« AnteriorContinua »
dom, should sometimes happen to Ta- ftances have been given with such t. lute the passenger by his right appel. vidence, as neither Bacon nor Boyle lation,
ha's been able to refift ; that sudden To the confidence of these objec- impressions, which the event has ve. tions, Dr Johnson replies, that by rified, have been felt by more than presamiug to determine what is fit, own or publish them; that the fe: and what is beneficial, they presup: cond fight of the Hebrides, implies pose more knowledge of the universal only the local fri quency of a powers system than man has attained; and which is now no where totally untherefore depend upou principles too known ; and that where we are una. complicated and extensive for our ble to decide by antecedent reason, comprehenfion; and that there can we must be content to yield to the be no fecurity in the consequence, force of tellimony. By pretenfion to when the premises are not understood; second fight, no profit was ever fought that the second fight is only wonder. or gained. It is an involuntary af. ful because it is rare ; for, considered fection, in which neither hope- nor in itself, it involves no more difficulty fear are known to have any part. than dreams, or perhaps than the re Those who profess to fiel it do not gular exercise of the cogitative facul- boast of it as a privilege, nor are ty:
considered by others as advantageousThat a general opinion of com- ly diftinguished. They have no rempmunicative impulses, or visionary rea tation to feign, and their hearers have presentations, has prevailed in all ages no motive to encourage the impofand all nations; that particular in
ANECDOTES OF THE ABBE SIEYES AND THE CARDINAL DE ROHAN.
From Bertrand de Moleville's Annals of the French Revolution. IT only depended on the poffeflion fcurely profound metaphysician, puh
of an abbey of 12,000 livres (five ed himself into notice in 1787, in the hundred pounds sterling) a year, and Provincial Affembly of O leans, of a little more attention from the arch- which he was a member, by his conbifhop of Sens, to have made the abbe tinual and frequently embarrassing opSieges one of the most zealous sup- position to the old principles, and in porters of the old government. I all the views of government, The affert this fact on the testimony of se- archbishop of Sens, then minister, veral persons worthy of the highest being informed of it, asked M. de credit, without any fear of its being L-4, one of the principal members contradicted by the abbe Sieyes him- of that department, who the abbe felf; and I cite him from among a Sieyes was, of whom he had heard so thousand instances, that the world much. “ He is a man (replied M. may juftly appreciate the zeal, pa. de L--) extremely dangerous in triotism, and principles of those re. times like these. You mult absolutevolutionary demoniacs, who all, mad ly secure hiin, to prevent his doing a men and idiots excepted, had no other great deal of mischief.” object in declaiming and writing to what means fecure him?" "Tliere yiolently against the government and is but one ; and that is to chain him the ministers, than to make them pur
down with fetters-not of iron, but chale at a higher price their filence or of gold.” “ What! do you think
The abbe Sieyes, a man he is to be bought ?" "I have no før systems, a subtle arguer, and ob doubt of it; he is not rich; he loves
s. But by
expenfive living, and good cheer, and those people: they are all either madof course money."
How much mult' men'or fools.". " The archbishop of he have? Do you think an annuity Sens.”—". The archbishop of Sens is of 6ooo livres upon an abbey would the greatest madman among them.' be enough?"-"No; his price is _“You' will at least allow that he higher than that"_" Say, twelvê, is not a fool, and I will convince then:"-" That will do ; but instead you that he is not mad. You are of giving him an annuity, give him' much in the wrong to speak of him an abbey of that value. He is of as you do: the proof of his not below extraction, and full of vanity ;, ing '
mad is, that he thinks highly of he would be highly flattered with an' you.”—“Of me! He dues not even abbey, and you will be sure of being know my name. 26 You are misbetter served for it." " Let it be so taken : he has heard a great deal of then. Will you undertake the ne.' you; and does not doubt that
you gociation?" "No, I cannot ; but could, if you would, be of very great the abbe de Cezarges, who is known service to the adminiftration; he has to be entirely devoted to you, is in even proposed you to the king, and our Provincial assembly, and nobody to give you an abbey."-An abbey!" is fitter to execute the commission.' Yes, an abbey! an abbey too "Well, then, I will put it into with a revenue of 12,000 livrès; this his hands."
-"No doubt it The archbishop of Sens in confe- would, if what you say were true.” quence sent the abbe Cezarges private —"1 can' lhow you all I have said to instructions, together with a letter you, written by the hand of the.miwhich he was to show, as occafion re- nifter himself'; and I should not bave quired to the abbe Sieyes, and in' mentioned it to you, had I not been which the minifter spoke highly of expressly commissioned by him to do the talents and great knowledge of it.'—'Oh! that alters the case.'— the abbe, laying, that he had men- · Well! what answer shall I give ?'tioned him to the king, and that his • I cannot pretend to say that a good majesty, thought of calling him into abbey would not give me a very great the administration, of preferring him pleasure.'-? That's right ; and you to an abbey of 12,coo livres income, may depend upon having one; but &c.
