ON THE EXECUTION OF LOUIS CAPAT. From a Pamphlet entitled. "Peace and Union."
LOUIS CAPET has afforded an excellent to∣pick for parliamentary declamation. Let us strip the subject of figures of rhetorick, and no Englishman need be alarmed at the execution of and individual at Paris. Louis Capet was once King of France, and entitled to the honours of that exalted station. The supreme power of the nation declared that France should be a Republic; from that moment Louis Capet lost his titles. He was accused of enormous crimes, confined as a state prisoner, tried by the National Convention, found guilty, condemned, and executed. What Page 12is there wonderful in all this? Our revolution, the boast of the present days, pursued the same con∣duct as nearly as possible. Our Convention de∣clared, that James the Second should be no longer king; it did not chuse to abolish kingship, but dignified William the Third with regal honours. James was stripped of his titles, and became plain James Stuart, and the rebublican William became a sovereign. James was not tried, condemned, and executed, because he saved his life by flight: but the laws against himself and his son, and the proceedings in the years fifteen and forty-five, must convince the most superficial reasoner, that the maxims of the English and French nations, with respect to the dethroning of kings, are ex∣actly the same. But some one will say, Louis Capet was unjustly condemned. Ninety-nine out of a hundred, who make this objection, have not given themselves the trouble of examining the records of the trial; and why should I give greater credit to the remaining objector than to the ver∣dict of the court? If Louis Capet did when king encourage the invasion of his country, however, we may be inclined to pity the unfortunate man, for the error of his conduct, we have no right to proclaim him innocent in pomt of law. It is, in short, no business of ours; and if all the crowned heads in the continent are taken off, it is no busi∣ness of ours. We should be unworthy of the constitution settled at the revolution, and enemies to the Brunswick families now seated on our throne, if we denied to any nation the right of settling, as it pleased, its own internal government. These sentiments do not prevent us from com∣miserating the situation of the French refugees. They are entitled to our compassion; and it is but right that we should attend to their distresses, since foreign countries have been put to the ex∣pence of maintaining those refugees from our own Page 13island, who, for their attachment to an ancient fa∣mily, were, by the rigour of the two foreign reigns, subjected to all the penalties exacted from recusant by the present government in France.