- A Discourse, &c.
- Thirty Millions of People In France. (page 49.)
- The Declaration of Rights, Which Has Been Agreed to By the National Assembly of France, and Sanctioned By the King, and Which Forms the Basis of the New Constitution of France, Contains Such an Authority For Some of the Sentiments In the Foregoing
- Declaration of the Rights of Men and of Citizens,
- Society For Commemorating the Glorious Revolution of 1668.
- Three Propositions Containing the Fundamental Principles of the Society:
- Published By the Same Author, and Printed For T. Cadell, In the Strand.
- Additions to Dr. Price’s Discourse On the Love of Our Country, Containing Communications From France Occasioned By the Congratulatory Address of the Revolution Society to the National Assembly of France, With the Answers to Them.
- Additions to the Appendix.
- Extract From a Letter of the Duke De Rochefoucauld to Dr. Price. — Dated Paris, December 2 D, 1789.
- Extract From the Votes of the National Assembly of France, of Wednesday the 25 Th of Nov. 1789, Transmitted By the Archbishop of Aix, President of the National Assembly, to Earl Stanhope, Chairman of the Revolution Society In London. Extrait
- Translation. Extract From the Votes of the National Assembly of Wednesday the 25 Th Nov. 1789.
- Letter From the Archbishop of Aix, President of the National Assembly, to Earl Stanhope, Chairman of the Revolution Society. (copy.)
- Resolution of Thanks From the Patriotic Society At Dijon, Transmitted By M. L’abbé Volfius, the Chairman, to Earl Stanhope, Chairman of the Revolution Society. Extrait Du Registre Des Deliberations Du Club Patriotique De Dijon.
- Translation. Extract From the Register of the Deliberations of the Patriotic Society of Dijon.
- Letter From the Members of the Patriotic Union of the Town and Castleward of Lisle, to the Chairman and Members of the Revolution Society In London. Copy.
- Note In Answer to the Archbishop of Aix’s Letter.
- Letter In Answer to the Letter From the Patriotic Society At Dijon.
- Letter In Answer to the Letter From the Members of the Patriotic Union of the Town of Lisle.
Additions to the Appendix.
AT the Anniversary Meeting of the Society for commemorating the Revolution in Great Britain held at the London Tavern, Nov. 4, 1789, Dr. Price moved, and it was unanimously resolved, that the following Congratulatory Address to the National Assembly of France, be transmitted to them, signed by the Chairman:
‘The Society for commemorating the Revolution in Great Britain, disdaining national partialities, and rejoicing in every triumph of liberty and justice over arbitrary power, offer to the National Assembly of France their congratulations on the Revolution in that country, and on the prospect it gives to the two first kingdoms in the world, of a common participation in the blessings of civil and religious liberty.
‘They cannot help adding their ardent wishes of a happy settlement of so important a Revolution, and at the same time expressing the particular satisfaction, with which they reflect on the tendency of the glorious example given in France to encourage other nations to assert the unalienable rights of mankind, and thereby to introduce a general reformation in the governments of Europe, and to make the world free and happy.
In pursuance of the resolution of the Society, this Congratulatory Address was conveyed to the Duke of Rochefoucauld at Paris, with a letter requesting him to present it to the National Assembly, and at the same time imtimating, that the Society considered the National Assembly as acting for the world as well as for the great kingdom it represented, and therefore hoped that their Address was not an improper intrusion; or, if it was, that it would be excused as an effusion of zeal in the cause of general liberty and human happiness which no considerations of impropriety had been able to suppress.
The following communications and letters will shew how highly the Society has been gratified by the favourable reception of its Address.
Extract from a Letter of theDuke de Rochefoucauldto Dr.Price.—Dated Paris, December 2d, 1789.
