Paris, August 25, 1792.

THE verse from my pen so spontaneously flows,
When to Jephson I write, that I can't write in prose ;
For gravity's censure I care not a pin,
If you smile at my humour the laurel I'll win.
We once were associate's in Brilliancy's reign,
And Townshend and Wit oft applauded our strain,
While we laugh'd at alarmists, expos'd their grimace,
And they laugh'd in their turn — with a pension or place.
Now let system and wild innovation enhance,
The scenes that I paint in Italia and France.

I am just now arriv'd, and pursue my intention
To hear the debates in the Gallic convention,
Ere Brunswic arrive with his mob-killing gang,
The knaves in rebellion to shoot or to hang.
His fine manifesto Calonne surely writ,
(As the Emigrès say) full of logic and wit ;
I read it at Spa, and I reach'd Paris soon,
For it brac'd up my nerves like the steel of Pouhon ;
As he moves on triumphant, the patriots he'll swing
Who presumptuously combat for Freedom and King.
As Austria and Prussia most nobly combine
To give them new laws, in a code that's divine ;
For this gracious purpose, their troops are appointed,
To fight in the cause of the Lord's own annointed.
O see this proud people, how happy when slaves !
Holding princes as tyrants, and emperors knaves ;
But mild Kate of Russia, provok'd by such jeers,
Will strangle these traitors, and cut off their ears ;
Then a Te Deum chant for the peace of their souls,
And nail up their ears thro' all Europe on poles :
Will turbulent Jacobins stand this rebuff ?
Let them view these cropt ears, they'll be quiet enough.
So Moses, the chief of the Emigrant band,
Whom he led forty years tow'rds their ancestor's* land,
When democrat knaves their allegiance would shake,
Which he calls being bit by a serpent or snake,
Seiz'd a score of these orators, cas'd them in brass,
Fix'd them starving on stakes, while the multitude pass ;
And wrote this inscription, with ludicrous wit,
" See the venemous snakes who my Israelites bit ;
Here, turn up your eyes to this medical pole,
View these serpents in brass, and your wounds will be whole. "

But while Brunswick is marching these feats to perform
The people take arms, and the Thuilleries storm ;
And taylors, and coblers, and poissardes assemble,
To bind princes in chains, and make monarchy tremble ;
The Switzers are slain, tho' they cry Vive le Roi !
And are answer'd with shouts, Vive le Peup' ! Vive la Loi !
Hark ! the tocsin's mad peal ! Hark ! the cannon resound !
And the image of kings is laid flat on the ground :
A mob sacrilegious, at sixes and seven,
Insultingly pound the viceregents of heaven.
Here Louis le Grand to the dust bows his head,
And his statue is melted, because it's of lead.
A bullet perhaps from his belly or tête,
Brave Frederick may wound in his stomach or pate ;
And the peasants of Gallia, though joyful, may weep,
If he fall ere he pay off his score for her sheep.a
In this fleeting scene stranger things come to pass,
As our life's a mere shadow, and all flesh is grass.
But I griev'd from my heart, and stood sighing aloof,
When Henry was flung from their boasted Pont Neuf :
I hailed his bless'd shade, bade the hero remain ;
Ah ! why should mad zeal thus his mem'ry profane ?
Tho' a Monarch, he labour'd Man's rights to secure,
And his heart in a cottage rejoic'd with the poor.
" Let your laurel'd Voltaire for his hero find grace ; —
Is a tyger and monkey the source of your race ?"
But the people, enrag'd, no remonstrances heed,
He's a Bourbon, they cry'd, tho' the best of his breed ;
We'll cast him in cannon, our rights to maintain,
He'll defend us again from the Germans and Spain.
In vain with new passion indignant I burn,
And the greasy rogues [curse] for this humorous turn.
Vive la Nation ! they shout ; — still the riot prevails,
And from Paris proceeds till it reaches Versailles ;
In the work of destruction with joy they engage,
And Louis' chef-d'œuvres again feel their rage ;
His pride and his splendour these democrats mock,
And smash all the wonderful works of his clock,b
Where two pretty Cupids, with fine gilded clubs,
Make a timbrel resound with their dub-a-dub-dubs.
Two cocks clap and crow, as the heralds of fate,
And the statue of Louis advances in state ;
To shew how the monarch grew great by his quarrels,
The goddess of Victory crowns him with laurels ;
An emblem how just of his boasting and wars,
When he crow'd on his dunghill, and built to the stars :
This piece to burlesque, yet the hint to pursue,
The Dutch made their clocks to strike, Cuckoo, Cuckoo !
As a sneer on the King, who, to solace his life,
And his soul to preserve, made his mistress** his wife.
But Holland so paid for this comical stroke,
That Mynheer ne'er since has attempted to joke ;
For, to make all the world his fine feelingsc admire,
He sent out two heroes with sword and with fire ;
With orders to pillage and burn ev'ry town,
To ravish the young and the old women drown :
Then Condé and Luxemburgh flew in a trice,
How rapid their march, as they skaited on ice ;
The Dutch from their dikes no salvation could draw,
But, 'midst their despair, they were sav'd by a thaw.
Yet from this gasconading a moral we gather,
That the projects of wisdom depend on the weather ;
How armies and fleets of success must despair,
If it freezes or thaws, or the wind is'nt fair !

