H́nh ảnh trang

totally deprived of the means of earning a suitable subsistence, and rendered miserable through life, who, if they had acquired a proper education, that is to say, had been instructed in a business suited to their station and circumstances, might have acted a becoming part in life, and been very useful members of society.



THE Editor has a rare opportunity of receiving intelligence from PERU, by means of a literary gentleman going thither at present, and after a fhort stay there, to return hither, by whose means authentic information may be received relating to interesting objects in that country. The Editor intends to make np a memorial specifying particularly, such objects there, as occur to himself that are only imperfectly known here, and require farther elucidation; and will be glad to insert in it such farther particulars as may appear interesting to his readers. Any hints that shall be transmitted to him in two weeks from this date, post paid, shall be duly attended to.

Botany Bay.

He has a similar opportunity to Botany Bay. Hints for that quarter of the world, also fhall have all necessary attention paid to them. Nookta Sound.

A similar opportunity occurs also to Nookta Sound at the present time, by the favour of a gentleman who has made botany and natural history, a particular study; so that any memorandums on these subjects will have a good chance of procuring satisfactory elucidations.

Bengal, Madras, China, &c.

As the East India fhips are soon to sail from Britain, he can have opportunity of receiving elucidations respecting any particluar object that may be peculiarly interesting to particular readers from almost any European settlement in those quarters, and will be glad to lend his aid in forwarding such memoirs or queries as they fhall think proper to transmit to him. But he requests that these queries may rather respect particular objects that are already in part known, than general questions, which seldom he finds lead to any active research.

**To those readers of the Bee, by whose encouragement and punctual payments, the Editor has been enabled to carry on the work, his best thanks are due. But to others who seem to forget that an extensive circulation, without punctual returns at fort periods, is only a source of embarassment, instead of profit, he must take this opportunity of once more reminding them that the price of the work was put very low entirely on the faith of having regular returns, and that both in justice to himself, and his other readers, he wül be put under the painful necessity of charging the price to them at a higher rate, as formerly advertised, which he hopes they will prevent by a more punctual attention to this trifling matter, as it must be to them.



ہے ہو

Retrospective view of the political state of France.

LL the governments which sprung up in Europe on the downfall of the Roman empire, were founded on the model of an army. The chief, under whatever name he was known, with the advice of his council; in other words, the general in a council of war, on extraordinary occasions were vested with unlimited authority; and on ordinary occasions the authority of the chief was undisputed. The great body of the people were bound implicitly to obey. When the men were put into cantonments, as we may say, during peace, and thus withdrawn from the immediate power of the chief, each chieftain exercised unlimited authority over those of the district where he presided. By degrees, as a change of circumstances took place in the progrefs of society, this system of government also suffered a change. Universally, the people, properly so called, acquired more power, their persons and property were better secured, and their exertions of industry respected. In England, this progrefs, from a peculiarity of circumstances, was greater than in any other country; which has given rise, by slow degrees, to that constitution of government which is so justly and universally admired. In France the people had not been so effectually secured from the power of the cheiftains. But for near two hundred years past, the privileges of the people had been gradually becoming more and more respected, and their industry encouraged. Under Colbert, and several other ministers, the importance of the industry of the people, and the good policy of encouraging them, were well understood.

The greatest bar the monarchs felt in their attempts to encourage industry, was the great power and privileges of the grandees; and various were the devices adopted to moderate that power: but of late the most efficatious was thought to be the dread of the bastile, and lettres de cachet, which gave to the prince a summary power of checking them when he pleased. This, to them, was therefore an object of dread, and just apprehension. The late unfortunate monarch, had the interest and happiness of his people more at heart than perhaps any other monarch that ever sat upon that throne, H. IV alone excepted; but his indolence of disposition did not allow him to take those decisive measures which were best calculated to effect his purposes. That beneficent disposition made him choose a minister who was obnoxious to his nobles, because a stranger and a plebeian, which excited secret


disgusts, of the consequences of which he was not aware. Mr Necker, a good man, and a great arithmetician, but in regard to knowledge of the grand springs of political actions, perhaps one of the weakest of men, felt that great obstructions arose to his views of augmenting the prosperity of the people, from certain local stipulations that had been made with the inhabitants of particular provinces, when they were annexed to the crown. These privileges had been always respected by the prince, and could not with safety be infringed; but they had given rise to many political abuses, which he saw no possible way of removing. Artiul men, who knew his weak side, suggested the idea of calling a meeting of the STATES. That minister, believing that the beneficence of the proposals he fhould make would be so universally recognised, and the utility of his plans so obvious, as easily to induce the deputies of the people when assembled in the STATEs to acquiesce in them, he approved the proposal, and advised the king to adopt



No sooner was this determination known, than all the active spirits in the nation were set at work, to contrive plans each for their own aggrandizement; for the effecting of which they trusted to their influence in the great popular afsembly about to be opened. These as in every case of this sort, were by each man kept secret; and many of them can never be so much as guessed at, being concealed under various disguised veils. Many good and well meaning men not foreseeing the secret influence of these sinister views, seriously rejoiced, in the prospect of thus getting many evils, that were obvious, removed. But soon did the minister see that all his fine theories were swept away as cobwebs before the rising breeze; and the others when too late have been fatally convinced of their error.

