Condividi i tuoi pensieri con altri clienti. Scrivi una recensione cliente. Visualizzazione di recensioni su 2. Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato. Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato. L'ho letto in lingua originale per tenermi in esercizio con l'inglese e nonostante questo l'ho divorato Consulta entrambe le recensioni. Acquisto verificato. The Book itself: It took me a moment to write this review because, at first, I couldn't figure out what was bothering me.
It was a page turner from start to finish. It had a Gone Girl type atmosphere, with a lot of twists and turns and was a decent little thriller. Characters: I have never so actively disliked two characters before.
Ted is "handsome, rich, and ripped". Lily is "beautiful, sultry, and mysterious". Which is great for them because I could find nothing to like about either of these narcissists I thought Ted would burst into a lecture about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps when he started talking about his "artistic but flaky" wife. I guess the hardest part for me was that they were both written as if they were God's gift to the opposite sex and nothing about their characters indicated otherwise except for their self-reported looks.
I didn't like either of them which made caring about their cat-and-mouse game of "wits" not that thrilling to read. As a few other people have said, these two were unlikeable to the point of distraction. I would really like to smack the person who started the trend of completely unlikable, unreliable protagonists.
The Ending: I don't necessarily think that it was written to be the opening to a sequel as some said. It felt like an inexperienced writer trying to leave an ambiguous ending, like the end of Inception or Pontypool. As a whole, I just really wanted it to be a better reading experience. First things first. Very much a page turner, with a massive plot twist around the middle. Definitely keeps you guessing, the characters are well-developed and the situations intriguing.
Gone Girl or Basic Instinct are kissing cousins.
Are there "good guys"? No, not really, except for the minor detective chapters.
It's a crime novel, largely written around one, reasonable-sounding and self-justifying, psychopath. Very little gore, some sex. Good, understated, ending. Less would probably have been more, it ended up being a bit too sensationalist and contrived. The second issue I had was that each character gets multiple POV chapters, but each expresses herself just like the other characters.
But they feel the same, even if their circumstances, viewpoints and motivations were different. That wasn't a huge deal to me, but I hope the author runs with his success and hones that part a bit more in his next novel.
Overall, a very solid 4 star. This book was so much better than I expected it to be. The plot is clear enough from the book's description and other reviews so I won't go into further detail there. I will just give my thoughts and reactions. The book is smart and sexy and keeps reading at a great pace, albeit from different points of view, which to me, was done with excellent execution. If I did not in every instance agree with you, I think you had, on the whole, sufficient proofs of my docility, to make you believe that I received your corrections, not only without offence, but with no small degree of gratitude.
Your remarks upon the first two sheets of my Paris letter, relate to the composition and the matter. The composition, you say, is loose, and I am quite sure of it: I never intended it should be otherwise. For, purporting to be, what in truth it originally was, a letter to a friend, I had no idea of digesting it in a systematic order. The style is open to correction, and wants it. My natural style of writing is somewhat careless, and I should be happy in receiving your advice towards making it as little vicious as such a style is capable of being made.
It is not the insertion of a piece of stuff, though of a better kind, which is at all times an improvement. Your main objections are, however, of a much deeper nature, and go to the political opinions and moral sentiments of the piece; in which I find, though with no sort of surprise, having often talked with you on the subject, that we differ only in every thing.
You seem to think I shall incur great and not wholly undeserved infamy, by this publication. This makes it a matter of some delicacy to me, to suppress what I have written; for I must admit in my own feelings, and in that of those who have seen the piece, that my sentiments and opinions deserve Edition: current; Page: [ 23 ] the infamy with which they are threatened.
If they do not, I know nothing more than that I oppose the prejudices and inclinations of many people. This I was well aware of from the beginning; and it was in order to oppose those inclinations and prejudices, that I proposed to publish my letter. I really am perfectly astonished how you could dream, with my paper in your hand, that I found no other cause than the beauty of the queen of France now, I suppose, pretty much faded for disapproving the conduct which has been held towards her, and for expressing my own particular feelings.
