THE Groans of France In SLAVERY, Gasping after LIBERTY.
Done out of French.

WHEN such a powerful Confederacy was form'd against our King, We who are not so much as suffer'd to speak of Liberty our selves, did hope that our Deliverance was at hand: But now, after six Years Experience, finding the Policy of a Neighbour Nation (from whom alone, under God, we expect Exemption from our Servi­tude) so much off the Hooks, that those among them [Page 2]who sit at the Helm, and approach nearest to their Brave KING, do more mind Enriching themselves, though at the expensive Ruine of their Fellow-Subjects, than Conquering their Enemies. Now, we think it time to speak, and, if possible, by our lamentable Groans and Cryes, to awaken those who are, we hope, design'd by God Almighty to set us miserable Creatures in Statu quo, and to make us truly Franks again.

Can any Christian, without Remorse and Pity, hear the Miseries of our Poor, that wander about the Streets, even of Paris it self, to rake the Dunghills for dead Horses, wherewith to feed their raging Stomachs? The Form and Mildness of our ancient Government is quite lost; and although neither. We nor our Ancestors have ever yet given the King any one authentick Title to our Privileges; yet we have a Yoke impos'd upon us, that is more cruel and insupportable than that which the Grand Signior and Great Mogull impose upon their Slaves.

Our Tyrant would, if possible, hinder us from seeing Liberty enjoyed by others; which has oblig'd him for so many Years to endeavour, with so much Obstinacy, to make the English and Dutch our Companions in Sla­very. He cannot bear the Neighbourhood of a Nation that has always asserted its Privileges with a great deal of Vigour: Nor is he less prejudic'd against another, that had the Courage to shake off its Fetters. But since he has failed to Enslave Them, we hope the time is come when Providence will set Ʋs Free; for all good Frenchmen are in love with the Constitution of the English Govern­ment, and hope, e're long, to settle one like it at Home; which, after all, will be only our own Ancient Form of Go­vernment [Page 3]restor'd: Our Court-Pensioners in England and Holland, as we hear, give out, That we are enamour'd of our Bondage, in love with our Chains; and like a Pack-Horse pleas'd with his Bells, goe merrily with the Burthen that is laid upon us; and that our Riches are inexhaustible, and We as able and willing to part with our Money, as the English and Dutch are to part with theirs. But we hope our Neighbours will not be impos'd upon so grossly: Though we have lost our Liberty, we are not utterly bereav'd of com­mon Sence. The Pack-Horse will not carry his Load very cheerfully, if he have not Provender and Hay at Night, as well as his Bells in the Day. Can the Confederates be ignorant of the Dissatisfaction of the Nobility, Gentry, and Third Estate, which is so notorious in Paris, and all the Great Cities, especially in this Kingdom? Have they not heard in England and Holland, how vastly our King's Revenues are diminish'd? And as our Nobles have not Money to spare for Wine, so our Common People want a Denier to buy 'em Bread. Our Fields lie Untilled, and are almost turn'd to Desarts; an infinite number of People are dead of Cold, Hunger, and other Di­stempers, now Epidemical in France; those Towns which we have known in a flourishing Condition, and well Peopled, are now ruin'd and abandon'd by their Inhabitants, most of the Tradesmen being gone for Soldiers, or reduced to Beggary.

What shall we do now? Whereby shall we put an end to all this Misery? Shall we entreat the King to call a General Meeting of the Estates of the Realm? But who dares undertake to present our Petition to him? Shall the Princes of the Blood? There is not [Page 4]one amongst them that dares offer his Majesty the least Remonstrance? Shall the Dukes and Peers of France, or the Officers of the Crown? They would most certainly be rewarded with a Lodging in the Bastile; and there are too many base Complyers, that would help to drag them thither. Should the Parliament of Paris go in a Body, with their Primeir-President before them; the Heads of that Assembly wou'd be punish'd as Seditious Traytors. Shou'd it be presented by the Inhabitants of Paris, and the rest of the great Cities, we should see Gibbets erected in every Corner of the Streets, and the Troops of the Houshold sent to devour that small Pittance of Main­tenance which is yet left to maintain their Wives and Children. Our poor and ill pay'd Officers wou'd barbarously pillage the Houses of those Persons, who could be accus'd of no other Crime, than endeavour­ing to preserve that little remainder of Liberty which they seem still to enjoy.

Formerly, whenever our Kings acted contrary to the Privileges of the Kingdom, the Nobility and People appeal'd to the General Assembly of Estates, and joyn'd in Leagues to oppose them: But now we have none left in France, but Young Lads, or extreme Old Men, or Shadows of a Middle Age, so fatigued for the Glory of our Grand Monarch, that they are sent Home to be recover'd and nurs'd up, or rather, to encrease our Misery, by augmenting the Number of our Indigents, Our Noblemens Houses want their Lords and Masters, who have been subtilly en­gaged into that Chargeable way of living, that they are now forc'd to make the Camp their Refuge, and [Page 5]leave their miserable Ladies to be attended by an Equipage fit only for an Hospital.

