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In the translatobably given onversation withad read a little
In the translation noticed in the preceding article, the sense of the passages is probably given more accurately as follows:
This man entered into conversation with me while I took some refreshment, and, perceiving that I had read a little, he expressed towards me considerable interest and friendship. Some volumes against Deism fell into my hands : they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lecture. It was in folio, on pro patria paper, and in the pica letter, with heavy notes on the smallest type.
The continuation of the life of Franklin, and the subsequent papers, are compiled, with no great degree either of judgment in the selection, or of care in the arrangement, chiefly from the Doctor's works, and from French publications. Among the more valuable articles, are Condorcet's character of Dr. Frank. lin, and the Abbé Fauchet's Eulogium on this truly great Man.
Art. XIV. Democratic Rage, or Louis the Unfortunate, a Tragedy.
By William Preston, Esq. 8vo. pp. 91. is. 6d. Miller. 1793. The author of this political tragedy certainly had not accu.
1 rately examined on which fide he intended to write. In general, he supposes himself a very sincere and zealous aristo. crat: but, when declaiming in the character of Sieyes, he exiends his views so undauntedly as almost, we suspect, to con. vert himself. Let him speak in his own behalf:
Act. IV. Scene III.
. Enter Kersaint, with Sieyes.''
· SIEYES. - 'Tis not a time to ponder what were berts
If men were free to chuse, we muit select
Amidit a choice of ills, and call it wisdom;
Such various motives and discordant aims
Divide th’ Allembly, where the jarring atoms
And embryon elements of action mix.
Ev’n virtuous, wise, and patriotic minds
Most strangely differ, as the diff'rent force
Of birth, profesion, education, studies,
Habits of life, pursuits, and temper lead.
It much imports the honest few to guard
Each avenue, that, to the public mind, .
An access yields; lest knaves and fools obtain
Supreme and fatal sway. -
KERSAINT.- And why is this, that nature teemś with ill ?
Why tow’rs the poison plant infecting air ?
Why form the hooded Inake, the crocodile,
The tyger, the hyena, and Marat?
Marat-an aggregate of every crime,
A summary of noxious properties,
Horror and guilt with brand indelible
Have mark'd him for their own, with giance oblique,
Scowl in his downčaft eye, and add a gloom
To his dark visage; the tumultuous workings
Of his volcanic mind, thro’ face and limbs
Distorted hideously, convulsions spread,
Yet thus distorted cannot they express
The strange obliquities, the wild distortions
Of monster-breeding fancy. 'Tis most strange,
This minature of horror should poffels
The gen’ral confidence, when nature's tongue
In ev'ry feature and in ev'ry limb,
So plainly cries “ beware.” .
Sieyes.—The voice of reason
Again shall reach our hearts. We then shall mourn
Our wild excesses, and with hatred view
The fatal instruments that urg'd us on
To drown the civic wreath in royal blood.
I can predict the downfall of these men
Whose word is now a law, whose frown is death. .
Virtue mean time nor shrinks, nor quits the bark,
As of the state despairing; 'tis her boast
And noblest pride to combat difficulties,
Wrestle with danger, and despise the praise
That living tongues may lavish. We are call'd
To double efforts ; and the less our hope
The more our duty, with our best exertions
To labour for the state, the more our praise;
Succeeding in those efforts, and the more
'Those efforts failing, is the consolation
That shall endear our fall, if heav'n should doom us. .
To seal with blood our civic piety.
KERSAINT.—The state is too unwieldy, and too vast
For democratic sway; the huge machine
Demands a single head. The luxury
Of crowded Paris, and the capitals
That vie with Paris in our provinces,
Hath indispos'd us for the fober forms
And self-denials of a common weal,
That needs a grave and hallow'd character,
Where patriot wisdom, on the solid base
Of private virtues, builds with happy hand
The glorious structure of the public good.-- .
And what are we that emulate the Romans ?
A skipping, dancing, dissipated crew,
With bursts of wild ferocious levity.
"Sreyes.- Thy censure is unjuft; our nation boalls
Th’exalted aims and comprehensive views
Of mild philosophy, with lib'ral arms
Embracing all mankind-the statesman's kill
In council and in treaty-science led
From the sequester’d lamp and barren toils,
To wed with commerce in productive union
And great inventions both for peace and war,
Are their glad progeny, Among the crowd,
If luxury prevail and levity,
Blame a corrrupted court, from age to age
With base examples of unblushing vice,
And wild extravagance exhausting art,
Tainting the public eyes and pablic mind
With gross pollutions, çanft thou wonder then,
If yet some Atains are found ? the foes of freedom
With triumph mark them, and on freedom charge
What want of freedom caus'd.
• Ker'SAINT.-Assert thyself.
Profound research and a commanding soul
Are thine; and vilt thou stoop to practise arts
That dignify such things as Robespierre ?
Resist with firmness the vile populace;
Oppose thy bosom to the roaring torrent.--
Were glorious talents, philofophic views,
And mild humanity ordain'd to follow
The guidance of the rabble ?