I am not to order the natural sympathies of my own heart, and of every honest breast, to wait until all the jokes of all the anecdotes of the coffee-houses of Paris, and of the dissenting meeting-houses of London, are scoured of all the slander of those who calumniate persons, that, afterwards, they may murder them with impunity. I know nothing of your story of Messalina. I felt too for Hecuba, when I read the fine tragedy of Euripides upon her story; and I never inquired into the anecdotes of the court Edition: current; Page: [ 24 ] or city of Troy, before I gave way to the sentiments which the author wished to inspire; nor do I remember that he ever said one word of her virtue.
It is for those who applaud or palliate assassination, regicide, and base insult to women of illustrious place, to prove the crimes in sufferings 3 which they allege, to justify their own. But if they have proved fornication on any such woman, taking the manners of the world, and the manners of France, I shall never put it in a parallel with assassination! No: I have no such inverted scale of faults, in my heart or my head. You find it perfectly ridiculous, and unfit for me in particular, to take these things as my ingredients of commiseration. Pray why is it absurd in me to think, that the chivalrous spirit which dictated a veneration for women of condition and of beauty, without any consideration whatever of enjoying them, was the great source of those manners which have been the pride and ornament of Europe for so many ages?
And am I not to lament that I have lived to see those manners extinguished in so shocking a manner, by means of speculations of finance, and the false science of a sordid and degenerate philosophy? I tell you again, that the recollection of the manner in which I saw the queen of France, in the year , and the contrast between that brilliancy, splendour, and beauty, with the prostrate homage of a nation to her, and the abominable scene of , which I was describing, did draw tears from me and wetted my paper.
These tears came again into my eyes, almost as often as I looked at the description; they may again. You do not believe this fact, nor that these are my real feelings; but that the whole is affected, or, as you express it, downright foppery. My friend, I tell you it is truth; and that it is true, and will be truth, when you and I are no more; and will exist as long as men with their natural feelings shall exist. I shall say no more on this foppery of mine. Always the same. Present me the idea of such massacres about Edition: current; Page: [ 25 ] any German lady here, and such attempts to assassinate her, and such a triumphant procession from Windsor to the Old Jewry, and I assure you, I shall be quite as full of natural concern and just indignation.
As to the other points, they deserve serious consideration, and they shall have it. I certainly cannot profit quite so much by your assistance, as if we agreed. In that case, every correction would be forwarding the design. We should work with one common view. But it is impossible that any man can correct a work according to its true spirit, who is opposed to its object, or can help the expression of what he thinks should not be expressed at all.
But I do not yet think they have the advowson of reputation. I shall try that point. But I intend no controversy with Dr. Price, or Lord Shelburne, or any other of their set. I mean to set in full view the danger from their wicked principles and their black hearts. I intend to state the true principles of our constitution in church and state, upon grounds opposite to theirs.
If any one be the better for the example made of them, and for this exposition, well and good. I mean to do my best to expose them to the hatred, ridicule, and contempt of the whole world; as I always shall expose such calumniators, hypocrites, sowers of sedition, and approvers of murder and all its triumphs.
When I have done Edition: current; Page: [ 26 ] that, they may have the field to themselves; and I care very little how they triumph over me, since I hope they will not be able to draw me at their heels, and carry my head in triumph on their poles. I have been interrupted, and have said enough. Believe me always sensible of your friendship; though it is impossible that a greater difference can exist on earth, than, unfortunately for me, there is on those subjects, between your sentiments and mine.
Burke clearly believed that the revolutionary enterprise was international in character and had to be opposed by force. He was soon to be bitterly disappointed by the irresolute and fractious European coalitions formed for this purpose. Burke had begun reading Rousseau by at the latest, when he reviewed the Letter. He refers in that review to two of the Discourses. In , he reviewed Emile.
As for Rousseau himself, his highly publicized Edition: current; Page: [ 28 ] trip to England between January and May —especially his quarrel with his host, David Hume—impressed the English with his vanity and ingratitude. In A Letter , and continuing in An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs , one can see Burke allying himself with the ancients, with classical modes of education and feeling, against the Enlightenment. I had the honour to receive your letter of the 17th of November last, in which, with some exceptions, you are pleased to consider favourably the letter I have written on the affairs of France.
I shall ever accept any mark of approbation, attended with instruction, with more pleasure than general and unqualified praises. The latter can serve only to flatter our vanity; the former, whilst it encourages us to proceed, may help to improve us in our progress. Some of the errors you point out to me in my printed letter are really such. One only I find to be material. It is corrected in the edition which I take the liberty of sending to you. As to the cavils which may be made on some part of my remarks, with regard to the gradations in your new constitution, you observe justly, that they do not affect the substance of my objections.
