Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 7.djvu/171

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mode of punishing them which would be a new danger to themselves?

We have allowed ourselves to be misled by foreign examples which have nothing in common with us. Since Cromwell caused Charles I. to be judged by a tribunal which he controlled, and Elizabeth had Mary Queen of Scots condemned in the same way, it is natural that tyrants who sacrifice their kind, not to the people, but to their own ambition, should seek to deceive the crowd by illusive forms. It is a question neither of principles, nor of liberty, but of trickery and intrigue. But the people! What other law can they follow but justice and reason supported by their omnipotence?

A trial for Louis XVI! But what is this trial, if it is not the call of insurrection to a tribunal or to some other assembly? When a king has been annihilated by the people, who has the right to resuscitate him in order to make of him a new pretext for trouble and rebellion? And what other effects can this system produce? In opening an arena to the champions of Louis XVI. you resuscitate all the strife of despotism against liberty; you consecrate the right to blaspheme against the Republic and against the people, because the right to defend the former despot involves the right to say everything that concerns his cause. You arouse all the factions; you revive, you encourage dying royalism. The people might freely take part for or against it. What more legitimate, what more natural than to re-