In the first place, whether I have merited these qualifications or nor, Mr. Morande hasnor the right to give me them; and in respect of this the laws offer me a certainvengeance.
Veritas convicii injuriam non excusat.
In the second place, my adversary being the accuser, it is for him to prove the things heimputes to me. My position as the accused us absolutely passive; and if my accuser doesnot prove what he alleges, the accusation is not only insulting – it becomes a calumny, alibel.Such is the law of all civilized nations, especially France and England.
Actori incumbit onus probandi.
This principle replies for me to all the points of accusation of which Mr. Morande hasnot given proof.So, as the facts which Mr. Morande has undertaken to prove do not form the twentieth part of those which he has adduced. It follows that without having said a single word Iam already justified in regard to almost the whole of the damaging statements which areimputed to me.Mr. Morande will perhaps say that this manner of justifying one self is infinitelyconvenient. I agree: but my position as the accused is in my case so painful that I oughtnot to be grudged the only advantage which is attached to it; and then, indeed, I haveneither the desire nor the means to bring to England the people who have known me inthe different towns of Europe, Asia and Africa where I have sojourned. In my firstMemoire [the so called 'Confession'] I have cited amongst my acquaintances in Europe people of some consideration. I was then in the Bastille. The enemies I had lackedneither money nor power; and yet none of the witnesses I mentioned disavowed me; andindeed the greater number of them have rendered loud and public homage to Truth.Their approbation, expressed or silent, at a time when any accuser would have beenfavorably received, will be always, in spite of the
Courrier de l'Europe
and of thosewho hire it, an irrefutable proof of the purity of my sentiments and of the correctness of my behavior.I have only then to reply to the points of accusation which my accuser claims to have proved. A simple, unadorned recital of the persecutions I suffered in London in 1777,supported by proofs which providence has replaced in my power, will suffice to give theattentive and impartial reader the key top the different judicial acts produced by Mr.Morande.