Whether there be a round more or less in the ladder of representation, by which your workmen ascend from their parochial tyranny to their federal anarchy, when the whole scale is false, appears to me of little or no importance. I published my thoughts on that constitution, that my countrymen might be enabled to estimate the wisdom of the Edition: current; Page: [ 30 ] plans which were held out to their imitation.
I conceived that the true character of those plans would be best collected from the committee appointed to prepare them. I thought that the scheme of their building would be better comprehended in the design of the architects than in the execution of the masons. Had I followed all these changes, my letter would have been only a gazette of their wanderings; a journal of their march from error to error, through a dry dreary desart, unguided by the lights of heaven, or by the contrivance which wisdom has invented to supply their place. I am unalterably persuaded, that the attempt to oppress, degrade, impoverish, confiscate, and extinguish the original gentlemen, and landed property of an whole nation, cannot be justified under any form it may assume.
I am satisfied beyond a doubt, that the project of turning a great empire into a vestry, or into a collection of vestries, and of governing it in the spirit of a parochial administration, is senseless and absurd, in any mode, or with any qualifications. The whole of this Edition: current; Page: [ 31 ] project, even if it were what it pretends to be, and was not in reality the dominion, through that disgraceful medium, of half a dozen, or perhaps fewer, intriguing politicians, is so mean, so low-minded, so stupid a contrivance, in point of wisdom, as well as so perfectly detestable for its wickedness, that I must always consider the correctives which might make it in any degree practicable, to be so many new objections to it.
In that wretched state of things, some are afraid that the authors of your miseries may be led to precipitate their further designs, by the hints they may receive from the very arguments used to expose the absurdity of their system, to mark the incongruity of its parts, and its inconsistency with their own principles; and that your masters may be led to render their schemes more consistent, by rendering them more mischievous.
Excuse the liberty which your indulgence authorises me to take, when I observe to you, that such apprehensions as these would prevent all exertion of our faculties in this great cause of mankind. A rash recourse to force is not to be justified in a state of real weakness. Such attempts bring on disgrace; and, in their failure, discountenance and discourage more rational endeavours.
But reason is to be hazarded, though it may be perverted by craft and sophistry; for reason can suffer no loss nor shame, nor can it impede any useful plan of future policy. In the unavoidable uncertainty, as to the effect, which attends on every measure of human prudence, nothing seems a surer antidote to the poison of fraud than its detection. It is true the fraud may be swallowed after this discovery; and perhaps even swallowed the more greedily for being a detected fraud. Men sometimes make a point of honour not to be disabused; and they had rather fall into an hundred errors than confess one.
But after all, when neither our principles nor our dispositions, nor, perhaps, our talents, enable us to encounter delusion with delusion, we must use our best reason to those that ought to be reasonable creatures, and to take our chance for the event. We cannot act on these anomalies in the minds of men.
I do not conceive that the persons who have contrived Edition: current; Page: [ 32 ] these things can be made much the better or the worse for any thing which can be said to them. They are reason proof. Here and there, some men, who were at first carried away by wild good intentions, may be led, when their first fervors are abated, to join in a sober survey of the schemes into which they have been deluded.
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To those only and I am sorry to say they are not likely to make a large description we apply with any hope. I may speak it upon an assurance almost approaching to absolute knowledge, that nothing has been done that has not been contrived from the beginning, even before the states had assembled. Nulla nova mihi res inopinave surgit. It was the very same animal that at first crawled about in the shape of a caterpillar, that you now see rise into the air, and expand his wings to the sun.
Proceeding, therefore, as we are obliged to proceed, that is upon an hypothesis that we address rational men, can false political principles be more effectually exposed, than by demonstrating that they lead to consequences directly inconsistent with and subversive of the arrangements grounded upon them? If this kind of demonstration is not permitted, the process of reasoning called deductio ad absurdum , which even the severity of geometry does not reject, could not be employed at all in legislative discussions.
One of our strongest weapons against folly acting with authority, would be lost. You know, Sir, that even the virtuous efforts of you patriots to prevent the ruin of your country have had this very turn given to them. It has been said here, and in France too, that the reigning usurpers would not have carried their tyranny to such destructive lengths, if they had not been stimulated and provoked to it by the acrimony of your opposition.