“C’etoit bien—au Dr. Price qui’l appartenoit de proposer une motion tendante à faire à cette Liberte le plus bel hommage, celui des préjugés nationaux. L’addresse de felicitation que le Comte de Stanhope a fait l’honneur au Duc de la Rochefoucauld de lui envoier a été reçue de l’Assemblée Nationale avec de viss applaudissemens. Elle y a vu l’aurore du beau jour ou deux nations qui se sont toujours estimées malgrè leurs divisions politiques, et malgrè la deversite de leurs gouvernemens, contracteront une liaison intime par la similitude de leurs opinions, et par leur enthousiasme commun pour la Liberté. Elle a charge son President d’ecrire au Ct. de Stanhope, mais les occupations multipliées de la Presidence n’aiant pas encore permis l’expedition de la lettre, le Duc de la Rochefoucauld s’empresse toujours d’avoir l’honeur de repondre au Docteur Price.—Heureux d’avoir ete choisi pour cette honorable commission, il en a rendu compte a l’Assemblée Nationale, et en lui presentant l’addresse il lui a fait connoitre les droits qu’avoit a son estime, & a l’estime de la nation Francoise une Société dont l’objet est aussi noble et aussi patriotique, &c. &c.
“It belonged to—Dr. Price to propose a motion tending to pay to liberty the fairest homage, that of national prejudices.—The address of congratulation which Earl Stanhope has done the Duke de la Rochefoucauld the honour to transmit to him, has been received by the National Assembly with lively applause. They have seen in that address the dawn of a glorious day, in which two nations who have always esteemed one another notwithstanding their political divisions and the diversity of their governments, shall contract an intimate union, founded on the similarity of their opinions and their common enthusiasm for liberty.—They have directed their President to write to Earl Stanhope; but the multiplicity of the business of the Presidency not having yet permitted the expediting of that letter, the Duke de la Rochefoucauld has not delayed to do himself the honour of writing to Dr. Price. Happy in having been chosen for such an honourable commission, he has rendered an account of it to the National Assembly; and, in presenting to them the address of a Society whose object is so noble and patriotic, he has acquainted them with the claim which it has to their esteem, and to the esteem of the whole French nation, &c. &c.
Extract from the Votes of the National Assembly ofFrance,of Wednesday the 25th of Nov. 1789, transmitted by theArchbishop of Aix,President of the National Assembly, to EarlStanhope,Chairman of the Revolution Society in London.
Extrait du Procés verbal de l’Assemblée Nationale du Mercridi 25me Novem. 1789.
Un membre a lu une adresse de felicitation de la part de la Société Angloise, appellée Société de la Revolution. L’assemblée vivement touchée de ce temoignage extraordinaire d’estime a exprimé sa satisfaction par de grands applaudissemens, et a décrété que M. le Président sera chargé d’ecrire à Milord Stanhope Président de la Société, une lettre dans la quelle il lui temoignera la vive et profonde sensibilité qu’a eprouvé l’Assemblée Nationale de France à la lecture de la declaration faite au nom de la Société de la Revolution d’Angleterre, la quelle respire les sentimens d’humanité et de bienveillance universelle qui doivent lier dans tous les pays du monde, les vrais amis de la Liberte et du bonheur des nations.
(Signé) L’ARCH. D’AIX,
President de l’Assemblée Nationale.
(L. S.) Le Vte. de Miræbeau,
(Contre Signé) Salomon de la Saugerie,
Extract from the Votes of the National Assembly of Wednesday the 25th Nov. 1789.
A member having read a Congratulatory Address of the English Society called the Revolution Society; the Assembly, deeply affected with this extraordinary proof of esteem, expressed its satisfaction by loud applause, and resolved that the President be directed to write a letter to Lord Stanhope, Chairman of the Society, expressing the lively and deep sensibility with which the National Assembly of France received the address of the Revolution Society in England, which breathes those sentiments of humanity and universal benevolence, that ought to unite together, in all countries of the world, the true friends of liberty and the happiness of mankind.
(Signed) THE ARCHBISHOP OF AIX,
President of the National Assembly.
Sealed with the Arms of the National Assembly of France.
(Counter-Signed) The Visc. de Miræbeau,
Salomon de la Saugerie.
