1798: Proofs of Conspiracy, &c. Footnotes

[1] And I may add the Systeme de la Nature of Diderot, who corrected the crude whims of Robinet by the more refined mechanism of Hartley.


[2] Citizenship of the World, from the Greek words Cosmos, world, and Polis, a city.


[3] Note. The Wort or Gruss-Maurer were abolished by an Imperial edict in 1731, and none were intitled to the privileges of the corporation but such as could shew written indentures.


[4] This is evidently the Mystere du Mithrus mentioned by Barruel, in his History of Jacobinism, and had been carried into France by Bede and Busche.


[5] I observe, in other parts of his correspondence where he speaks of this, several singular phrases, which are to be found in two books; Antiqueté devoilée par ses Usages, and Origine du Despotisme Oriental. These contain indeed much of the maxims inculcated in the reception discourse of the degree Illumanitus Minor. Indeed I have found, that Weishaupt is much less an inventor than he is generally thought.


[6] Happy France! Cradle of Illumination, where the morning of Reason has dawned, dispelling the clouds of Monarchy and Christianity, where the babe has sucked the blood of the unenlightened, and Murder! Fire! Help! has been the lullaby to sing it to sleep.


[7] This is flatly contradicted in a pamphlet by F. Stuttler, a Catholic clergyman of most respectable character, who here exposes, in the most incontrovertible manner, the impious plots of Weishaupt, his total disregard to truth, his counterfeit antiques, and all his lies against the Jesuits.


[8] (They were strongly suspected of having published some scandalous caricatures, and some very immoral prints.) They scrupled at no mean, however base, for corrupting the nation. Mirabeau had done the same thing at Berlin. By political caricatures and filthy prints, they corrupt even such as cannot read.


[9] In this small turbulent city there were eleven secret societies of Masons, Rosycrucians, Clair-voyants, &c.


[10] I say this on the authority of a young gentleman, an emigrant, who saw it, and who said, that they were women, not of the dregs of the Palais Royal, nor of infamous character, but well dressed.—I am sorry to add, that the relation, accompanied with looks of horror and disgust, only provoked a contemptuous smile from an illuminated British Fair-one.


[11] He impudently pretended that the papers containing the system and doctrines of Illuminatism, came to him at Berlin, from an unknown hand. But no one believed him—it was inconsistent with what is said of him in the secret correspondence. He had said the same thing concerning the French translation of the Letters on the Constitution of the Prussian States. Fifty copies were found in his ware-house. He said that they had been sent from Strasburg, and that he had never sold one of them.—Supposing both these assertions to be true, it appears that Nicholai was considered as a very proper hand for dispersing such poison.


[12] Of this we have complete proof in the private correspondence. Philo, speaking in one of his letters of the gradual change which was to be produced in the minds of their pupils from Christianity to Deism, says, „Nicholai informs me, that even the pious Zollikofer has now been convinced that it would be proper to set up a deistical church in Berlin.“ It is in vain that Nicholai says that his knowledge of the Order was only of what Weishaupt had published; for Philo says that that corrected system had not been introduced into it when he quitted it in 1784. But Nicholai deserves no credit—he is one of the most scandalous examples of the operation of the principles of Weishaupt. He procured admission into the Lodges of Free Masons and Rosycrucians, merely to act the dishonourable part of a spy, and he betrayed their secrets as far as he could. In the appendix to the 7th volume of his journey, he declaims against the Templar Masons, Rosycrucians, and Jesuits, for their blind submission to unknown superiors, for their superstitions, their priesthoods, and their base principles—and yet had been five years in a society in which all these were carried to the greatest height. He remains true to the Illuminati alone, because they had the same object in view with himself and his atheistical associates, His defence of Protestantism is all a cheat; and perhaps he may be considered as an enemy equally formidable with Weishaupt himself. This is the reason why he occupies so many of these pages.


[13] This, by the by, is a very curious and entertaining work, and, had the whole affair been better known in this country, would have been a much better antidote against the baneful effects of that Association than any thing that I can give to the public, being written with much accuteness and knowledge of the human mind, and agreeably diversified with anecdote and ironical exhibition of the affected wisdom and philanthropy of the knavish Founder and his coadjutors. If the present imperfect and desultory account shall be found to interest the public, I doubt not but that a translation of this novel, and some other fanciful performances on the subject, will be read with entertainment and profit.


[14] Ueber AUFFKLARUNG und deren Beforderungs-Mittel. The only proper translation of this word would be, clearing up or enlightening. Instruction seems the single word that comes nearest to the precise meaning of Auffklarung, but is not synonymous.