There is a dilemma to which every opposition to successful iniquity Edition: current; Page: [ 33 ] must, in the nature of things, be liable. If you lie still, you are considered as an accomplice in the measures in which you silently acquiesce. If you resist, you are accused of provoking irritable power to new excesses. The conduct of a losing party never appears right: at least it never can possess the only infallible criterion of wisdom to vulgar judgments—success.
The indulgence of a sort of undefined hope, an obscure confidence, that some lurking remains of virtue, some degree of shame, might exist in the breasts of the oppressors of France, has been among the causes which have helped to bring on the common ruin of king and people. There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief. I well remember, at every epocha of this wonderful history, in every scene of this tragic business, that when your sophistic usurpers were laying down mischievous principles, and even applying them in direct resolutions, it was the fashion to say, that they never intended to execute those declarations in their rigour.
This made men cautious in their opposition, and remiss in early precaution. By holding out this fallacious hope, the impostors deluded sometimes one description of men, and sometimes another, so that no means of resistance were provided against them, when they came to execute in cruelty what they had planned in fraud. There are cases in which a man would be ashamed not to have been imposed on.
There is a confidence necessary to human intercourse, and without which men are often more injured by their own suspicions than they could be by the perfidy of others. But when men, whom we know to be wicked, impose upon us, we are something worse than dupes. When we know them, their fair pretences become new motives for distrust. There is one case, indeed, in which it would be madness not to give the fullest credit to the most deceitful of men, that is, when they make declarations of hostility against us. I find, that some persons entertain other hopes, which I confess appear more specious than those by which at first so many were deluded and disarmed.
They flatter themselves Edition: current; Page: [ 34 ] that the extreme misery brought upon the people by their folly, will at last open the eyes of the multitude, if not of their leaders. Much the contrary, I fear. As to the leaders in this system of imposture, you know, that cheats and deceivers never can repent. The fraudulent have no resource but in fraud. They have no other goods in their magazine. They have no virtue or wisdom in their minds, to which, in a disappointment concerning the profitable effects of fraud and cunning, they can retreat.
The wearing out of an old, serves only to put them upon the invention of a new delusion. Unluckily too, the credulity of dupes is as inexhaustible as the invention of knaves. They never give people possession; but they always keep them in hope. Your state doctors do not so much as pretend that any good whatsoever has hitherto been derived from their operations, or that the public has prospered in any one instance, under their management. The nation is sick, very sick, by their medicines.
But the charlatan tells them that what is past cannot be helped; they have taken the draught, and they must wait its operation with patience; that the first effects indeed are unpleasant, but that the very sickness is a proof that the dose is of no sluggish operation; that sickness is inevitable in all constitutional revolutions; that the body must pass through pain to ease; that the prescriber is not an empirick who proceeds by vulgar experience, but one who grounds his practice on 2 the sure rules of art, which cannot possibly fail.
You see their presumption in their promises is not lessened by all their failures in the performance. Compare this last address of the Assembly, and the present state of your affairs with the early engagements of that body; engagements which, not content with declaring, they solemnly deposed upon oath, swearing lustily that if they were supported they would make their Edition: current; Page: [ 35 ] country glorious and happy; and then judge whether those who can write such things, or those who can bear to read them, are of themselves to be brought to any reasonable course of thought or action.
As to the people at large, when once these miserable sheep have broken the fold, and have got themselves loose, not from the restraint, but from the protection of all the principles of natural authority, and legitimate subordination, they became the natural prey of impostors. When they have once tasted of the flattery of knaves, they can no longer endure reason, which appears to them only in the form of censure and reproach.
Great distress has never hitherto taught, and whilst the world lasts it never will teach, wise lessons to any part of mankind. Men are as much blinded by the extremes of misery as by the extremes of prosperity. Desperate situations produce desperate councils, and desperate measures. The people of France, almost generally, have been taught to look for other resources than those which can be derived from order, frugality, and industry.
They are generally armed; and they are made to expect much from the use of arms. Nihil non arrogant armis. The life of adventurers, gamesters, gipsies, beggars, and robbers, is not unpleasant. It requires restraint to keep men from falling into that habit.