Letter from theArchbishopofAix,President of the National Assembly, to EarlStanhope,Chairman of the Revolution Society.
AParis, ce 5me Decembre, 1789.
IL est digne, Milord, d’une Société célébre et d’un peuple heureux et libre de s’interesser à tous les progrés du bonheur et de la liberté publique.
Depuis long-tems la nation Française éxeroit l’empire de ses connaissances et de ses arts, elle dirigeoit son gouvernement par ses opinions, quand elle ne se gouvernoit pas encore elle même par ses loix.
Elle poursuivoit avec ardeur des vérités utiles, et répandant chaque jour la lumiere sur toutes les parties de son administration, elle sembloit entrainée, comme par un mouvement universel, aux changemens qui lui donnent sa consistance et sa force.
Un Roi que nous pouvons appeller le meilleur des hommes, et le premier des citoyens, encourageoit, par ses vertus, les espérances de sa nation, et maintenant, un concours unanime établit une constitution durable, sur les droits imprescriptibles des hommes et des citoyens.
“Il appartient sans doute à notre siécle, quand la raison s’étend avec la liberté, de faire disparoitre à jamais les haines et les rivalites nationales: il ne faut pas que les guerres, ces erreurs de gouvernemens, soient l’éffet des préjugés que sont les vices des nations, et les deux peuples, les plus instruits de l’Europe, doivent montrer par leur éxemple, que l’amour de la patrie s’accorde avec tous les sentimens de l’humanité.
“L’Assemblée Nationale a reconnu dans l’Adresse de la Société de la Revolution d’Angleterre, ces principes de bienveillance universelle qui doivent lier, dans tous les pays du monde, les vrais amis du bonheur, et de la liberté des nations: Elle a consigné les témoignages, de sa vive et profonde sensibilité, dans une délibération solemnelle, qu’elle me charge de vous communiquer.
Reçevez les assurances de tous les sentimens, avec les quels, l’ai l’honneur d’être,
Votre trés humble,
Et tres obéisant serviteur,
(Signé) L’ARCH. d’AIX,
President de l’Assemblée Nationale.
Paris,the 5th December, 1789.
IT is worthy, my Lord, of a celebrated Society, and of an happy and free people, to interest themselves in the progress of public liberty and happiness.
The French nation has long been improving in knowledge and arts; and its government was directed by opinions derived from them even before the country governed itself by the laws which they dictated.
The nation pursued with ardour useful truths, and daily diffusing light over every branch of the administration, it appeared to be carried, as by an universal impulse, to those changes which now give it strength and stability.
A King whom we may call the best of men, and the first of citizens, encouraged by his virtues the hopes of the nation, and now, by universal concurrence, a durable constitution is established, founded on the unalienable rights of men and citizens.
It undoubtedly belongs to our age, in which reason and liberty are extending themselves together, to extinguish for ever national hatred and rivalship.
We must not allow the prejudices which disgrace nations to produce wars, those errors of governments. But the two most enlightened people of Europe ought to shew, by their example, that the love of their country is perfectly compatible with every sentiment of humanity.
The National Assembly discovers in the Address of the Revolution Society of England, those principles of universal benevolence which ought to bind together, in all countries of the world, the true friends to the happiness and liberty of mankind.
The National Assembly has given the most undeniable testimony of its strong and deep sense of this truth, by the solemn vote which it has directed me to communicate to you.
Accept the assurance of those sentiments with which I have the honour to be,
Your most humble,
And most obedient servant,
The ARCHBISHOP of AIX,
President of the National Assembly.
To Lord Stanhope, Chairman
of the Revolution Society.
Resolution of Thanks from the Patriotic Society at Dijon, transmitted by M. l’AbbéVolfius,the Chairman, to EarlStanhope,Chairman of the Revolution Society.
Extrait du Registre des Deliberations du Club Patriotique de Dijon.
