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The word, in its immediate or original sense,
signifies _the absolute power of a single individual_, who may prove
a fool, an hypocrite, or a tyrant. The appellation admits of no other
interpretation than that which is here given. France is therefore not a
_Monarchy_; it is insulted when called by that name. The servile spirit
which characterizes this species of government is banished from France,
and this country, like AMERICA, can now afford to Monarchy no more than
a glance of disdain.

Of the errors which monarchic ignorance or knavery has spread through
the world, the one which bears the marks of the most dexterous
invention, is the opinion that the system of _Republicanism_ is only
adapted to a small country, and that a _Monarchy_ is suited, on the
contrary, to those of greater extent. Such is the language of Courts,
and such the sentiments which they have caused to be adopted in
monarchic countries; but the opinion is contrary, at the same time, to
principle and to experience.

The Government, to be of real use, should possess a complete knowledge
of all the parties, all the circumstances, and all the interests of a
nation. The monarchic system, in consequence, instead of being suited
to a country of great extent, would be more admissible in a small
territory, where an individual may be supposed to know the affairs and
the interests of the whole. But when it is attempted to extend this
individual knowledge to the affairs of a great country, the capacity of
knowing bears no longer any proportion to the extent or multiplicity of
the objects which ought to be known, and the government inevitably falls
from ignorance into tyranny. For the proof of this position we need only
look to Spain, Russia, Germany, Turkey, and the whole of the Eastern
Continent,--countries, for the deliverance of which I offer my most
sincere wishes.

On the contrary, the true _Republican_ system, by Election and
Representation, offers the only means which are known, and, in my
opinion, the only means which are possible, of proportioning the wisdom
and the information of a Government to the extent of a country.

The system of _Representation_ is the strongest and most powerful center
that can be devised for a nation. Its attraction acts so powerfully,
that men give it their approbation even without reasoning on the cause;
and France, however distant its several parts, finds itself at this
moment _an whole_, in its _central_ Representation. The citizen is
assured that his rights are protected, and the soldier feels that he
is no longer the slave of a Despot, but that he is become one of the
Nation, and interested of course in its defence.

The states at present styled _Republican_, as Holland, Genoa, Venice,
Berne, &c. are not only unworthy the name, but are actually in
opposition to every principle of a _Republican_ government, and the
countries submitted to their power are, truly speaking, subject to an
_Aristocratic_ slavery!

It is, perhaps, impossible, in the first steps which are made in a
Revolution, to avoid all kind of error, in principle or in practice, or
in some instances to prevent the combination of both. Before the sense
of a nation is sufficiently enlightened, and before men have entered
into the habits of a free communication with each other of their natural
thoughts, a certain reserve--a timid prudence seizes on the human mind,
and prevents it from obtaining its level with that vigor and promptitude
that belongs to _right_.--An example of this influence discovers
itself in the commencement of the present Revolution: but happily this
discovery has been made before the Constitution was completed, and in
time to provide a remedy.

The _hereditary succession_ can never exist as a matter of _right_; it
is a _nullity_--a _nothing_. To admit the idea is to regard man as a
species of property belonging to some individuals, either born or to
be born! It is to consider our descendants, and all posterity, as mere
animals without a right or will! It is, in fine, the most base and
humiliating idea that ever degraded the human species, and which, for
the honor of Humanity, should be destroyed for ever.

The idea of hereditary succession is so contrary to the rights of man,
that if we were ourselves to be recalled to existence, instead of being
replaced by our posterity, we should not have the right of depriving
ourselves beforehand of those _rights_ which would then properly belong
to us. On what ground, then, or by what authority, do we dare to deprive
of their rights those children who will soon be men? Why are we not
struck with the injustice which we perpetrate on our descendants, by
endeavouring to transmit them as a vile herd to masters whose vices are
all that can be foreseen.

Whenever the _French_ constitution shall be rendered conformable to its
_Declaration of Rights_, we shall then be enabled to give to France, and
with justice, the appellation of a _civic Empire_; for its government
will be the empire of laws founded on the great republican principles
of _Elective Representation_, and the _Rights of Man_.--But Monarchy
and Hereditary Succession are incompatible with the _basis_ of its
constitution.

