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cial or executive, had the least weight, whenever thefe clubs chofe to interfere; and they chofe to interfere in every thing, and on every occafion. All hope of gaining them to the support of property, or to the acknowledgement of any law but their own will, was evidently vain, and hopeless. Nothing but an armed infurrection against their anarchical authority, could answer the purpose of the Girondins. Anarchy was to be cured by rebellion, as it had been caufed by it.
As a preliminary to this attempt on the jacobins and the commons of Paris, which it was hoped would be fupported by all the remaining property of France, it became abfolutely neceffary to prepare a manifefto, laying before the publick the whole policy, genius, character, and conduct of the partifans of club government. To make this exposition as fully and clearly as it ought to be made, it was of the fame unavoidable neceffity to go through a series of transactions, in which all those concerned in this revolution, were at the feveral periods of their activity, deeply involved. In confequence of this defign, and under thefe difficulties, Briffot prepared the following declaration of his party, which he executed with no fmall ability; and in this manner the whole mystery of the French revolution was laid open in all its parts.
It is almost needlefs to mention to the reader
the fate of the design to which this pamphlet was to be fubfervient. The Jacobins of Paris were more prompt than their adverfaries. They were the readieft to refort to what La Fayette calls the most facred of all duties, that of infurrection. Another æra of holy infurrection, commenced the thirty-firft of laft May. As the first fruits of that infurrection grafted on infurrection, and of that rebellion im proving upon rebellion, the facred irrefponfible character of the members of the Convention was laughed to fcorn. They had themselves fhewn in their proceedings against the late king, how little the most fixed principles are to be relied upon, in their revolutionary conftitution. The members of the Girondin party in the Convention, were feized upon or obliged to fave themselves by flight. The unhappy author of this piece, with twenty of his affociates, fuffered together on the scaffold, after a trial, the iniquity of which puts all defcription to defiance.
The English reader will draw from this work of Briffot, and from the refult of the laft ftruggles of this party, fome useful leffons. He will be enabled to judge of the information of those, who have undertaken to guide and enlighten us, and who, for reasons best known to themselves, have chofen to paint the French revolution and its confequences in brilliant and flattering colours.-They will know
know how to appreciate the liberty of France, which has been fo much magnified in England. They will do juftice to the wisdom, and goodness of their fovereign and his parliament, who have put them in a ftate of defence, in the war auda ciously made upon us, in favour of that kind of liberty. When we fee (as here we must fee) in their true colours the character and policy of our enemies, our gratitude will become an active principle. It will produce a ftrong and zealous cooperation with the efforts of our government, in favour of a conftitution under which we enjoy advantages, the full value of which, the querulous weakness of human nature requires fometimes the opportunity of a comparison, to understand and to relish.
Our confidence in those who watch for the publick will not be leffened. We fhall be fenfible that to alarm us in the late circumftances of our affairs, was not for our moleftation, but for our fecurity. We fhall be fenfible that this alarm was not ill-timed-and that it ought to have been given, as it was given, before the enemy had time fully to mature and accomplish their plans, for reducing us to the condition of France, as that condition is faithfully and without exaggeration de fcribed in the following work. We now have our arms in our hands; we have the means of oppofing VOL. VII. Y
reign nations and pofterity, he has dreffed up the philosophy of his own faction in as decent a garb as he could to make her appearance in publick; but through every disguise her hideous figure may be distinctly seen. If, however, the reader ftill wishes to fee her in all her naked deformity, I would further refer him to a private letter of Briffot written towards the end of the last year, and quoted in a late very able pamphlet of Mallet du Pan." We muft," (fays our philofopher)" fet fire to the four "corners of Europe;" in that alone is our fafety. "Dumourier cannot fuit us. I always diftrufted "him. Miranda is the general for us; he under 4 ftands the revolutionary power, he has courage, "lights, &c."* Here every thing is fairly avowed in plain language. The triumph of philosophy is the univerfal conflagration of Europe; the only real diffatisfaction with Dumourier is a fufpieion of his moderation; and the fecret motive of that preference which in this very pamphlet the author gives to Miranda, though without affigning his reafons, is declared to be the fuperior fitness of that foreign adventurer for the purposes of fubverfion and deftruction. On the other hand, if there can be any man in this country fo hardy as to un
* See the tranflation of Mallet Du Pan's work printed for Owen, page 53r
dertake the defence or the apology of the prefent monftrous ufurpers of France; and if it should be faid in their favour, that it is not just to credit the charges of their enemy Briffot against them, who have actually tried and condemned him on the very fame charges among others; we are luckily supplied with the best poffible evidence in support of this part of his book against them: it comes from among themselves. Camille Defmoulins published the "Hiftory of the Briffotins" in answer to this very addrefs of Briffot. It was the counter-manifefto of the last Holy revolution of the thirty-first of May; and the flagitious orthodoxy of his writings at that period has been admitted in the late scrutiny of him by the Jacobin club, when they saved him from that guillotine" which he grazed." In the beginning of his work he difplays "the task of glory," as he calls it, which presented itself at the opening of the Convention. All is fummed. up in two points: "to create the French republick, and "to diforganize Europe; perhaps to purge it of its tyrants by the eruption of the volcanick principles of "equality."* The coincidence is exact; the proof is complete and irresistible.
In a caufe like this, and in a time like the pre
* See the translation of the History of the Briffotins, by Camille Defmoulins, printed for Owen, p. 2 •