Séance du Lundi,
M. M. l’Abbe Volfius, President.
Navier; de Morveau; Mazuyé, Medccin; Mazuyé, Avocat; Gouget, Primé; Dezé; Larché, Vaudrey; Gillotte; Villiers; Chamy; Durande fils; Bazire, cadet; Renaud; Leroux: Vaillant, ainé; Purverié; Muzard; Maret; Gouget-Dessandres; Jacotot; et Vaillant, cadet; presens.
M. Navier a dit:
L’ADRESSE de felicitation, envoiée à l’Assemblèe Nationale de France, par la Société de la Révolution de Londres, a excité votre admiration et celle de tous les vrais amis bu bonheur public. Des Anglois qui dédaignent les préventions nationales, et qui applaudissent aux efforts de leurs rivaux, pour secouer le joug du pouvoir abitraire, présentent un spectacle sur le quel les philosophes attentiss aux progrès de l’esprit humain, ne peuvent pas manquer de fixer leurs regards.
Telle est donc la victoire remportée par la raison et la philantrophie sur les prejuges et les jalousies populaires, que nous avons lieu d’esperer désormais que tous les peuples oubliant des interêts partiels s’incourageront mutuellement à la conquéte de la liberté, et qu’ainsi, dans toutes les parties de l’Europe, l’homme sera bientot reintégré dans des droits que le despotisme a bien pû enchainer pour un temps, mais qu’il n’est point en son pouvoir d’anéantir.
Pourquoi craindrions-nous le l’avouer, Messieurs? La revolution qui s’opere aujourd’hui dans notre patrie, est due surtout à l’exemple que l’Angleterre nous a donné depuis un siecle. C’est du jour où nous avons appris à connaitre la constitution politique de cette Isle, et les prospérités que l’accompagnent, que notre haine pour le despotisme a pris une veritable énergie. En assurant leur bonheur, les Angloises ont préparé celui de l’Univers. Tandis que de toutes parts, les tyrans s’éfforçaient d’eteindre le feu sacré de la liberte, nos voisins veillaient avec un soin courageux, à l’entretenir toujours dans leur sein. Nous en avons recueilli des étincelles bienfaisantes; et ce feu embrasant toutes les ames, va, dans l’Europe entiere, reduire pour jamais en cendres les liens dont le despotisme accablait les nations.
Rendons à nos voisins le juste tribut de reconnaissance que les amis d’humanité ne doivent point refuser aux plus zelés deffenseurs de ses droits. Que la Société de la Révolution apprenne que les Français ont été sensiblement touchés des felicitations qu’elle a adressés à l’Assemblée Nationale; Que ces vertueux philantrophes ne doutent plus du succes de leurs vœux, en voiant les habitans des provinces, le disputer à ceux de la capitale, dans l’amour ardent de la liberté.
La matiere mise en délibération; le Club Patriotique considerant qu’il entre parfaitement dans l’objet de son institution de manifester en toute occasion, le zéle de ses membres, pour l’accomplissement d’une révolution de la quelle dépend le bonheur de la nation; que l’Adresse de la Société de la Révolution à l’Assemblée Nationale, est un acte memorable qui mérite la reconnaissance de tous les Français; que le plus sûr moien d’assurer la félicité des peuples est de multiplier entre-eux les témoignages des sentimens d’union fraternelle qui doivent animer reciproquement des hommes égaux en droits, et vivans sous une constitution libre:
Le Club a délibéré unanimement que la Société de la Révolution serait priéré d’agréer l’expression de la sensibilité vive et reconnaissante dont il a été touché à la lecture de l’acte dans le quel la Société a si dignement manifesté l’interêt qu’elle prend aux efforts de la nation Française, pour obtenir une constitution qui lui fasse partager avec le peuple Anglais les grands biens attachés à la liberté: Le Club ne desirant rien avec tant d’ardeur, que de voir regner entre les deux nations la concorde fraternelle sans la quelle elles perdraient les fruits de cette liberté précieuse dont elles se sont montrées dignes.
Arrêté en outre que copie de la presente délibération sera envoiée par M. le Président à la Société de la Révolution de Londres.
