« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The translator thought it best to be as literal as possible ; conceiving such a translation would perhaps be the most fit to convey the author's peculian mode of thinking. In this way the translator has no credit for style ; but he makes it up in fidelity. Indeed the facts and abservations are so much more important than the style, that no apology is wanted for producing them in any intelligible manper.
[The address of M. Brissor to his Constituents being now almost forgotten, it has been thought right to add, as an Appendix, that part of it to which Mr. Burke points our particular attention, and upon which he so forcibly comments in his Preface.]
****THREE sorts of anarchy have ruined
our affairs in Belgium, The anarchy of the administration of Paché, which has completely disorganized the supply of our armies : which by that disorganization reduced the army of Dumourier to stop in the middle of of its conquests; which struck it motionless through the months of November and December; which hindered it from joining Bournonville and Custine, and from forcing the Prussians and Austrians to repass the Rhine, and afterwards from putting themselves in a condition to invade Holland sooner than they did.
To this state of ministerial anarchy, it is necessary to join that other anarchy which disorganized the troops, and accasioned their habits of pillage; and lastly, that anarchy which created the revolutionary power, and forced the union to France of the countries we had invaded, before things were ripe for such a measures
Who could, however, doubt the frightful evils that were occasioned in our armies by. that doctrine of anarchy which under the shadow of equality of right, would establish equality of fact? This is universal equality, the scourge of society, as the other is the support of society. An anarchical doctrine which would level all things, talents, and ignorance, virtues, and vices, places, 'usages, and services; a doctrine which begot that fatal project of organizing the army, presented by Dubois de Crance, to which it will be indebted for a complete disorganization.
Mark the date of the presentation of the system of this equality of fact, entire equality. - It had been projected and decreed even at the very opening of the Dutch campaign.
If any project could en: courage the want of discipline in the soldiers,'any scheme could disgust and banish good officers, and throw all things into confusion at the moment when order alone could give victory, it is this project, in truth so stubbornly defended by the anarchists, and transplanted into their ordinary tactick.
How could they expect that there should exist any discipline, any subordination, when even in the camp they permit motions, censures, and denunciations of officers, and of generals ? Does 'not such a disorder destroy all the respect that is due to superiours, and all the mutual confidence with out which success cannot be hoped for? For the
spirit of distrust makes the soldier suspicious, and intimidates the general. · The first discerns treason in every danger; the second, always placed between the necessity of conquest, and the image of the scaffold, dares not raise himself to bold conception, and those heights of courage which electrify an army and ensure victory. Turenne, in our time, would have carried his head to the scaffold; for he was sometimes beat: but the reason why he more frequently conquered was, that his discipline was severe : It was, that his soldiers confiding in his talents, never muttered discontent instead of fighting.--Without reciprocal confidence between the soldier and the general, there can be no army, no victory, especially in a free government.
Is it not to the same system of anarchy, of equalisation, and want of subordination, which has been recommended in some clubs, and defended even in the Convention, that we owe the pillages, the murders, the enormities of all kinds which it was difficult for the officers to put a stop to, from the general spirit of insubordination ; excesses which have rendered the French name odious to the Belgians? Again, is it not to this system of anarchy, and of robbery, that we are indebted for the revolutionary power, which has so justly aggravated the hatred of the Belgians against France ?
What did enlightened republicans think before the tenth of August, men who wished for liberty,
not only for their own country, but for all Europe? They believed that they could generally establish it; by exciting the governed against the governors, in letting the people see the facility and the advani tages of such insurrections.
But how can the people be led to that point? By the example of good government established among us; by the example of order; by the care of spreading nothing but moral ideas among them to respect their properties and their rights; to respect their prejudices, even when we combat them; by disinterestedness in defending the people, by a zeal to extend the spirit of liberty amongst them.
This system was at first followed*. Excellent pamphlets from the pen of Condorcet prepared the people for liberty ; the tenth of August, the reprih: lican decrees, the battle of Valmy, the retreat of the Prussians, the victory of Jemappe, all spoke in favour of France; all was rapidly destroyed by the revolutionary power. Without doubt, good inten. tions made the majority of the Assembly adopt it's they would plant the tree of liberty in a foreign soil, under the shade of a people already: free. Po the eyes of the people of Belgium, it seemed but the mask of a new foreign tyranny, This opinion was
The most seditious libels upon all governments, in order to excite insurrection in Spain, Holland, and other countries, Translator.