Our In-land Cities have no Cannon to defend them; they are sent to mend the Barriers, and fortifie the Frontiers of our Maritime Towns: And our Burghers are not suffer'd even to repair our decayed Walls; 'tis enough for them to erect Statues for the King, or to cause Inscriptions to be engraven in Ho­nour of that Immortal Man!

The Fortifications and numerous Garrisons of Casal, Strasburgh, and other Frontier Places, have as well drein'd our Men as Money, to that degree, that our Ban and Arrier-Ban must be composed of Women, or Non-Entities. But one great Fetch we have, and that is, to obtain Contribution from our Friends in England, or Ransom for Prisoners taken in Prizes, whereby we bribe some in all the Courts of the Con­federates, so as to prevail that the War shall be drawn out in length, and their numerous Armies kept only to amuse our Frontiers, their Efforts spent in Bombing our Maritime Towns; But not a word of Invading our undefensive Continent: No; should such mea­sures be taken, the War wou'd soon be ended. But then those that made Merchandise of their several Countries and Commonwealths, would have their Trade destroy'd. How glorious a Part we acted, when the English made their last Descent! Their Or­ders were positive to land at an appointed Place; and we not daring to trust our faint dispirited Ban and Arrier-Ban, detach'd old Soldiers from the Frontiers, and with Thirty thousand old Soldiers, and a good Tire of Cannon, kill'd and put to flight Five hundred [Page 6]English-men. 'Tis like one of the Victories of Lewis the Fourteenth.

But let the English have a care; for if they e're shou'd land, although the best Men of our Militia are sent away to re-inforce our Army on the Fron­tiers; and though our Towns are Peopled rather with Skeletons than Men; our Brave Nobles absent; our Cities without Men, Walls or Cannon: yet our grand puissant Monarch, accompany'd with his Bro­ther of Great-Britain (Hero's of equal approved For­titude) with Regiments of Mistresses, and Troops of Financiers, and all the stately Statues and Figures of our Terrestrial Deity, will be ready to oppose them. Who knows but the Statues may turn Talis­mans? and the Blind and the Lame may confound the English and Dutch?

But alas, this is not a time for Mirth! Oh, that we had but some Carrier Pigeons to send into England, to let those Brave Men, who have so often recover'd their near lost Liberty, know, that we are not such Mad-men as they are made believe; we are not de­sirous to perpetuate our Slavery: If they will leave us free to enjoy our Religion (which indeed we do not deserve, considering what Properties we suffer'd our selves to be made, in Persecuting those of the Re­formation,) if they will lay aside that fond Design, of making us a Province under them, but will allow us to chuse a King of our own, who yet shall pay some small Acknowledgment to their Monarch: and if they will be sure not to fail us, and leave us to the Wheel and Gibbet for our Good-will to them; then they shall see the bravest of our Armies desert, [Page 7]our exhausted Kingdom make them a Noble Present of their Gratitude; which shall make all Taxes and Excises cease with them, and Europe shall once more enjoy Tranquillity; their Trade and ours shall be restor'd, and not interfere; and we will turn our Ar­mies and our Fleets against the Enemies of the Chri­stian Name, or against those base Neuters, who have so long contributed toward our more than unsuf­ferable Bondage.

But where shall we obtain those Carrier-Pigeons? I have it, Tont pro Tont. I will go a Privateering; that will delude our Argus: or I will bespeak some Wool unwrought, or pretend a Message to the Male­contents, the Jacobites of Great-Britain: and if they will not hearken to this Call, which will put an end to their Miseries and our own; then I will cry out with Tiberius, — O Homines ad servitutem paratos!— I will shake the Dust from off my Feet, and throw my self headlong off some Gliff, into the Sea, to be a Meal for some of Neptune's Subjects, rather than longer endure the Tyranny of Lewis the Fourteenth.

Before I conclude; one late Accident accurring to my mind, I will relate: An English Vessel, either a Privateer or a Merchant-man, happening lately to be wreckt on our Coast, about forty of its Crew got on shore, well arm'd, many of them, in their Boats; and another Spy-Boat, having had the fortune to escape not far off, two or three happening to come in sight of those English, and to be pursued by them, who posted away to Paris, to which they were bound, brought the dreaded News, That the Confederates were Landed. Which alarum'd Paris and Versailles [Page 8]with different Sentiments: The first wish'd that they brought Bread and Succour: The other dreaded the Report, and were struck with such a Pannick Fear, that I verily believe, had Two hundred bold Men landed with good store of Provisions, they would have gather'd up our Half-starv'd Countrymen, and encreas'd like a Snow-Ball; and our Illustrious Mo­narch (the Plague of all Mankind) wou'd have ended our Misery by a French Abdication.


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