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CH A P. III.
Effees of what passed in the Council of Five Hundred on the Deliberations and
Meafures of the Council of Elders. Meeting of the moderate Party in the late Council of Five Ilundred.-Speech of Lucian Buonaparte on the critical State of the Nation. - A Committee of Five appointed to report on the MeaJures proper to be adopted in the present Crisis.-The Council addressed by the Chairman of the Committee, by Boulay de la Meurthe, und again by Lucian Buonaparte.-The Council adjourned, and the Seffion terminated.Reflections.
has already been mentioned that moment. It stated, that the counadjourr.ment from five to nine o'clock of the nation, and, from what had in the evening, had resolved itself just passed, the whole of the nainto a committee of the whole tional representation; that it was house. Their deliberations on the their duty, fince it was in their present juncture of affairs, were power, to provide means for the interrupted by the beating of safety of the country, and for lia drums, and shouts from the court of berty; that the executive power the palace, and at the same time by existed no longer, fince military the arrival of deputies from the power was nothing more than the Orangery, announcing the outrage organ of the executive power, elcommitted on the national repre. fentially civil. In consideration of sentation, and the dissolution of the these, and this farther circumstance, council of fire hundred, by military that four members of the directory force. The president of the coun. had given in their demission, and cil, Le Mercier, faid, that assassins, that the other was under an arrest, armed with poniards, were noţ the five elders proposed, that an worthy of the name of representa- executive provisionary commission, tires. Another of the deputies þe- composed of three members, Mould gan lo reply, but the council deter- be appointed; that the legislative mined to hear pone but those of body hould be adjourned to the twentheir own body. The struggle he- ty-first of December; that an intertween Buonaparte and the council mediary commission, for preserving, of five hundred being terminated in the rights of the national representhe manner we have seen, a com- tation, should be formed, which mifiion of five elders brought for- fhould have the power of convoking ward their report of the measures the legislative body fooner, if it proper to be adopted in the present thought proper; and that the assem
. ANNUAL REGISTER, 1800. bly •hould be acijourned till nine in Bournonville, Money, St. Remi, the evening, as above stated, when Andréossi, Solignac, admiral Bruix, the present measures thould be taken Louis Buonaparte, chief of a squainto consideration. These propo- dron, Eugene Beauharnois, aid-de1itions, after fome little debate, were camp, with other officers mentioned agreed to; and being adopted, by by name, the soldiers of the guard, whatever could be collected, on the the soldiers of the line, the grenafpot, of the council of five hundred, diers, who, with their bodies, had a kind of rump* parliament formed formed a shield for Buonaparte, had the batis of a provisional arrange- delerved well of their country. by meii, to take place of the legilla- saving a majority of the legislative turn governmend now dissolved, body and the republic, attacked by until a new constitution (hould be
a minority, confilling of allaslins." citarixd. Though the council of This motion was agreed to, and a elders uvclared themselves to be the correspondent resolution was passed whole of the national representation, unanimously. After this, a plan, and competent of themlelves to take or project, as it was called, for an measures suitable to the occasion, intermediary government, was prethey judged it proper to sanction sented by Chazal, and was submittheir proceedings, as much as possi- ted to the confideration of a special ble, byevery appearance of legal for- commiffiour of five members, who mality. For this purpose, it was con- were to make a report during the certed with their friends in the other fitting. While this report was in a council, that as many of the council ftale of preparation, Lucian Buo. of five hundred as had remained at naparte, delcending from the presia St. Cloud, who were all of them of dent's chair to the tribune, address the moderate party, should assemble sed the council as follows:-"Retogether in the evening, and refume presentatives of the people, the retheir deliberations. These mein- public ill governed, distracted in bers accordingly returned to the every respect, weakened by the Orangery between the hours of fix destruction of its finances, is falling and seren, the time appointed by on all sides; without confidence or the elders, and the council was resources, without strength or union opened under the presidency of Lil- in the government; incertitude and cian Buonaparte.
intestine war every where reviving; A deputy of the name of Barrin- no assurance to foreign powers, and, ger opened the council, with a re- besides, no hopes of peace. view of the events of the day, and “ The hearis of all good citizens after bestowing the highest praise feel the evil; every one wishes for m the conduct of the troops, the the remedy. The wisdom of the prudence of the officers, and the council of elders is awakened; but wisdom of the general, moved, that their attention fiill fised on the late " the commander-in-chief, Buona- attempts of an execrable faction, parte, the generals Lefebre, Ber- they have transferred the fittings of thier, Murat, Serrurier, Leclerc, the legislative body out of Paris.
