« ZurückWeiter »
patience, so much multiplied are events, I could fill half a dozen more. The History of the events in France of the last year you will find pretty largely detailed in the New Annual Register*, to which my present is a kind of supplement; but we hope that you will not long delay to be a fellow-witness of them with ourselves. I remain, with sentiments of the highest respect,
J. H. STONE.
MY DEAR SIR,
very safe conveyance, by a friend of Mr. Skipwith, having presented itself, I have taken occasion to address soniething like a packet to Dr. Priestley, and shall also take the same opportunity of sending a few lines to yourself. We rest in faith, that you are safe and sound on some portion of the great Continent; but in what sign of the Zodiack, we are as ignorant as if you were in the moon. We have heard nothing of you, or from you, directly or indirećily, since your departure ; and, according to all appearance, shall have nothing from you till your return. I suppose, at least, you are within the knowledge of human events, which are pussing so rapidly around us, as to furnish you with suficient food for meditation even in your retreat. You will, no doubt, be a little surprised, and not a little pleased, to know that there exists two such powers in the world as the Roman Republic and the Helvetinn Repriblic, one and indivisible. These operations are now taking place with great celerity; and, I suppose, it will not be long before you will hear of an Iberian Republic, of a Lusitanian Republic, &c. &c. &c. In short, the political world rolls so rapidly, that we scarce have time to look around us, and admire the revolution of one spot, before we are called off to look after another. Turkey is not exempt from the contagion. The Grecian States have felt the influence of the general insurrection, and both the northern and southern states in Europe, of this empire, are in a state of rebellious combustion. You will also have been much surprised to have seen the history of our internal rebellions, since your departure--the promotion and exile of Barthélemy--the promotion of Talleyrand, and his remaining in place*—the mission of our friend Gallois, &c. With respect to the events of the 18th Fructidor, you have, no doubt, from your very intimate knowledge of the politics of this country, drawn the just conclusions. It has been a happy event for the country, and attended with the happiest consequences. Regret no doubt that these individual evils take place, but incalculable evils have thereby been avoided ; for though the conquered party HAD AGAINST THE REPUBLIC, yet the hosts of emi
* This reference is very characteristic of the principles and views which have uniformly directed the publication here mentioned.
* This is justly stated. The promotion (as it is called) of a noble, a priest, a bishop, and an émigré, to be one of the minis: ters of the Directory, might well surprise a person who had probably seen and conversed with Talleyrand in America. To be promoted and then exiled, is not indeed matter of much surprise ; but to be promote and to retain for any considerable time in place has not happened to any Revolutionist yet, and we believe it never will: thonghi Mr. Stone tells us that Talleyrand so conducts himself as to make his place respectable, and to ensure his continuance in it.-Two things which do not seem very consistent, when applied to the situation of a Minister of the French Directory. VOL. IX.
grants and royalists, armed and prepared for action, which at that time filled Paris, relied on this party for their support.
The government since has conducted itself with great prudence and nioderation, considering the circumstances in which it was placed.
It has, however, taken a firm *
and is likely to meet with no more disturbances. The minister who has the greatest influence, and who throws a lustre over the rest, is the Citizen Talleyrand. He so conducts himself, as not only to make his place respectable, but so as to insure his continuance in it. We are also good friends--I see him now and then at his hotel, and once or twice he has done me the honour of a visit. On occasions, which some day in the history of events I may tell you, he continually enquires for you, and begs his best remembrances. The great actor is the Director Merlin he was at our house the day before yesterday, and we renewed our acquaintance. The person
goes out next month is François de Neufchâteauf, and his successor will be named in consequence of a new regulation by the present legislator : so that the same spirit will continue to direct operations as before. The police is very strong and active ;---many towns in the South Army (among which Lyons) are put en état de siéget, and every measure has been taken to repress the spirit of fanaticism and royalty, which, without the 18th Fructidor, would have overturned the
* Not legible.
+ This is the true system of a constitutional rotation of office by lot, when the person on whom the lot is to fall is known, and declared, three months before the dice are cast. Since tbis was written, it is reported, that these great men have quarrelled about the price of this political swindling, and that they are all lo stand their lot except Merlin.
Observe the picture drawn by these conspirators of the coun. try in which they live, and which they say is in its domestic state
Republic, or plunged it into the horrors of civil war and confusion.
Your convert is very busy in collecting over the remains of his tottering faith ; the good man has just written a letter to the Grand Inquisition of Spain, which, translated into Spanish, is to be distributed in that country. Spain is not very far from a revolution, and it is likely that these latter events will take place before the English expedition, for which immense preparations are making. Of the revolution of Switzerland you will see the accounts in the public papers. Our friend Le Grand is preparing a constitution for the new republic. Ochs has been very officious in this bu-' siness, and has been here shewing himself off as the sole and great regenerator of his country. However, the thing is done; and the three-coloured flag, with William Tell's hat, has displaced the *
on the Council House of Berne. You will probably see Miss W's. two volumes of Travels by the time this reaches you.
. And now a few words on domestic affairs. The manufactory of which you laid the corner stone is now finished, and forms one of the finest establishments in France. But it has been subject to many mutations since you left us :~Mr. Parker, for instance, has met with such a reverse of fortune, that he has not been able to pay more than one-third of one action ;-neither De Wit nor Van Stephent, or any of their original properties, are any thing in it. But we have among our friends got a very respecta
more advantageously situated than the rest of Europe.--Its manufactures are annihilated, its religion is interdicted, the public mind is floating between atheists and drivellers. "Its legislators and governors are seized and transported without the pretence of guilt-Its principal-cities are in a state of siege-and all this is done to avoid an accumulation of worse evils ! * Not legible. R 2.
ble company, who have paid in their shares, and the establishment is new entirely. I have paid in two shares, and am allowed till Prairial to make up the third, by the pot or pearl-ash we expect from America. If they do not arrive, I forfeit the pledge I have put in. Whether that is to come, if you would give us a single line to inform us, you would much oblige us. You will not be displeased at this work of your hands, when you come to see what a superb place, as well as convenient one,
M. TALLEYRAND IS A SUBSCRIBER. In the pleasing expectation of seeing you once more among us, I subscribe for myself, as well as for Gallois, Talleyrand, Erigone, and our family,
Your most faithful 12th February, 1798.
Pray are you continuing your speculations on the great events ? are you in the press ? —Dr. G has written us that he has sent to your order the books you wrote.--Is there any thing here that we can send you?
P. S. If pot or pearl-ash could be sent, and a credit of nine or twelve months given, it would answer the same purpose as if it was sent from the works. I shall then be in full cash to answer it.
The first opportunity, the French translation of my Swiss Travels for I have no English copy in my possession. It is translated with great elegance by M. Say, Rédacleur of the Décade Philosophique. I flatter myself you will approve the spirit in which it is written.
With the warmest wishes for your happiness, and for all who are dear to you, believe me ever,
My dear Sir,