Imatges de pÓgina

have resumed it if, delivered from vernment and that which your the yoke of fanguinary demagogues, committee proposes appears to me, you could, in this decisive fitting, not only the best, but the only one shrink from the task of securing the possible to be adopted in the prepublic weal, and the salvation of fent circumstances.” Cabanis was the country.”

followed by Other members made fome ob- Boulay de la Meurthe, who did fervations of the same tendency not hesitate to declare, that, in orwith the speech of the president; and der to bring about the change rethe president himself

, anxious to commended, the revolution which keep up the same tone, joined in had just taken place, had been for the conversation, for there was no fome time concerted. It was indebate, till the report was brought tended, however, to have been efup from the committee: when the fected only by moral and constituchairman of the committee, Caba- tional means; the fame means by nis, addrelled the council in a speech, which it had, in fact, been accomthe spirit of which will sufficiently ap- plished in the council of elders. pear from its exordium and conclu- But the fury and madness of a violion. “Thetime of management,"he lent faction in the council of five faid, “ little expedients, and half hundred, which had been their tormeasures were paft. The commit- ment for a long time, had obstructtee would disclose to the council ed the progrels of moral and conthe naked truth, without disguise. ftitutional influence, in their aslemIt was commissioned for the pur- bly. This faction had set its face pose of proposing effective measures. against all deliberations and free It had trodden every timid fenti- difcuffion, and by its tyrannical proment under foot, and boldly de- ceedings forced the well-intentionclared what alone, in their judge. ed members, which formed a mament was fitted to secure liberty, jority, to quit the place of their consolidate the republic, and to meeting. The council of the real make the people happy in the en- representatives of the people had, joyment of those bleffings that be, by their violence, been dissolved longed to them.” After a copious and converted into an unconftitudevelopement and illustration of tional, and seditious mob; and the these ideas, he concluded with the French legislature and nation must following recapitulation. “ It is have fallen into all the horrors of impossible but the constitution of the civil war, if it had not been for the year 3 must involve the ruin of li- firmness and foresight of him whom berty, and that very speedily; or the law had vefted with a power that our actual situation should not of maintaining order in the present be quickly followed by the dissolu- great movement. Dilembarrassed, tion of the French nation. It is, as they now were, from violence and therefore, indispensably necessary tyranny, they might reflect calmly that this constitution should undergo on the measures proper to be taken alterations. But these alterations for saving the sinking republic. That cannot be made, nor a reorganiza- peace Nould not have been made tion of the fate effected otherwise before the establishment of a confti. than by means of a provisional gu- tutional government, was not to be



wondered at. The domination of ject of its true interests, to fay-I a fost men, fuccesively overthrown confine myself to the just rights by others, presented no stability of which I hold of nature and my own principles and views, no guarantee courage: respect mine, and I will for the frate, any more than protec- respect yours. Let us both submit tion and security for individuals. to the einpire of that natural law The couftitution of the 3d year, which ought to be a bond of union from which, at first glance, more among all nations; and let us not might have been expected, had not pretend to any other infuence than been attended with more stability that superiority which is the natural and security; nay, perhaps, even result of wisdom and industry. Bewith less. Trie it was, they had fore the eighteenth of Fruclidor, made fome partial treaties; they (fourth of September,) of the year 5, had agreed to a peace on the con- , the French government presented to tineni, and, in order to consolidate ils sovereign relations nothing but a it, fent cieputies to a general con- precarious existence, and there was grels. But those treaties, those di- not any power that would treat plomatical conferences, seemed only with it. After the great event of to have given birth to a new war, that day, the whole power being more ferocions and languinary than concentrated in the hands of the dierer. This has been afcribed to rectory, the legislative body was, the bad faith of our enemies, thie in a manner, defunct. Treaties of private paffions and false views of peace were violated, and war was certain individuals, who had made every where waged, without their a bad use of their power and influ- having any participation either in its ence in the republic. But were origin or conduct. The same directhese the only, or even the principal, tory, after alarming all Europe, and muses? This he thought ihere was destroying a number of governreason to doubt. Was not the re- ments at pleasure, was found incanewal of the war rather to be pable of making ci:her war, oc aferibed to the want of found and peace, or of establiniing ilself. It truly repablican principles in the was accordingly disolved by a conduct of France, towards foreign breath on the thirtieth of Prairial, nations? Was not the French fuis. (eighteenth of Jure,) to make way ciently great, powerful, and victor for other men, who might have rious, to say to other nations- other views, or fall before an oppoThele are my juft rights: I have fite infuence. Thus it was evident proved that it is not in your power that the government had no fixed to ravish them from me; that, in principles that could give perfona! the pretent contelt, the risks incur- security, or guarantee any establime red are greater on your tide than ed order of atsirs. A fioere-gate ours; and thus that ye have as great was opened in individual wills and an interest in peace, as we have. particular paffions, to the ephemeIf, on the one hand, the French ral and fucceflive triumphs of para sation does not poliels fufficient ticular panions. If, for want of a firength for holding such lan- fixed and permanent lystem of soguage: is it it fufficiently (1)- reign policy, it was dificult to make lightened, all the other, on the lub- any lure treaty of peace, what lu Vol. XLII.



