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character, fhould be able to govern the country and its armies, with an authority which the most fettled fenates, and the most respected monarchs scarcely ever had in the fame degree? This, for one, I confefs I did not forefee, though all the reft was present to me very early, and not out of my apprehenfion even for several years. I believe very few were able to enter into the effects of mere terrour, as a principle not only for the support of power in given hands or forms, but in those things in which the foundest political speculators were of opinion, that the leaft appearance of force would be totally deftructive, -fuch is the market, whether of money, provifion, or commodities of any kind. Yet for four years we have feen loans made, treafuries fupplied, and armies levied and maintained, more numerous than France ever fhewed in the field, by the effects of fear alone.

Here is a ftate of things of which, in its totality, if history furnishes any examples at all, they are very remote and feeble. I therefore am not fo ready as fome are, to tax with folly or cowardice, thofe who were not prepared to meet an evil of this nature. Even now, after the events, all the causes may be fomewhat difficult to afcertain. Very many are however traceable. these things hiftory and books of speculation (as I have already faid) did not teach men to foresee,


and of course to refift. Now that they are no longer a matter of fagacity, but of experience, of recent experience, of our own experience, it would be unjustifiable to go back to the records of other times, to inftruct us to manage what they never enabled us to forefee.





[The Titles, marginal Abstracts and Notes, are by Mr. BURKE, excepting fuch of the Notes as are here diftinguished.]



BOOK II. CHAP. IV. § 53.

F then there is any where a nation of a restless

I and mifchievous difpontion, always ready to ill


jure others, to traverse their defigns, and to raise domef tick troubles, it is not to be doubted, that all have a right to join in order to reprefs, chaftife, and put it ever after out of its power to injure them. Such fhould be the just fruits of the policy which Machiavel praises in Cæfar Borgia. The conduct followed by Philip II. king of Spain, was adapted to unite all Europe against him; and it was from just reasons that Henry the Great formed the de

*This is the cafe of France-Semonville at Turin-Jacobin clubs-Liegois meeting-Flemish meeting-La Fayette's answer -Cloot's embaffy-Avignon.


fign of humbling a power, formidable by its forces, and pernicious by its maxims.

§ 70. Let us apply to the unjuft, what we have faid above (§ 53), of a mischievous, or maleficent nation. If there be any that makes an open profeffion of trampling justice under foot, of defpifing, and violating the right of others,* whenever it finds an opportunity, the intereft of human fociety will authorize all others to unite, in order to humble and chastise it. We do not here forget the maxim established in our preliminaries, that it does not belong to nations to ufurp the power of being judges of each other. In particular cafes, liable to the least doubt, it ought to be supposed, that each of the parties may have fome right: and the injuftice of that which has committed the injury, may proceed from error, and not from a general contempt of juftice. But if, by conftant maxims, and by a continued conduct, one nation fhews, that it has evidently this pernicious difpofition, and that it confiders no right as facred, the fafety of the human race requires that it should be fuppreffed. To form and fupport an unjust pretenfion, is to do an injury not only to him who is interested in this pretenfion, but to mock at justice in general, and to injure all nations. $ 56. If the prince, attacking the fundamental Tyranny. laws, gives his fubjects a legal right to refift him;

To fuccour


* The French acknowledge no power not directly emanating from the people.

Cafe of

English Re


if tyranny, becoming infupportable, obliges the nation to rise in their defence; every foreign power has a right to fuccour an oppreffed people who implore their affiftance. The English juftly complained of James the Second. The nobility, and the most diftinguished patriots, refolved to put a check on his enterprizes, which manifeftly tended to overthrow the conftitution, and to deftroy the liberties and the religion of the people; and therefore applied for affiftance to the United Provinces. The authority of the prince of Orange had, doubtlefs, an influence on the deliberations of the states-general; but it did not make them commit injuftice; for. when a people, from good reasons, take up arms against an oppreffor, justice and generosity require, that brave men fhould be affifted in the defence of their liberties. Whenever, therefore, a civil war is Cafe of kindled in a state, foreign powers may affift that party which appears to them to have justice on their fide. He who affifts an odious tyrant; he who declares FOR AN UNJUST AND REBELLIOUS PEOPLE, offends against his duty. When the bands of the people. political fociety are broken, or at least fufpended and his between the fovereign and his people, they may when difthen be considered as two diftinct powers; and tin fince each is independent of all foreign authority, nobody has a right to judge them. Either may be in the right; and each of those who grant their affiftance may believe that he fupports a good caufe.

Civil War.

An odious





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