employing military force against their states.
Chap. XLVIII.} 1772. Aug.
parliament of Paris
, even more than the other companies of judges, had become an aristocratic senate, not only distributing justice, but exercising some check on legislation; Louis the Fifteenth demanded their unqualified registry of his edicts.
‘Sire,’ remonstrated the upright magistrate Malesherbes
in 1771, ‘to mark your dissatisfaction with the parliament of Paris
, the most essential rights of a free people are taken from the nation.
The greatest happiness of the people is always the object and end of legitimate power.
God places the crown on the head of kings to preserve to their subjects the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property.
This truth flows from the law of God, and from the law of nature; and is peculiar to no constitution.
, as in all monarchies, there exist inviolable rights, which belong to the nation.
Interrogate, Sire, the nation itself; the incorruptible testimony of its representatives will at least let you know, if the cause which we defend today, is that of all this people, by whom you reign, and for whom you reign.’
‘I will never change,’ replied Louis.
, he overturned all the parliaments, and reconstructed the courts.
‘The crown is rescued from the dust of the rolls;’ cried his flatterers.
‘It is the tower of Babel,’ said others; ‘or chaos come again; or the end of the world.’
But against the monarch were his own vices which threw infamy on himself and defiled his throne.
Libertinage must be observed in an old man, to learn all its baseness; it takes the daring hardihood of long experience to be thoroughly depraved.
In the aged voluptuary, sensuality springs from infidelity in