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to fpeak in the name of a nation which difplays fo high a degree of courage, and I know how to make the most of this incalculable means of force; but what more fincere proof of my attachment to the conftitution can I give than to employ as much circumfpection in the negociations that tend to peace, as celerity in the preparations, which will enable us, if necessary, to take the field in fix weeks. The most unquiet diftruft can find nothing in this conduct but the conciliation of all my duties. Humanity, and I remind the affembly of it, forbids mixing any emotion of enthufiafm in our decifion on war. Such a decifion ought to be an act moft maturely confidered, for it is to pronounce, in the name of our country, that her intereft requires of us the facrifice of a great number of her children. I am watchful, in the mean time, for the honour and the fecurity of the nation; and I fhall accelerate, with all my power, the moment of acquainting, the national affembly, whether we may depend upon peace, or whether I muft propose war.

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the inhabitants of Paris, and to calumniate my intentions, I will explain myself clearly on my way of thinking.

I know the duties which the conftitution impofes upon me: I will always fulfil them; but I also know the rights it gives me, and I will never refufe myself the power of making ufe of them. Nothing keeps me at Paris but my will of being there, as I think my prefence neceflary; and I declare, that I will and fhall remain there; and whenever I fhall have reafons to leave it, I shall not disguise them.

I have to add, that if a perfon is not quite deprived of the use of his fenfes, or incurably perverse, he cannot entertain the leaft doubt of my inviolable attachment to the welfare of the nation, and the inhabitants of Paris. (Signed)


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thefe various complaints, and my judgment coincided with the affembly. Since that time, no wellfounded complaint has been made relative to the different departments of his administration, and all communications from the colonies, from commercial bodies, and from the naval departments, prefent teftimonies of his zeal and useful fervices. In a word, as he has been reproached with no breach of the law, I fhould think myself unjuft, were I to withdraw my confidence from him. To conclude, minifters know well, that the only way to obtain and preferve my confidence, is to caufe the laws to be executed with energy and fidelity.

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came the object of the hatred of the enemies of liberty. No natural tie could ftop-no motive of alliance, of neighbourhood, of propriety, could prevent their enmity. Your ancient allies erafed your name out of the lift of defpots, and from that moment they forgot your majefty's fidelity. The emigrants, rebels to the laws of their country, are gone beyond the frontiers to prepare a guilty aggreffion against France. They with to carry into its bofom fire and fword. Their rage would have been impotent if the foreign princes had not feconded, and encouraged their criminal manœuvres. The house of Auftria has done every thing to encourage their audacity. houfe of Auftria, which fince the treaty of 1756 has found us good and faithful allies! This treaty,


Sire, fubjected us to the ambitious views of this houfe. She engaged us in all her wars, to which the called us as her allies. We have been prodigal of our blood in the cruel tragedies of defpotifm. The inftant that the Houfe of Auftria faw fhe could no longer govern us for her purposes, the became our enemy.

It was Auftria that had ftirred up against France the reftlefs northern potentate, whofe tyrannical phrenzy had at last made him fali under the fword of an affaflin.-It was Auftria, who, in circumftances of which Europe fhall judge, advised one party of Frenchmen to take up arms against the other. The note of the court of Vienna, of the 18th of February, was in truth a declaration of war: M. Kaunitz there avows the league of the powers against France. The death of Leopold ought to have made fome change in this ambitious fyftem, but we have feen the contrary.


The note of the 18th of March, is the ultimatum of the court of Vienna. This note is more provoking ftill than the former. The king of Hungary withes that we fhould fubmit our conftitution to his revifion; and he does not diffemble the project of arming Frenchmen against Frenchmen.

Sire, continues the minifter, in charging me with the administration of foreign affairs, you have impofed on me the telling of you the truth: I proceed to tell you the truth. It refults from this measure, that the treaty of 1756, is broken in fact, on the fide of Austria. That the maintenance of a league of the powers, is an act of hoftility againit France; and, that you ought this inftant to order M. Noailles, your ambaffador, to quit the court of Vienna, without taking leave. Sire, the Austrian troops are on the march-the camps are marked out-fortreffes are building. The nation, by its oath, on the 14th of July, has declared, that any man who fhall accede to an unconftitutional negociation, is a traitor. The delay granted to Auftria is expired-your honour is attacked-the nation is infulted; therefore, there remains for you no other part to take, but to make to the national affembly the formal propofition of war against the king of Bohemia and Hungary.

The minifter having read this minute, the king refumed his fpeech.

You have heard, Meffieurs, the deliberation and the decifion of my council. I adopt their determination. It is conformable to the with, many times expreffed, of the national affembly, and to that which has been addressed to me by many diftricts of France. It ap

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pears to me to be the wifh of all the French people. Frenchmen prefer war to a ruinous anxiety, and to an humiliating state, which compromifes our conftitution, and our dignity. I have done every thing to avert war-but I judge it indifpenfable; I come, therefore, in the terms of our conftitution, to propofe to you formally to declare war against the king of Bohemia and Hungary.