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The shifting tides of fear and hope, the flight and pursuit, the peril and escape, the alternate famine and feast, of the savage and the thief, after a time, render all course of slow, steady, progressive, unvaried occupation, and the prospect only of a limited mediocrity at the end of long labour, to the last degree tame, languid, and insipid. Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it.
They may be distressed in the midst of all their power; but they will never look to any thing but power for their relief. When did Edition: current; Page: [ 36 ] distress ever oblige a prince to abdicate his authority? And what effect will it have upon those who are made to believe themselves a people of princes? The more active and stirring part of the lower orders having got government, and the distribution of plunder, into their hands, they will use its resources in each municipality to form a body of adherents.
These rulers, and their adherents, will be strong enough to overpower the discontents of those who have not been able to assert their share of the spoil. The unfortunate adventurers in the cheating lottery of plunder will probably be the least sagacious, or the most inactive and irresolute of the gang.
If, on disappointment, they should dare to stir, they will soon be suppressed as rebels and mutineers by their brother rebels. Scantily fed for a while, with the offal of plunder, they will drop off by degrees; they will be driven out of sight, and out of thought; and they will be left to perish obscurely, like rats, in holes and corners. From the forced repentance of invalid mutineers and disbanded thieves, you can hope for no resource.
Government itself, which ought to constrain the more bold and dextrous of these robbers, is their accomplice. Its arms, its treasures, its all, are in their hands. Judicature, which above all things should awe them, is their creature and their instrument. Nothing seems to me to render your internal situation more desperate than this one circumstance of the state of your judicature.
Many days are not past since we have seen a set of men brought forth by your rulers for a most critical function. Your rulers brought forth a set of men, steaming from the sweat and drudgery, and all black with the smoak and soot of the forge of confiscation and robbery— ardentis massae fuligine lippos , 4 a set of men brought forth from the trade of hammering arms of proof, offensive and defensive, in aid of the enterprizes, and for the subsequent protection of housebreakers, murderers, traitors, and malefactors; men, who had their minds seasoned with theories perfectly comformable to their Edition: current; Page: [ 37 ] practice, and who had always laughed at possession and prescription, and defied all the fundamental maxims of jurisprudence.
To the horror and stupefaction of all the honest part of this nation, and indeed of all nations who are spectators, we have seen, on the credit of those very practices and principles, and to carry them further into effect, these very men placed on the sacred seat of justice in the capital city of your late kingdom.
We see, that in future, you are to be destroyed with more form and regularity. This is not peace; it is only the introduction of a sort of discipline in their hostility. Their tyranny is complete, in their justice; and their lanthorn is not half so dreadful as their court.
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One would think that out of common decency they would have given you men who had not been in the habit of trampling upon law and justice in the assembly, neutral men, or men apparently neutral, for judges, who are to dispose of your lives and fortunes. Cromwell, when he attempted to legalize his power, and to settle his conquered country in a state of order, did not look for his dispensers of justice in the instruments of his usurpation.
Quite the contrary. He sought out with great sollicitude and selection, and even from the party most opposite to his designs, men of weight, and decorum of character; men unstained with the violence of the times, and with hands not fouled with confiscation and sacrilege: for he chose an Hales 5 for his chief justice, though he absolutely refused to take his civic oaths, or to make any acknowledgment whatsoever of the legality of his government.
Cromwell told this great lawyer, that since he did not approve his title, all he required of him was, to administer, in a manner agreeable to his pure sentiments and unspotted character, that justice without which human society cannot subsist: that it was not his particular Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] government, but civil order itself, which as a judge he wished him to support. Cromwell knew how to separate the institutions expedient to his usurpation from the administration of the public justice of his country.
For Cromwell was a man in whom ambition had not wholly suppressed, but only suspended the sentiments of religion, and the love as far it could consist with his designs of fair and honourable reputation. Accordingly, we are indebted to this act of his for the preservation of our laws, which some senseless assertors of the rights of men were then on the point of entirely erasing, as relicks of feudality and barbarism.
Besides, he gave in the appointment of that man, to that age, and to all posterity, the most brilliant example of sincere and fervent piety, exact justice, and profound jurisprudence. One would think, that after an honest and necessary Revolution if they had a mind that theirs should pass for such your masters would have imitated the virtuous policy of those who have been at the head of revolutions of that glorious character.