(Signé au Régistre.) VOLFIUS.
(Copie.) Vaillant, Cadet.
Secretaire du Club Patriotique
Extract from the Register of the Deliberations of the Patriotic Society of Dijon.
At the Meeting held on Monday, Nov. 30, 1789.
Mr. L’Abbe Volfius, President.
Navier, &c. present.
Mr. Navier made the following Speech:
“THE Congratulatory Address sent to the National Assembly of France, by the Revolution Society of London, has excited your admiration, and that of every true friend of the public welfare.
“Englishmen disdaining national prejudices, and applauding the efforts of their rivals to shake off the yoke of arbitrary power, present a spectacle which philosophers, attentive to the progress of the human mind, cannot fail to contemplate with pleasure.
“Such then is the victory obtained by reason and philanthropy over popular prejudices and jealousies, that we have now cause to hope that all nations forgetting partial interests, will mutually encourage each other in the attainment of liberty; and that thus, throughout Europe, mankind will be shortly restored to those rights of which despotism has deprived them for a time, but which it never could annihilate.
“Why should we be ashamed, Gentlemen, to acknowledge that the Revolution which is now establishing itself in our country, is owing to the example given by England a century ago?
“It was from that day we became acquainted with the political constitution of that island, and the prosperity with which it was accompanied; it was from that day our hatred of despotism derived its energy. In securing their own happiness, Englishmen have prepared the way for that of the universe. Whilst on all sides tyrants were attempting to extinguish the sacred flame of liberty, our neighbours with intrepid watchfulness and care cherished it in their bosoms. We have caught some of these salutary sparks; and this fire enflaming every mind, is extending itself over all Europe, for ever to reduce to ashes those shackles with which despotism has oppressed mankind.
“Let us render to our neighbours that just tribute of gratitude which the friends of mankind ought never to refuse to the most zealous defenders of its rights.
“Let the Revolution Society know that Frenchmen have been sensibly affected by the congratulations which it has addressed to the National Assembly, that these virtuous philanthropists, seeing the inhabitants of the provinces vying with those of the metropolis in the ardent love of liberty, may be in no doubt about the attainment of their wishes.”
The subject having been debated, the Patriotic Society considering—that it is perfectly consistent with the object of its institution to manifest on every occasion, the zeal of its members for accomplishing a revolution on which depends the welfare of the nation;—that the address from the Revolution Society to the National Assembly is a memorable act, which deserves the gratitude of every Frenchman; and that the surest means to secure the happiness of different nations is to multiply between them those proofs of a fraternal union of sentiment which ought reciprocally to animate men equal in rights and happy in the enjoyment of the advantages of a free constitution:
It was therefore unanimously agreed, that the Revolution Society should be entreated to accept the effusions of lively sensibility and gratitude with which this Society was animated at the reading of the Address in which that Society has so worthily manifested the interest it takes in the efforts of the French nation, to establish a constitution which will enable it to be a partaker with the English people in the very great blessings attached to freedom: and that it desires nothing more ardently than to see fraternal concord established between the two nations, without which they would both lose the fruits of that precious freedom of which they have proved themselves so worthy.
Resolved also, that a Copy of the present resolution shall be sent by the President to the Revolution Society of London.
(The Register Signed) VOLFIUS.
(Extract Signed) Valiant Jun.
Secretary of the Patriotic Society of Dijon.
Letter from the Members of the Patriotic Union of the Town and Castleward ofLisle,to the Chairman and Members of the Revolution Society in London.
Si rien n’est plus capable de flatter l’Assemblée Nationale de la France, que vos applaudissemens à son ouvrage, rien, en même tems, n’est plus propre que votre jugement, à nous en garantir le succés. Il faut l’avouer, Messieurs, en Politique comme en Philosophie, vous etes les maitres et les modéles de toute la terre. C’est chez vous, oui, c’est dans votre ile fortunée, que la liberté, combattuë, repoussée de toutes parts par le despotisme, a trouvé un azile sacré, et si la France va, enfin, jouir de ce bien précieux, elle en sera peutêtre plus redevable à votre nation qu’à elle même; car, si nous n’avoins été encouragés par votre exemple, et èclairés par votre experience, nous serions peut-être encore bien éloignés de rompre les chaines sous les quelles nous etions courbés, et nous gémerions encore sous ce joug odieux qui tirannise et reserre les facultés de l’homme, qui commande à la pensée, qui dégrade son essence, je veux dire, l’empire des préjugés et de la superstition.
