« TrướcTiếp tục »
is the most surprising and wonderful, and what was least to be expected. That the body of a people, when by any accident they obtained power, fhould wish to reduce those who were above them to the fame level witte themselves, is fo little surprising, that we know of scarcely any inftance where it was feemingly within their reach, that they have not attempted it. But the furprising thing is, that in Poland, where a fyftem of more rigid aristocratic defpotifm has prevailed for many ages, than was perhaps ever known to have fubfifted in any other part of the globe, these nobles, without the fmalleft compulfion, or even folicitation on the part of the people, have voluntarily abandoned fonre of their highest prerogatives, of which they have on all former occations thew themfelves moft rigidly tenacious. This looks like enchantment; yet there feems to be no poffibility of denying the fact.
The following letter gives fuch a clear and fatisfactory account of this tranfaction, as to deferve to be preferved as an historical record of the most fingular kind, for the information of future ages.
Warfar, 19th April 1791.
"Yesterday was a day of triumph to millions; a day that will form a glorious epocha in the annals of this country, and render immortal the name of Stanislaus Augustus, in whom we revere all the qualities of a J truly Patriot King.
"If Newton found the world in want of light, he found it at least well difpofed to receive it. But in what ftate did Stanislaus Auguftus find Poland on his elevation to the throne? Was it not in a ftate of anarchy, and still averfe to any reform? Was it not exposed to all disasters, without any means, in the King's hands, to prevent them?
"The King felt the cause of so many misfortunes. He knew the defects of government, and was not unacquainted with the fpirit of ha nation. With unwearied exertion of his zeal and abilities, by gentie perfuafion and example, he not only introduced order into the adminiftration of different departments of the state, but even pre-difpofed minds for the most difficult and mott glorious reformation; a reformtion in the fentiments of the nation at large; a reformation that infpired the inhabitants of cities, who for ages paft had lived in a kind of flavery, with courage to reclaim the enjoyment of their ancient rights, and the nobility, who had fo long_exercifed the entire fovereignty, with generosity to grant them unanimoufly, even more than they afked.
"Yesterday, civil and religious prejudices, perhaps equally difficult to be overcome, were abandoned in the fame moment, and the Tiers Etat admitted, without diftinction of birth or religion, to a participation both of the legislative and executive power; and declared capable of any office, civil, military or ecclefiaftical, exccpting in the national cavalry, and in fome chapters deftined for the benefit of the poorer clats of a nu merous nobility.
"When the National Affembly of France reduced the nobility to an equality with the citizen, the greater number of its members confisted of the Tiers Etat; but when Poland raifed her citizens to that equaty, the Diet consisted of nobility only. And yet there was no divifion within doors, nor commotion without! Eloquent and perfuafive as the
King is on all occafions, on this he feemed to outdo himself. The fub
tors, or what was the religion of Washington and, Franklin; but all "of us know what important fervices thefe illuftrious characters ren“dered to their country. Let not therefore the modesty of our citi"zens prescribe limits to our generofity. Let us not ask, nor look into "old papers, to afcertain what they have a right to demand; butlet us grant "then, out of our own free accord, all that the welfare of our own
country requires that they fhould poffefs." Mr. Suchorzewski, member for Kalifh, a gentleman equally refpectable for his integrity and abilities, has the merit of having framed the bill that was adopted. As foon as it had paffed, the members embraced one another, and their new brothers the citizens, who were numerous, prefent in the house; then, in token of their gratitude to the King, for the pains he has taken to obtain fo glorious a reform in the constitution of their country, defired leave to kifs his hand. What a triumph for all parties!
"Now may we expect to fee our half-inhabited towns re-peopled, our industry and commerce revive. Nothing further than the emancipa- s tion of our peasants feems to be now wanting, in order to render all ranks as happy as they are brave; and the country as independent and powerful, as it is fruitful and rich; but this can only be effected by degrees,"
Here, however, as in every instance of a fimilar ført, the philofopher who admires the fpirit which dictated that revolotion, will find reafon to doubt of the judiciousness of the meafure. In feveral refpects he will condemin it as unwife. But can wisdom be expected to spring up in a moment among all the members of a numerous and an illiterate affembly? It could not be-They only begin to think, and wish to act with liberality of mind. Let them continue to be influenced by this princi ple, and they will gradually imbibe knowledge. Their errors will then be corrected, and a general diffufion of happiness over the mighty nation will be the confequence.