Burnet tells us, that nothing tended to reconcile the English nation to the government of King William so much as the care he took to fill the vacant bishoprics with men who had attracted the public esteem by their learning, eloquence, and piety, and above all, by their known moderation in the state. With you, in your purifying Revolution, whom have you chosen to regulate the church? Mirabeau is a fine speaker—and a fine writer—and a fine—a very fine man; but really nothing gave more surprize to every body here, than to find him the supreme head of your ecclesiastical affairs.
The rest is of course. Your Assembly addresses a manifesto to France in which they tell the people, with an insulting irony, that they have brought the church to its primitive condition. In one respect their declaration is undoubtedly true; for they have brought it to a state of poverty and persecution. What can be hoped for after this? Have not such men been made bishops to administer in temples, in which if the patriotic donations have not already stripped them of their vessels the churchwardens ought to take security for the altar plate, and not so much as to trust the chalice in their sacrilegious hands, so long as Jews have assignats on ecclesiastic plunder, to exchange for the silver stolen from churches?
I am told, that the very sons of such Jew-jobbers have been made bishops; persons not to be suspected of any sort of Christian superstition, fit colleagues to the holy prelate of Autun; 7 and bred at the feet of that Gamaliel. We know who it was that drove the money-changers out of the temple. We see too who it is that brings them in again. We have in London very respectable persons of the Jewish nation, whom we will keep: but we have of the same tribe others of a very different description, housebreakers, and receivers of stolen goods, and forgers of paper currency, more than we can conveniently hang.
These we can spare to France, to fill the new episcopal thrones: men well versed in swearing; and who will scruple no oath which the fertile genius of any of your reformers can devise. In matters so ridiculous, it is hard to be grave. On a view of their consequences it is almost inhuman to treat them lightly.
To what a state of savage, stupid, servile insensibility must your people be reduced, who can endure such proceedings in their church, their state, and their judicature, even for a moment! But the deluded people of France are like other Edition: current; Page: [ 40 ] madmen, who, to a miracle, bear hunger, and thirst, and cold, and confinement, and the chains and lash of their keeper, whilst all the while they support themselves by the imagination that they are generals of armies, prophets, kings, and emperors.
As to a change of mind in these men, who consider infamy as honour, degradation as preferment, bondage to low tyrants as liberty, and the practical scorn and contumely of their upstart masters, as marks of respect and homage, I look upon it as absolutely impracticable. These madmen, to be cured, must first, like other madmen, be subdued. The sound part of the community, which I believe to be large, but by no means the largest part, has been taken by surprize, and is disjointed, terrified, and disarmed.
That sound part of the community must first be put into a better condition, before it can do any thing in the way of deliberation or persuasion. This must be an act of power, as well as of wisdom; of power, in the hands of firm, determined patriots, who can distinguish the misled from traitors, who will regulate the state if such should be their fortune with a discriminating, manly, and provident mercy; men who are purged of the surfeit and indigestion of systems, if ever they have been admitted into the habit of their minds; men who will lay the foundation of a real reform, in effacing every vestige of that philosophy which pretends to have made discoveries in the terra australis of morality; men who will fix the state upon these bases of morals and politics, which are our old, and immemorial, and, I hope, will be our eternal possession.
This power, to such men, must come from without. It may be given to you in pity; for surely no nation ever called so pathetically on the compassion of all its neighbours. It may be given by those neighbours on motives of safety to themselves. Never shall I think any country in Europe to be secure, whilst there is established, in the very centre of it, a state if so it may be called founded on principles of anarchy, and which is, in reality, a college of armed fanatics, for the propagation of the principles of assassination, robbery, rebellion, fraud, faction, oppression, and impiety.
Mahomet , hid, as for a time he was, in Edition: current; Page: [ 41 ] the bottom of the sands of Arabia, had his spirit and character been discovered, would have been an object of precaution to provident minds. What if he had erected his fanatic standard for the destruction of the Christian religion in luce Asiae , in the midst of the then noon-day splendour of the then civilized world? The princes of Europe, in the beginning of this century, did well not to suffer the monarchy of France to swallow up the others. They ought not now, in my opinion, to suffer all the monarchies and commonwealths to be swallowed up in the gulph of this polluted anarchy.
