Sivut kuvina

their families, a part of what they earned in the week. They would not be so often intoxicated, nor consequently so liable to breed quarrels, and thus would they avoid the evils which spring from idleness and the cessation from innocent labour. At last, said he, if the bishops who formed the canons had seen taverns established, if they had foreseen all the disorders which idleness and the cessation from daily labour was to cause, they would have been content with the recitation of the mass, and the usual instruction of the morning."

O, you citizens, who, after having had the force to burst the chains with which the tyrants called kings, loaded your bodies, still have the weakness to bear patiently those which the tyrants called priests, have loaded your minds; you who, early bent under the yoke of sacerdotal prejudice, have not yet been able to regain the attitude which becomes men; you, in favour of whom principally, I have extracted the passage I have just repeated, and in which is seen the beneficent soul of its author-meditate, I conjure you; meditate upon the words of a priest, whose heart has been always a stranger to the imposture and hypocrisy of his cotemporaries in the cause of the church.

“On Sundays, said he, go to mass, hear the sermon, and return to your daily occupations.” If this doctrine was then impious heresy, contrary to the divine law, why did not the bishops condemn it? Why did not the Sorbonne censure it? Why did not the Vatican hurl its thunder-bolts upon the doctrine and upon its author? The silence which those modern pharisees then ob. served, was on their part, but an act of prudence. They were fearful to attack a man, who, with a bold hand, had dared to raise up one corner of the veil, lest in provoking him he should tear off their mask, and expose to the eyes of the irritated people their disgusting baseness. They kept their peace, but they well knew that the Sunday makers and keepers did not read the writings of philosophers; that the ordinances of that butchering king, Charles the Ninth, forbade all servile work on those days, under penalties which the citizens were afraid to incur ; and they little imagined, that one day a Temple, dedicated to Reason, would be erected upon the ruins of the Altar and the Throne, and that

a doctrine, destructive to their deceptions and falsehoods, would there be preached to regenerated men.

At any rate, the respectable authority of the Abbé St. Pierre, joined to the historic accounts which I have already given, are, without doubt, sufficient to open the eyes of the citizens who, with honest, well-meaning hearts, have lived until this time in ignorance and error. As for hypocrites, I am well convinced that my voice, like unto that of a man crying in the desert, will not be heard, and that truth will find all the avenues of their souls shut against her councils. They are not those weak and credulous citizens who want only to be enlightened ; they are villains, who, concealing personal interest under the mask of religion, would sacrifice the whole universe to accomplish the culpable desire they cherish of a chimerical counter-revolution.

But you, brave republicans, you, the force and honour of mankind, listen to a citizen, a friend, a brother, worthy of your confidence as he has no interest in leading you into error. He is not like those men who made use of the altar, only to live by the altar.

At the time of your harvests, he will not come to demand of you a part of the fruit of the sweat of your brows. At your marriages, he will not sell you the permission to have legitimate children. At their birth, he will not make you pay for a few drops of water. At your funerals, he will not rob your heirs of a part of their patrimony ; in a word, he will never come to demand of you, not even in quality of a present, a recompence for the trouble he shall have taken to instruct you.

Desist, cries that monitor, your conscience ; desist from slavishly following the traces of idolators and pagans. Desist from holding in such superstitious veneration a fête which was instituted and preserved only in favour of slavery. Now that slavery is no more-now that liberty triumphs, let the fête of slaves give place to that of freemen.t

Citizens, I speak to men, to Frenchmen, to republicans. We have all of us sworn, in the most solemn manner, always to suppress trranny, and to defend the cause of liberty with our last

+ The Decades.

I say all of us; for you perceive that I do not place in the rank of Frenchmen, not even in the rank of men, those monsters, the refuse of nature, a reproach to humanity, the scourge of France ; those tigers, whose sacrilegious wishes have called down at once upon our country, war, famive, slavery, death, and all the different species of public calamities. Do you, citizens, believe that vain, unfruitful sermons will acquit us of the great debt we have contracted with our common mother, our country? Do you believe the dormant zealot to be sincere? Do you believe we can regard as worthy to enjoy liberty that man, who, still disgusting with the smell of the mire of the marsh, in vain endeavours to reach the top of the mountain ?-No, citizens no ! He only, in my eyes, is worthy of the august title of republican, who, inspired with an ardent love for his country, thinks, acts and speaks only for her; who, placing his greatest hopes in her happiness, renders subordinate his sentiments, his passions, his interests, to her welfare; who, as the two Brutus' is ready to sacrifice to her the days of a son or of a father ; who, as Regulus or Le Peltier, is ready to sacrifice for her his own life; in short, who, as Fabius, is ready to sacrifice all, even his reputation, in defence of his country. And thou wouldest aspire to this title, thou pusilanimous man, who hast not even the fortitude to sacri. fice to thy country a ridiculous prejudice. You would aspire to that title, weak man, whose head is still filled with the romantic storics of your nurse, conceiting every moment you see the earth open before you, and those chimerical funeral piles of an imaginary hell, lighted for your punishment! No, you are not worthy of the title to which you aspire! you rather merit that in the day of its vengeance, the nation should blot you out with ignominy from the list of its citizens. But you, freemen, to whom I ad. dress myself, turn your wandering eyes upon our rising republic; what sight does she present to you !---At first you see her rising from the boson of political disturbances, rather let us say, from the busom of the virtues of the people and the crimes of the last tyrant. Soon the lightning glares, the thunder rolls round her cradle; every danger seems at once to besiege her childhood.Sometimes 'tis the frightful tempest of federalism, who in its

