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and I suspect that he has ever since, and that he does still, enjoy as large a portion, at least, of the confidence of the people without doors, as his great rival. Before whom, then, is Mr. Pitt to be impeached, and by whom? The more I consider the matter, the more firmly I am convinced, that the idea of proscribing Mr. Pitt indirectly, when you cannot directly punish him, is as chimerical a project, and as unjustifiable, as it would be to have proscribed Lord North. For supposing, that by indirect ways of opposition, by opposition upon measures which do not relate to the business of 1784, but which on other grounds might prove unpopular, you were to drive him from his seat, this would be no example whatever of punishment for the matters we charge as offences in 1784. "On a cool and dispassionate view of the affairs of this time and country, it appears obvious to me, that one or the other of those two great men, that is, Mr. Pitt or Mr. Fox, must be minister. They are, I

am sorry for it, irreconcilable. Mr. Fox's conduct in this session has rendered the idea of his power a matter of serious alarm to many people, who were very little pleased with the proceedings of Mr. Pitt in the beginning of his administration. They like neither the conduct of Mr. Pitt, in 1784, nor that of Mr. Fox, in 1793; but they estimate which of the evils is most pressing at the time, and what is likely to be the consequence of a change. If Mr. Fox be wedded, they must be sensible that his opinions and principles, on the now existing state of things at home and abroad, must be taken as his portion. In his train must also be taken the whole body of gentlemen who are pledged to him and to each other, and to their common politics and principles.- I believe no king of Great Britain ever will adopt, for his confidential servants, that body of gentlemen holding that body of principles. Even if the present king or his successor should think fit to take that step, I apprehend a general discontent of those, who wish that this nation and that Europe should continue in their present state, would ensue; a discontent, which, combined with the principles and progress of the new men in power, would shake this kingdom to its foundations. I do not believe any one political conjecture can be more certain than this.

53. Without at all defending or palliating Mr. Pitt's con

duct in 1784, I must observe, that the crisis of 1793, with regard to everything at home and abroad, is full as important as that of 1784 ever was; and, if for no other reason, by being present, is much more important. It is not to nine years ago we are to look for the danger of Mr. Fox's and Mr. Sheridan's conduct, and that of the gentlemen who act with them. It is at this very time, and in this very session, that, if they had not been strenuously resisted, they would not merely have discredited the House of Commons, (as Mr. Pitt did in 1784, when he persuaded the king to reject their advice, and to appeal from them to the people,) but in my opinion, would have been the means of wholly subverting the House of Commons and the House of Peers, and the whole constitution actual and virtual, together with the safety and independence of this nation, and the peace and settlement of every state in the now Christian world. It is to our opinion of the nature of Jacobinism, and of the probability, by corruption, faction, and force, of its gaining ground everywhere, that the question whom and what you are to support is to be determined. For my part, without doubt or hesitation, I look upon Jacobinism as the most dreadful and the most shameful evil which ever afflicted mankind, a thing which goes beyond the power of all calculation in its mischief; and that if it is suffered to exist in France, we must in England, and speedily too, fall into that calamity.

54. I figure to myself the purpose of these gentlemen accomplished, and this ministry destroyed. I see that the persons, who in that case must rule, can be no other than Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Grey, the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Thurlow, Lord Lauderdale, and the Duke of Norfolk, with the other chiefs of the friends of the people, the parliamentary reformers, and the admirers of the French Revolution. The principal of these are all formally pledged to their projects. If the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam should be admitted into that system, (as they might and probably would be,) it is quite certain they could not have the smallest weight in it; less, indeed, than what they now possess, if less were possible: because they would be less wanted than they now are; and because all those who wished to join them, and to act under them, hare been re