And now e'en at Blenheim but turn up your eyes,
You'll 'spy what we did to oblige such allies !
See Vanbrugh jocose Louis' pageantry mock,
He knew Gallus was Latin for Frenchman and cock ;
And therefore, said he, the shrill chanticleers sing,
To shew how vain Monsieur applauded their King !
Then at Blenheimd the bold British lion he rears,
With a cock in his paw, to pourtray Louis' fears,
Built so like the Bastile, that it adds to the joke,
So he cut their cox-combs by this sly equivoque :
The Whigs all rejoiced at this typical fun,
But the Tories cried fie — on the Freemason's pun ;
Meek Sarah was charm'd — bade her Sovereign be gay,
And to pleasure the Knight, she bespoke his new play ;
But the great Duke of Marlbro' growl'd and look'd grim,
Till she swore that John Bull was to pay for the whim.

Now, 'midst the Convention with awe I advance,
Where Anarchy calls on the Genius of France ;
Ten Members start up, tho' the President rings,
And rail all at once against Tyrants and Kings ;
their sceptres we'll break, and to us they shall bow,
Will kill all these despots, the question is — how !
Says citizen Coutteau, let's hazard our lives,
And form a whole reg'ment with poniards and knivese,
To stab all these monsters — speak, who is afraid ?
The blood of such tyrants shall reek from my blade :
The question, the question : — collect all the votes,
I'm the first Volunteer in this corps of cut-throats ;
Says Merlin, I'm next, and we'll soon lay them low ;
I'm the third, roars the Capuchin, pious Chabot !
This project, says Clouts, each true patriot bewitches,
My heart is all French, and my soul's without breeches†† :
Then they held up their hands with republican pride,
And declar'd ev'ry member a true regicide ;
Now the President calls, and around him they cluster,
And the Clerk makes a roll, the banditti to muster ;
But, alas ! in the midst of this clamour and praise,
And just as the corps they were hast'ning to raise,
Up started Le Rocque***, and exclaim'd fie ! — for shame,
Ye sons of true glory, how much you're to blame ;
May Bastiles, and may fetters again be our doom,
If we act like assassins at Naples and Rome ;
Let us tread kings to dust, nor of life leave a spark,
In the field let us smite them, not stab in the dark ;
From their thrones thus the Romans proud potentates hurl'd,
And by gen'rous valour soon conquer'd the world.
E'en Pyrrhus they shielded from treach'ry's art,
For virtue inspires a republican heart ;
And nobly they said, we disdain to suborn
A traitor to slay you, tho' tyrants we scorn :
To tarnishf our honour we're only afraid,
We'll not fee your doctor to practise his trade ;
This greatness of soul even Pyrrhus admir'd,
And, despairing of conquest, with shame he retir'd.
Vive Le Rocque ! echoes round, now he's hug'd and he's kiss'd,
While Merlin and Chabot are kick'd and are hiss'd.
But Le Gendre the butcher, a bravo by trade,
Now call'd on his friend for their voices and aid ;
No wonder, says Manuel, he's at it again,
As he kills no more calves, now he thirsts to kill men ;
Le Gendre provok'd, when so tauntingly hit,
Mov'd to vote the Sieur Manuel a droll comic wit ;
You'd better, retorted the wit, pass a vote
That I'm only a bête, you may then cut my throat.
Vive le Manuel ! they cry — for this bon mot so fine†††,
And they rise with a laugh — to drink, joke, and to dine.

Yet amidst all these riots, they dance, and they bawl,
Atheistical hymns at the Palais Royal !
And to tunes democratical impiously sing,
That many may exist without priests or a king !
This specimen read, and you'll surely agree,
That Brunswic should hang them on Liberty's tree,
Let enthusiasts like these be abhor'd in our sight,
While they roar out this ballad, and march out to fight:

IN triumph shall Liberty reigng,
    And the goddess expand all her charms ;
If we hail her republican strain,
    That calls us — to arms — and to arms !

Behold ! — where the Austrians advance ;
    Behold ! — the tyrannical band ;
How they swarm o'er the borders of France,
    And menace with ruin the land !

Then away ! — to the frontiers away,
    And the legions of despots defy ;
The voice of fair Freedom obey,
    Determin'd to conquer or die.

Crown'd with glory, victorious we'll rest,
    And in chorus exultingly sing,
That man, social man, may be blest,
    Without nobles, or bishop, or king !

But what vexes me most is to see ev'ry scrub,
Assemble to prate at the Jacobin Club ;
'Tis here in full fervour licentiousness reigns,
Ferments in the blood, and still maddens their brains ;
'Twas told that FAYETTE, grown as proud as a lord,
Hither marches in haste to give peace by his sword. —
Up starts a bold ruffian, and pledges his head,
To drag in the general, living or dead ;
First he bends to the Chair, with a sans-culotte bow,
And the President binds a sweet wreath round his brow ;
While he pulls out a whetstone, and sharpens his knife,
So the bold La Fayette has small chance for his life !
Now he thirsts for the Marquis's blood and his spoils,
Then his nosegay displays, the reward of his toils:
Yet for chaplets so trifling these Jacobins jar,
As our nobles contend for a ribband or star !

