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FrRevol_301-350.indd 19 3/16/12 1:08 PM CHAPTER VIII Manifesto ofthe Duke ofBrunswick. It has been strongly asserted that the terms in which the manifesto ofthe Duke of Brunswick was expressed were one ofthe principal causes ofthe rising of the French nation against the allies in 1792.1 I do not believe this: the first two articles of that manifesto contained what most papers of the kind since the Revolution have expressed; that is, that the foreign powers would make no conquest from France, and that they were not inclined to interfere with the interior government ofthe country. To these two promises , which are seldom observed, was added, it is true, the threat oftreating as rebels such ofthe national guards as should be found with arms in their hands; as if, in any case, a nation could be culpable in defending its territory ! But had the manifesto even been more moderately couched, it would not, at that time, have at all weakened the public spirit ofthe French. It is well known that every armed power desires victory, and has nothing more at heart than to weaken the obstacles which it must encounter to obtain it. Accordingly, the proclamations ofinvaders addressed to the nations whom they attack all consist in saying: "Do not resist us"; and the answer of a spirited people should be: "We will resist you." The friends of liberty were on this occasion, as they always will be, adverse to foreign interference; but they could not, on the other hand, conceal from themselves that the King had been put in a situation that reduced him to wish for the aid of the allies. What resource could there then remain to virtuous patriots? M. de Ia Fayette proposed to the royal family to come and take refuge 1. For more details, see Godechot, La Contre-Rivolution, 75-85, 176-78. The manifesto (which had actually been drafted by the conservative Marquis of Limon at the request of the Duke of Brunswick) became publicly known in Paris on August 3, seven days before the events of August 10, 1792. 319 FrRevol_301-350.indd 20 3/16/12 1:08 PM PART III at Compiegne with his army. This was the best and safest course; but the persons who possessed the confidence of the King and Queen hated M. de la Fayette as much as if he had been an outrageous Jacobin. The aristocrats of that time preferred running every risk to obtain the reestablishment of the old government, to the acceptance of efficient aid under the condition of adopting with sincerity the principles of the Revolution , that is, a representative government. The offer ofM. de laFayette was then refused, and the King submitted to the dreadful risk ofawaiting the German troops at Paris. The royalists, who are subject to all the imprudence ofhope, persuaded themselves that the defeats of the French armies would produce so much fear among the people of Paris as to render them mild and submissive whenever such intelligence reached their ears. The great error of men impassioned in politics consists in attributing all kinds ofvices and meanness to their adversaries. It is incumbent on us to know how to value, in certain respects, those whom we hate, and those even whom we despise; for no man, and, still more, no mass of men, ever forfeited entirely all moral feeling. These furious Jacobins, capable at that time ofevery crime, were, however, possessed of energy; and it was by means of that energy that they triumphed over so many foreign armies. 320 ...


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