LITERARY WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER,
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 1791.
Travelling Memorandums continued from page 122. SEPTEMBER 15th. I dined and fupped at the Hotel d' Angleterre Chantilly. Many years ago, I faw the grand palace, gardens, and famous ftables here, objects of admiration to travellers of tafte, for the greatest diftinctions of high life-I, as a plain philofophical fort of a man, am better pleased to observe, that the prefent Prince de Condè encourages induftrious people to fettle and build good houfes in his village-He fays, I am told, and I think most nobly, that he would gladly furrender one great houfe appropriated to himself and his family for feveral thousands of free industrious people, thriving and happy, every one in his own houfe He has taken one measure conducive to this good end, by erecting a china manufactory here, which fucceeds very well-The English landlady at this inn is fenfible and civil-Here I have paid the highest bill of any on the road, chiefly owing to the circumstance, VOL. III.
that, in the mode of the fouth of England, every ar ticle is charged feparately-yet I was far from diffa tisfied-for my accommodation and entertainment have been remarkably good.
I now approach to Paris, and recollect that on all this route I have not seen one male waiter-only one landlord has made his appearance-and, alack a day! not one pretty girl-In this country all kinds of vehicles on the high-roads must give way to poft-carriages, by the King's ordinance, which is conftantly observed -Our commonality are apt to fpurn at fuch useful regulations-If they had a proper sense of liberty, they would at least be as well difpofed to obey the acts of our legislature, as the French are to revere the royal edicts.
16th September. Without any inftance of ill ufage or impofition in the course of this journey (except that at the post-house, firft ftage from Chantilly, they exacted 36 fous for my breakfast, which is more than double the usual rate), I this day arrived in Paris, at the Hotel de York-The landlord is a very fenfible civil man-His wife, well qualified for her station, is English; and he speaks the language well, though born at Dunkirk-I have two handsome apartments for myfelf, and fufficient accommodation adjoining for my two fervants, at one Louis d'or and a half per week-I pay fifteen livres a day for a good chariot, two horses, and driver-The late fcarcity of fodder occafioned an edict, which authorises, for a limited time, a rife in the rates of hired horses, both on the post roads and in citiesI have fettled terms with a reputable Traiteur, "at the rate of five livres, when alone, and fix livres a-head, when I have company-I am very well ferved, and fo plentifully, that the fragments are always fufficient for the use of my fervants-I am well ferved with wines, by my obliging countryman Mr. Maclagan, who is in company with Monfieur Bouffee, prefently at
London. As a specimen, I fet down the following note of wines, now fent to me.
Burgundy, one dozen, at four livres
vin de Grave, at three
Amounting to two louis d'ors, fourteen
The vin de Grave is the white wine of our favourite Bourdeaux or Claret, very pleasant and falutary, though I know not if it is at all imported to our country. The fmall wine called Shables is a white Burgundy, very refreshing, and ferves, I think, with advantage, for small beer-I was happy to meet with a countryman, and very old acquaintance, Chevalier Macgregor-To him I owe a great fhare of the amufements, comforts, and information I have enjoyed, during my refidence here. At an unlucky and early period of his life, he was obliged to retire from his native country. He engaged in the French fervice, and has diftinguished himself, little to his advantage, though honoured with a badge of merit. If he could have reconciled himself to make a profeffion of the Catholic religion, his advancements in the fervice would certainly have been confiderable,
24th September. This day 1 entertained a small and choice party of friends at la Rapè, near the Boulevards, and on the fide of the river-It is a house in high Vogue for dreffing a luxurious dish, called MatellotIt is a kind of fish Olio, compofed of eels, carp, &c. with a high seasoned and favoury fauce-I own I have a vulgar taste, and like what in Scotland we call fish and fauce, if well made, much better-We had other