No. 419.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Fish.

No. 252.]

Sir: In my dispatch No. 225 of the 22d of December last, in transmitting to you the law passed by the last Congress, enforcing the constitutional [Page 874] reform measures, I referred to the opposition which its passage encountered, mainly because it contemplated the suppression of the Sisters of Charity, the only remaining religious order in this republic, all other monastic orders having been abolished by the Juarez government before the French intervention; and in my No. 239 I communicate the fact of the departure of the Sisters of Charity from the country. These events have created in the republic an unusual degree of feeling and excitement, and have awakened anew the hatred and opposition of the Catholic clergy and their adherents to the present liberal administration.

The opposition has manifested itself most prominently in what are termed the “protests of the ladies,” documents which were drawn up with the ostensible object of expressing sorrow for the departure of the Sisters of Charity, but whose real purpose and effect was to attack and denounce the present government and weaken its influence with the people. These “protests” have been largely signed and promulgated throughout all parts of the country, and embrace the names of the wives and daughters of many of the members of Congress and federal officials, as well as of leading citizens of influence and wealth; and this latter feature gives them their chief significance. I inclose a copy and translation of the protest, signed by the ladies of this city, which, notwithstanding its bitterness, is more moderate and temperate in its language than some of those issued in other cities. The subject has also been discussed with much acrimony in the daily press of this capital, by the conservative or Catholic organs on the one side, and the combined liberal press on the other, the discussion having had the effect to unite the liberal opposition newspapers with the supporters of the administration in the defense of the law, which law is regarded as the natural sequence of the constitutional principles of 1857, and not peculiarly an administration measure.

The article which I inclose from the official newspaper, the “Diario Oficial,” refers to the efforts of the conservative, or church party, to form a union with the liberal opposition, and to the rumors of such a combination, to bring about a revolution, and to the unqualified rejection of such a coalition by the liberal opposition press and party. I also inclose an article from the “Monitor Republicano,” one of the most pronounced of the liberal opposition papers, in which in most enthusiastic language it indorses the action of the President, and quotes approvingly an editorial from the “Diario Oficial” referring to the “protests” and the treatment of the officials whose wives have signed them. I also transmit an editorial from the “Porvenir,” whose editor, Mr. Vigil, is one of the most intelligent writers in Mexico; and an editorial from the “Voz de Mexico,” the most temperate and able of the Catholic organs.

These newspaper articles will convey some idea of the character of the discussion now being carried on, but to fully comprehend the political situation of the country it is proper to refer to other matters.

The long, and, for Mexico, profound peace which the country has enjoyed has not fully realized the natural expectation of a revival of business, a rapid development of industries, and an era of, prosperity. For the past two years the leading industry of the country, silver-mining, has been much depressed, many of the mines being at present only nominally worked, among which is that of the largest company in the republic, the “Real del Monte,” which has had the-effect to leave many laborers without employment. There is a general complaint in mercantile circles of a lethargy and dullness in trade. There has been a repeated delay in the promised construction of railroads to [Page 875] the interior, to the Pacific, and to the American frontier, which has been the greatest industrial demand of the country. Immigration has not set in, as was hoped, with the restoration of peace and a stable government. As a consequence, there exists with many a feeling of disappointment, and with others a spirit of restlessness, which to some observers of the situation forbodes pronunciamentos and revolution; and of this state of the country the conservative, or church party, has been very ready to take advantage. The departure of the sisters of charity and the “protests of the ladies,” added to Pope Pius’s denunciation of the Mexican laws of reform, have revived much of the old religious fanaticism and hatred of the present government, which was believed to be dying out. This spirit has developed if self in the number and strength of the banditti in different parts of the republic, and in attacks upon Protestant Churches and adherents. Inappropriate as it may seem, the rallying-cry and professed object of the robber-bands and guerrillas is that of the defense of the church. These bands, whose numbers are swelled by the numerous unemployed laborers, have become so formidable in the States of Michoacan and Jalisco as to give currency to the report of an organized revolution. But, in view of the recent vigorous measures ordered by the authorities, it is anticipated that these bands will soon be suppressed or scattered. Frequent notices of outrages upon Protestant congregations or individuals appear in the daily papers or are reported to the superintendents of missions in this city.