La noblesse de votre procédé à l’egard des Français, en les forçant au respect et à la reconnaissance, prouve à la fois à l’Europe entiere, que la jalousie, les injustes rivalités, et toutes les petites passions basses ne trouvent point d’accés dans l’ame élevée des Philosophes amis de la libérté.
Agréez les remercimens particuliers d’une association d’hommes, admirateurs de votre générosité, et soyez persuadés des sentimens de respect, avec les quels, nous avons l’honneur d’être,
Vos trés humbles, et trés
Les Membres de l’Union Patriote des
Ville et Chatellenie de Lille.
Lillele 26me. Nov. 1789.
M. M. Les Président, et Membres du
Club, de la Revolution. Londres.
AS nothing is more flattering to the National Assembly of France than your approbation of its proceedings, so nothing at the same time is more proper than your judgment to secure the success of them. It must be owned, Gentlemen, that in politics as in philosophy, you are the instructors and examples of the whole world. It is among you, yes, it is in your favoured isle, that liberty every where attacked and trampled upon by despotism has found a sacred asylum, and if France should obtain that invaluable blessing, she will perhaps be more indebted for it to your nation than to herself; for if we had not been encouraged by your example, and enlightened by your experience, we might yet perhaps have been unable to break those chains under which we were bowed down, and we should still have groaned under that odious yoke (the empire of prejudices and superstition) which tyrannizes over and cramps the faculties of man, enslaves his mind, and degrades his nature.
Your noble conduct towards the French nation demands both our respect and gratitude, and at the same time demonstrates to all Europe, that jealousy, unjust rivalship, and base passions are incapable of finding access to the exalted minds of philosophers, friends of liberty.
Accept the particular thanks of an association of men, admirers of your generosity; and be persuaded of the sentiments of respect with which we have the honour to be,
Your very humble and very obedient servants,
The Members of the Patriotic Union of the
Town and Castle Ward of Lille.
Lille, 26 Nov. 1789.
It will be astonishing if any person, who has within him a spark of zeal for liberty and human happiness, should be able to read these papers without delight. They prove the truth of the observation in the note, p. 30. We see in them (to use the language of the excellent Duke de Rochefoucauld) the dawn of a glorious day—of a day when (should sentiments congenial to those in France prevail in Britain) two nations at the head of the world, convinced of the folly of wars and laying aside all jealousies, shall embrace one another, and form a fraternal and intimate union, not for the vile purposes of avarice and conquest, but to spread the knowledge of human rights, to extend the blessings of justice and liberty, and to promote peace on earth and good will among men.
The following answers to these communications have been ordered by the Revolution Society:
Note in answer to the Archbishop ofAix’sLetter.
The members of the Revolution Society in London request the Archbishop of Aix’s acceptance of their best thanks for the letter which he has directed to Earl Stanhope their Chairman, and for conveying to them the Vote of the National Assembly of France. They could scarcely have received a higher satisfaction than has been given them by the Archbishop’s letter, and the condescending notice with which the National Assembly has been pleased to honour their Congratulatory Address. They feel particularly the justice which this august assembly has done them, by imputing their address to the influence of those principles of universal benevolence which ought in all countries to bind together the friends of human liberty and happiness. Their hearts are warmed with these principles; and they desire nothing so earnestly as that the time may soon come when they shall so possess every human heart as to put an end to all jealousies between nations, exterminate oppression and slavery, and cause wars, those dreadful errors of governments, to cease in all the earth. They exult in the prospect of such a time, which seems to be opening, and with which the proceedings of the National Assembly of France promise to bless mankind.