No sooner did the national assembly feel its power, than it went far beyond the bounds he had prescribed to it. The most artful persons among them, aware of the power of the nobility, and fearing to attack it directly, while the regal authority was unimpeached, began with attacking, by means of a popular insurrection, the bastile, knowing that in this attempt the nobility would secretly concur with the people. This being once done, and the army bribed rom its allegiance, the regal power received a decisive blow it never could recover; and the grandees in vain then attempted to restore what they themselves had inadvertantly contributed to pull down. They could then be safely attacked; their privileges were at first curtailed; and soon after, their whole order was annihilated.

Here once more, a number of good men like the worthy but short sighted minister, saw that they had contributed to let loose an innundation whose extent could not be foreseen, and whose progrefs could not be opposed; and numbers repented when too late. The innundation went forward. In vain did they oppose to it an Utopean constitution which pretended to stop the pro

grefs of men with unlimited power in their hands, by a set of words implying authority where no power of enforcing obedience was given. This constitution was received with universal applause; because it set bounds to the ambition of no one, and was declared by the unanimous afsertions of a whole people to be eternal. The national afsembly by that deed, was voluntarily dissolved, because the leading men in it had no doubt of becoming such in the convention, that was instantly to be called. Here again, in their turn, they were disappointed; and the very first act of this convention was to annihilate that eternal constitution, which a few months before they had sworn to preserve.

Hitherto LIBERTY had been the only boon that was sought by the pccple; but now the new word equality was added to it: a wood of mysterious import, which startled a few weak minds at first; and therefore it was explained away, till the time fhould come when it might be adopted in the most unequivocal sense of the word. The king was at first deposed, then imprisoned,—then tried as a culprit, and brought to the block.-Millions now saw that they had let loose a torrent which threatened to sweep away every thing they deemed valuable in society; but where was the power to stopit? If a murmur was heard, the strong arm of power instantly, crushed the pretended culprit. An attempt was at last made by those who had long been the most active agents of what they called reform, to stem ; the torrent which they themselves had contributed to render all powerful. They found it irresistible; and they were sweeped away before it, as the others in succefsion had been.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The natural consequence of anarchy, a pure despotism, is now fully established in France. A second constitution was offered and rejected. A third has been substituted and received in its place. By that constitution the national convention fhould have been annihilated; but, under the pretext that the nation is in a state of danger, it has, like Oliver's parliament been conti ́nued, in order to screen despotism from appearing to open view. Indeed there is but one party in that convention at present; and that party is of course armed with the most absolute power, which is exercised with a rigidity of despotic authority of which no parallel can be produced in the annals of Europe. Emifsaries are sent out to every quarter with full autho rity to imprison or put to death every one they suspect of incivism, and to confiscate their property. They have absolute power to summon every individual to take the field when they please. The sytem of equality, so long disavowed, is now established by the law itself, which declares that money must be taken from the rich to support the poor: that bakers must sell bread at a certain limited price avowedly below prime cost, taking their chance of indemnification from the state; and lastly that farmers must not take beyond a limited very low price for their corn, whatever it may have cost


them, and without any promise of indemnification whatever. Such are the principles on which the ruling powers of France at present conduct themselves; and such are the necefsary consequences of the doctrine of liberty and equlity. Of these consequences, Mr Paine, the former apostle of these doctrines is now made feelingly sensible.

Present state of France.

At present the whole power of that undivided despotic authority, is em, ployed to make a convulsive exertion, to try if they can free themselves at once, from the encroachment of inimical powers. Every future conside ration, is postponed for the safety of the present hour; and where allis at stake, under such a pure despotism, it may be expected that the preparations will be astonishingly great. Since our last, the arms of the nominal republic have been successful in reducing the city of Marseilles to their obedience. But Toulon, in want of provisions, and probably dreading the same fate, has entered into a negociation with Lord Hood, and has put him into possession of that important place, and arsenal, to be held by him in the name of Louis xvii. till peace shall be restored. Lyons is threatened, but not yet besieged. The insurgents in Vendèe are said to have been frequently defeated; but these accounts are contradicted. In Rousillon the Spaniards have made no considerable progrefs; and though the Piedmontese have entered the district of Mount Blank, yet their progress has been inconsiderable; and, in as far as can be collected from the imperfect accounts that reach us, it seems probable, that in the interior of France the patriotic army, in consequence of these exertions, has been able to make head against the insurgents, so as rather to have gained than lost ground since our last.

It is evident however from various applications to the national convention, that provisions are scarce, and famine in various places is much apprehended. Rouen was lately in the most prefsing want; and a decree has just been passed, ordering the gardens round Paris to be cultivated at the nation al expence. What a dreadful idea does this give of the universal opinion of the insecure state of property near that city !!!

Duke of York's army.

But the object that the rulers of France seem to have had most at heart, has been to cut off the duke of York's army before Dunkirk. For this purpose prodigious exertions have been made, since he separated from the main army. Great bodies of troops have been drawn from the armies of the Moselle, the Rhine, and every quarter within reach for this grand enterprise. These troops to the number of 120,000 men, as some accounts, probably much exaggerated state, attacking him on all sides, aided by the gun boats, and vigorous sallies from the garrison of Dunkirk, put his little army on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of this month, into the most perilous situation; so that, forced to abandon about thirty-two pieces of battering cannon, and considerable stores, he

« TrướcTiếp tục »