They may be tolerably safe at present, because the comparative power of France for the present is little. But times and occasions make dangers. Intestine troubles may arise in other countries. There is a power always on the watch, qualified and disposed to profit of every conjuncture, to establish its own principles and modes of mischief, wherever it can hope for success. What mercy would these usurpers have on other sovereigns, and on other nations, when they treat their own king with such unparalleled indignities, and so cruelly oppress their own countrymen?
The king of Prussia, in concurrence with us, nobly interfered to save Holland from confusion. The same power, joined with the rescued Holland and with Great Britain, has put the emperor in the possession of the Netherlands; and secured, under that prince, from all arbitrary innovation, the antient, hereditary constitution of those provinces. The chamber of Wetzlar has restored the Bishop of Leige, unjustly dispossessed by the rebellion of his subjects.
If this is done in favour of a barbarous nation, with a barbarous neglect of police, fatal to the human race, in favour of a nation, by principle in eternal enmity with the Christian Edition: current; Page: [ 42 ] name; a nation which will not so much as give the salutation of peace Salam to any of us; nor make any pact with any Christian nation beyond a truce; if this be done in favour of the Turk, shall it be thought either impolitic, or unjust, or uncharitable, to employ the same power, to rescue from captivity a virtuous monarch by the courtesy of Europe considered as Most Christian who, after an intermission of years, had called together the states of his kingdom, to reform abuses, to establish a free government, and to strengthen his throne; a monarch, who at the very outset, without force, even without sollicitation, had given to his people such a Magna Charta of privileges, as never was given by any king to any subjects?
Is it to be tamely borne by kings who love their subjects, or by subjects who love their kings, that this monarch, in the midst of these gracious acts, was insolently and cruelly torn from his palace, by a gang of traitors and assassins, and kept in close prison to this very hour, whilst his royal name and sacred character were used for the total ruin of those whom the laws had appointed him to protect? The only offence of this unhappy monarch towards his people, was his attempt, under a monarchy, to give them a free constitution.
For this, by an example hitherto unheard of in the world, he has been deposed. It might well disgrace sovereigns to take part with a deposed tyrant. It would suppose in them a vitious sympathy. But not to make a common cause with a just prince, dethroned by traitors and rebels, who proscribe, plunder, confiscate, and in every way cruelly oppress their fellow citizens, in my opinion is to forget what is due to the honour, and to the rights of all virtuous and legal government.
I think the king of France to be as much an object both of policy and compassion as the Grand Seignor or his states. I do not conceive, that the total annihilation of France if that could be effected is a desirable thing to Europe; or even to this its rival nation. Provident patriots did not think it good for Rome, that even Carthage should be quite destroyed; and he was a wise Greek, wise for the general Grecian interests, as Edition: current; Page: [ 43 ] well as a brave Lacedemonian enemy, and generous conqueror, who did not wish, by the destruction of Athens, to pluck out the other eye of Greece.
However, Sir, what I have here said of the interference of foreign princes is only the opinion of a private individual, who is neither the representative of any state, nor the organ of any party; but who thinks himself bound to express his own sentiments with freedom and energy in a crisis of such importance to the whole human race. I am not apprehensive that in speaking freely on the subject of the King and Queen of France, I shall accelerate as you fear the execution of traiterous designs against them.
You are of opinion, Sir, that the usurpers may, and that they will, gladly lay hold of any pretext to throw off the very name of a king; assuredly I do not wish ill to your king; but better for him not to live he does not reign than to live the passive instrument of tyranny and usurpation. I certainly meant to shew, to the best of my power, that the existence of such an executive officer, in such a system of republic as theirs, is absurd in the highest degree. But in demonstrating this—to them , at least, I can have made no discovery.
They only held out the royal name to catch those Frenchmen to whom the name of king is still venerable. They calculate the duration of that sentiment; and when they find it nearly expiring, they will not trouble themselves with excuses for extinguishing the name, as they have the thing. They used it as a sort of navel-string to nourish their unnatural offspring from the bowels of royalty itself. Now that the monster can purvey for its own subsistence, it will only carry the mark about it, as a token of its having torn the womb it came from.
Tyrants seldom want pretexts. Fraud is the ready minister of injustice; and whilst the currency of false pretence and sophistic reasoning was expedient to their designs, they were under no necessity of drawing upon me to furnish them with that coin. But pretexts and sophisms have had their day; and have done their work. Microsoft sql server analysis services step by step step by step developer. Teaching and learning outside the box inspiring imagination across the curriculum.
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