[15] Walther is an eminent bookseller, and carries on the business of publishing to a great extent, both at Leipzig and other places. He was the publisher of the most virulent attacks on the King of Prussia’s Edict on Religion, and was brought into much trouble about the Commentary by Pott which is mentioned above. He also publishes many of the sceptical and licentious writings which have so much disturbed the peace of Germany.


[16] This I find to be false, and the book a common job.


[17] This is worse than Rousseau’s conduct, who only sent his children to the Foundling hospital, that he might never know them again. (See his Confessions.)


[18] A plan adopted within these few years in our own country, which, if prosecuted with the same industry with which it has been begun, will soon render our circulating Libraries so many Nurseries of Sedition and Impiety. (See Travels into Germany by Este.)


[19] Had the good man been spared but a few months, his surprise at this neglect would have ceased. For, on the 19th of November 1793, the Archbishop of Paris came to the Bar of the Assembly, accompanied by his Vicar and eleven other Clergymen, who there renounced their Christianity and their clerical vows; acknowledging that they had played the villain for many years against their consciences, teaching what they knew to be a lie, and were now resolved to be honest men. The Vicar indeed had behaved like a true Illuminatus some time before, by running off with another man’s wife and his strong box.—None of them, however, seem to have attained the higher mysteries, for they were all guillotined not long after.


[20] I cannot help observing, that it is perfectly similar to the arrangement and denominations which appear in the secret correspondence of the Bavarian Illuminati.


[21] The depositions at the Chatelet, which I have already quoted, give repeated and unequivocal proofs, that he, with a considerable number of the deputies of the National Assembly, had formed this plot before the 5th of October 1789. That trial was conducted in a strange manner, partly out of respect for the Royal Family, which still had some hearts affectionately attached to it, and to the monarchy, and partly by reason of the fears of the members of this court. There was now no safety for any person who differed from the opinion of the frantic populace of Paris. The chief points of accusation were written in a schedule which is not published, and the witnesses were ordered to depose on these in one general Yes or No; so that it is only the least important part of the evidence that has been printed. I am well informed that the whole of it is carefully preserved, and will one day appear.


[22] To prevent interruptions, I may just mention here the authorities for this journey and co-operation of the two deputies.

1. Ein wichtiger Ausschluss über en noch wenig bekannte Veranlassung der Französchen Revolution, in the Vienna Zeitschrift for 1793, p. 145.

2. Endliche Shickfall des Freymaurer Ordens, 1794, p. 19.

3. Neueste Arbeitung des Spartacus and Philo, Munich, 1793, p. 151—54.

4. Historische Nachrichten über die Franc Revolution 1792, von Girtanner, var. loc.

5. Revolutions Almanach für 1792—4, Gottingen, var. loc.

6. Beytrage zur Biographie des verstorbenes Frey-Herr v. Bode, 1794.

7. Magazin des Literatur et Kunst, for 1792, 3, 4, &c. &c.


[23] Minet was, I think, at this time a player. He was son of a surgeon at Nantes—robbed his father and fled—enlisted in Holland—deserted and became smuggler—was taken and burnt in the hand—became player and married an actress—then became priest—and was made Bishop of Nantes by Coustard in discharge of a debt of 500l. Mr. Latocnaye often saw Coustard kneel to him for benediction. It cannot be supposed that he was much venerated in his pontificals in his native city.—It seems Minet, Minet, is the call of the children to a kitten—This was prohibited at Nantes, and many persons whipped for the freedom used with his name.


[24] I am told that he now (or very lately) keeps the best company, and lives in elegance and affluence in London.

  • Augur, schænobates, medicus, magus omnia novit
    Graculus esuriens; in cœlum jusseris, ibit*.
    Ingenium velox audacia perdita, sermo
    • Juvenal
  • *All sciences a hungry Frenchman knows,
    And bid him go to hell—to hell he goes.
    • Johnson’s Translation.


[25] Most important Memorandums, in proper Season, concerning one of the most serious Occurrences of the present Age, by L. A. Hoffmann, Vienna, 1795.


[26] De la Metherie says, (Journ. de Phys. Nov. 1792,) that Condorcet was brought up in the house of the old Duke of Rochefoucault, who treated him as his son—got Turgot to create a lucrative office for him, and raised him to all his eminence—yet he pursued him with malicious reports—and actually employed ruffians to assassinate him. Yet is Condorcet’s writing a model of humanity and tenderness.


