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think that that word has not been worth an army to the Stadtholder, that it has not cooled the ardour of the Dutch patriots, that it has not commanded the vigorous defence of Williamstadt? Do you
believe that the patriots of Amsterdam, when they read the preparatory decree which gave France an execution on their goods; do you believe, that those patriots would not have liked better to have remained under the government of the Stadtholder, who took from them no more than a fixed portion of their property, than to pass under that of a revolutionary power, which would make a complete revolution in their bureaus and strong boxes, and reduce them to wretchedness and rags* ? Robbery, and anarchy, instead of encouraging, will always stifle revolutions.
But why, they object to me, have not you and your friends chosen to expose these measures in the rostrum of the National Convention? Why have you not opposed yourself to all these fatal projects of union ?
There are two answers to make here, one general, one particular.
You complain of the silence of honest men ! You quite forget, then, honest men are the objects of your suspicion. Suspicion, if it does not stain
* In the original letter, les reduire à la Sansculoterie.
the soul of a courageous man, at least arrests his thoughts in their passage to his lips. The suspicions of a good citizen freeze those men, whom the calumny of the wicked could not stop in their progress.
You complain of their silence! You forget, then, that you have often established an insulting equality between them and men covered with crimes, and made
made up of ignominy.You forget, then, that you have twenty times left them covered with opprobrium by your galleries.
You forget, then, that you have not thought yourselves sufficiently powerful to impose silence upon these galleries.
What ought a wise man to do in the midst of these circumstances? He is silent. He waits the moment when the passions give way; he waits till reason shall preside, and till the multitude shall listen to her voice.
What have been the tacticks displayed during all these unions? Cambon, incapable of political calculation, boasting his ignorance in the diplomatick, flattering the ignorant multitude, lending his name and popularity to the anarchists, seconded by their vociferations, denounced incessantly, as counter-revolutionists, those intelligent persons who were desirous, at least, of having things discussed. To oppose the acts of
union, union, appeared to Cambon an overt act of treason. The wish so much as to reflect and to deliberate, was in his eyes a great crime. He calumniated our intentions. The voice of every deputy, especially my voice, would infallibly have been stifled. There were spies on the very monosyllables that escaped our lips.