The common remark is that the country was more prosperous in the times of revolution than in these days of peace. The army then gave employment to the idle laborers, their subsistence occasioned a large expenditure of money, and their movement created life and animation. The people, accustomed to war and changes of government, become restless under the present comparatively long peace. But the administration of Mr. Lerdo is impressed with the necessity to the nation of a continuance of peace, satisfied that under its influence, in time, the republic will experience such a revival of business, mining, and agricultural and manufacturing interests as will give the country an era of prosperity never before enjoyed; and it will be successful in repressing outbreaks so long as the army remains faithful. The last official report places its strength at 23,000, and it is better armed, equipped, and disciplined than in any former period in the history of the country. As I close my dispatch there are rumors of a threatened pronunciamento, and of the discovery of a plot, the chief instigator of which was General Rocha, division-general and commander of the federal troops in this capital, which had for its object the deposition of President Lerdo. While there has been some basis for the rumors, the conspiracy does not appear to have had any definite organization or well-settled plan, and the executive authority was not greatly endangered by it. It is doubtless sufficiently grave, however, to require the removal of General Rocha from his command.

Within the liberal party there are no differences of principles sufficiently marked upon which to organize an armed opposition to the present administration. It could only be of a personal character, without justification or palliation. Revolution at present can be organized only upon a reactionary basis, and that does not appear probable.

I am, &c.,

[Page 876]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 252.—Translation.]

The protest of the ladies.

[From the “Monitor” of January 27, 1875.]

The decree which, under the title of the organic law of the constitutional amendments, was published a few days since, contains nothing more than unqualified insults to the sacred religion which we glory in professing; and it has justly been considered as a new edict of the most atrocious persecution against the Catholic church in Mexico. A like resolution would appear barbarous and senseless even though it should be looked upon as dictated by people still sitting in the darkness and shadow of death. So much, indeed, it contradicts and attacks the most rudimentary principles, the most common ideas of reason and morality, we find no terms which are sufficient to paiat the horror with which we have beheld its publication, and with all sincerity we ask our God to concede to us the powerful aid of His grace, to the end that we may not remember with anger the names, forever mournfully memorable, of its unhappy authors.

And it is not these whom we address at this time, nor do we supplicate them to do anything for us. How could we flatter ourselves that our words would be heard and our tears pitied by those who have shown themselves deaf to the sobs of the helpless, to the anguished cry of their native land, to the upbraidings of their own eon-science, and to the dreadful threats of Heaven?

No! We well know what it is, and, moreover, how toward us the abominable sect feels which to-day tyrannizes and insults Mexico; and it is not our desire to offer to it a new occasion, which it certainly would gladly improve, of responding with insults to our complaints.

We speak, because we believe in the imperative obligation of giving public testimony of our faith and of our affectionate love for the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church, unto which to-day, more than ever, we are pleased to cry as to our good mother and infallible master. It shall never be said that when, in all parts of our unhappy land, iniquity is anathematized, we kept silence—we who have been born and who live at the foot of the sacred mountain of Tepeyac, (Guadalupe.)

The most august victim of the sect, the glorious captive of the Vatican, has already traced for us the path which we ought to follow in these moments. With his word, to which we listen, and to which we always shall listen with filial veneration, and with his example, which rejoices the just of earth and the angels in heaven, the great pontiff teaches us that it is not possible, in any case, to accept the facts of compromise, and which involve the sacrifice of conscience.

And since Pius presides in Israel, with Pius we wish to be, and Pius alone we desire to hear. Let the men all learn this in whose hands is to-day the government of this our unhappy, and therefore more loved, nation.

But when that worthy mark of Christian fidelity, the despair of hell, shall fail, how can we shut our eyes to that which also is offered for our imitation, the generous martyrdom of the Sisters of Charity. Voltarian liberalism and free masonry, allied in eternal enmity to the peace and prosperity of Mexico, and without doubt more savage even than the very barbarians of our frontier, drive from their native land these sacred messengers of the mercy of the Most High. During a period of more than three and a half centuries hundreds and hundreds of ships have carried to Europe the rich products of our mines. In a few days its astonished shores will receive another Mexican treasure, and one more, incomparably more, precious than all the gold and all the silver of our mines. Our sisters by nativity, our sisters by love, our sisters by faith in our God and Redeemer Jesus Christ, have been driven from us, teaching us to value less highly the interests of earth than those of heaven; and we should merit all these misfortunes if we should forget its last most eloquent lesson.

Another fair page in the history of our Mexican church, by no means now meager in glory, has been written. We shall meditate upon it, we shall repeat it day and night for our edification, and for the consolation of our homes. Yet few, so we desire to think, in Mexico, are the enemies of our faith, and small and despicable are they in themselves, and vastly more so when placed by the side of the holy and patient prelates upon whom the Lord has here confided the custody and propagation of His Word.

