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No one can be deprived of the least portion of his property without
his consent, unless evidently required by public necessity, legally
determined, and under the condition of a just indemnity in advance.

22. No tax shall be imposed except for the general welfare, and to meet
public needs. All citizens have the right to unite personally, or by
their representatives, in the fixing of imposts.

23. Instruction is the need of all, and society owes it to all its
members equally.

24. Public succours are a sacred debt of society; it is for the law to
determine their extent and application.

25. The social guarantee of the rights of man rests on the national
sovereignty.

26. This sovereignty is one, indivisible, imprescriptible, and
inalienable.

27. It resides essentially in the whole people, and every citizen has an
equal right to unite in its exercise.

28. No partial assemblage of citizens, and no individual, may attribute
to themselves sovereignty, or exercise any authority, or discharge any
public function, without formal delegation thereto by the law.

29. The social guarantee cannot exist if the limits of public
administration are not clearly determined by law, and if the
responsibility of all public functionaries is not assured.

30. All citizens are bound to unite in this guarantee, and in enforcing
the law when summoned in its name.

31. Men united in society should have legal means of resisting
oppression.

32. There is oppression when any law violates the natural rights, civil
and political, which it should guarantee.

There is oppression when the law is violated by public officials in its
application to individual cases.

There is oppression when arbitrary actions violate the rights of citizen
against the express purpose (_expression_) of the law.

In a free government the mode of resisting these different acts of
oppression should be regulated by the Constitution.

33. A people possesses always the right to reform and alter its
Constitution. A generation has no right to subject a future generation
to its laws; and all heredity in offices is absurd and tyrannical.




XVII. PRIVATE LETTERS TO JEFFERSON.


Paris, 20 April, 1793.

My dear Friend,--The gentleman (Dr. Romer) to whom I entrust this
letter is an intimate acquaintance of Lavater; but I have not had the
opportunity of seeing him, as he had set off for Havre prior to my
writing this letter, which I forward to him under cover from one of his
friends, who is also an acquaintance of mine.

We are now in an extraordinary crisis, and it is not altogether without
some considerable faults here. Dumouriez, partly from having no fixed
principles of his own, and partly from the continual persecution of the
Jacobins, who act without either prudence or morality, has gone off
to the Enemy, and taken a considerable part of the Army with him. The
expedition to Holland has totally failed, and all Brabant is again in
the hands of the Austrians.

You may suppose the consternation which such a sudden reverse of fortune
has occasioned, but it has been without commotion. Dumouriez threatened
to be in Paris in three weeks. It is now three weeks ago; he is still on
the frontier near to Mons with the Enemy, who do not make any progress.
Dumouriez has proposed to re-establish the former Constitution in
which plan the Austrians act with him. But if France and the National
Convention act prudently this project will not succeed. In the first
place there is a popular disposition against it, and there is force
sufficient to prevent it. In the next place, a great deal is to be taken
into the calculation with respect to the Enemy. There are now so many
persons accidentally jumbled together as to render it exceedingly
difficult to them to agree upon any common object.

The first object, that of restoring the old Monarchy, is evidently given
up by the proposal to re-establish the late Constitution. The object of
England and Prussia was to preserve Holland, and the object of Austria
was to recover Brabant; while those separate objects lasted, each party
having one, the Confederation could hold together, each helping the
other; but after this I see not how a common object is to be formed.
To all this is to be added the probable disputes about opportunity,
the expence, and the projects of reimbursements. The Enemy has once
adventured into France, and they had the permission or the good fortune
to get back again. On every military calculation it is a hazardous
adventure, and armies are not much disposed to try a second time the
ground upon which they have been defeated.

Had this revolution been conducted consistently with its principles,
there was once a good prospect of extending liberty through the greatest
part of Europe; but I now relinquish that hope. Should the Enemy by
venturing into France put themselves again in a condition of being
captured, the hope will revive; but this is a risk I do not wish to see
tried, lest it should fail.

As the prospect of a general freedom is now much shortened, I begin
to contemplate returning home. I shall await the event of the proposed
Constitution, and then take my final leave of Europe. I have not written
to the President, as I have nothing to communicate more than in this
letter. Please to present him my affection and compliments, and remember
me among the circle of my friends.

