After so shocking an accusation the reader will naturally expect us to produce incontrovertible proofs. We will, therefore, first lay before him the letter of Weishaupt to his adept Hertel; it is the Third Letter in the Second Volume of the Original Writings of the Illuminees in Bavaria.
“Now,” says Weishaupt to this adept, “let me, under the most profound secrecy, lay open the situation of my heart. It destroys my rest, it render me incapable of every thing. I am almost desperate. My honour is in danger, and I am on the eve of losing that reputation which gave me so great an authority over our people. My sister-in-law is with child. I have sent her to Athens (Munich) to Euriphon, to solicit a marriage licence from Rome. You see how necessary it is that she should succeed, and that without loss of time; every moment is precious. But should she fail, what shall I do?—How shall I restore the honour of a person who is the victim of a crime that is wholly mine? We have already made several attempts to destroy the child; she was determined to undergo all; but Euriphon is too timid. Yet I scarcely see any other expedient. Could I depend on Celse’s secrecy (the professor Bader at Munich), he could be of great service
to me; he had promised me his aid three years ago. Mention it to him if you think proper. See what can be done. I should be sorry that Cato knew any thing of it, lest he should tell all his friends. If you could extricate me from this unfortunate step, you would restore me to life, to honour, to rest, and to authority (that is over his people). If you cannot, I forewarn you of it, I will hazard a desperate blow, for I neither can nor will lose my honour. I know not what devil”. . . . [Here decency obliges us to be silent; but he continues] “As yet nobody knows any thing of it but Euriphon; it is not too late to make an attempt, for she is only in her fourth month, and the worst of it is, that it is a criminal case, and that alone makes the greatest efforts and the most extreme (or boldest) resolution necesssary. Be well and live happier than I do, and do think of some means which can extricate me from this affair. I am yours, &c. Spartacus.”
Notwithstanding his repugnance to let Cato into the secret, Weishaupt is at length obliged to write to him on the subject, and, after repeating that which through decency we have omitted above, this monster of hypocrisy says, “what vexes me the most in all this, is that my authority over our people will be greatly diminished—that I have exposed a weak side, of which they will not fail to advantage themselves whenever I may preach morality, and exhort them to virtue and modesty.” 1
Now let us observe the same Weishaupt barefacedly saying in his apology, “I think and declare before God (and I wish this writing to be looked upon as a most solemn declaration), that in all my life I have never heard of those secret means (of abortion) nor of those poisons; that I have never seen nor had knowledge of any occasion when I or my friends could even have thought of advising, administering, or making any use whatever of them. And this I say in testimony and affirmation of the truth.” 2 It is thus that by the most abominable hypocrisy he sustains a barefaced and detestable perjury.
So much for the moral virtue of this man; but our chief object is, to consider him in his character of a Conspirator. Let us then descend into that baleful abyss, and observe him in the schools of impiety, rebellion, and anarchy. Here again he appears to have been ignorant of the gradations of crime, of the space that lies between the slightest deviation from rectitude and the most profound wickedness. Here, scarcely have the magistrates cast their eyes upon him when they find him at the head of a conspiracy which, when compared with those of the clubs of Voltaire and D’Alembert, or with the secret committees of D’Orleans, make these latter appear like the faint imitations of puerility, and show the Sophister and the Brigand as mere novices in the arts of revolution. It is not known, and it would be difficult to discover, whether Weishaupt ever had a master, or whether he is himself the great original of those monstrous doctrines on which he founded his school. There exists, however, a tradition which on the authority of some of his adepts we shall lay before the reader.
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