breath. I

cruel rage threatens to swallow her up. Sometimes that deadly apathy of moderatism, which, with its perfidious lukewarmness or indifference, endeavours to extinguish her vital priociples. On the one side are the combined tyrants, who have armed against her a pumerous phalanx of slaves; on the other are the villains who kindle around her the torches of fanaticism, and stir up the firebrands of civil war. In the back ground are seen those traitors, those infamous, sordid wretches, who barter for gold, even the blood of her intrepid defenders. I should never conclude, citizens, were I to endeavour to finish the sad description which I have but sketched.

Nearly overwhelmed with so many perils that beset her on all sides, the Republic, when nearly expiring, uttered a great cry, she called to your brothers, husbands and sons. They heard her, they ranged under her banners, flew to the field of honour, where victory accompanies them; they want for nothing but bread, which they ask of you, and you would wish to remain in a criminal state of inactivity! they request it of you, and their plaintive accents would fain strike your inattentive ears; they demand it from your hands, and your nervous arms, accomplices of Pitt and of Coburg, lanquish in culpable inaction!

No, citizens, no: we have all, I repeat it, we have all sworn to support the republic; let us always have the sacred promise deeply imprinted on our memories, and though we cannot all repair to the frontiers to risk our persons in her defence, at least upon our farms, in our cities, in our abodes, let us consecrate to her, every moment of our time, and let us shun the occasion of being able to say, even for once- my friends, I have lost a day!

It is thus, by dint of industry, we shall fill the vacancy in our agriculture and manufactures, occasioned by the absence of so many young warriors, whom the love of their country has ranged under the tri-cloured banner. It is thus that we shall be able to frustrate the machinations of those ferocious enemies who wish to see us a prey to all the horrors of famine—it is thus that at once victorous over the double tyranny of priests and kings, we shall shortly witness the triumphant republic trample under foot with disdain the crown and the mitre. But if there be still amongst us men, whose hearts, dried up by egotism and rendered insensible to the general good, men whose degraded minds are not touched with the great interest of public affairs ;-ah! at least, would I say to them, remain not insensible to the welfare of your own families, suffer yourselves to be affected with your personal interests, the pivot upon which your actions turn.

The day in which your vigorous arms, enslaved by a frivolous prejudice, refuse to work, is for you a day of loss, of expense, and crime. On the other hand, idleness conducts you to a tavern, there it almost alwars happens that you deliver yourselves over to detestable excesses; and, as the Abbé St. Pierre said, you there spend, to the great prejudice of your families, a part of what you carned the preceding day; happy still, if quarrels, disputes, imprudent conversations, effects 100 common of immoderate drinking, did not occasion wounds or punishments, which render you incapable, during some days, of earning your children bread.

Do not bring for excuse, the pretended commandments of God, or those of the church. You are no longer permitted to remain ignorant that Moses, who had God at his disposal, as Numa had the nymph Egune, and Mahomet, the holy spirit, has commanded the observance of Saturdays and not of Sundays.You cannot at this day be ignorant that the church, that pretended mother of whom we were the foster fathers, has made us drink deep of the cup of error and falsehood. If the proofs already given were insufficient to open your eyes, I could yet add a reason, the force of which equals its simplicity. The action of providing food for our fellow-beings is, without dispute, much more noble and christian-like than that of killing them ; notwithstanding, whilst the husbandman was forbid, under penalty of committing a mortal sin, to work in his fields on the holy Sundays, it was permitted to Catholic armies to give bloody battles without committing even a venial sin. But I wish to know by what strange overturning or metamorphosing of ideas, could the pretended infallible church tolerate on those days, the exercise of the cruel trade of butchering mankind, and forbid the peaceful exercise of that profession which procures them bread?

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