But although they may increase in number and importance, we do not fear them. No! Before them and before the entire world we declare that, without wavering a jot, and with all the energy of which we are capable, we condemn and detest whatever our venerated pastors condemn and detest, and that, with the divine aid, we are resolved to sacrifice everything for the defense of Catholic faith, and for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whose blessed name be given all the praise for ever and ever.

[Page 877]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 252.—Translation.]

Every one at his post.

The reactionary periodicals, thinking themselves strong, perhaps to the extent of creating a revolution, because there are some bandits in Michoacan who rob and murder to the cry of “death to the constitution,” and because some ladies have signed a protest against the organic law of the constitutional amendments, have sought in every possible manner to create an appearance of fusion with those citizens who, although they belonged to the liberal party, oppose the government of the citizen President. The hopes in that direction which the said publications were able to awaken in moments of foolish short-sightedness, in an effort to intimidate the supreme administration of the republic, have been wonderfully weakened by the decisive, worthy, and most honorable declarations which the organs best representative of the liberal opposition press have recently made. We, so those organs have said, are not in accord with the politics of the government; we do not approve some of its actions; but we have been and shall be liberals, and the instant it might become necessary, we should unite our forces to those of the executive, in order to combat the anarchical tendencies of the clergy, and save from all danger the institutions conquered by the great liberal party in exchange for much bloodshed upon the fields of battle.

To divide in order to rule is a plan which the ultramontane writers will not be able to carry into successful execution under the present circumstances, nor under other similar circumstances that may arise hereafter. In questions of detail, in affairs of secondary importance, it is possible for some liberals to be found on the side of the conservatives, but let not the friends of Cobos and Marquez dream that there is a single liberal who will aid them in promoting a revolution for the object of destroying the venerable fundamental pact which rules the Mexican people. Should there be any papist so senseless as to seek to renew the misfortunes of the three years’ war, he would be instantly and ruthlessly punished, by obtaining nothing else than a realization in practice of what we, the admirers of Juarez and Ocampo, desire and shall at last obtain—the complete unification of the great liberal party. Let not, then, the reactionists rely upon any but themselves, because if, at any time, they should be able to endanger the independence of the country or the integrity of the democratic institutions, all we liberals, absolutely all, will become strictly identified with each other in the salvation, even at the cost of our happiness and our lives, of objects so sacred.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 252.—Translation.]

The protests of the ladies.

We omit to-day our bulletin in order to give place to an important article from the “Diario Oficial.” In it is expressed, in a manner sufficiently clear, the opinion of the President upon the stormy question of the protests of the ladies.

The organ of the government manifests all the respect which the executive maintains toward the Romanist belief, and of which this, as every other religious belief is worthy, so long as it does not tend to trample under foot any law. Without diminishing that respect, the opinion of the executive is clearly expressed, making known the firm resolution of the President to preserve intact the authority of the state against the unlawful aggressions which the faith, the revelation, and the traditions of Rome may make.

This resolution, taken in perfect accord with the philosophy of our system of government, is the more worthy of applause in so far as it tends to preserve and assure the rights of the majority of the inhabitants of Mexico and of all the citizens of the republic. The “Diario Oficial,” interpreting without doubt the convictions of the first magistrate of the republic, indicates that he, sensible of the mission which has devolved upon him in our day, will sustain, so far as depends upon the executive, the supremacy of reason, of discussion, and of history, those three powers creative of the republican system, over the prejudices, over the tyranny of fanaticism in thought and conscience, over the negation of facts and of experience.

If the notable article of the “Diario,” which we insert immediately following, is carefully considered, it will be found that, in the points to which it refers, the opinion of the President is at the summit of the moral and intellectual progress of our times, making apparent the narrowness of view, the smallness of mind, and the unqualified ignorance with which the protest was written which the ladies were made to sign.

[Page 878]

The “Diario,” as ourselves, justly excuses the action of the ladies through the inate goodness of the Mexican heart and the sincerity and purity of religious beliefs in the heart of woman.

We applaud sincerely the resolution of the executive to regard with indifference the authors of the protests, so long as they do not occasion any disturbance of the public order. But we hope it may take energetic measures respecting the employés who have permitted their wives and those persons who are dependent on them to sign that protest of disobedience to the civil authorities. Without any partisan sentiment participating in these measures, and, still less, any sentiment of vengeance, which can have no reason for existing, they ought, in our opinion, to be dictated to the end of assuring the loyalty of the employés of the administration.

