Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Citizens, I cannot finish..."

The conclusion of Raymond de Sèze’s defense of Louis XVI at his trial:
Louis ascended the throne at the age of twenty, and at the age of twenty he gave to the throne the example of character. He brought to the throne no wicked weaknesses, no corrupting passions. He was economical, just, severe. He showed himself always the constant friend of the people. The people wanted the abolition of servitude. He began by abolishing it on his own lands. The people asked for reforms in the criminal law… he carried out these reforms. The people wanted liberty: he gave it to them… Nevertheless, it is in the name of these very people that one today demands…

Citizens, I cannot finish… I stop myself before History. Think how it will judge your judgement, and that the judgement of [the king] will be judged by the centuries!   

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