official authority.

They are to execute, without power; they are to be responsible, without discretion; they are to deliberate, without choice.

In their puzzled situations, under two sovereigns, over neither of whom they have any influence, they must act in such a manner as (in effect, whatever they may intend) sometimes to betray the one, sometimes the other, and always to betray themselves.

Such has been their situation, such must be the situation of those who succeed them.

I have much respect and many good wishes for M. Necker.

I am obliged to him for attentions.

I thought, when his enemies had driven him from Versailles, that his exile was a subject of most serious congratulations — sed multae urbes et publica vota vicerunt.

He is now sitting on the ruins of the finances and of the monarchy of France.

A great deal more might be observed on the strange constitution of the executory part of the new government, but fatigue must give bounds to the discussion of subjects which in themselves have hardly any limits.

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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:40 p

AS little genius and talent am I able to perceive in the plan of judicature formed by the National Assembly.

According to their invariable course, the framers of your constitution have begun with the utter abolition of the parliaments.

These venerable bodies, like the rest of the old government, stood in need of reform, even though there should be no change made in the monarchy.

They required several more alterations to adapt them to the system of a free constitution.

But they had particulars in their constitution, and those not a few, which deserved approbation from the wise.

They possessed one fundamental excellence: they were independent.

The most doubtful circumstance attendant on their office, that of its being vendible, contributed however to this independence of character.

They held for life.

Indeed, they may be said to have held by inheritance.

Appointed by the monarch, they were considered as nearly out of his power.

The most determined exertions of that authority against them only showed their radical independence.

They composed permanent bodies politic, constituted to resist arbitrary innovation; and from that corporate constitution, and from most of their forms, they were well calculated to afford both certainty and stability to the laws.

They had been a safe asylum to secure these laws in all the revolutions of humor and opinion.

They had saved that sacred deposit of the country during the reigns of arbitrary princes and the struggles of arbitrary factions.

They kept alive the memory and record of the constitution.

They were the great security to private property which might be said (when personal liberty had no existence) to be, in fact, as well guarded in France as in any other country.

Whatever is supreme in a state ought to have, as much as possible, its judicial authority so constituted as not only not to depend upon it, but in some sort to balance it.

It ought to give a security to its justice against its power.

It ought to make its judicature, as it were, something exterior to the state.

These parliaments had furnished, not the best certainly, but some considerable corrective to the excesses and vices of the monarchy.

Such an independent judicature was ten times more necessary when a democracy became the absolute power of the country.

In that constitution, elective temporary, local judges, such as you have contrived, exercising their dependent functions in a narrow society, must be the worst of all tribunals.

In them it will be vain to look for any appearance of justice toward strangers, toward the obnoxious rich, toward the minority of routed parties, toward all those who in the election have supported unsuccessful candidates.

It will be impossible to keep the new tribunals clear of the worst spirit of faction.


All contrivances by ballot we know experimentally to be vain and childish to prevent a discovery of inclinations.

Where they may the best answer the purposes of concealment, they answer to produce suspicion, and this is a still more mischievous cause of partiality.

If the parliaments had been preserved, instead of being dissolved at so ruinous a charge to the nation, they might have served in this new commonwealth, perhaps not precisely the same (I do not mean an exact parallel), but nearly the same, purposes as the court and senate of Areopagus did in Athens; that is, as one of the balances and correctives to the evils of a light and unjust democracy.

Every one knows that this tribunal was the great stay of that state; every one knows with what care it was upheld, and with what a religious awe it was consecrated.

The parliaments were not wholly free from faction, I admit; but this evil was exterior and accidental, and not so much the vice of their constitution itself, as it must be in your new contrivance of sexennial elective judicatories.

Several English commend the abolition of the old tribunals, as supposing that they determined everything by bribery and corruption.

But they have stood the test of monarchic and republican scrutiny.

The court was well disposed to prove corruption on those bodies when the were dissolved in 1771.

Those who have again dissolved them would have done the same if they could, but both inquisitions having failed, I conclude that gross pecuniary corruption must have been rather rare amongst them.

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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:40 p

It would have been prudent, along with the parliaments, to preserve their ancient power of registering, and of remonstrating at least upon, all the decrees of the National Assembly, as they did upon those which passed in the time of the monarchy.

It would be a means of squaring the occasional decrees of a democracy to some principles of general jurisprudence.

The vice of the ancient democracies, and one cause of their ruin, was that they ruled, as you do, by occasional decrees, psephismata.

This practice soon broke in upon the tenor and consistency of the laws; it abated the respect of the people toward them, and totally destroyed them in the end.


Your vesting the power of remonstrance, which, in the time of the monarchy, existed in the parliament of Paris, in your principal executive officer, whom, in spite of common sense, you persevere in calling king, is the height of absurdity.

