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Their manners ought to be polished, by introducing among them a taste for music, for dancing and rural festivity, so well calculated to recreate them after their painful toil, and to make them in love with labour. Thus they will be induced to repounce their barbarous sports, the fruit of their cruel education. There is one, among others, which strikes me as detestable; it is that in which they take a live goose, suspend her by the neck, and contend who shall first bring her down, by alternately throwing a stick at their victim. During this long agony, which lasts for hours together, the wretched animal tosses about her feet in the air, to the great satisfaction of her executioners, till at length one of them, a better marksman than the rest, by completing a separation of the vertebræ, brings to the ground the bruised and palpitating carcase; he then carrieş it off in triumph, and deyours it with his companions. Thus they transmit into their own blood the substance of a dead animal tortured into madness. These ferocious and silly diversions are frequently celebrated in the avenues ļeading to the castles of the Nobility, or in the vicinity of churches, without the least interruption from the Lord or the parish Priest ; this last often forbids the young girls to dance, and permits the young men to torment innocent birds to death. It is that in our Cities, the Priests hunt from the churches women who present themselves there ¡n hats ; but they respectfully salute men who come dressed in swords. Many of them consider it has an heinous offence to go to the opera, and with delectation contemplate at a bull-baiting, that companion of the husbandman,


torn in pieces by à pack of hounds. Every where; wo to the weakest! Every where barbarism is a virtue with those in whose estimation the graces are crimes.

The cruelty practised on animals is only an apprenticeship to the science of tormenting men. I have endeavoured to find out the origin of the atrocious custom among our peasantry of torturing to death the goose, a harmless and useful bird, and which sometimes renders them the service of the dog, being like him susceptible of attachment, and capable of exercising vigilance. It appears to me that we must refer it to the first Gauls, who, after having made themselves masters of Rome, failed in their attempt to scale the Capitol, because the sacred geese of Junó, which could not sleep there for want of food, by their cackling foused the guards, who were lulled to rest by watching and fatigué. Thus the geese saved the Roman Empire, and defeated the enterprize of the Gauls. Plutarch relates that in his time, under Trajan, the Romans continued to celebrate the deliverance of the Capitol by an anniversary festival, on which they carried through the streets of Rome, a dog hanged, because their dogs slept during the escalade of the Gauls, and a goose placed on a rich cushion, in commemoration of the vigilance of those birds, to which they were indebted for their safety. It is not unlikely that the Gauls, on returning to their own country adopted the contrary practice, and every year hanged up French gecse, out of resentinent at the Roman geese, without reflecting that they might themselves expect from them similar good offices Ff 3


in similar circumstances. But man frequently con demns in his enemy what he would approve in his friend. Another custom is introduced to support the first: it is that practised by our peasants of kindling great bonfires about Saint John's day, perhaps in memory of the burning of Rome, which happened at this season, according to Plutarch, that is about the summer solstice. I am well aware that religion had in some measure consecrated the fires of Saint John, but I believe they are of antiquity more remote than the Christian Æra, as well as many other usages which Christians have adopted.

Whatever be in this, the Departments ought to abolish from among our peasants those inhuman pastimes, and substitute in their room such as exercise both body and mind, like those in use among the Greeks. Such are wrestling, running, swimming, the use of fire-arms, dancing, and above all, music, which has such power toward polishing the human mind. But we hope to treat these subjects more profoundly, when we engage in a plan of national education.

Our men of capital may powerfully second this moral revolution in rural life, by combining their means with the illuminations of the Departments. Instead of monopolizing the money and the bread of the People, whose curses they draw down upon themselves, and sometimes their vengeance, it is easy for them to lay out their money on undoubted security, with profit, honour, and pleasure. They could establish country banks, for the purpose of lending, at a moderate interest, stall sums to the farmer, who, for want of a little ready money, frequently sees his pro


perty go to ruin. They could themselves drain marches, clear waste lands, multiply flocks, estaba lish manufactures, render small rivers navigable ; instead of acquiring immense tracts of landed property producing a small revenue while in the hands of their great farmers, because the half must be every year left in fallow, they ought to divide them into small portions of four, of six, of ten acres, which will yield a perpetual produce, because a single family can cultivate them.

They may plant them out into orchards, enclose them with quickset hedges, less expensive, more durable, more agreeable and more beneficial to agriculture, than the long and gloomy stone walls of parks; they may rear on them little smiling and commodious mansions, or even simple cottages, and sell or let them to tradesmen who may come thither in quest of health and repose.


The simple tastes of the country will thus be introduced into the cities, and the urbanity of cities will communicate itself to the country.

Our capitalists might extend their patriotic establishments beyond seas, open new channels to commerce and fisheries, discover new islands under the fortunate climate of the tropical regions, and there plant colonies exempted from slavery. The greatest of islands in the bosom of the Ocean, if after all it be only an island, New Holland, invites them to complete the discovery of it's coasts, and to penetrate into it's immense solitudes, where the foot of European never yet travelled. They may, with French liberty and industry, found on it's shores a new Baa. tavia, which shall attract to itself the riches of two worlds, or rather like new Lycurguses, may they


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banish money from it, and, in it's place, introduce the reign of innocence, concord and happiness!

Of the Nobility and the National Guards. The ambition of the Nobility had acquired entire possession of honours ecclesiastical, military, parliamentary, financial, municipal, and even of those pertaining to men of letters and artists. Letters of Nobility were requisite to a man's being a Bishop, a Colonel, or even a Subaltern Officer, in the Army, a Privy Counsellor, the Mayor of a Corporation; they were obtained as a qualification for filling the place of Sheriff of Paris; they would soon have become necessary towards obtaining a seat in our Academies, which had all of them Noblemen, or pretenders to Nobility, at their head. M. le Clerc had become M. le Comte de Buffon, and Voltaire, M. le Comte de Ferney : others limited their ambition to the ribbon of St. Michael; all our noted literary characters aimed at present or future Nobility. Poor John James alone was contented to remain a man. Besides, lie had not the honour of belonging to any one Academy.

· A Nation consisting of Nobles only, would quickly terminate it's career in the loss of it's Religion, it's Armies, it's Justice, it's Finances, it's Agriculture, it's Commerce, it's Arts and it's Illumination: and would substitute in place of these, Ceremonies, Titles, Imposts, Lotteries, Academies. and Inquisitions. Look at Spain and a part of Italy, particularly Rome, Naples and Venice. The French National Assembly has laid open the path of honour to every. Frenchman; but in order to keep in it, he must run the race himself,


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