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Leçons au Prince de Galles, Sur la disposition actuelle de l'Europe à une Révolution générale: traduites de l'Anglois, sur la seconde Edition imprimée à Londres

Authors of source text

David Williams


uncertainty John Oswald

Related resources

is part of
La Bouche de fer
is translation of
Lessons to a Young Prince, on the Present Disposition in Europe to a General Revolution has translation


This serial translation of David Williams' 60-page 'Lessons to a Young Prince' was sent to the Bouche de Fer by "un cercle d'amis de la vérité" [organized by John Oswald?] asking to be affiliated to the Cercle Social. It appeared, in extracts, over the course of 10 issues from November to December 1790 (no.18–28). It's a translation of the 2nd English edition with the extra lesson being a response to Burke's 'Reflections' It's described as having been sent from London, along with the original text. Issue no.21 acknowledges the existence of an English Cercle Social and applauds how their pamphlet [ie this one] responds perfectly to the noisy critics of the National Assembly. In a section on the English constitution, Williams describes the legislative arrangements as no more than "une grossiere superchérie". Issue no.28 ends with a translator's footnote discussing the difficulty of translating "house-holder" into "citoyen actif", explaining that this was the closest he could find. A later issue from Dec 1790 (no.36) carries a translation of a long letter from England, again, probably from John Oswald, declaring that a revolution in the British government is likely very soon and asks for their help in selling the work of "notre Ami [David] Williams" and according him a mark of their gratitude, to go alongside that they already voted to Wieland, "… vive le bon Williams, l'honnete Williams, vive les francs-Anglois". Parts of this translation would also appear in Bonneville's 'De l'Esprit des Religions' (1791). Translator tentatively identified by James Dybikowski since the original was the work of the London affiliate of the Cercle Social set up by John Oswald who became Bonneville's London correspondent – "one of our English franc-brothers". See David Erdman, 'Commerce des Lumieres', p.76 fn.