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" ing with the enemy, and betraying the cause of France, “ and, by means of such accusations, of driving him from « the throne.”
Mr. Mallet du Pan informs us of another curious fact, which shews us how much the present rulers of France are loft to all sense of justice or humanity.
There are now in France many bloody Tribunals, lately erected for trying crimes against the State, which are called Revolutionary Tribunals, besides the principal one, which is at Paris, and by which so many unhappy persons have been put to death. One of thefe is for the Department of the river Ain, and the prison belonging to it is at a place called Buurg. Many prisoners of different ranks and conditions were confined in this prison of Bourg for pretended State-crimes. But, as there were no proofs of their guilt, the Judges of the revolutionary Tribunal of that Department did not condemn them to die. This regard to justice was considered by the Commissioners from the Convention, who were sent to superintend their proceedings, as a criminal llackness and neglect of their duty, and the Commillioners upbraided them on account of it ; to which when They answered, “ that they could not find in their hearts to 6 condemn to death a crowd of citizens of all sorts and “ conditions that were then in the prisons, without having “ proofs of their guilt”-the Commissioners replied (harply, and with countenances full of anger, Why ! if we had “ thought it neceffary to proceed only upon proofs, could “ we ever have condemned Lewis Capet?” Such are the perfons who now govern the French nation.
Before I conclude this letter, I will just mention what I take to be the grand niistake of the French nation, and of the political writers whose sentiments they have adopted, within the last four or five years. It is, “that civil government should be administer d by the people at large.” Now
this is totally impracticable in a large country, such as England or France, and very absurd and inexpedient in a small country, such as one of the smaller Swiss Cantons, or the Republic of Geneva. On the contrary, it is in all cases expedient to delegate the power of Government to a fileet part of the society that is to be governed ; whether, to one person, (wbich makes an Absolute Monarchy) or to one person with an assembly of representatives chosen by the people, or by the land-holders or house.hulders of the country (which would make a Limited Monarchy similar to the late Constitutional Monarchy of France) or to one person with two allemblies, the one consisting of the richer part of the society, either holding their seats by Inheritance, to make them independent of the King, or appointed by the King for life, but with certain necessary qualifications of large property or high offices; and the other chosen by the people, or by the land-holders or householders among the people, (which would make a Limi. ted Monarchy, such as that of England) or to one or two select assemblies, without a single person, which would make a Common-wealth, or Republick. These and other fuch modifications of the publick power, delegated by the whole society to a select part of it, are pra&icable schemes, and may produce a tolerable system of Governinent, under which a civil society may flourish and be happy.
But for the whole people to retain the power of the Government in their own hands, and exercise it themselves, is the height of all absurdity, and was never attempted before the present experiment in France; of which we see, and feel, and lament, the horrid effects !
In all the ancient republicks of Greece and Italy, thema. jority of the people were flavès. In Athens (which is often mentioned as a noble democracy, in which the people geverned themselves,) there were only 20,000 free citizens, and 400,000 Naves ; that is, twenty parts out of lwenty-one were governed by the remaining twenty-first part,
In Sparta, the Helots, who were kept in a thamesul state of Navery, were niuch more numerous than the free Spar
And the like observation may be made on the inhabitants of Rome, and the other Republican governments of antiquity.
In short, the truth is, first, that all just government is for the people, and ought to have their welfare and happiness in view as its grand object, and not the happiness of the governing few, otherwise than in common with the governed, or inferior members of the society; and, secondly, all just government is derived from the people, or founded on their consent, either expressed or implied, fince no man, or body of men, have received an express commission from the Supreme Being to govern their fellow-creatures; but, third ly, it is equally true that all good government ought to be vested in a select part of the people, with the choice and consent of the rest, and not in the people at large, and that it should be administered by such select part, and should be submitted-to by the rest of the people with chearful, refpectful, and grateful, obedience, which is commonly called loyalty, till some enormous abuses of the powers ment, by the governing part of the society, have been complained-of, and petitioned-against, by the persons who have fuffered from them, and yet have not been corrected and reformed, but infolently persevered-in and repeated; in which case there lies in the people at large a moral right, not togovern themfelves, but to diffolve the government which they had before adopted, dismiss their governours, and choofe better men in their stead, and, if necessary, a beiter form of government than they had before ; and then submit to such new governours and new form of government with the fame deference, respect, and humility, with which they had before submitted to the former government, while it
of governhad been justly administered, and before the existence of the abuses which had given occasion to its overthrow.
Every interference of the people at large with govern. ment, beyond this, leads only to confusion and misery.
Your most humble servant,
TUOUGHTS ON THE LATE NEGOTIATION FOR PEACE.
To the Printer of the Morning HERALD.
Oct. 1, 1797
Mr. EDITOR, On reading in your Paper this morning, that the French Directory insisted, in the late negotiation at Lille, on Great Britain's restoring all the conquests she has made both from the French and from the Dutch before they will consent to Peace with us, it occurred to me that such a demand would give us a just pretence for forming a counter-demand of fomcwhat the same nature, but much more moderate in its extent, upon them and their allies, the new Batavian Re public. This demand is, that the French Government would restore 10 the Batavian Republic the town of Macstricht, and all the rest of what was called Dutch Brabant, and every thing else that the late Dutch Government possessed in the Low Countries before the French invasion; and would also cede to them the city and Marquifate of Antwerp, and the town of Oftend, with the district adjoining it; and that the Bataa vian Republic would restore to the prince of Orange all the estates which have been taken from him, and which belonged to him as prince of Orange, independently of his office of Stadtholder. Such a proposal would, I should suppose, be agreeable to the Batavian Republic, as it would tend, in fome degree, to restore them to a state of independence of France, of which they are at present little better then a province: and it would be but a small diminution of the large