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and that a turbulent faction was forming among the people that would first enslave and ultimately overwhelm even the convention itself.
Mr. Paine’s opinion upon this subject was always the same, and in 1804 he thus speaks it: “With respect to the revolution, it was
begun by good men, on good principles, and “ I have ever believed it would have gone
on so had not the provocative interference “ of foreign powers distracted it into madness “ and sown jealousies among the leaders. The “ people of England have now two revolutions, " the American and the French, before them. 6 Their own wisdom will direct them what to “ choose and what to avoid, and in every thing “ which relates to their happiness, combined “ with the common good of mankind, I wish " them honour and success."
Mr. Paine's memorable speech against the death of the king, is, or ought to be, in every body's hands. It was as follows:
“ Citizen President: My hatred and abhorrence of absolute monarchy are sufficiently known; they originate in principles of reason and conviction, nor, except with life, can they ever be extirpated; but my compassion for the unfortunate, whether friend or enemy, is equally lively and sincere.
“ I voted that Louis should be tried, because it was necessary to afford proofs to the world of the perfidy, corruption, and abomination of the French government.
• The infinity of evidence that has been produced exposes them in the most glaring and hideous colours.
“ Nevertheless I am inclined to believe that if Louis Capet had been born in an obscure condition, had he lived within the circle of an amiable and respectable neighbourhood, at liberty to practise the duties of domestic life, had he been thus situated I cannot believe that he would have shewn himself destitute of social virtues; we are, in a moment of fermentation like this, naturally little indulgent to his vices, or rather to those of his government; we regard them with additional horror and indignation ; not that they are more heinous than those of his predecessors, but because our eyes are now open, and the veil of delusion at length withdrawn; yet the lamentable degraded state to which he is actually reduced is surely far less imputable to him than to the constituent assembly which, of its own authority, without consent or advice of the people, restored him to the throne.
“ I was present at the time of the flight or abdication of Louis XVI, and when he was taken and brought back. The proposal of restoring to him the supreme power struck me with amazement; and although at that time I was not a citizen, yet as a citizen of the world I employed all the efforts that depended on me to prevent it.
“ A small society, composed only of five persons, two of whom are now members of the convention, took at that time the name of the Republican Club (Société Republicaine). This society opposed the restoration of Louis, not so much on account of his personal offences, as in order to overthrow monarchy, and to erect on its ruins the republican system and an equal representation.
“ With this design I traced out in the English language certain propositions which were translated, with some trifling alteration, and signed by Achilles Duchelclet, lieutenantgeneral in the army of the French republic, and at that time one of the five members which composed our little party; the law requiring the signature of a citizen at the bottom of each printed paper.
paper was indignantly torn by Malonet, and brought forth in this very room as an article of accusation against the person who had signed it, the author, and their adherents; but such is the revolution of events that this
paper is now revived, and brought forth for a very opposite purpose.
" To remind the nation of the error of that unfortunate day, that fatal error of not having then banished Louis XVI from its bosom, the paper in question was conceived in the following terms; and I bring it forward this day to plead in favor of his exile preferably to his death.
“ • Brethren, and fellow Citizens : The serene tranquillity, the mutual confidence which pre' vailed amongst us during the time of the late
king's escape, the indifference with which we 'beheld him return, are unequivocal proofs that the absence of the king is more desirable than his presence, and that he is not only a political * superfluity but a grievous burthen pressing hard on the whole nation.
“Let us not be imposed on by sophisms: all that concerns this man is reduced to four points. · He has abdicated the throne in having fled from ' his post. Abdication and desertion are not characterized by length of absence, but by ‘ the single act of flight. In the present in
stance the act is every thing, and the time ' nothing.
· The nation can never give back its * confidence to a man who, false to his trust, 'perjured to his oath, conspires a clandestine ' flight, obtains a fraudulent passport, conceals