This club of usurpers have seiz'd the state-helm,
And their poisonous tenets convey thro' the realm ;
Subordinate juntos, thro' each town and village,
Their orders obey to raise troops and to pillage,
And swear the Convention shall always refuse,
As a mark of submission, to kiss Brunswic's shoes.
Thus at Paris, the Jacobins rule on the spot,
And send fraternis'd chiefs to each turbulent cot,
Who first give the signal to fight and to rob,
Then obey the commands of the freaks of the mob ;
So the chiefs and canaille, on an equalis'd plan,
Prove what may be done by reciprocal man.
From the nerves of the brain our sensations thus flow,
Descend thro' the body, and reach to the toe,
Then low-born perceptions the summit attain,
As a scratch on the toe gives a smart to the brain :
With this simile pat, my first letter I end,
And so I remain — your affectionate friend.


To Letter 2


N O T E S.

* Bryant.

Numb. xxi. v. 9.

a THE King of Prussia issued Promissory Notes to the Peasants, for the sheep which his Majesty bought, "payable on the restoration of Louis XVI. to the plenitude of his power and prerogative."

The following EPIGRAM was handed about at that time in Paris:


Sur la promesse du Roi de Prussie de payer le prix 117 moutons, lorsqu'il seroit a l'etabler Louix XVI, sur son trone.

Cessex de vous plaindre O Paysans loyaux,
Que Frederic pille, ou mange vos troupeaux;
Pour le meme jour, le grand Roi a promis,
Le trone a Bourbon, et l'Argent des brebis.

A Translation into Latin soon after appeared in one of the German Gazettes.

        De Ovibus raptis,
    Pastores lacrymas cessabunt fundere tristes
Brunsvicki gregibus raptatis ense tremendo;
Felicem eventum, tandem læta afferet hora
Aurum pro gregibus, Sceptrum pro Rege fugaci.

A Translation of the same EPIGRAM also appeared in the Morning Chronicle.

No more let Gallia's plunder'd peasants weep,
Tho' Brunswic steal, and Frederic eat their sheep;
A double blessing, one glad day shall bring,
Cash for their sheep, a Sceptre for their King.

An invidious EPIGRAM was also addressed to the king soon after.

Avis au Frederic Illuminé

A l'example de Saul, va chercher chez les morts,
   De quoi reparer ta disgrace;
Evoques Frederic le Grand, peut etre le sort
   Par pitie te prendra a sa place.

Translation in the MORNING CHRONICLE

As Saul from the tomb, evok'd a dead friend,
Call up great Frederic's ghost, for you're at your wit's end,
And Heaven perhaps, to prevent more disgrace,
Will permit him to stay, and take you in his place.

b A pompous account of this curious and (once admired) piece of Machinery, is given in the Voyage Pittoresque de Paris.

** Madame Maintenon, who in a Vaudeville is made to say — " Il eut peur de l'enfer, le lache, et je fus reine. "

c One of the reasons assigned by Louix XIV. for attacking Holland, in his Manifesto, addressed to all the Powers of Europe was, that the Dutch had invidiously struck a Medal, derogatory of his glory; on this, and some other weighty reasons, he sent Marshal Luxemburgh to lay waste the country by force and sword. — Voltaire says, that when he visited Holland, forty years after, they still talked with horror and execration of the barbarities committed by the French Army, during their retreat. — Siecle de Louis XIV. T. 1. P. 164.

d This monument of national triumph is still to be seen at Blenheim, and perfectly corresponds with the taste displayed in this Quarry of Architecture. The statue of Louis XIV., taken from the gates of Lisle, was exultingly fixed near the Cock and the Lion, (and still remains there) no doubt, to mortify his vanity.

e This proposition was made in the National Assembly, on the 22d of August, 1792, and Chabot and Merlin offered their services. — The Speeches, (with a little poetical license) are correctly given.

†† Mon cœur est tout Francais et mon ame un sans culotte. — The expression of Anacharsis Clouts in the National Assembly.

*** The author was present at this debate; and at the Jacobin Club, when one of the members pledged himself to bring in M. La Fayette alive or dead; and received the unanimous applause of the Assembly.

f The Consuls Caius Fabricius, and Q. Æmilius, rejected with horror the proposal of Pyrrhus's Physician, to poison his master, and even gave notice to that Prince, that he might beware of the traitor, haughtily adding, " It is not to make our court to you that we give this information, but that we may not draw on ourselves any infamy. " And they excellently say in the same letter, " that it is for the common interest of all Nations, not to set such examples. " — Sed communis exempli et fidei ergo visum est, uti te salvum velimus; ut esset, quem armis vincere possimus. Aul. Gell. Noct. Attic. Lib. III. Cap. viii.

††† This retort courteous actually passed in the National Assembly.

g La liberté triomphera,
Et repandra au loin ses charmes,
Des que d'une voix on Criera,
Aux Armes, Republicains, aux Armes ! &c. &c.

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