I hope that I have at present sufficiently proved to you that I am
a good Republican; and I have such a confidence in the truth of the
principles, that I doubt not they will soon be as universal in _France_
as in _America_. The pride of human nature will assist their evidence,
will contribute to their establishment, and men will be ashamed of
Monarchy.

I am, with respect, Gentlemen, your friend,

Thomas Paine.

Paris, June, 1791.




III. TO THE ABBÉ SIÈYES.(1)

Paris, 8th July, 1791.

Sir,

At the moment of my departure for England, I read, in the _Moniteur_
of Tuesday last, your letter, in which you give the challenge, on
the subject of Government, and offer to defend what is called the
_Monarchical opinion_ against the Republican system.

I accept of your challenge with pleasure; and I place such a confidence
in the superiority of the Republican system over that nullity of a
system, called _Monarchy_, that I engage not to exceed the extent of
fifty pages, and to leave you the liberty of taking as much latitude as
you may think proper.

The respect which I bear your moral and literary reputation, will be
your security for my candour in the course of this discussion; but,
notwithstanding that I shall treat the subject seriously and sincerely,
let me promise, that I consider myself at liberty to ridicule, as they
deserve, Monarchical absurdities, whensoever the occasion shall present
itself.

By Republicanism, I do not understand what the name signifies in
Holland, and in some parts of Italy. I understand simply a government
by representation--a government founded upon the principles of the
Declaration of Rights; principles to which several parts of the French
Constitution arise in contradiction. The Declaration of Rights of France
and America are but one and the same thing in principles, and almost in
expressions; and this is the Republicanism which I undertake to defend
against what is called _Monarchy_ and _Aristocracy_.

1 Written to the _Moniteur_ in reply to a letter of the Abbé
(July 8) elicited by Paine's letter to "Le Républicain"
(II.). The Abbé now declining a controversy, Paine dealt
with his views in "Rights of Man," Part IL, ch. 3.--
_Editor_.

I see with pleasure that in respect to one point we are already agreed;
and _that is, the extreme danger of a civil list of thirty millions_. I
can discover no reason why one of the parts of the government should
be supported with so extravagant a profusion, whilst the other scarcely
receives what is sufficient for its common wants.

This dangerous and dishonourable disproportion at once supplies the one
with the means of corrupting, and throws the other into the predicament
of being corrupted. In America there is but little difference, with
regard to this point, between the legislative and the executive part of
our government; but the first is much better attended to than it is in
France.

In whatsoever manner, Sir, I may treat the subject of which you
have proposed the investigation, I hope that you will not doubt my
entertaining for you the highest esteem. I must also add, that I am not
the personal enemy of Kings. Quite the contrary. No man more heartily
wishes than myself to see them all in the happy and honourable state of
private individuals; but I am the avowed, open, and intrepid enemy of
what is called Monarchy; and I am such by principles which nothing can
either alter or corrupt--by my attachment to humanity; by the anxiety
which I feel within myself, for the dignity and the honour of the human
race; by the disgust which I experience, when I observe men directed by
children, and governed by brutes; by the horror which all the evils that
Monarchy has spread over the earth excite within my breast; and by those
sentiments which make me shudder at the calamities, the exactions, the
wars, and the massacres with which Monarchy has crushed mankind: in
short, it is against all the hell of monarchy that I have declared war.

Thomas Paine.(1)

1 To the sixth paragraph of the above letter is appended a
footnote: "A deputy to the congress receives about a guinea
and a half daily: and provisions are cheaper in America
than in France." The American Declaration of Rights referred
to unless the Declaration of Independence, was no doubt,
especially that of Pennsylvania, which Paine helped to
frame.--Editor.




IV. TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.


[Undated, but probably late in May, 1793.]


Sir,

Though I have some reason for believing that you were not the original
promoter or encourager of the prosecution commenced against the work
entitled "Rights of Man" either as that prosecution is intended to
affect the author, the publisher, or the public; yet as you appear
the official person therein, I address this letter to you, not as Sir
Archibald Macdonald, but as Attorney General.

You began by a prosecution against the publisher Jordan, and the reason
assigned by Mr.



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