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and who, if they were not enemies, The King's Speech to the National have deserted their station as citi. Assembly on accepting the Constizens. The king, sir, charges you tution, Sept. 14. to defeat their intrigues and their
Gentlemen, projects. The same calumnies, while they spread the falsest ideas I COME to consecrate, in this respecting the French revolution, place, solemnly, the acceptance have rendered the intentions of which I have given to the constituFrench travellers suspected by se
tional act: in consequence of veral nations : and the king ex.
which I swear to be faithful to the pressly orders you to protect and nation and the law; and to employ defend them. Represent the French all the power that is delegated to constitution in the same light as that me, to maintain the constitution in which the king views it: and decreed by the constituting national leave no doubt of his intention to assembly. May this great and memaintain it to the utmost of his morable epoch be that of the repower. By securing the liberty and establishment of peace and union, theequality of the citizens, that con- and become the surety of the hapstitution founds the national prospe- piness of the people, and the prosrity on the most immoveable basis; perity of the empire. it confirms the royal authority by
The President's Answer. the law; it prevents, by a glorious revolution, the revolution ABUSES of long standing which which the abuses of the old govern- bad triumphed over the good inment would probably soon have ef- tentions of the best of Kings, and fected by a dissolution of the em had incessantly braved the authoripire; and finally, it will constitute ty of the throne, oppressed France. the happiness of the king. To Depositary of the wishes, rights, justify it, to defend it, and to con- and power of the people, the nasider it as the rule of your conduct, tional assembly has established, by ought to be your first and most the destruction of all abuses, the important duty.
solid basis of public prosperity. I have frequently before commu- Sire, what this assembly has denicated to you his majesty's senti- creed, the national concurrence ments on this head; but, after the has ratified. The most complete information he has received of the execution of its decrees, in all parts opinion endeavoured to be establish- of the empire, attests the general ed in foreign courts respecting what sentiment. It deranges the weak is passing in France, he has ordered plans of those whoin discontent me to make known the contents of has too long kept blind to their this letter to the court at which own interests. It promises to your you reside ; and that it may be still majesty, that your wishes for the more public his majesty has order. welfare of the French will no ed it to be printed.
longer be vain.
The national assembly has noMONTMORIN. thing more to desire, on this ever
memorable day, in which you comApril 23, 1791.
plete, in its bosom, by the most
solemn engagement, the accepta King of the French. To all citition of constitutional royalty. It is zens-Greeting: the attachment of the French, it : I HAVE accepted the constituis their confidence, which confers tion-I will use all my endeavours upon you that pure and respectable to maintain it, and cause it to be title to the most desirable crown in executed. the universe ; and what secures it The revolution is completed-It to you, sire, is the unperishable is time that the re-establishment of authority of a constitution freely order should give to the constitudecreed. It is the invincible force tion the support which is still most of a people who feel themselves necessary; it is time to fix the opiworthy of liberty. It is the neces. nion of Europe on the destiny of sity which so great a nation will France, and to shew that the ever have for an hereditary mo. French are worthy to be free. narchy.
But my vigilance and my cares When your majesty, waiting ought still to be seconded by the from experience the lights which concurrence of all the friends of are about to be spread by the prac. their country and of liberty: it is tical result of the constitution, pro- by submission to the laws; it is by mises to maintain it at home, and abjuring the spirit of party, and to defend it from external attack, all the passions which accompany the nation, trusting to the justness of it; it is by a happy union of sentiits rights, and to the consciousness ment, of wishes, and of endeavours, of its force and courage, as well as that the constitution will be conto the loyalty of your co-operation, firmed, and that the nation will can entertain no apprehension of enjoy all the advantages which it alarms from without, and is about secures. to contribute, by its tranquil con Let every idea of intolerance fidence, to the speedy success of then be abandoned for ever; let its internal government.
