October 13, 2014

"LIVE FREE OR DIE" By Camille Desmoulins February 1788



One difference between the monarchy and the republic, which alone should suffice to make the people reject with horror all the monarchical rule and make them prefer the republic regardless of the cost of its establishment, is that in a democracy, though the people may be deceived, yet, at least, they love virtue.  It is merit that they believe they put in power in place of the rascals who are the very essence of monarchies.  The vices, the concealments, and the crimes which are the diseases of republics are the very health and existence of monarchies.  Cardinal Richelieu avowed openly in his political principles, that "the king should always avoid using the talents of thoroughly honest men."  Long before him Sallust said: "Kings cannot get along without rascals.  On the contrary, they should fear to trust the honest and the upright."

Camille Desmoulins
It is therefore, only under a democracy that the good citizen can reasonably hope to see a cessation of the triumphs of intrigue and crime; and to this end the people need only to be enlightened.
There is yet this difference between a monarchy and the republic; the reigns of Tiberius, of Claudius, of Nero, of Caligula, of Domitian, had happy beginnings.  In face, all reigns make a joyous entry, but only as a delusion.  Therefore the Royalists laugh at the present state of France as if its violent and terrible entry under the republic must always last.