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Tour de Londres ;" as well as to notice the significant epithet “ détrompe,” (the English of both which expressions are distinguished by italics in the extract alluded to) for fear, it is presumed, of wounding the patriotic sensibility of his AngloJacobin readers.
HOTTENTOTS, APES, AND ATHEISTS.
The work of M. Vaillant, referred to in the notes of page 27, has been reviewed by the learned M. de la Métherie, and the other ingenious conductors of the “ Joumal Physique.” Of their very curious Comment, upon M. Vaillant's interesting information, together with the text, I shall subjoin a faithful translation, as it affords additional proof of the general prevalence of that Atheistical Fanaticism which has been openly avowed and triumphantly vaunted at various times, and on various occasions, by many persons of Republican eminence, besides Mr. Jacob Dupont in his celebrated speech before quoted in page 13.
« The author (M. Vaillant has refuted all that Kolbe has advanced respecting their religion," &c.
“I have not perceived among this people (the Gonaquois “ Hottentots) any trace of religion, any thing which approaches “ even towards the idea of a Being who shall punish and reward. “ I have lived a considerable time with them, I have been do“ mesticated with them in the bosom of their peaceable deserts“I have, in the company of these brave people, made excursions “ in very remote regions. In no part of them have I met with “any thing which has a resemblance to religion.” Vaillant.
Here we have a grand problem, in the history of the human race, resolved. It has long been pretended that no human society could subsist without religion ; that they who would endeavour to obliterate every religious idea were no other than the most perverse of men. The Gonaquois have no idea of religion, and yet they are the gentlest people upon the earth, and most rigidly observe all the laws of humanity; they are welldisposed, humane, hospitable, generous ; their lips, enlivened with smiles and gaiety, are expressive of the constant happiness which they enjoy. Such is man as he comes from the hands of Nature; he seeks only to supply his wants. These charming climates of the torrid zone, which are his native country as well as that of all other species of apes (son pays natal, comme celui de toutes les autres espèces de singes, &c.) might furnish him abundantly with every thing that is necessary: Why should he be more vicious (plus mechant) than the apes themselves ? Why, in order to be happy, and to live in society, should he have any more occasion for religion than they ? M. Vaillant depictures every instant the happiness he enjoyed in these peaceable retreats, and continually regrets the charming moments which he has passed there. Oh! how infinitely preferable are these pure pleasures of Nature to those which we seek to substitute for them in the Social state!” Le Métherie-Journal de Physique, p. 453.
TRAITS OF FRENCH CHARACTERS.
For the accommodation of such readers as will not be at the trouble of exploring the recent productions of French writers, it may not be unseasonable to subjoin a few striking traits of different personages who are indebted for their celebrity, or, more properly, for their notoriety, to the French Revolution. They may be reasonably allowed to bring up the rear of those worthies, of whom the preceding stanzas have faintly attempted to touch upon the birth, parentage, education, life, character, and behaviour, &c. Happy the Bard who shall celebrate the last Dying Speech and Confession of the whole illustrious Groupe !!
Several of the following extracts are taken from “Le Véritable Portrait de nos LEGISLATEURS, à Paris, 1792.” The just title of those Legislators to the compliments here paid them, few will be inclined to dispute, and certainly no one who has the slightest acquaintaince with the original publication, that publication yielding the strongest internal testimony of the Democratic principles of the writer, evidently a staunch friend and advocate of the Orleans party, who professes to have been, himself, an actor in the grand scene which he describes, and ready to make oath of the veracity of his assertions.
See Le Véritable Portrait, &c. p. 2.
La Fayette is tall, thin, and well proportioned, with light hair, inclining to sed ; his eyes, wandering and gloomy, have a sinister character, while his mouth, artificially opened, smiles on all the world : his speech is not inharmonious, but slow, and seems to be always afraid of betraying his thoughts. La Fayette, a despot in his own family, and accessible to those only who were entirely devoted to him, assumed, amidst the popular assemblies, a tone of modesty, and an air of precision, carried almost to absurdity. Ever cap in hand to the multitude, although surrounded with a numerous company of aides-de-camp, the vulgar were grossly duped by this contrast of pride and meanness, which could not but excite the contempt of men of sense and reflection.
Always preceded or followed by his emissaries, who strained their voices till they were hoarse with the exclamation, “ Vive “ La Fayette!” The mob reiterated the cry by instinct. The general bowed with condescension, and returned home with the satisfaction of believing himself adored.
Ibid. p. 48. If La Fayette had been endowed by Nature with any rectitude of heart, or compass of understanding, he would have endeavoured, from the very first, to have moderated and controuled the furious progress of insurrection ; but, on the contrary, he excites, he precipitates, he justifies it :-what shall I say!-He sanctifies it, in pronouncing with emphasis this maxim, which will be his condemnation : “ Insurrection is the most sacred of duties :” l’Insurrection est le plus saint des devoirs.)
Peltier." Tableau de Paris," No. 1. Appendir, p. 5. He grows daily more abject in his adulation towards the people; with his voice and his pen he thus addresses even the common porters of Paris :-" To execute your orders, to die, if “ obedience to your wills demand it; such is the sacred duty of “ Him whom You have condescended to name your Commandant “ General.” So abject is the language of this eldest son of liberty who hath overthrown a court for the privilege of creeping in the streets (qui n'a renversé une cour que pour ramper dans les rues).
Ibid. p. 9.
- A profound metaphysician, naturally endowed with the capability of acting the principal part in the new organization of the French government, the Abbé Syeyes was almost an useless Member of the National Assembly.
After the night of the 4th of August, the epoch of the abolition of ecclesiastical privileges and tithes, the Abbé Syeyes proved, in a most unphilosophical and extravagant discourse, that interest is the primum mobile of mankind.
The Abbé Syeyes, seated in the Committee of the Constitution, has by no means answered the expectation of his colleagues and of the public. This man, morose in disposition, bigotted to his own opinions, could never accord with his coadjutors, and appeared to abandon his party. · All the produce which the Assembly has reaped from his talents was a detestable discourse on the Liberty of the Press, and the plan of a decree worthy of a Sartine and a Lenoir.
Le Véritable Portrait.
It is astonishing that we should have scarcely any thing to say of a man, who, in the next degree to La Fayette, has shared all the honours of the Revolution, and who was indebted to chance alone for the first place of trust, the Mayoralty of Paris, as a recompençe indicative of that estimation he little merited.
From the time when he was honoured with the first presidency of the three orders united, the great man has disappeared, and we have seen, in the Mayor of Paris, nothing more than the the passive tool of La Fayette, of a corrupt municipality, and of all the ministerial cabals.
Ibid. p. 54.
This young man, in the next degree to Mirabeau, occupied the public attention during the session of the Constituent Assembly. He has been represented with two faces. For my part I have never remarked any other expression in his countenance than that which was occasioned by the circumstances of the times, accordingly as those circumstances operated on his self-love, the sole principle of his actions.
Barnave will never possess any real talent; his heart is cold, his discourse prolix, abounding with tautology, amplifications, adverbs, which, appearing to be accumulated in every phrase only for the purpose of affording the protraction necessary to a sluggish imagination, sufficiently prove that Barnave is no better than the retailer and amplifier of the sentiments of another, and formed to the business of intrigue by a crafty cabal, who