The affembly will proceed to deliberate on the great propofition which your majefty has made to them. They will addrefs to you, by a meffage, the refult of their deliberation.

Meffage from the National Affembly to the King, April 20.


The national affembly have thought it their duty to come to a fpeedy determination on the propofition you made to them, for declaring war against the king of Bohemia and Hungary. They charge us to prefent their decree for your majesty's fanction. It is conformable to the wish that you have expreffed to them. It is the result of the elected reprefentatives and of the lively and conftant folicitude the hereditary reprefentative of the nation, for maintaining its dignity, its liberty, and its conftitution.


I fhall take the decree of the national affembly into deep confideration. It involves the most im portant interefts of the nation.


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That notwithstanding the propofition made to him by the note of 11th of March, 1792, to reduce, on both fides, to a peace establishment the troops on the frontiers, he has continued and increased the hoftile preparations.

That he has formally infringed the fovereignty of the French nation, by declaring that he would fupport the pretenfions of the German princes, poffeffionaries in France, to whom the French nation have continued to offer indemnifications.

That he has attempted to divide the French citizens, and to arm them against one another, by offering fupport to the malecontents in the concert of the powers; confidering, in fine, that the refufal of an answer to the last dispatches of the king of the French, leaves no longer any hope to obtain, by the means of amicable negociation, the redrefs of thofe different grievances, and amounts to a declaration of war, decrees that there exifts a cafe of urgency.

The national affembly declares, that the French nation, faithful to the principles confecrated by the conftitution, not to undertake any war with the view of making conquefts, and never to employ its force against the liberty of any people, take up arms in defence of their liberty and their independence only; that the war into which they are compelled to enter, is not a war of nation against nation, but the juft defence of a free people, against the unjust oppreffion of a monarch. That the French will never confound their brothers with their enemies; that they will neglect nothing to foften the rigours of war; to preserve their property, and prevent it from fuftaining any injury, and to bring down upon the heads of thofe alone, who league themselves against liberty, all the evils infeparable from war.

That it adopts all thofe foreigners who, abjuring the caufe of its enemies, fhall join its standard and confecrate their efforts to the defence of freedom; that it will even favour, by all the means in its power, their fettlement in France.

Deliberating on the formal propofitions of the king, and after having decreed the cafe of urgency, the national affembly decrees war against the king of Hungary

and Bohemia.

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fence, what citizen can refuse his arm?

At the moment, in which we firft obey the oath, pronounced upon the altar of the federation by the nation in arms, I wish to inform you of my intentions, and remind you of my principles.

I am convinced, by the experience of a life devoted to liberty, that it can exift only among citizens fub. miffive to the laws, as it can be defended only by troops confenting to fubordination.

I have ferved the people without flattering them, and in my conftant oppofition to licentioufnefs and anarchy,have incurred the hatred of all the ambitious and all the factious. Now,that the army expects of me not pernicious compliances, but an inflexible difcipline, it is by rigoroufly fulfilling this duty that I fhall juftify the affection which it grants and the esteem which it owes me. But when I fubject freemen to the imperious will of a chief, we should all know, general, officers, foldiers, that, in this war, become a deadly combat between our principles and the pretenfions of defpots, the rights of every citizen, and the fafety of all are involved. The conftitution, to which we are fworn, the facred caufe of liberty and equality, are involved in it. The conteft is for the national fovereignty, under which there can be no compromife with any combination of ftrength or with any dangers, without betraying, not only the French people, but all humanity.

Soldiers of liberty, to deferve thefe bleffings it is not fufficient to be brave. Your general ought to forefee and order you to obey. Be generous; refpect the enemy when difarmed. Troops, which always give quarter, and receive it not, will be for ever invincible. Be

difinterested; let not the degrading hope of pillage ever fully the noblenefs of your motives. Be humane: that our fentiments may be admired and our laws bleffed, wherever we go. Be, in fhort, like your general, refolved to fee the triumph of liberty or to die.

Soldiers of the conftitution, fear not, that it may ceafe to watch for you, while you fight for it; do not believe, that while you are gone forth to combat for your country, inteftine commotions will difturb your homes. The legislative body, and the king, will doubtlefs unite themfelves intimately in this decifive moment, to fecure the empire of the law. Perfous and property will be refpected; civil and religi ous liberty will never be profaned; the peaceable citizen will be refpected, whatever may be his opinion: the guilty will be punished, whatever may be their pretexts all parties will be diffolved; and the conftitution will prevail alone both over the rebels, who attack it by open force, and over the traitors, who, in difgracing it by their vile paffions, feem to have fworn to make it feared at home and fufpected abroad. Yes; we fhall have this reward for our labours and our blood. Let us adhere then with confidence to the chofen reprefentatives of the people, who have fworn not to avoid the duties of the conftitution, as we will not its dangers; to the hereditary reprefentative, that citizen king, whofe throne the conftitution has placed upon an irrefragable foun dation; and to all the other depofitaries of the powers delegated by the conftitution.

They all know, that the ufe of that authority is a duty for them, to whom the conftitution has de


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