may the ministry also depend upon With these credentials the abbe your services ?'_Of course : and if Cezarges went, and paid a friendly they will listen to me they will be
' visit to the atbe Sieyes. “How is guilty of fewer follies.'-' Then I it, my dear abbe,” said be to him, may write to the archbishop of Sens, " that with all the talents you pof. that you accept the abbey, and so sess, you have not the wit to turn forth. · Yes, certainly ; but when them to account in improving your is this to take place ?- Immediatesituation?' 'The fide of oppotition in ly after the cloling of our provincial our assemblies will only serve to cre- assembly. You mult go to Verfailles, ate you powerful enemies, and to where you will fre the archbishop; Thut the door of favour against you; converse with him upon the subject, whereas, if, instead of perpetually op. and in the next arrangement of the posing and embarrassing the govern- lift you will be appointed.' ment,
, you were to be of service to it, From that moment, the abbe Sieyes you would certainly be well reward. entirely changed his tone in the afed.” Of service to the govern- fembly, to the great astonishment of ment! Do not mention it to me; those who were unacquainted with there is nothing to be done with his secret. They continued fitting
for about fix weeks longer. Hardly wrath, and reviving his linpes a little, were they broke up, when the abbé he agreed to pay a second visit to the Sieves repaired to Versailles, and pre- archbishop of sens. Unfortunately, iented himself at the hotel of the he went the day on which the minisarchbishop of Sens. During two ter gave a public audience, and when hours he waited in vain in the antio of course every b.dy who wished to chamber, for the moment when he fee or speak to him, went, without ihould be introduced into the minis. being announced, into the ball as foon ter's clofet. At length, finding that as the doors of it were opened. The lie was not rent for, lre desired a ser- archbishop having never seen this ab. tant to go and announce hiin again; bé, and being as little apprized of punt by that he gained nothing, for his second visit as he had been of his all the anfwer brought back by the first, paid him no attention, and per. fervant was, that his lordship was haps took him for one of those busy very busy, and could not see any bo. bodies, who are often seen at the ledr. The abbé, convinced that he vees of minilters, though they have had been made game of, went away nothing to say to them, and who atexasperated at the cardinal, and sadly tend chiefly to say that they had been vexed at having yielded so easily to there. The abbé Sieyes being total. corruption, especially as he had ex ly ignorant of the ceremony of minifperienced all the hame without reap. terial audiences, waited and waited ing any of the priufits of it. He haf- in vain for the archbishop's coming tened to the abbé de Cezarges, relat: up to hiin. The minister concluded ed his adventures, and reproached his levee according to custom, as soon drim very bitterly for having made as those who went to speak to him himself the instruinent of fo abomina. had said all they had to say, and reWe a piece of treachery. The abbé tired to his closet, leaving the abbé de Cezarges did all he could to ap- Sieyes in the hall, confounded, tranpeale his anger, and to persuade him fported with rage, and more convin. hat the archbilhop's mind could not ced than ever that he had been made be changed; he promised him to g? a dupe. He went off, curfing the and see the minister in the course of archbishop of Sens, and swearing to the day, and ascertain bis intentions. be revenged for so atrocious a perfi. It was not till he heard of the abbé dy. The abbé Cezarges tried withSieyes' great rage, that the arcibi.' out effect to bring him to reason, ihop remembered the promises heliad and to justify the minister; but he detired to be made to him more than repeatedly answered, “Say no more fix weeks before, or even his name, of that man to me! He is a villain ! which he had alnost forgotten... Let He hall know-he Mall know whom hiin know (faid he to the abbé Ce- he has to deal with.” He accordingzarges) that I was ignorant of bis ly some time after published his firit being at Versailles, and that my fer- pamphlet, entitled • Moyens d'Execul. vant having misunderstood, or not re. tion, in which he inserted the most raining his name, had pronounced it virulent declamation that had ever in such a bungling ranner, that it been made againt the archbishop of frad been impossible for me to guess Sens. it was he who was announctd. Let This anecdote was told by the ab. him corre again to see me, and I will bé Cezarges to many of his friends, inake my peace with him.'
who have repeated it to me with the This conversation, with the parti- same circumftances. It was also conculars of which the abbé Sieyes was firmned to me by M. de L
the next day informed, appealing liis member of the provinciai allenbly of
Orleans, whom I mentioned to have specting several pretended violation* been the person who advised the of the itatutes, with some charges: archbishop of Sens to gain the abbé more or less serious, against the prin Sieyes.
