Royalist snarkily defines the Révolution

Sorting out the context-specific meaning of terms employed in very particular ways by the pamphlet authors can be challenging for modern readers and catalogers alike. Apparently it was a source of confusion for readers contemporary to the pamphlets as well. I found a pamphlet whose author expressed a certain bewilderment about the “en vogue” terms being bandied about at the time, and he wrote a dictionary to explain these terms.  Granted, he’s writing from a strong royalist point of view, so the definitions are not always useful from a factual or truly explicative perspective, but most of the entries are intended to be quite humorous.  The entries on patriotisme and patriote are notable for their satire:

Case FRC 15500

Patriote. Animal bipède qui fait peur aux honnêtes gens timides, et qui a peur des honnêtes gens courageux. [Patriot. Bipedal animal that frightens timid honnêtes gens, and who is afraid of courageous honnêtes gens.]

Patriotisme.  … Les grammairiens disent, que c’est le courage de sacrifier son intérêt particulier à sa patrie.  Les historiens qui se proposent d’écrire l’histoire de la révolution, disent, que c’est maintenant le courage de sacrifier sa patrie à son intérêt particulier. J’aime sincérement ma patrie; ce qui le prouve, c’est que je n’ai pas encore un seul acte de patriotisme à me reprocher. [Patriotism. … The grammarians say that it’s the courage to sacrifice one’s own interest to his country. The historians who propose to write the history of the Revolution say that it is now the courage to sacrifice one’s country to his own interest. I sincerely love my country; what that proves is that I still don’t have a single act of patriotism for which to reproach myself.]

Buée, Adrien Quentin. Nouveau dictionnaire, pour servir à l’intelligence des termes mis en vogue par la Révolution. Paris: Crapart, 1792, p. 95 (Case FRC 15500).

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