Your sincere and affectionate friend,

Thomas Paine.

P. S. I just now received a letter from General Lewis Morris, who tells
me that the house and Barn on my farm at New Rochelle are burnt down. I
assure you I shall not bring money enough to build another.



Paris, 20 Oct., 1793.

I wrote you by Captain Dominick who was to sail from Havre about the
20th of this month. This will probably be brought you by Mr. Barlow or
Col. Oswald. Since my letter by Dominick I am every day more convinced
and impressed with the propriety of Congress sending Commissioners to
Europe to confer with the Ministers of the Jesuitical Powers on the
means of terminating the War. The enclosed printed paper will shew there
are a variety of subjects to be taken into consideration which did not
appear at first, all of which have some tendency to put an end to the
War. I see not how this War is to terminate if some intermediate power
does not step forward. There is now no prospect that France can carry
revolutions into Europe on the one hand, or that the combined powers can
conquer France on the other hand. It is a sort of defensive War on both
sides. This being the case, how is the War to close? Neither side
will ask for peace though each may wish it. I believe that England
and Holland are tired of the War. Their Commerce and Manufactures have
suffered most exceedingly,--besides this, it is for them a War without
an object. Russia keeps herself at a distance.

I cannot help repeating my wish that Congress would send Commissioners,
and I wish also that yourself would venture once more across the ocean,
as one of them. If the Commissioners rendezvous at Holland they would
know what steps to take. They could call Mr. Pinckney [Gen. Thomas
Pinckney, American Minister in England] to their councils, and it would
be of use, on many accounts, that one of them should come over from
Holland to France. Perhaps a long truce, were it proposed by the neutral
powers, would have all the effects of a Peace, without the difficulties
attending the adjustment of all the forms of Peace.

Yours affectionately,

Thomas Paine.




XVIII. LETTER TO DANTON.(1)

Paris, May 6, 2nd year of the Republic [1793.]

Citoyen Danton: As you read English, I write this letter to you without
passing it through the hands of a translator. I am exceedingly disturbed
at the distractions, jealousies, discontents and uneasiness that reign
among us, and which, if they continue, will bring ruin and disgrace on
the Republic. When I left America in the year 1787, it was my intention
to return the year following, but the French Revolution, and the
prospect it afforded of extending the principles of liberty and
fraternity through the greater part of Europe, have induced me to
prolong my stay upwards of six years. I now despair of seeing the great
object of European liberty accomplished, and my despair arises not from
the combined foreign powers, not from the intrigues of aristocracy and
priestcraft, but from the tumultuous misconduct with which the internal
affairs of the present revolution are conducted.

All that now can be hoped for is limited to France only, and I agree
with your motion of not interfering in the government of any foreign
country, nor permitting any foreign country to interfere in the
government of France. This decree was necessary as a preliminary toward
terminating the war. But while these internal contentions continue,
while the hope remains to the enemy of seeing the Republic fall to
pieces, while not only the representatives of the departments but
representation itself is publicly insulted, as it has lately been and
now is by the people of Paris, or at least by the tribunes, the enemy
will be encouraged to hang about the frontiers and await the issue of
circumstances.

1 This admirable letter was brought to light by the late M.
Taine, and first published in full by Taine's translator,
John Durand ("New Materials for the History of the American
Revolution," 1889). The letter to Marat mentioned by Paine
has not been discovered. Danton followed Paine to prison,
and on meeting him there said: "That which you did for the
happiness and liberty of your country I tried to do for
mine. I have been less fortunate, but not less innocent.
They will send me to the scaffold; very well, my friend, I
will go gaily." M. Taine in La Révolution (vol. ii., pp.
382, 413, 414) refers to this letter of Paine, and says:
"Compared with the speeches and writings of the time, it
produces the strangest effect by its practical good sense."
--_Editor._,

I observe that the confederated powers have not yet recognized Monsieur,
or D'Artois, as regent, nor made any proclamation in favour of any
of the Bourbons; but this negative conduct admits of two different
conclusions.



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