the rash desire of independence no What ought to be great in your longer be confounded with the love eyes, sire, dear to our hearts, and of liberty ; let those pernicious quawhat will appear with lustre in our lifications, with which it has been history, is, the epoch of this rege- attempted to inflame the people, peration; which gives to France, be irrevocably banished; let religicitizens-to the French, a country ous opinions no longer be a source to you, as king, a new title of gran- of persecution and animosity; let deur and of glory-and to you all who observe the laws be at liagain, as a man, a new source of berty to adopt that form of worship enjoyment, and new sensations of to which they are attached; and happiness.
let no party give offence to those
who may follow opinions different Proclamation of the King of the from their own from motives of French, Sept. 28.
conscience. But it is not sufficient
to shun those excesses to which you LOUIS,
might be carried by a spirit of vio By the Grace of God, and by the lence; you must likewise fulfil the Constitutional Law of the State, obligations which are imposed by
the public interest. One of the functions; fulfil them with zeal, first, one of the most essential, is with courage, with impartiality; the payment of the contributions labour with me to restore peace and established by your representatives the government of laws; and by It is for the observance of engage- thus securing the happiness of the ments, which national honour has nation, prepare for the return of rendered sacred ; for the internal those whose absence has only protranquillity of the state ; for its ex- ceeded from the fear of disorder ternal security; it is for the stabi- and violence. lity of the constitution itself that I And all you who from different remind you of this indispensable motives have quitted your country, duty.
your king invites you to relurn to Citizens armed for the mainte- your fellow-citizens ; he invites nance of the law, National guards, you to yield to the public wish and never forget that it is to protect' ihe national interest. Return with the safety of persons and of pro. confidence under the security of perty, the collection of public con- law; and this honourable return; tributions, the circulation of grain at the moment when the constituand of provisions, that the arms tion is definitively settled, will renwhich you bear have been deliver- der more easy and more expeditied into
hands; it belongs to ous, the re-establishment of order you to feel that justice and mutual and of tranquillity. utility demand, that, between the And you French people, a nation inhabitants of the same empire, so illustrious for so many ages, abundance should be applied to the shew yourselves magnanimous and aid of indigence; and that it is the generous, at the moment when duty of the public force to promote your liberty is confirmed; resume the advancement of commerce, as your happy character; let your mothe means of remedying the intem- deration and wisdom revive among perance of seasons, correcting the you the security which the disturinequality of harvest, uniting toge- bances of the revolution had bather all the parts of the kingdom, nished; and let your king henceand establishing a community of the forth enjoy, without inquietude various productions of their soil and without molestation, those and industry.
testimonies of attachment and fide. And
you, whom the people have lity which can alone secure his hapa chosen to watch over their inte- piness. rests; you also, on whom they
Doneat Paris, the 28th Sept.1791. have conferred the formidable
(Signed) Louis, power of determining on the pro.
(and underneath) DE LESSART. perty, the honour, and the life of citizens; you too whom they have instituted to adjust their differen- The King's Speech to the National, ces, members of the different admi- Assembly, the last Day of their nistrative bodies, judges of tribu
Meeting, September 30. nals, judges of peace, I recommend Gentlemen, to you to be impressed with the YOU. have terminated your laimportance and dignity of your bours: the constitution is finished.
, 1791. I have promised to maintain it, to that the constitution will be concause it to be executed: it is pro- firmed, and that the nation will claimed by my orders. This con- enjoy all the advantages which it stitution, from which France ex
guarantees. pects prosperity, this fruit of your cares and watchings will be your
The President's Answer, recompence. France, made happy Sire, by your labours, will communi
THE adherence of the nation cate her happiness to you. ratifies the constitution decreed by
Return to your homes, and tell the assembly of the representatives your fellow-citizens, that the hap• of the nation. Your majesty has piness of the French ever has been, accepted it, and the public joy is a and ever will be, the object of my sufficient testimony of the general wishes; that I neither have, nor
assent. It promises that your macan have, any interest but the ge- jesty will no longer desire in vain neral interest; that my prosperity the happiness of the French. On consists only in the public prospe- this memorable day the national rity; that I shall exert all the pow• assembly has nothing more to wish, ers entrusted to me to give efficacy and the nation, by its tranquil codto the new system; that I shall fidence, is ready to co-operate for communicate it to foreign courts; the prompt success of its internal and shall, in every thing, prove
government. that I can be happy only in the happiness of the people of France.