You ought never to suffer remonstrance from him who is to execute.

This is to understand neither council nor execution, neither authority nor obedience.

The person whom you call king ought not to have this power, or he ought to have more.

Your present arrangement is strictly judicial.

Instead of imitating your monarchy and seating your judges on a bench of independence, your object is to reduce them to the most blind obedience.

As you have changed all things, you have invented new principles of order.

You first appoint judges, who, I suppose, are to determine according to law, and then you let them know that, at some time or other, you intend to give them some law by which they are to determine.

Any studies which they have made (if any they have made) are to be useless to them.

But to supply these studies, they are to be sworn to obey all the rules, orders, and instructions which from time to time they are to receive from the National Assembly.

These if they submit to, they leave no ground of law to the subject.

They become complete and most dangerous instruments in the hands of the governing power which, in the midst of a cause or on the prospect of it, may wholly change the rule of decision.

If these orders of the National Assembly come to be contrary to the will of the people, who locally choose judges, such confusion must happen as is terrible to think of.

For the judges owe their places to the local authority, and the commands they are sworn to obey come from those who have no share in their appointment.

In the meantime they have the example of the court of Chatelet to encourage and guide them in the exercise of their functions.

That court is to try criminals sent to it by the National Assembly, or brought before it by other courses of delation.

They sit under a guard to save their own lives.

They know not by what law they judge, nor under what authority they act, nor by what tenure they hold.

It is thought that they are sometimes obliged to condemn at peril of their lives.

This is not perhaps certain, nor can it be ascertained; but when they acquit, we know they have seen the persons whom they discharge, with perfect impunity to the actors, hanged at the door of their court.


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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:40 p

The Assembly indeed promises that they will form a body of law, which shall be short, simple, clear, and so forth.

That is, by their short laws they will leave much to the discretion of the judge, whilst they have exploded the authority of all the learning which could make judicial discretion (a thing perilous at best) deserving the appellation of a sound discretion.

It is curious to observe that the administrative bodies are carefully exempted from the jurisdiction of these new tribunals.

That is, those persons are exempted from the power of the laws who ought to be the most entirely submitted to them.

Those who execute public pecuniary trusts ought of all men to be the most strictly held to their duty.


One would have thought that it must have been among your earliest cares, if you did not mean that those administrative bodies should be real, sovereign, independent states, to form an awful tribunal, like your late parliaments, or like our king's bench, where all corporate officers might obtain protection in the legal exercise of their functions, and would find coercion if they trespassed against their legal duty.

But the cause of the exemption is plain.

These administrative bodies are the great instruments of the present leaders in their progress through democracy to oligarchy.

They must, therefore, be put above the law.


It will be said that the legal tribunals which you have made are unfit to coerce them.

They are, undoubtedly.

They are unfit for any rational purpose.

It will be said, too, that the administrative bodies will be accountable to the General Assembly.

This I fear is talking without much consideration of the nature of that Assembly, or of these corporations.

However, to be subject to the pleasure of that Assembly is not to be subject to law either for protection or for constraint.

This establishment of judges as yet wants something to its completion.

It is to be crowned by a new tribunal.

This is to be a grand state judicature, and it is to judge of crimes committed against the nation, that is, against the power of the Assembly.

It seems as if they had something in their view of the nature of the high court of justice erected in England during the time of the great usurpation.

As they have not yet finished this part of the scheme, it is impossible to form a right judgment upon it.

However, if great care is not taken to form it in a spirit very different from that which has guided them in their proceedings relative to state offenses, this tribunal, subservient to their inquisition, the Committee of Research, will extinguish the last sparks of liberty in France and settle the most dreadful and arbitrary tyranny ever known in any nation.

If they wish to give to this tribunal any appearance of liberty and justice, they must not evoke from or send to it the causes relative to their own members, at their pleasure.

They must also remove the seat of that tribunal out of the republic of Paris.

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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:40 p

HAS more wisdom been displayed in the constitution of your army than what is discoverable in your plan of judicature?

The able arrangement of this part is the more difficult, and requires the greatest skill and attention, not only as the great concern in itself, but as it is the third cementing principle in the new body of republics which you call the French nation.


Truly it is not easy to divine what that army may become at last.

You have voted a very large one, and on good appointments, at least fully equal to your apparent means of payment.

But what is the principle of its discipline, or whom is it to obey?

You have got the wolf by the ears, and I wish you joy of the happy position in which you have chosen to place yourselves, and in which you are well circumstanced for a free deliberation relatively to that army or to anything else.


The minister and secretary of state for the war department is M. de la Tour du Pin.

This gentleman, like his colleagues in administration, is a most zealous assertor of the revolution, and a sanguine admirer of the new constitution which originated in that event.