Notable, we say, and of extreme importance appears to us the article of the “Diario.” It is the result of thorough convictions, the fruit of vast information, and affords the grateful feeling of knowing, in a manner clear and certain, that the federal executive holds on the question views which, as we have said, are in perfect accord with our system of government. Here follows the article:

“As the days have been passing there have been disclosed certain acts of sufficient importance on the subject relative to the protests of some ladies against the organic law of the constitutional amendments. Even here in the capital of the republic, several respectable ladies have stated through the press that it is not true that they affixed their signatures, (as it appeared in the published document;) their names, therefore, being forged, or they having signed in blank on its being told them that it was only to have reference to an adieu to the Sisters of Charity.

“If this has taken place so near the supreme powers of the federation, what shall not have passed in the interior? How many names of ladies will appear in the lists published by the Catholic organs of the States who do not even exist? How many ladies will have been obliged to sign in blank by the threats of the nearest cura of the village?

“To gain ground for the propaganda by means of women and of the ignorant has always been the tactics of the Roman clergy, openly confessing its impotence to open for themselves a way by means of intelligence and light.

“Therefore the satellites of the Vatican have murdered reason since the first councils, and have invented the faith. Therefore they have suppressed discussion and created revelation. Therefore they have shielded themselves with the traditions and fought against history. But at this time, to shield themselves with the respectability of ladies, some of them most worthy and well known, in order to insult the authorities of the republic and incite to disobedience of the law, has been at least an act of inexplicable cowardice. To develop the fanatical power of the confessional in order to thrust forward into public discussion the most venerated object that we all possess, which is the mother of the family, will be able well to please the dark designs of those who are called the ministers of Jesus; but will disgust, without doubt, every sensible man, whether liberal or not, within or without the republic. And above all, to have deceived the ladies in order that they should subscribe to a document which they had not read, together with the circumstance of said document being drawn up in such a manner that they have been exposed to the ridicule which not only the penny-a-liners of the periodicals but even the composers of country-dances have made of it, has been the crowning ornament of a work the most contraproducing in its effects which its unfortunate authors could have conceived.

“A protest, dignified, measured, exclusively confined to stating the dissent from the organic law as regards the religious point of view, if it is true that there is place for this, would have produced at least the effect of commanding public respect.

“An insulting pasquinade like that which the ladies have been made to sign, a writing which, more than anything else, demonstrates the insolence of those who lose power and influence in worldly affairs, never can have a claim to the good opinion of cultivated society.

“For ourselves, it will not surprise us, for the same reason, that many of the ladies who, influenced by the innate goodness of the Mexican heart, or by the purity of their religious beliefs, subscribed the document in question without becoming informed of its contents, should withdraw from it their names, as several other ladies have already done.

“Having said this, we now give our private opinion on an incident which some colleague has pointed out, reserving what the supreme government might resolve touching said point. That private opinion is whether the wives of the employés have done well who have signed the protest.

“It is clear that the wives of the employés can hold in private the political or religious beliefs which may appear to them best, but at the same time it appears to us evident, granting that the employés have promised solemnly to the nation to protect and cause to be observed the constitutional amendments, that they ought not to permit their wives, the persons who are dependent on them, to publish protests against that which they themselves have promised to obey under all circumstances and in all [Page 879] places. No one is authorized to attack the laws, and neither can the priests do so on the pretense of the independence of the church. If a proclamation exciting to a revolt against a legitimate authority has the character of a crime, the same follows, and with greater reason, if it has reference to laws so worthy of respect as the fundamental law of the country. Let the signers of the protests endeavor to learn the criminal code and have a care, for their own good, not to suffer themselves to be seduced too far by their anti-liberal enthusiasm.

“There will be indifference on the part of the government respecting the protests and their authors, so long as they are nothing else than a combination of words without effect; but the same conduct cannot be pursued, if with them as a motive or a pretext, they should claim to trample underfoot any one whatsoever of the laws in force.”

[Inclosure 4 in No. 252.—Translation.]

The liberal party.