The Revolution Society cannot avoid taking this occasion to add, that among the important benefits of the Revolution in France, they reckon its tendency to afford a salutary instruction to Kings. They learn with pleasure that the People of France are happy in a King who has encouraged them by his virtues in recovering their rights, and been on this account justly crowned with the title of the Restorer of French Liberty. This elevates him to the highest pinnacle of glory. The despots of the world must now see their folly. This example must shew them that they can never be so great or happy, or truly powerful, as by renouncing despotic power, and being placed (like the Kings of France and England) at the head of an enlightened people and free constitutions of government?
Signed by Earl Stanhope, in the name of the Society.
Letter in answer to the Letter from the Patriotic Society at Dijon.
To Mr. l’AbbéVolfius,President of the Patriotic Society atDijon.
THE Revolution Society in London have received with the highest pleasure the Resolution of Thanks which you have transmitted to them from the Patriotic Club at Dijon. They are delighted with the Speech of Mr. Navier; and they concur heartily in the wishes expressed by him, and the other members of the Patriotic Club, of a Fraternal Union between this country and theirs. Among the benefits of the revolution in France they reckon its tendency to produce such an union, founded on a common participation in the blessings of liberty, and an extension of those principles of justice and reverence for human rights which are now guiding the proceedings of the National Assembly of France, and making them a glorious example to the world.
Such without doubt will be the issue of this revolution, should that ardor of universal benevolence which the members of the Revolution Society in London feel in their own hearts, possess the hearts of all their countrymen.
May Heaven bless the world with an union so desirable, and suffer no partial interests or popular violences to prevent the citizens of France from enjoying all the blessings that can be derived from a wise, and equitable, and free constitution of government!
Under a grateful sense of the attention with which the Society of which you are President has honoured the Revolution Society, and with the greatest respect, I am, Sir, &c.
Signed by Earl Stanhope, Chairman,
in the name of the Society.
Letter in answer to the Letter from the Members of the Patriotic Union of the Town ofLisle.
To the Members of the Patriotic Union of the Town of Liste.
ACCEPT our gratitude for the very obliging letter with which you have honoured us. Our Congratulatory Address to the National Assembly of France was derived from the warmest zeal in the general cause of liberty and human happiness; and we have been highly gratified by the favourable manner in which it has been received. Considering ourselves more as citizens of the world than as members of any particular community, we cannot but rejoice in every event by which this sacred cause gains a triumph over arbitrary power and oppression. The late revolution in your country is an event of this kind wonderful and unparalleled. It was not possible we should hear of it without the liveliest feelings of delight and exultation; nor could we, without doing violence to ourselves, avoid expressing these feelings, and aspiring to the honour of being known to the people of France, and acquainting them with our admiration of them as an enlightened people, who with a spirit and unanimity never before known in so vast a kingdom, and that seemed like an inspiration from heaven, had shaken off the odious yoke of despotism, asserted and recovered the rights of men, and made themselves joint partakers with us in the invaluable blessings of civil and religious liberty.
We cannot help adding on this occasion, that we admire the liberality of the members of the Patriotic Union of Lisle in ascribing the deliverance of France to the example of England; and that it is with pleasure we reflect that an acknowledgment so candid and generous is not altogether without foundation. Britain has undoubtedly ever since the æra of its own Revolution been a most distinguished and favoured kingdom, and held out to the world an example of national dignity and happiness derived from the possession of liberty, which has instructed other kingdoms. But our regard to truth requires us, at the same time that we thus boast, to acknowledge that now the time seems to be arrived when we shall lose this honourable distinction. France is taking the lead; and Britain will be left behind, if not provoked by the example of France to correct abuses that are every day growing more palpable; and, in particular, to substitute for its present partial and imperfect representation such an equal and pure representation as our brethren in France are likely to enjoy.
With sentiments of the warmest esteem, we are,
Your most obedient and humble Servants,
The Members of the
Revolution Society in London.