His statement of facts, relative to the military of France, is important, not only from his official and personal authority, but because it displays very clearly the actual condition of the army in France, and because it throws light on the principles upon which the Assembly proceeds in the administration of this critical object.

It may enable us to form some judgment how far it may be expedient in this country to imitate the martial policy of France.

M. de la Tour du Pin, on the fourth of last June, comes to give an account of the state of his department as it exists under the auspices of the National Assembly.

No man knows it so well; no man can express it better.


Addressing himself to the National Assembly, he says:

His Majesty has this day sent me to apprise you of the multiplied disorders of which every day he receives the most distressing intelligence.

The army (le corps militaire) threatens to fall into the most turbulent anarchy.

Entire regiments have dared to violate at once the respect due to the laws, to the king, to the order established by your decrees, and to the oaths which they have taken with the most awful solemnity.

Compelled by my duty to give you information of these excesses, my heart bleeds when I consider who they are that have committed them.

Those against whom it is not in my power to withhold the most grievous complaints are a part of that very soldiery which to this day have been so full of honor and loyalty, and with whom, for fifty years, I have lived the comrade and the friend.

What incomprehensible spirit of delirium and delusion has all at once led them astray?

Whilst you are indefatigable in establishing uniformity in the empire, and molding the whole into one coherent and consistent body; whilst the French are taught by you at once the respect which the laws owe to the rights of man, and that which the citizens owe to the laws, the administration of the army presents nothing but disturbance and confusion.

I see in more than one corps the bonds of discipline relaxed or broken; the most unheard-of pretensions avowed directly and without any disguise; the ordinances without force; the chiefs without authority; the military chest and the colors carried off; the authority of the king himself (risum teneatis?) proudly defied; the officers despised, degraded, threatened, driven away, and some of them prisoners in the midst of their corps, dragging on a precarious life in the bosom of disgust and humiliation.


To fill up the measure of all these horrors, the commandants of places have had their throats cut, under the eyes and almost in the arms of their own soldiers.

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Re: EDMUND BURKE ON FRENCH REVOLUTION

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:40 p

These evils are great; but they are not the worst consequences which may be produced by such military insurrections.

Sooner or later they may menace the nation itself.

The nature of things requires that the army should never act but as an instrument.

The moment that, erecting itself into a deliberative body, it shall act according to its own resolutions, the government, be it what it may, will immediately degenerate into a military democracy — a species of political monster which has always ended by devouring those who have produced it.


After all this, who must not be alarmed at the irregular consultations and turbulent committees formed in some regiments by the common soldiers and non-commissioned officers without the knowledge, or even in contempt of the authority, of their superiors, although the presence and concurrence of those superiors could give no authority to such monstrous democratic assemblies (comices).

It is not necessary to add much to this finished picture — finished as far as its canvas admits, but, as I apprehend, not taking in the whole of the nature and complexity of the disorders of this military democracy which, the minister at war truly and wisely observes, wherever it exists must be the true constitution of the state, by whatever formal appellation it may pass.

For though he informs the Assembly that the more considerable part of the army have not cast off their obedience, but are still attached to their duty, yet those travelers who have seen the corps whose conduct is the best rather observe in them the absence of mutiny than the existence of discipline.

I cannot help pausing here for a moment to reflect upon the expressions of surprise which this minister has let fall, relative to the excesses he relates.

To him the departure of the troops from their ancient principles of loyalty and honor seems quite inconceivable.

Surely those to whom he addresses himself know the causes of it but too well.

They know the doctrines which they have preached, the decrees which they have passed, the practices which they have countenanced.

The soldiers remember the 6th of October.

They recollect the French guards.

They have not forgotten the taking of the king's castles in Paris and Marseilles.

That the governors in both places were murdered with impunity is a fact that has not passed out of their minds.


They do not abandon the principles laid down so ostentatiously and laboriously of the equality of men.

They cannot shut their eyes to the degradation of the whole noblesse of France and the suppression of the very idea of a gentleman.

The total abolition of titles and distinctions is not lost upon them.

But M. de la Tour du Pin is astonished at their disloyalty, when the doctors of the Assembly have taught them at the same time the respect due to laws.

It is easy to judge which of the two sorts of lessons men with arms in their hands are likely to learn.

As to the authority of the king, we may collect from the minister himself (if any argument on that head were not quite superfluous) that it is not of more consideration with these troops than it is with everybody else.

"The king", says he, "has over and over again repeated his orders to put a stop to these excesses; but in so terrible a crisis your (the Assembly's) concurrence is become indispensably necessary to prevent the evils which menace the state."

"You unite to the force of the legislative power that of opinion still more important".

To be sure the army can have no opinion of the power or authority of the king.

Perhaps the soldier has by this time learned that the Assembly itself does not enjoy a much greater degree of liberty than that royal figure.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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