• The long parliament of England, under the reign of Oliver Cromwell, was so called, after it was dirbd by sobinel Pride.
" It is we who ought to begin promised, and of which fo many the work, we who ought to pro-, hands have obliterated its scarce pole remedies against that general finilhed pages; and that it is only diffolution which threatens us. The an offensive or defenfive weapon people and the army regards us. in the hands of the factions, who by Shall we fear to heal the wound ? turns prevail? If it is true, that Shall we, by a degree of base none of our rights are guaranteed cowardice, change the public spirit by it, ought we to delay modifying into indignation ?
it? If we do delay, Mall we not “ Dragged onward by the torrent have reason to expect that the proof opinion, a few members of the moters of the dangers of the coundirectory have laid down their au- try will revive their attenipts the thority, others have imitated them, first opportunity that offers persuaded that the cause of all our “Such is the quetiion which I admisfortunes is in the bad organiza- dress to cach of my colleagues. tion of the politic system. There Let us meditate and determine upon is no longer an executive directory; the principles of that liberty, which experience, like reason, proves that actuates our souls as to the fituation the present organization of the con- of the country. This ancient ftitution is as vicious as its basis is palace of kings, where we are now august. This incoherent organiza- sitting, on this foleren night, attests tion renders political convullions that power is nothing, and that necessary every year, and it is only glory is every thing.
If we are to prevent the repetition of political now unworthy to 12 reckoned the convulsions that the people form first nation on eart!'); if fcom palil. constitutions.
lanimous confiderruions we do not “ The whole national sentiment alter the situation in which we are attributes all the misfortunes of the placed ; if we de reive our hopes, country to our vices. Placed in we fall from this day lole our our present position, protected from glory, and we cannot long prefacions, we have no excuse if we serve our power"; when the meado not act right; if we forget that fure of the evil is completed, and the safety of the people is the fu- the indignation of the people reaches preme law; if we do not render us. a prompt fupport to the edifice
“I have flattered myself, represenwhich is crumbling to duft, we tatives of the people, that I might fall deserve the just execration hold this langu zge. On your deof the present and all futures ages. liberations depend the public pro“ There are constitutional princi- perty and peas 2.
You ought to ples existing : but there no longer forget all factic es connections, and exists a conftitutional organization, to think only of the happiness ot' for that which did exist was daily the French naii on, with which
you violated by parties. But the best are entrusted.
I read in your proinformed and most impatient peo- found meditati ons, the ideas I have ple, on earth, are not to be imposed just uttered, I demand that there upon. Do you think they are not be appointed a special committee of sensible that this organization is no nine members, charged to lay be allurance for their rights, so long fore you its opinion as to your pre
Tens sent situation and the means of will tear it from them, and present ameliorating it.
to astonished, affrightened, France, “ This morning asafsins, clothed their hideous blood-Itained counwith the robe of office, made thele tenances, livid with imagined horroofs resoond with the exclamations rors, writhing in the very contrivance of rage and the accents of fury of the miseries which our courage Your courage and that of the fol- has prevented. diers of the country have arrested "They speak of virtue, of the conthem; but let us finish depicturing ftitution, of oaths! Let them anto the astonished world the hideous swer. I dare them to the left. physiognomy of these children of Where were their oaths, wlien in terror.' What has been said on this the caverns of the manage, forgetnight (the nineteenth Brumaire, tenth ting their character as representaof November) in the midst of this tives of the people, they mingled hall will be repeated to after ages.
with cut-throats and murderers to “While your committeeisemploy: point the dagger against our breasts? ed in devising measures of public Where was their reverence, their safety, permit rne for the last time professed respect, even for the conto allude to those who have vowed stitution, when, in the midst of their its destruction.