[27] I have met with this charge in many places; and one book in particular, written by a Prussian General Officer, who was in the country over-run by the French troops, gives a detail of the conduct of the women that is very remarkable. He also says, that infidelity has become very prevalent among the ladies in the higher circles. Indeed this melancholy account is to be found in many passages of the private correspondence of the Illuminati.


[28] While the sheet commencing p. 341 was printing off, I got a sight of a work published in Paris last year entitled La Conjuration d’Orleans. It confirms all that I have said respecting the use made of the Free Mason Lodges.—It gives a particular account of the formation of the Jacobin Club, by the Club Breton. This last appears to have been the Association formed with the assistance of the German deputies. The Jacobin Club had several committees, similar to those of the National Assembly. Among others, it had a Committee of Enquiry and Correspondence, whose business it was to gain partizans, to discover enemies, to decide on the merits of the Brethren, and to form similar Clubs in other places.

The author of the above-mentioned work writes as follows, (vol. iii. p. 19.) We may judge of what the D. of Orleans could do in other places, by what he did during his stay in England. During his stay in London, he gained over to his interest Lord Stanhope and Dr. Price, two of the most respectable members of the Revolution Society. This Society had no other object (it said) but to support the Revolution, which had driven James II. from the throne of his ancestors.

Orleans made of this association a true Jacobin Club.—It entered into correspondence with the Committee of Enquiry of our Commune, with the same Committee of our Jacobin Club, and at last with our National Assembly. It even sent to the Assembly an ostensible letter, in which we may see the following passages:

„The Society congratulate the National Assembly of France on the Revolution which has taken place in that country. It cannot but earnestly wish for the happy conclusion of so important a Revolution, and, at the same time, express the extreme satisfaction which it feels in reflecting on the glorious example which France has given to the world.“ (The Reader will remark, that in this example are contained all the horrors which had been exhibited in France before the month of March 1790; and that before this time, the conduct of the Duke of Orleans on the 5th and 6th of October 1789, with all the shocking atrocities of those days, were fully known in England.)

„The Society resolves unanimously to invite all the people of England to establish Societies through the kingdom, to support the principles of the Revolution, to form correspondence between themselves, and by these means to establish a great concerted Union of all the true Friends of Liberty.“

Accordingly (says the French author) this was executed, and Jacobin Clubs were established in several cities of England, Scotland, and Ireland.


[29] The author makes an observation which is as just as it is agreeable. This atrocious gang solicited, with the most anxious assiduity, the participation and patronage of the great ones of the world, and boast of several very exalted names; Frederic II. of Prussia, whom they call the Solomon of the North, Catharine II. Gustavus King of Sweden, the King of Denmark, &c. &c. But in the whole series of their correspondence there is not the least trace of any encouragement or any hopes from our excellent Sovereign George III. Despising the incense of such wretches, and detesting their science, he has truly merited the title of Philosopher, by having done more for the real Illumination of the World, by the promotion of true Science, than Louis XIV. with his pensioned Academicians, or than all the present Sovereigns of Europe united; and has uniformly distinguished himself by his regard for true Religion, and every thing that is venerable and sacred. This omission is above all praise!


[30] Never was there any thing more contemptible than the physical and mechanical positions in Diderot’s great work, the Systeme de la Nature, (Barruel affirms, that he was the author, and got 100 pistoles for the copy, from the person who related the story to him,) that long ago found that Diderot had assisted Robinet to make a book out of his Masonic Oration, which I mentioned in page 41. Robinet trusted to Diderot’s knowledge in natural philosophy. But the Junto were ashamed of the book De la Nature. Diderot seems to have, after this, read Dr. Hartley’s book, and has greatly refined on the crude system of Robinet. But after all, the Systeme de la Nature is contemptible, if it be considered as pretending to what is received as science by a mechanical philosopher.
Transcriber’s note:

Minor typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected without note. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been retained as printed.

Mismatched quotes are not fixed if it’s not sufficiently clear where the missing quote should be placed.

The cover for the eBook version of this book was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

Page 243: „(why does not his fathers temperament excuse something? Vibratiunculæ will explain every thing or nothing.)“—The closing bracket was supplied by the transcriber.

Page 250: „On the ** of February 1780, the infants (three years old) were taken away in the night“—Asterisks were inserted by the transcriber where the date was missing.

Page 308: „with immediate effect in carrying on their great and darling work?“—The transcriber has changed „darling“ to „daring“.