Tell them also, that the revolu- Speech of the King of the French tion has reached its period, and to the New National Assembly, that the firmest support of the con October 7. stitution is now the re-establish Gentlemen, ment of order. You, gentlemen, ASSEMBLED by virtue of the in your several departments, will constitution to exercise the powers undoubtedly second my vigilance which it delegates to you, you will and care with all your power; undoubtedly consider as among you will give the first example of your first duties, to facilitate the submission to the laws you have operations of government; to conframed; in the capacity of private firm public credit; to add, if possicitizens
you will display the same ble, io the security of the engagecharacter as in the capacity of pub- ments of the nation; to shew that lic men; and the people, seeing liberty and peace are compatible; their legislators exercise, in private and, finally to attach the people life, those virtues which they have to their new laws, by convincing proclaimed in the national assembly, them that those laws are for their will imitate them, discharge with good. pleasure the obligations which the Your experience of the effects public interest imposes on them, of the new order of things, in the and cheerfully pay the taxes de- several departments from which creed by their representatives. It you come, will enable you to judge is by this happy union of senti. of what may be yet wanting to ments, of wishes, and exertions, bring it to perfection, and make it
easy for you to devise the most pro. der and discipline in the army : per means of giving the necessary and I shall neglect no means that force and activity to the adminis. may contribute to restore confi. tration.
dence among all who compose it For
my own part, called by the and to put it into a condition to constitution to examine, as first re- secure the defence of the realm. If presentative of the people, and for the laws in this respect are insuffi, their interest, the laws presented cient, I shall make known to you for my sanction, and charged with the measures that seem to me to be causing them to be executed, it is proper, and you will decide upon also my duty to propose to you them. such objects as I think ought to be
I shall in the same manner comtaken into consideration in the municate my sentiments respecting course of your session.
the navy, that important part of You will see the propriety of fix the public force, destined to proing your immediate attention on tect trade and the colonies. the state of the finances, and you We shall not, I hope, be troubled will feel the importance of esta- with any attack from abroad. I blishing an equilibrium between have taken, from the moment that the receipt and the expenditure, of I accepted the constitution, and I accelerating the assessment and the still continue to take, the steps that collection of taxes, of introducing appear to me the most proper to fix an invariable order into all parts of the opinion of foreign powers in this vast administration, and thus our favour, and to maintain with providing at once for the support them the good intelligence and of the state, and the relief of the harmony that ought to secure to us people.
the continuance of peace. The civil laws will also demand pect the best effects from them. your care, which you will have to but this expectation does not prerender conformable to the princi. vent me from pursuing, with actiples of the constitution. You will vity, those measures of precaution also have to simplify the mode of which prudence ought to dictate. proceeding in the courts of law, Gentlemen, in order that your and render the attainment of justice important labours and your zeal more easy and more prompt. may produce the effects expected
You will perceive the necessity from them, it is necessary that of establishing a system of national stant harmony and unalterable coneducation, and of giving a solid ba- fidence should reign between the sis to public spirit. You will en- legislative body and the king. The courage commerce and industry, enemies of our repose are but too the
progress of which has so great studious to disunite us: the love of an influence on the agriculture and our country must therefore rally us, the wealth of the kingdom; and and the public interest render us inyou will endeavour to make per separable. Thus the public force manent dispositions for affording will be exerted without obstruction, work and relief to the indigeot. the administration will not be ha
I shall make known my firm de- rassed by vain alarms, the property sire for the re-establishment of or. and the religion of every man will