bravos and asfallins, they exclaimed .“ They inceffıntly talk of attempts that the people of France must fave against the confiitution, and of vio- themselves, and that our lives no lated oaths. Those very men, who, longer belonged to the nation? when the idea of giving peace and -- Audacious conspirators; they happiness to the people of France prompted insurrection, and now! was agitated, affected so many the vile cameleons, they invoke the political scruples. . What did they fanctity of that constitutional charter, say, what did they do a few months on which they had already imprefr. ago? Had they then forgot their ed their blood-stained hands, and oaths, when conspiring in obscurity, set their leal of destruction !!! and assembling all the elements of “They hoped again to let loose the revolution, they truck discord and torrent of their odious domination, dismay into the botom of their coun- and then they thought the constitutry, and devoted overy honourable tion but a feeble barrier to oppose man to proscription? Did they their progrels; but, on the other think that we had forgotten, that hand, when it was proposed to give France had forgotten, those days of peace to France, ihe constitution forrow and woe, when terror hung forfooth, was an invincible obstadark and dismal on the black hori- cle! Thus, ever changing their zon? Did they think that we had disguise, the national character still forgotten their projects of new con- remained the same. It was the ventions, new revolutionary com- hideous asemblage of guilt, of mittees, new carrige and devas- meanness, and of iyranny. tation? What did they then think “But this day must unmask them of their present oaths: Speak! entire and for ever. We have The people of France liften. But been filent respecting their parifince they dare to disguise thein- cidal conspiracies, because we Telves under the maßt of virtue, I thought they would prefer being
the object of our generosity to being constitution, observed-liftened the vi&tims of our justice. Yet they, prompted--those favage murderers men vile as they, mistake genero- in the shape of men; ihose frightful fity for weakness, and now we must furies in the mape of women, smicease to be generous.
led complacently to their imiles. “ They speak incessantly of the The constitutionalists of to-day people and for the people. Yes, paraded their ranks calm and unthen, if such is the appeal, I address disturbed, or rather with the trimyself to the people, spread over umphant air of the conqueror who thie immense track of the republic. enjoys the shoats of public festivity Let them gather round in majestic and mirth. They shewed the presence- let them hear and judge. badges of their dignity to thole,
" Since the constitution was first infernal groupes, and they were established, demagogues have never hailed by the title of faithful repreceased to conspire against it, in order sentatives. Yes, they were faithto substitute their code of the year 3. ful to murder and confiscation; and For four months past they have now they talk of principles, but thought that the moment of blood- they have forfeited all title to luch fed was at hand; they conspired an appeal, they are condemned to night and day, and doubtlets, in silence and to execration. The favour of the people! for they moment of indulgence and of weakwished to restore the inestimable nefs is paft, and men of worth have blelongs of the maximum of famine, felt that even civil war would be of revolutionary tribunals, and so less climftrous than the infamy of many other laws which they called their yoke. the common good. For a moment But you, fathers of your country, the country was exposed to foreign you who are desirous of giving to enemies, and, as if they had waited France happiness and peace, you that signal, they darted like a vulture are at length separated from those on its carcase! They thought their wicker men who must be no less projects realized.
terrified at the smallnels of their own Did these fenators, now so full number, than at the multitude of their of respect, so full of love, so full of crimes. Their odious gang is exzeal for the constitution, mew inhibited to public observation, to the those critical days the same senti- animadverfion of the army, to the mnents? Did they then talk of ral- horror of mankind, to universal inlying round the constitution, when famy. the band of aflafins, collected by “The eyes of France, of the artheir order round our halls, pre- mies, of Europe, of the world, are puured the prelude of our murder, upon us. If we should shew ourby orerwhelming us with insults ? telves feeble to-day, we are the -The fierce unrelenting yells of balest of the human race. their friends and brothers cried for own part, I should have blushed any our blood, and when with one longer to have worn the toga, when, hand they presented to us the deadin this allembly, the clainours and ly poniard, with the other was of the daggers of a few factious indifered the Icaden sceptre: They, viduals, filenced the voice of thirty these men who now talk for the millions of men. . I would bluth io