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And on the part of the other powers, it is as inconsistent that they
should engage in a partition project, which, could it be executed, would
immediately destroy the balance of maritime power in Europe, and would
probably produce a second war, to remedy the political errors of the
first.

A Citizen of the United States of America.




XX. APPEAL TO THE CONVENTION.(1)


Citizens Representatives: If I should not express myself with the energy
I used formerly to do, you will attribute it to the very dangerous
illness I have suffered in the prison of the Luxembourg. For several
days I was insensible of my own existence; and though I am much
recovered, it is with exceeding great difficulty that I find power to
write you this letter.

1 Written in Luxembourg prison, August 7, 1794. Robespierre
having fallen July 29th, those who had been imprisoned under
his authority were nearly all at once released, but Paine
remained. There were still three conspirators against him on
the Committee of Public Safety, and to that Committee this
appeal was unfortunately confided; consequently it never
reached the Convention. The circumstances are related at
length infra, in the introduction to the Memorial to Monroe
(XXI.). It will also be seen that Paine was mistaken in his
belief that his imprisonment was due to the enmity of
Robespierre, and this he vaguely suspected when his
imprisonment was prolonged three months after Robespierre's
death.--_Editor._.

But before I proceed further, I request the Convention to observe: that
this is the first line that has come from me, either to the Convention
or to any of the Committees, since my imprisonment,--which is
approaching to eight months. --Ah, my friends, eight months' loss of
liberty seems almost a life-time to a man who has been, as I have been,
the unceasing defender of Liberty for twenty years.

I have now to inform the Convention of the reason of my not having
written before. It is a year ago that I had strong reason to believe
that Robespierre was my inveterate enemy, as he was the enemy of every
man of virtue and humanity. The address that was sent to the Convention
some time about last August from Arras, the native town of Robespierre,
I have always been informed was the work of that hypocrite and the
partizans he had in the place. The intention of that address was to
prepare the way for destroying me, by making the people declare (though
without assigning any reason) that I had lost their confidence; the
Address, however, failed of success, as it was immediately opposed by a
counter-address from St. Omer, which declared the direct contrary. But
the strange power that Robespierre, by the most consummate hypocrisy and
the most hardened cruelties, had obtained, rendered any attempt on my
part to obtain justice not only useless but dangerous; for it is the
nature of Tyranny always to strike a deeper blow when any attempt has
been made to repel a former one. This being my situation, I submitted
with patience to the hardness of my fate and waited the event of
brighter days. I hope they are now arrived to the nation and to me.

Citizens, when I left the United States in the year 1787 I promised to
all my friends that I would return to them the next year; but the hope
of seeing a revolution happily established in France, that might serve
as a model to the rest of Europe,(1) and the earnest and disinterested
desire of rendering every service in my power to promote it, induced me
to defer my return to that country, and to the society of my friends,
for more than seven years. This long sacrifice of private tranquillity,
especially after having gone through the fatigues and dangers of the
American Revolution which continued almost eight years, deserved a
better fate than the long imprisonment I have silently suffered. But it
is not the nation but a faction that has done me this injustice. Parties
and Factions, various and numerous as they have been, I have always
avoided. My heart was devoted to all France, and the object to which I
applied myself was the Constitution. The Plan which I proposed to the
Committee, of which I was a member, is now in the hands of Barère, and
it will speak for itself.

1 Revolutions have now acquired such sanguinary associations
that it is important to bear in mind that by "revolution"
Paine always means simply a change or reformation of
government, which might be and ought to be bloodless. See
"Rights of Man" Part II., vol. ii. of this work, pp. 513,
523.--:_Editor_.

It is perhaps proper that I inform you of the cause as-assigned in the
order for my imprisonment. It is that I am 'a Foreigner'; whereas, the
_Foreigner_ thus imprisoned was invited into France by a decree of the
late National Assembly, and that in the hour of her greatest danger,
when invaded by Austrians and Prussians. He was, moreover, a citizen of
the United States of America, an ally of France, and not a subject of
any country in Europe, and consequently not within the intentions of any
decree concerning Foreigners. But any excuse can be made to serve the
purpose of malignity when in power.

I will not intrude on your time by offering any apology for the broken
and imperfect manner in which I have expressed myself. I request you to
accept it with the sincerity with which it comes from my heart; and I
conclude with wishing Fraternity and prosperity to France, and union and
happiness to her representatives.

Citizens, I have now stated to you my situation, and I can have no doubt
but your justice will restore me to the Liberty of which I have been
deprived.

