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pear, (no doubt, contrary to the intentions of the British miniftry) to give credit to the erroneous opinions which the enemies of France ftrive to propagate, relative to the intentions of Great B. itain.

If individuals of this kingdom have entered into a foreign correfpondence, tending to excite troubles; and if, as the proclamation feems to infinuate, fome Frenchmen have entered into their views, this is a circumftance unconnected

with the French nation, the legiflative body, the king, and his minifters; it is a fact entirely unknown to them, entirely repugnant to all the principles of juftice, and which, on being known, will be univerfally condemned throughout France.

Independently of thofe principles of juftice, from which a free people ought never to depart; if any one is anxious to reflect candidly on the true interefts of the French nation, is it not evident that they must be anxious for the internal peace, and the ftability and duration of the conftitution of a

country, which they already look upon as a natural ally?

Is not this the sole reasonable with which a people can form, who perceive fo many efforts exerted against their liberty?

The minifter plenipotentiary of France, profoundly penetrated with thefe truths and maxins of univerfal morality, has already developed them in an official note prefented to the British miniftry, by the exprefs order of his court, on the 15th of the prefent month.

The honour of France, the defire which he entertains to preferve and augment the good intelligence between the two countries, and the neceflity of obviating all doubts on this fubject, requiring that it should

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Lord Grenville's Anfwer to the pre

ceding Note, May 15.

I have the honour, fir, to acknowledge the receipt of a note, which you addreffed to me, of the date of yesterday. Defiring with ardour and fincerity to maintain, in all affairs which I may have the honour to treat of with you, the harmony and cordiality fuitable to the intentions of the king, it is with regret that I find myfelf under the neceflity of making the following obfervations upon the fubject of this piece:

I am perfuaded that it cannot have been, in the leaft, your intention to depart from the rules and forms established in this kingdom for the correspondence of the minifters of foreign powers with the king's fecretary of state in this department: but it is impoffible for me not to remark, that, in your laft note, the reference is folely to a communication which you defired me to make to the two chambers of parliament, before they deliberate upon a fubject with which you appear to believe that they will be occupied. I muft, therefore, obferve to you, fir, that, in my quality of fecretary of state


to his majesty, I cannot receive any communication on the part of a foreign minister, but for the purpose of laying it before the king, and of taking the orders of his majefty upon it; and that the deliberations of the two chambers of parliament, as well as the communications which it may please his majesty to make to them, relative to the affairs of the kingdom, are objects entirely foreign from all diplomatic correfpondence, and upon which it is impoffible for me to enter into any difcuffion whatever with the minifters of other


This, fir, is the only anfwer which it ts poffible for me to make to the note in question, which, as well with refpect to its form, as to its object, cannot be confidered as a regular and official communication. I fhall always have the greatest pleasure in reporting to his majesty the affurances which you may be authorized to give me for that purpose of the amicable difpofitions of your court; and I entreat you to accept my expreflion of the esteem and the high confideration with which I have the honour to be, &c.

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undoubtedly, it is not by facrificing three colleagues, from their own infignificance the mere creatures of his power, that the leaft excufable, the most notorious of these minifters, will have cemented in the king's council his equivocal and fcandalous exiftence.

It is not enough, however, that this branch of the government fhould be delivered from a baneful influence. The public weal is in danger; the fate of France depends chiefly on her reprefentatives; from them the nation expects her falvation. But, when the gave herself a conftitution, fhe prefcribed to them the only courfe by which they can fave her.

Perfuaded, gentlemen, that as the rights of man are the law of every conftituting affembly, a conftitution once formed becomes the law to the legiflators appointed under it, it is to yourselves that I am bound to denounce the too powerful efforts now making to carry you beyond the rule which you have promifed to follow.

Nothing fhall prevent me from exercifing this right of a free man, from fulfilling this duty of a citizen; neither the momentary errors of opinion (for what are opinions when they deviate from principles ?) nor my refpect for the reprefentatives of the people (for I refpect ftill more conftitution is the will fupreme), the people themfelves, of whom the nor the favour you have conftantly fhewn to me; for that I wish to preferve, as I obtained it, by an inflexible love of liberty.