jected by the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam thein. selves; and Mr. Fox, finding them thus by themselves disarmed, has built quite a new fabric, upon quite a new foundation. There is no trifling on this subject. We see very distinctly before us the ministry that would be formed, and the plan that would be pursued. If we like the plan, we must wish the power of those who are to carry it into execution: but to pursue the political exaltation of those whose political measures we disapprove, and whose principles we dissent from, is a species of modern politics not easily comprehensible, and which must end in the ruin of the country, if it should continue and spread. Mr. Pitt may be the worst of men, and Mr. Fox may be the best; but, at present, the former is in the interest of his country, and of the order of things long established in Europe: Mr. Fox is not. I have, for one, been born in this order of things, and would fain die in it. I am sure it is sufficient to make men as virtuous, as happy, and as knowing, as anything which Mr. Fox, and his friends abroad or at home, would substitute in its place; and I should be sorry that any set of politicians should obtain power in England, whose principles or schemes should lead them to countenance persons or factions whose object is to introduce some new devised order of things into England, or to support that order, where it is already introduced, in France; a place, in which if it can be fixed, in my mind, it must have a certain and decided influence in and upon this kingdom. This is my account of my conduct to my private friends. I have already said all I wish to say, or nearly so, to the public. I write this with pain, and with a heart full of grief.

PREFACE

TO THE

ADDRESS OF M. BRISSOT TO HIS CONSTITUENTS

TRANSLATED

BY THE LATE WILLIAM BURKE, ESQ.

1794.

THE French Revolution has been the subject of various speculations, and various histories. As might be expected, the royalists and the republicans have differed a good deal in their accounts of the principles of that Revolution, of the springs which have set it in motion, and of the true character of those who have been, or still are, the principal actors on that astonishing scene.

They who are inclined to think favourably of that event, will undoubtedly object to every state of facts which comes only from the authority of a royalist. Thus much must be allowed by those who are the most firmly attached to the cause of religion, law, and order, (for of such, and not of friends to despotism, the royal party is composed,) that their very affection to this generous and manly cause, and their abhorrence of a Revolution, not less fatal to liberty than to government, may possibly lead them in some particulars to a more harsh representation of the proceedings of their adversaries, than would be allowed by the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. This sort of error arises from a source highly laudable; but the exactness of truth may suffer even from the feelings of virtue. History will do justice to the intentions of worthy men; but it will be on its guard against their infirmities; it will examine, with great strictness of scrutiny, whatever appears from a writer in favour of his

On the other hand, whatever escapes him, and makes against that cause, comes with the greatest weight.

own cause.

In this important controversy, the translator of the following work brings forward to the English tribunal of opinion the testimony of a witness beyond all exception. His com. petence is undoubted. He knows everything which concerns this Revolution to the bottom. He is a chief actor in all the scenes which he presents. No man can object to him as a royalist : the royal party, and the Christian religion, never had a more determined enemy. In a word, it is BRISSOT.It is Brissot, the republican, the Jacobin, and the philosopher, who is brought to give an account of Jacobinism, and of republicanism, and of philosophy.

It is worthy of observation, that this his account of the genius of Jacobinism, and its effects, is not confined to the period in which that faction came to be divided within itself. In several, and those very important, particulars, Brissot's observations apply to the whole of the preceding period, before the great schism, and whilst the Jacobins acted as one body ; insomuch, that the far greater part of the proceedings of the ruling powers, since the commencement of the Revolution in France, so strikingly painted, so strongly and so justly reprobated by Brissot, were the acts of Brissot himself and his associates. All the members of the Girondin subdivision were as deeply concerned as any of the Mountain could possibly be, and some of them much more deeply, in those horrid transactions which have filled all the thinking part of Europe with the greatest detestation, and with the most serious apprehensions for the common liberty and safety.

A question will very naturally be asked, what could induce Brissot to draw such a picture ? He must have been sensible it was his own. The answer is,—the inducement was the same with that which led him to partake in the per: petration of all the crimes, the calamitous effects of which he describes with the pen of a master—ambition. His faction having obtained their stupendous and unnatural power, by rooting out of the minds of his unhappy countrymen every principle of religion, morality, loyalty, fidelity, and honour, discovered, that, when authority came into their hands, it would be a matter of no small difficulty for them to carry on government on the principles by which they had de. stroyed it.

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