Thomas Paine.

Luxembourg, Thermidor 19, 2nd Year of the French Republic, one and
indivisible.




XXI. THE MEMORIAL TO MONROE.

EDITOR'S historical introduction:

The Memorial is here printed from the manuscript of Paine now among the
Morrison Papers, in the British Museum,--no doubt the identical document
penned in Luxembourg prison. The paper in the United States State
Department (vol. vii., Monroe Papers) is accompanied by a note by
Monroe: "Mr. Paine, Luxembourg, on my arrival in France, 1794. My answer
was after the receipt of his second letter. It is thought necessary to
print only those parts of his that relate directly to his confinement,
and to omit all between the parentheses in each." The paper thus
inscribed seems to have been a wrapper for all of Paine's letters.
An examination of the MS. at Washington does not show any such
"parentheses," indicating omissions, whereas that in the British Museum
has such marks, and has evidently been prepared for the press,--being
indeed accompanied by the long title of the French pamphlet. There are
other indications that the British Museum MS. is the original Memorial
from which was printed in Paris the pamphlet entitled:

"Mémoire de Thomas Payne, autographe et signé de sa main: addressé à
M. Monroe, ministre des États-unis en france, pour réclamer sa mise en
liberté comme citoyen Américain, 10 Sept 1794. Robespierre avait fait
arrêter Th. Payne, en 1793--il fut conduit au Luxembourg où le glaive
fut longtemps suspendu sur sa tête. Après onze mois de captivité, il
recouvra la liberté, sur la réclamation du ministre Américain--c'était
après la chute de Robespierre--il reprit sa place à la convention, le 8
décembre 1794. (18 frimaire an iii.) Ce Mémoire contient des renseigne
mens curieux sur la conduite politique de Th. Payne en france, pendant
la Révolution, et à l'époque du procès de Louis XVI. Ce n'est point, dit
il, comme Quaker, qu'il ne vota pas La Mort du Roi mais par un sentiment
d'humanité, qui ne tenait point à ses principes religieux. Villenave."

No date is given, but the pamphlet probably appeared early in 1795.
Matthieu Gillaume Thérèse Villenave (b. 1762, d. 1846) was a journalist,
and it will be noticed that he, or the translator, modifies Paine's
answer to Marat about his Quakerism. There are some loose translations
in the cheap French pamphlet, but it is the only publication which
has given Paine's Memorial with any fulness. Nearly ten pages of
the manuscript were omitted from the Memorial when it appeared as
an Appendix to the pamphlet entitled "Letter to George Washington,
President of the United States of America, on Affairs public and
private." By Thomas Paine, Author of the Works entitled, Common Sense,
Rights of Man, Age of Reason, &c. Philadelphia: Printed by Benj.
Franklin Bache, No. 112 Market Street. 1796. [Entered according to
law.] This much-abridged copy of the Memorial has been followed in
all subsequent editions, so that the real document has not hitherto
appeared.(1)

In appending the Memorial to his "Letter to Washington," Paine would
naturally omit passages rendered unimportant by his release, but his
friend Bache may have suppressed others that might have embarrassed
American partisans of France, such as the scene at the king's trial.

1 Bache's pamphlet reproduces the portrait engraved in
Villenave, where it is underlined: "Peint par Ped [Peale] à
Philadelphie, Dessiné par F. Bonneville, Gravé par Sandoz."
In Bache it is: "Bolt sc. 1793 "; and beneath this the
curious inscription: "Thomas Paine. Secretair d. Americ:
Congr: 1780. Mitgl: d. fr. Nat. Convents. 1793." The
portrait is a variant of that now in Independence Hall, and
one of two painted by C. W. Peale. The other (in which the
chin is supported by the hand) was for religious reasons
refused by the Boston Museum when it purchased the
collection of "American Heroes" from Rembrandt Peale. It was
bought by John McDonough, whose brother sold it to Mr.
Joseph Jefferson, the eminent actor, and perished when his
house was burned at Buzzard's Bay. Mr. Jefferson writes me
that he meant to give the portrait to the Paine Memorial
Society, Boston; "but the cruel fire roasted the splendid
_Infidel_, so I presume the saints are satisfied."

This description, however, and a large proportion of the suppressed
pages, are historically among the most interesting parts of the
Memorial, and their restoration renders it necessary to transfer the
document from its place as an appendix to that of a preliminary to the
"Letter to Washington."

Paine's Letter to Washington burdens his reputation today more,
probably, than any other production of his pen.



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