Your circumstances are difficult; France is menaced from without, and agitated within. While foreign courts announce the intolerable project of attacking our national fovereignty, and thus declare themfelves the enemies of France, in(G 3)


ternal foes, intoxicated with fanaticifm and pride, entertain chimerical hopes, and diftrefs us fill more with their infolent malignity.

You ought, gentlemen, to fupprefs them; and you cannot have the power to do fo, without being yourfelves conflitutional and juft.

You defire to be fo without doubt; but caft your eyes on what paffes in your own body, and all around you.

Are you ignorant that the Jacobin faction has occafioned all the diforders? It is that faction to which I loudly impute them. Organized like a feparate empire in its metropolis, and its affiliations blindly directed by certain ambitious chiefs, this fect forms a diftinct corporation in the midst of the French people, whofe power it ufurps by fubjugating their reprefentatives, and their mandataries.

It is there that, in public fittings, love of the laws is denominated ariftocracy, and their infraction patriotifni. There the affaliins of Defilles receive triumphs, the crimes of Jourdan find panegyrifts; there alfo the recitais of the afatination that ftained the city of Metz, excite infernal acclamations of joy.

Can it be believed that they will efcape reproaches by fheltering themfelves under an Auftrian manifefto, in which thefe fetaries are named? Are they become facred, becaufe Leopold has pronounced their name and because we have to fight with foreigners, who prefume to interfere in our quarrels, are we abfolved from the duty of delivering our country from domeftic tyranny?

Of what moment to this duty are eit' or the projects of foreigners, their connivance at the counterrevolutionifts, or their influence on the lukewarm friends of liberty?

It is I who denounce this fect; I who, without fpeaking of my paft life, can anfwer to those who feign fufpicions of me- Approach in this critical moment, in which every man's character will foon be known, and let us fee which of us, moft inflexible in his principles, the firmeft in his refiftance, will best brave the dangers which traitors with to hide from their country, and which

true citizens know how to calculaté

and encounter for her fake.'

And how should I longer delay to fulfil this duty, when every day weakens the constituted authorities, and fubftitutes the spirit of a party for the will of the people; when the audacity of agitators impofes filence on peaceable citizens, and fupplants ufeful men; when attachment to a fect is made the subftitute of all public and private virtues, which in a free country ought to be the fevere and only means of arriving at the first functions of government?

It is after having oppofed to all obftacles and all fnares, the courageous and perfevering patriotifm of an army, facrificed perhaps to combinations against its leader, that I can now oppofe to this faction the correfpondence of a miniftry the worthy production of its club; a correfpondence, of which all the calculations are falfe, the promises vain, the information fraudulent or frivolous, the councils perfidious cr contradictory; where, after having preffed me to advance without precaution, and to attack without means, they began to tell me that reiftince would foon be impoffible, when my indignation repelled the daftardly affertion.

What remarkable conformity of language, gentlemen, between thofe factious men who avow their ariftocratic fpirit, and those who ufurp


the name of patriots! Both wifh to fubvert our laws, rejoice in diforders, rife up against the authorities conferred by the people, deteft the national guard, preach indifcipline to the army, and fow fometimes diftruft, fometimes difcouragement.

As for me, gentlemen, who efpoufed the American caufe, at the very moment when its ambaffadors declared to me it was loft; who thenceforward devoted myself to a perfevering defence of liberty, and the fovereignty of the people; who, on the 11th of July, 1789, on prefenting to my country a declaration of rights, durft tell her- For a nation to be free, it is fufficient that he wills it; I come now, full of confidence in the juftice of our caufe, of contempt for the cowards who defert it, and of indignation against the traitors who would fully it; I come to declare that the French nation, if he is not the vi.eft in the univerfe, may and ought to refift the confpiracy of kings formed against her.

It is not undoubtedly in the midft of my brave army, that timid fentiments are permited: patriotifm, energy, difcipline, patience, mutual confidence, all the civil and military virtues I have found in it. The principles of liberty and equality are cherished, the laws refpected, property facred in it; neither calumnies nor factions are known

in it.