The high pitch of excitement to which the press has arrived in these last days, occasioned by the provocations of the reactionary papers, causes us to give utterance to some views which appear to us opportune, and which with pleasure we submit to the judgment of our enlightened colleagues. In these provocations there is a studied purpose, which it is not difficult to discover upon a little reflection. The party which bears the name conservative has an inward consciousness of its own insignificance, and very well knows that, in itself alone, it is incapable of producing even a moderate disturbance; that, on the other hand, as it does not dispossess itself of its old mania for getting control of the supreme power, in order to disseminate its retroactive theories, it seeks outside itself these elements which it lacks, persuaded that any kind of disturbance whatsoever will favor in some measure its bastard views. Hence proceeds, without doubt, that persistent eagerness of casting upon the liberal party the most shameless insults. The Machiavelian artifice consists in irritating a powerful adversary, in driving it, if possible, to the extreme of committing violence, in compelling it to overstep the limits of moderation and prudence, in order to give itself afterward the airs of a victim to excite the compassion of the masses, to work, in this manner, upon the public feeling in order to conquer the sympathies, which, hereafter, may facilitate its accession to that power which it so much covets, as a commentary upon that sentiment, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

The liberal party ought, under these circumstances, to exercise self-control, to repress with a firm hand the anger provoked by insult and diatribe, to look with disregard upon these Jesuitical intrigues, and to find in its republican faith the inspiration of the conduct which it should observe. The liberal party, if it wishes to maintain itself at the height of its civilizing and patriotic mission, ought not to be taken in the net which is spread for it, nor to forget for a single instant the great principles which form its programme, in order to descend to the muddy ground to which it is invited. On the contrary, the more intemperate may be the clamor which is raised against it, the more to be condemned may be those measures which are brought forward to cause it to abandon calmness and moderation, the more the liberal party ought to sustain the dignity of its rôle, undisturbed by the insults of its rancorous enemies maintaining the noble and serene attitude which comports with strength and justice.

We are too far from the French Revolution to make it necessary for us to go to its ensanguined pages for our inspiration. In Mexico the revolution is an accomplished fact, all the reforms are consummated, all the elements of retrogression are dispersed. Here, we have no monarchy to destroy, no nobility to abolish, no rights to establish. The clergy, which has been the great enemy of liberty, has lost beyond remedy that great influence which it exercised in times not far remote; and to-day it struggles in vain to recover it. On the other hand, it is proved that the bloody excesses of the French Revolution only served to compromise liberty, because, impelled by a spirit of vengeance against everything that reminded it of the past, it was willing to violate conscience itself, penetrating into its sanctuary in order to substitute one tyranny for another.

We have done something better than to worship the goddess Reason; we have separated church from state, that is to say, we have erected an insuperable barrier against the intrusive hand of the priest being raised to wound liberty in its political principles; and against the power of the government doing likewise, by violating the conscience, the first of individual rights. Very near us is the example we ought to follow; the American democracy is the great beacon light toward which is directed the gaze of all those who see in the republic the saving institutions of the people, the protective, banner of their rights, the shield of all the guarantees which give security to life and [Page 880] property. Washington and Franklin, those fine types of republican honesty, of unsullied rectitude, of practical good sense, are the models that the liberal party ought to place before themselves, setting aside the sinister figures of Danton, Robespierre, and Marat.

Finally, the liberal party ought never to forget that its social and political mission is not one of vengeance, but of justice; that if the removal of the obstacles which obstruct its course imposes upon it the necessity of making use of measures which shall be destructive of such obstacles, this does not signify that destruction alone has a place in its programme, as the enemies of liberty every hour assert. On the contrary, the revolution has been and is the precursor of the reign of reason and morality; it follows no creed but guarantees all, limiting itself to opposing proper safeguards to the disturbers of order, who endeavor in their own interest to revive a dying fanaticism. Persecution would be the means best calculated to favor the Machiavelian tendencies of the clerical retroaction; meanwhile the severest punishment that can be inflicted upon it for its insolence is to leave it to devour its own wrath, applying to him who may make himself guilty by attacking the public tranquillity the law and nothing but the law. Such, in our opinion, is the course the liberal party ought to follow in the present crisis.

[Inclosure 10 in No. 252.—Translation.]

Modern republicans.

Lamentable is the situation of our country, oppressed by so many misfortunes, which, from year to year for a long time, it has been supporting with abnegation and without uttering hardly a complaint. The government, which ought to have the greatest zeal for its prosperity and aggrandizement, appears to be most zealous in causing it to pass through every kind of trial and suffering. It is in vain that the official and subventioned press pretends to picture the country as voyaging under full sail over the smooth surface of an unruffled sea whose waters are not disturbed by the slightest wind. It is useless that the writers of the government still continually present the republic to us as on the highway of prosperity and progress. In vain it is that they seek to persuade the nation that it enjoys ample and absolute liberty, when there weighs upon it the most mournful, shameless, and terrible tyrannies.