•S12Yes. Yet, my friend,
That guiding rabble is conjoin'd by fate
With freedom's cause,
KERSAINT.-Then desperate is that cause
Jf such support it needs--a worthless rabble,
The ministers of luxury, the spawn
Of dissipation join'd with sudden famine !
! S1EYES.- We may not all at once the habits form
That flow from steady freedom. It will need
Experience, time, and chief, calamity,
That Atern but useful teacher, to restrain
The wild exub'rance and impatient warmth
Of public mind, intoxicated now
With copious draughts of power ; but we shall see
A British spirit fill the Gallic breast.
As yet their liberty, like sumptuous garments
Giv’n 10 some mendicant, reltrains and galls
• KERSAINT.-True, the past oppreffon
Disfigured and embruted human kind;.
Proferibing free research and lib'ral thought,
And virtuous motive, binding up the tongue
In abjeet terror, that the feast of reason
And holy interchange of mind with mind
Were bere unknown; and frivolous delights,
The dice, the dance, and vague licentious love,
Were call'd in aid to banish riling thought
That told men they were slaves ; and idle noise
And mirth diffembled drown'd the hated cry
Of jealous despotism, resounding ever
In tones severe and hollow, to the fears,
Freezing the heart's warm currents as they flow'd. --
But why should Louis expiate the crimes
Of tyrants that preceded : -We are witness
He meekly bore his faculties, and lean'd
To wholesome counsels,
• SIEYES. I know it--but the common herd retain
A savage mem'ry of the past opprellions ;
Hence their exceffes, hence the mournful watte
Of noble blood.— Ye rulers of mankind,
Oh, never drive the people to despair:
Feed them with hope and they will much endure,
Still teach them to look upward to their king
For cure of evils ; let them not be taught
To right themselves and know their dangerous strength,
A fatal secret for the governor,
And for the crowd themselves; for that once known,
Firit they remove their wrongs and grievances,
They next secure their rights; but this perform’d,
Good in itself, injurious in the means,
They reft not here content, but, flush'd with conquest,
From bond-llaves, they commence insulting tyrants,
And use their pow'r wich infolence, proportion's
To their past abject ftate.
• KERSAINT.-The death of Louis
Would blot the Gallic fame to latest times.-
May we not hope by timely oppofition
To ftem the people's rage? Will they not feel .
His peaceful virtues ? will they not recall
His large concessions to the public voice?
• Sueyes.- Marat prevails, and all attempts are vain
To save his destin'd life; ruin to us,
Perdition to our country, waits th' attempt,
The crowd demand a vi&im ; we shall perish
After a vain attempt to stem che torrent
With him wę Mould preserve. We must retain
The public confidence, our only hope
In this conjạncture; better yield a while
To wind and tide, and deviate from the course
That brings the veslel to her deitin'd port,
Than by impatience drive her on the rocks
Where certain thipwrecks wait her; better join
The people ev'n in wrong, that we may turn them
From wrongs yet greater, and their own perdition,
Than by desertion in the fatal hour
Hazard the loss of all. To guide the people
We must not only seem to follow them,
But yield in part to do so. Confidence,
If by complacence won, and confidence
Confirm’d by use, becomes authority,
·KERSAINT.--Miitaken hope, to rule the populace
By yielding to their rage! This fatal act
Will scatter wide the seeds of civil war.
And Mall this land, the seat of polith'd arts,
And mild philosophy, and social joys,
Become the residence of brutal rage,
Devouring anarchy, and deadly carnage ? -
: SLEYES.-Despond not thus ;- our civic bands sublim'd
By bright enthusiastic sirc, will brave
Danger, and want, and raging elements,
With daring more than human.
• KERSAINT.-Surrounded as we are by puissant foes,
We need the rule of one ; the times demand
A summary and vig’rous promptitude,
A brief and dextrous secrecy in council,
A calm and rapid concert in the field;
Such as we may not hope from loud debate,
Manag'd by theorists and demagogues
In mix'd tumultuous meetings.
SLEYES.- We must own
If ancient maxims are receiv'd ou trust,
That wide extended states by monarchy
Are best administer'd ;-but future times
Shall see th' example of our common-weal.
Refute the prejudice, and give an instance
Of vigour, secrecy, and promptitude,
Surpailing all belief.
KERSAINT. I would preserve
The kingly pow's as true support of freedom;
Calm, sober freedom, not licentious rage,
Verging to tyranny in the worst form.
Our Maker tells us that supremacy'
Should be concenter'd in a narrow space, .
And rais'd aloft conspicuous; thus we see,
The ruling head surmounts the graceful fabric
Of man, divinely form’d within itself,
Comprising sense and life; imperial source
Of thought, volition, reason, fantasy;
Sovercign to sway, and provident to guide
Each vital function with unquestion'd pow'r
And kingly promptitude, it sends abroad
lis mighty mandates thro' th' obedient limbs,
STEYES.--If thou would'st argue from the works of nature,
They speak more strongly for a common-weal. -
Nature's great author in his works hath taught us
That elements Mould mix, and adverse pow'rs
Temper each other; in all kinds that breathe
And live, and ev’n in things unorganiz'd