But in order that we, foldiers of liberty, may fight with efficacy, or die with advantage to our caufe, it is neceffary that the number of the defenders of our country be fpeedily proportioned to that of their adverfaries; that ftores of all forts be multiplied; that the comfort of the troops, their equipage, their pay, the accommodations for their health,

be no longer expofed to fatal delays, or pretended favings, which always turn out the direct reverfe of their object.

Above all, it is neceffary that the citizens, rallied around the conftitution, be affured that the rights which it guarantees will be refpected with a r ligious fidelity, that fhall drive its enemies, concealed or public, to defpair.

Reject not this with: it is that of the fincere friends of your legitimate authority. Affured that no unjuft confequence can flow from a pure principle, that no tyrannical meafures can ferve a caufe which owes its ftrength and glory to the facred basis of liberty and equality, make criminal juftice refume its confiitutional courfe, make civil equality and religious liberty enjoy the entire application of their true principles.

Let the royal power be un touched, for it is guaranteed by the conftitution; let it be independent, for its independence is one of the fprings of our liberty; let the king be revered, for he is invefted with the national majefty; let him have the power of choofing a miniftry that wear not the chains of a faction; and if there be confpirators, let them periih by the fword of the law.

In fine, let the reign of clubs, annihilated by you, give place to the reiga of the law; their ufurpations to the firm and independent exercife of the constituted authorities; their forganizing maxims to the true principles of hoerty; their delirious fury to the calin and fteady courage of a nation that understands its rights, and defends them: in fine, their factious combinations to the true intelekts of our country, which, in this moment of danger, ought to unite all thofe to whom (G 4)


her fubjugation and her ruin are not objects of atrocious joy, or infamous fpcculation.

Such, gentlemen, are the reprefentations and thepetitions fubmitted to the national affembly, as they are to the king, by a citizen, whofe love of liberty will never be honeftly queftioned; whom the different factions would hate lefs, if he had not raised himfelf above them by his difinterestedness; whom filence would have better become, if, like fo many others, he had been indifferent to the glory of the national affembly, and the confidence with which it is of importance that it should be furrounded; and who cannot better teftify his own confidence, than by laying before it the truth without difguife.

Gentlemen, I have obeyed the dictates of my confcience, and the obligation of my oaths. I owed it to my country, to you, to the king, and above all to myfelf, whom the chances of war do not allow to poftpone obfervations that I think ufeful, and who wish to believe that the affembly will find in this a new homage of my devotion to its conftitutional authority, of my perfonal gratitude, and of my reSpect.



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majefty will find the expreffion of fentiments that have animated my whole life. The king knows with what ardour and conftancy I have been at all times devoted to the caufe of liberty, to the facred principles of humanity, equality, and juftice. He knows that I was always the adverfary of factions, the enemy of licentioufnefs, and that no power, which I thought unlawful, was ever acknowledged by me. He knows my devotion to his constitutional authority, and my attachment to his perfon. Such, fire, are the fentiments which dictated my letter to the national assembly; fuch will be thofe of my conduc toward my country and your majesty, amid the ftorms which fo many combinations, hoftile or factious, strive to draw upon us.

It belongs not to me, fire, to give to my opinions or my measures a higher degree of importance than the unconnected acts of a fimple citizen ought to poffefs; but the expreffion of my thoughts was always a right, and, on this occafion, becomes a duty; and, although I might have fulfilled this duty fooner, if, inftead of being to be heard from the midst of a camp, my voice had been to iffue from the retreat from which I was drawn by the dangers of my country, I do not think that any public function, any perfonal confideration, releases me from exercifing this duty of a citizen, this right of a freeman.

Perfift, fire, ftrong in the authority which the national will has delegated to you, in the generous refolution of defending the principles of the constitution againft all their enemies. Let this refolution, fupported by all the acts of your private life, as by a firm and full exercise of the royal power, become the pledge of harmony, which, above


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