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N°1.-MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1797.
Ob England ! model to tby inward greatness,
SHAKSPEARE. KING HENRY V.
TN presenting our First Paper to the Public, and in 1 preparing to execute that part of our Plan which consists in the assembling and refuting the Falsehoods of the Week, we have fuund one Difficulty in our way, of which we might indeed, and perhaps ought, to have been aware — It is, that many or most of the Misrepresentations which are obtruded upon our daily notice, have their root and foundation in lies of older dates; which either from the circumstance of their never having received a decisive contradiction, or, by dint of being impudently repeated after it, have obtained a sort of prescriptive credit, and are referred to upon all occasions, as if established beyond dispute. It will be necessary, therefore, in many instances, for the complete confutation of modern Falsehoods, to trace them diligently and pas
tiently to their origin; and not only to dam up the current, but to cut off the source.
There is perhaps scarcely any point of importance that can come under our consideration, upon which there are not now wandering about the world, mis-statements so gross, and fallacies so glaring, that one wonders how it is possible they should ever have found reception and entertainment for a moment Many of them, however, are become so familiar to the Public, that they are constantly, and without shame, appealed to by the Jacobins, and are even by many well-meaning persons often admitted, not only as true in themselves, but as the test and standard whereby the probability of other assertions is to be estimated.
The contest in which we are now engaged, WE know to have been, on our part, just and necessary in its origin ; and to have been continued in all its stages by the obstinate animosity of the enemy.
We know that we have no option left for terminating it with safety, but that of vigorous and determined exertion.
This war, however, we shall find, according to the unqualified assumption of the Jacobin Journals, to have owed its origin to something that they are pleased to call the Conspiracy of Pilnitz ; we shall find that its continuance is to be attributed solely to our ambition and desire of aggrandizement; and that its conclusion is at any moment in our own power, and has been twice prevent, ed, merely by our stubborn refusal to speak out as to the terms and the mode of accommodation,
Concerning the nature and the effects of that tremendous REVOLUTION, which has shaken Europe to its centre-which has confounded all things human and divine, and has worked, and is working, changes in the moral
world, no less dreadful than those which it has effected in the political—the Jacobin Creed speaks no less hippantly, and confidently, and falsely.
According to them, there never has been in France, nor is now, any desire of Conquest--any intention of disturbing other Countries, of destroying their Governments, of violating their Independence, of invading their Rights. To herself, France was to secure Internal Tranquillity, Domestic Happiness, Order, good Government, and a purer System of Philanthrophy than had yet been known among the corrupted Institutions of Civil Society. To Foreign Nations she announced Universal Benevolence; Friendship, unconfined by natural or political relation; Peace, never to be violated but on the strictest principles of self-defence; Humanity, in the severèst trials of War; Forbearance in the utmost excesses of Victory
In their view, therefore, the French Revolution is described as the successful effort of a virtuous People, rightly directed to effect its own moral and political regeneration. The principles on which it was effected were, it seems, such as could not fail to ensure the happiness of FRANCE; and were likely to be equally beneficial to all other Nations to whom they might be extended. If these humane and liberal plans were ever disappointed, either in their means or in their end ; if this universal remedy has seldom been found either palatable or salutary; if this system of Peace has produced more extensive Wars, and this principle of Benevolence more general calamities, than can be found in all former History; the Despots of the Earth have only to condemn their own obstinacy, in pertinaciously refusing blessings thus generously extended to them. France has no apology to make; ex
cept, perhaps, for a degree of backwardness and hesitation in giving the necessary aid, and extention to the operation of a system, whose vital principle is equal Freedom, and whose natural fruits are universal Peace.
From these prolific opinions are derived abundant smaller Falsehoods, each of which is in its turn the parent of a brood of Lies. · In many instances, therefore, of assertions apparently insulated, and independent of each other, it is not a single unsupported denial or refutation that will remove all ill impression, and do complete justice to the case.
The pretended Treaty of Pilnitz, indeed, is a point capable of receiving a distinct explanation, and fall have it *
But to set right the more general and comprehensive Misrepresentations (such as we have noticed above) which when once assumed as established Truths may be stated and re-stated in a thousand different shapes, is more than the limits of one day's Paper will allow; and Hp treating therefore of subjects of such a nature and extent, we have found it necessary to enlarge our Plan beyond the Ximits of distinct Paragraphs; and the Reader will find in this Number, the First of a Series of Papers which is intended to comprehend the several points connected with . this subject; to trace, shortly, the origin, the progress) and the principles, of the French Revolution, its effects on France, and on all Europe.
In contemplating the magnitude and the duration of i the Contest in which we are engaged, our attention is naturally called to the several considerations, of the suc. i
* See the Letters of DETECTOR, No. 14, No. 20, and No. 34.