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'a king of France under the disguise of a 'valet, directs his course towards a frontier 'covered with traitors and deserters, and evi'dently meditates a return into our country 'with a force capable of imposing his- own 'despotic laws. Ought his flight to be con'sidered as his own act, or the act of those who 'fled with him? Was it a spontaneous resolution 'of his own, or was it inspired into him 'by others? The alternative is immaterial: 'whether fool or hypocrite, idiot or trai'tor, he has proved himself equally un'worthy of the vast and important functions • that had been delegated to him.
"' In every sense that the question can be 'considered the reciprocal obligations which 'subsisted between us are dissolved. He holds 'no longer authority; we owe him no longer 'obedience; we see in him no more than an 'indifferent person; we can regard him only 'as Louis Capet.
"' The history of France presents little 'else than a long series of public calamity 'which takes its source from the vices of her * kings: we have been the wretched victims 'that have never ceased to suffer either for 'them or by them. The catalogue of their 'oppressions was complete, but to complete 'the sum of their crimes treason was yet 'wanting; now the only vacancy is filled up, 'the dreadful list is full; the system is ex'hausted; there are no remaining errors for 'them to commit, their reign is consequently 'at an end.
"'As to the personal safety of Mr. Louis 1 Capet, it is so much the more confirmed, as 'France will not stop to degrade herself by a
* spirit of revenge against a wretch who has 'dishonored himself. In defending a just and 'glorious cause it is not possible to degrade it; 'and the universal tranquillity which prevails is 'an undeniable proof that a free people know 'how to respect themselves.'
"Having thus explained the principles and exertions of the republicans at that fatal period when Louis was reinstated in full possession of the executive power which by his flight had been suspended, I return to the subject, and to the deplorable condition in which the man is now actually involved. What was neglected at the time of which I have been speaking has been since brought about by the force of necessity.
"The wilful treacherous defects in the former constitution have been brought to light, the continual alarm of treason and conspiracy rouzed the nation and produced eventfully a second revolution. The people have beat down royalty, never, never to rise again; they have brought Louis Capet to the bar, and demonstrated in the face of the whole world, the intrigues, the cabals, the falsehood, corruption, and rooted depravity of his government: there remains then only one question to be considered, what is to be done with this man?
"For myself, I freely confess that when I reflect on the unaccountable folly that restored the executive power to his hands, all covered as he was with perjuries and treason, I am far more ready to condemn
the constituent assembly than the unfortunate prisoner Louis Capet.
"But, abstracted from every other consideration, there is one circumstance in his life which ought to cover or at least to palliate a great number of his transgressions, and this very circumstance affords the French nation a blessed occasion of extricating itself from the yoke of its kings without defiling itself in the impurities of their blood.
"It is to France alone, I know that the United States of America owe that support which enabled them to shake off an unjust and tyrannical yoke. The ardour and zeal which she displayed to provide both men and money were the natural consequences of a thirst for liberty. But as the nation at that time, restrained by the shackles of her own government, could only act by means of a monarchical organ, this organ, whatever in other respects the object might be, certainly performed a good, a great action.
"Let then these United States be the safeguard and asylum of Louis Capet. There, hereafter, far removed from the miseries and crimes of royalty, he may learn, from the constant aspect of public prosperity, that the true system of government consists in fair, equal, and honourable representation. In relating this circumstance, and in submitting this proposition, I consider myself as a citizen of both countries.
"I submit it as a citizen of America who feels the debt of gratitude which he owes to every Frenchman. I submit it also as a man who cannot forget that kings are subject to human frailties. I support my proposition as a citizen of the French republic, because it appears to me the best, the most politic measure that can be adopted.
"As far as my experience in public life extends I have ever observed that the great mass of the people are invariably just, both in their intentions and in their objects; but the true method of accomplishing that effect,