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REMARKS

ON

THE POLICY OF THE ALLIES

WITH

RESPECT TO FRANCE.

BEGUN IN OCTOBER,

1793.

13

REMARKS

ON THE

POLICY OF THE ALLIES.

.

AS

S the proposed manifesto is, I understand, to

promulgate to the world the general idea of a plan for the regulation of a great kingdom, and through the regulation of that kingdom probably to decide the fate of Europe for ever, nothing requires a more serious deliberation with regard to the time of making it, the circumstances of those to whom it is addressed, and the matter it is to contain.

As to the time, (with the due diffidence in my own opinion), I have some doubts whether it is not rather unfavourable to the issuing any manifesto, with regard to the intended government of France : and for this reason, that it is, (upon the principal point of our attack) a time of calamity and defeat. Manifestoes of this nature are commonly made when the army of some sovereign enters into the enemy's country in great force, and under the imposing authority of that force employs menaces towards those whom he desires to awe; and makes

promises

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promises to those whom he wishes to engage in his favour.

As to a party, what has been done at Toulon leaves no doubt, that the party for which we declare must be that which substantially declares for royalty as the basis of the government.

As to menaces --Nothing, in my opinion, can contribute more effectually to lower any sovereign in the publick estimation, and to turn his defeats into disgraces, than to threaten in a moment of impotence. The second manifesto of the duke of Brunswick appeared, therefore, to the world to be extremely ill-timed. However, if his menaces in that manifesto had been seasonable, they were not without an object. Great crimes then apprehended, and great evils then impending, were to be prevented. At this time, every act, which early menaces might possibly have prevented, is done. Punishment and vengeance alone remain, and God forbid that they should ever be forgotten. But the punishment of enormous offenders will not be the less severe, or the less exemplary, when it is not threatened at a moment when we have it not in our power to execute our threats. On the other side, to pass by proceedings of such a nefarious nature, in all kinds, as have been carried on in France, without any signification of resentment, would be in effect to ratify them; and thus to become accessaries after the fact, in all those enormities which it is impossible to repeat, or think of without horrour. An absolute silence appears to me to be at this time the only safe course.

The second usual matter of manifestoes is composed of promises to those who co-operate with our designs. These promises depend in a great measure, if not wholly, on the apparent power of the person who makes them to fulfil his engagements. A time of disaster on the part of the promiser, seems not to add much to the dignity of his person, or to the effect of his offers. One would hardly wish to seduce any unhappy persons to give the last provocation to a merciless tyranny, without very effectual means of protecting them.

The time, therefore, seems (as I said) not favourable to a general manifesto, on account of the unpleasant situation of our affairs. However, I write in a changing scene, when a measure, very imprudent to-day, may be very proper to-morrow. Some great victory may alter the whole state of the

question, so far as it regards our power of fulfilling any engagement we may think fit to make.

But there is another consideration of far greater importance for all the purposes of this manifesto. The publick, and the parties concerned, will look somewhat to the disposition of the promiser indicated by his conduct, as well as to his power of fulfilling his engagements. . Speaking of this nation as part of a general

combination

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