The Mexican people, which confronted a struggle of many years, already tired of civil revolutions, was seeking peace, was desiring tranquillity and rest under the shelter of laws protective of true liberty and of labor.

Dimly glimmered the hope that some day these laws would be realized, and that the freedom of worship, guaranteed by one of them in spite of the wishes of the nation, would became a fact.

Many times it had been seen that the nation was called sovereign only to suffer a new mockery and to have cast in its face a new abuse. It beheld, at different epochs, its liberties trodden under foot, and it nourished the hope that it might be able, at least in the privacy of its homes, to eat the bread gained by toil under the sweet protection of a religion of peace and charity, which it professes with all its heart.

But vain were all its illusions. The persecution of Catholicism continued with more zeal; talent and virtue being declared pernicious, because in the arena of discussion they destroyed one by one the old sophisms of the modern liberals. Behold here the origin of the imprisonment and expulsion of the seminary professors effected in the year 1873.

The modern athletes of liberty and reform, not being able to oppose a tribune to a pulpit—one professor’s chair to another, one science to another science—appealed to the supreme reason of injustice, and compelled virtuous men to depart from the national territory, who for being foreigners could be calumniated, as was shown in the expositive portion of the sentence pronounced by the supreme court of justice.

But this blow given to Catholicism was not sufficient. While the modern liberals shout philanthropy, improvement, liberty, and progress, at the same time that they are tyrannizing over the people, abandoning the poor, slaying industry, and causing commerce to languish, the Sisters of Charity, those noble daughters of Vicente, those martyrs of sacrifice, those heroines of self-denial, following the rules which their holy founder had marked out for them, were giving food to the hungry, clothing the naked, comforting the afflicted, sheltering the fatherless, succoring the aged, and lavishing upon humanity all the aids which Christian charity always suggests without ever publishing abroad their holy and noble deeds.

[Page 881]

The modern reformers, not being able to present us a type of character like that of the Sisters of Charity, and seeing that these daughters of the Catholic Church were teaching by example and not by words, resolved in the dark caves of their satanic reunions to drive from the country virtuous and holy women, whose only crime is the sublime virtue of charity. The deceptions being seen, which the people continually suffer in observing, that the deeds contradict the words of these modern reformers, they appealed, as they always do, to the supreme reason of tyrants. And as in order to obtain their purpose the liberals are never backward in the choice of measures, calumny, insult, and language worthy of gambling-dens were uttered in the chamber of Congress by those who ought to be ashamed to bear the name of liberals.

Behold here what the Mexican people has encountered in exchange for the well-being for which it hoped. In the place of a government which seeks the good of the country by finding men of recognized fitness for the high officers of the republic, behold it surrounded by beings without faith and without patriotism, but sufficiently servile to obey the most absurd orders of him who holds the reins of government, for the privilege of holding fat and lucrative offices.

Poor Mexican people! God grant that the despots who humiliate thee, in proportion as they proclaim thee sovereign, may at least be consistent with their doctrines and not continue oppressing thee in thy liberty, in thy rights, in thy beliefs, until they compel thee to grasp the scepter of thy proclaimed sovereignty, causing the sword of thy justice, in spite of thyself, to fall upon those who are called thy servants and who so much abuse thy patience.

The liberal periodicals are continually tilled with articles that feign the loftiest contempt for the protests which, signed by hundreds of persons, are published daily. What kind of republic is this in which the very men who proclaim the sovereignty of the people are the first to ridicule the opinion manifested by thousands of Catholics?

Their inconsistency stops not here, but they are filled with rejoicing and leap for joy because there are a few persons who, disheartened by the liberty in which they live, retract their signatures, which they had affixed to a protest, in order not to become prejudiced in their interests. These retractions signify that the signatures are removed from the paper, the vow against the protested law remaining in silence. These retractions have a double testimony against the liberals—the reprobation of detested law and the fear of the tyranny which dictated it. Vain is the joy over these retractions, when they are a new argument against the republican tyranny.

These are the modern liberals, and these have always been they who have proclaimed the sovereignty of the people only to disgrace and mock it, by dictating barbarous, inconsistent, and despotic laws so soon as they have been able to elevate themselves above the people upon the high seats of power.