cipal persons employed by the cordia nal de Rohan. . Two of the matters
of requests, who had beun appointesi The Cardinal de Rohan, his Arreft, members of the council, apprehend
and the celebrated Affair of the ing that their delicacy might be cal. Necklace,
led in question if they retained an ofThe cardinal de Rohan being, as fice, which iwo other magiftrates des high almoner of France, at the head clared they could not undertake witha of the administration of the hospital honour, determined very wisely tro of Quinze Vingts *, had made such consult the court of Requests. There advantageous reforms and improve. the meeting of the maiters referred ments in that establishment, that he the business to a committee, of which had confiderably increased the num- I was appointed reporter. I went ber of the persons admitted, who the very day this took place to the were the blind, those being the ob- hotel of the cardinal de Rohan, with jects of the charity, which was found. whom I was not at all acquainted. ! ed by St. Louis. The king, who al. told him the nature of my visit, and ways took great
intereit in whatever asked if he would allow me to look could contribute to the good of hu- over the registers of the adminiitramanity in general, and to the relief tion of the Quinze. Vinats, and all of the poor in particular, faw with the papers I might want, in order to great fatisfaction the happy effects of investigate the facts itated by the arthe changes wrought by the high al- ticles in the relignation of the two moner; and being desirous of secur- counsellors. Far from giving the ing their stability, by appointing to flightest opposition to my rcquelt, he the superintendance persons of some appeared to with exceedingly thac respectability and knowledge, his ma
the affair ihould undergo a rigorons jesty for that purpose added a coun. scrutiny. The next day he leist me sellor. of state, and three maiters of the registers and papers I had asked requests to the council of administra- for, with a mediage, to say that he tion of the Quinze-Vingts; among had directed the abbé Georgi, his the members of 'which, previous to grand vicar, to give me every inforthis addition, there were iwo clerks- ination I required. On the Monday counsellors, of the parliament of Pa- following, the keeper of the fa's, ris. A little while after, a wretched whom i law at Versailles, ipeke a intrigue, the details of which would great deal of this afrair 10 nie, and lead me too far, caused such a disa. of the great interest which the king greement among the directors, that took in it, recommending it to ne the cwo counsellors from the parlia. to examine it thoroughly, and enable nient dropped their attendance at the him, as fvon ás pollible, to give ail council, and gave in their refignation account of it to liis majelly, who i'd ta by a public deed; in which they de- very anxious to know wheiher the clared, that they could not with hon. charges laid againit the adminiftraour kiep their places in the adminis- tion of the Quinze. Vingis, were, or tration. They added some articles were not, well founded. in , support of their declaration re- This business reduunded complete
* So called from the original number of the charitable objes received into the hospital, which was 30c-bcture the revolution it had inereaied io above 200.
ly to the honour of the cardinal de made the fubject of laugliter for maRohan : the auminiltration of the dame Dubarry and her guests, had Quinze. Vingts was fully justified by never forgiven the cardinal that lettheir registers; and all the charges ter.' brought againit it in the resignation I saw but little hopes of an offence of the two counsellors were found of this nature being either repaired very infignificant, or completely re- or forgotten; and, however concern. futed by the papers and resolutions, ed I felt for the cardinal's uneasiness, to which was annexed the fignatures of which he was constantly talking of those very magistrates, whose fcru. to me, I did not know how to advise ples were evidently frivolous.
him. One day I called upon him After this affair, 1 continued, from just as he returned from Versailles : time to time, to see the cardinal de this was about three months before Rohan, from whom I received very his arrest; as he appeared unusually great civilities.
He soon placed so gay and fatisfied, I asked if he had much confidence in me as to speak any good news to tell me? · Yes, yes,' to me with the utmost confidence replied he, excellent, and such as I upon all his concerns, and particular hope will give you great pleasure ; ly about his situation at court. I but first give me your word that you saw that he was fincerely attached will keep what I am going to tell to the king, and very grateful for you a profound secret. Certains the concern which bis majesty had ly.'- I think (continued he) that deigned to show at the clamour that you have felt a real concern for the had been raised against him, respect queen's displeasure against me,-let ing the adminiftration of the Quinze me tell you then, that a change is Vingts : but the queen was far from taking place.'-'I give you joy with treating him with equal goodness, all my heart : but you do not fatter which gave him great unealiness. I yourself? Have you
feen the queen? did not know, nor did he ever tell or has she written to you — No; me, in what he had displeased her but I am to see her on Wednesday majesty: but the abbé Georgel, with next. I shall return on Thursday whom I converfed about it, informed evening, and if you will be here a. me, • That the cardinal, during his bout nine o'clock, you mall know einbefly at Vienna, had written to all : I can tell you no more about it the duc d'Aiguillon, then minister at present. I was very punctual, and of foreign affairs, a confidential let- was sorry to find that the cardinal's ier, in which he liad passed some jefts appointment with the queen, which upon the empress (Maria Therese :) he expected on Wednesday, had not. that the minister had been so indis- been kept. He had been told that creet as to give the letter to madame her majesty had, on account of the Dubarry, who did not scruple to read noise that her reconciliation with him it aloud at a supper the gave to a would make, and of the alterations party, with whom she indecently that must take place, thought it promade a laugh at it: that, as she told per to wait till the king of Sweden's nobody that the letter was written to departure, which ws fsed for the the miriilter, it was generally suppol. beinning of the next week, and to ed to be written to hersell; that it poftpone the appointment that had was so reported in the account which been made for Wednesday of the prewas given to the queen of what paf- ceding week, till the Friday of the sed at the supper: and that her ma- one following. This delay gave the jefty, highly displeased that the em cardinal the lefs uneasiness, as at the press, her mother, should have been time he was, informed of it, he was