[ocr errors]

curity had the people for domestic without any legal and co-ercive happiness? It was notorious, that means of preventing their mutual personal security might be easily invasions on public liberty, or the compromised, and that the greater respective faculties which had been part of property was in a state of delegated to them by the constituinsecurity; that all bargains, com- tional charter. The line of demarmerce, and useful arts, were in a cation between the legislative and ftate of stagnation, that there was executive powers, should have been no longer any confidence between clearly marked.

There was no man and man; that the people were provision that could prevent the vexed and tormented in every way legislative body from trespassing on that was pollible ;, that their misery those limits, if such were its intenwas so great, and their oppreffion tion. This last body, pofleffing the so complete, that they durft lcarcely exclusive right of interpreting the to complain, and that those who conftitution, became the only comsaw the causes of those evils, had petent judge between itself and not courage either to make them the other powers, and had the only known, or to point out the reme- right of calling them to account. dies. What was the principal caule The independency of the respective of this deficiency of civil liberty and powers was, therefore, either not domestic happiness? The imper- reciprocal, or not fufficiently guafections and vices of their social or- ranteed. As to government, when ganization. As government was

the different ideas annexed to that instituted only for the good of the word are considered, it will be governed, and that public liberty found to be all uncertainty, embarwas nothing else than the means of rafiment, and contradiction : if taken fecuring individual liberty, it was in the most extensive sense of the evident that if this last liad no ex- word, as embracing both the legis. istence; if the mass of the go- lative and executive powers, these verned resigned themselves to their two authorities, so far from going fate, in filent submission and paflive hard in hand together, were alobedience, it was becaule there was most always in constant opposition, no effectual mode of obtaining juf- presenting the spectacle of two futice; because the developement of rious enemies, continually aiming at the political powers was imperfect each other's ruin. With regard to and vicious.

the executive government, the adFrom the continued violations of ministrators were continually in a the conftitutional law, respecting state of mutation, according to the the exercise of the sovereignty of will of the party alternately predothe people, either by the undue in- minant, and continually occupied, fluence of the executive govern- not about the good of the people, ment, or that of factions eager to but how to consolidate their triconvert its power to their own ule, umph over their adverfaries. In the ora or palled on to that want of fine, is there a fingle part of the harmony which had been vilible public service which is organized, among the public functionaries, or that proceeds in a regular and whole respoctive authorities were

invariable movement: No! every withoui any line of demarcation, thing is in conlution; and all our efforts to get out of it only serve to were, that the present order of afplunge us deeper and deeper in fairs could not be of any longer duthe jarring chaos. Is it furpriz- ration. The only difference being, then, that neither public tween these demagogues and themnor private liberty has yet existed selves was, a change in the confiiin France; that all command, and tution Nould be operated by the ja. none obey; and that there is no- cobins, or by men of probity and thing but the mere phantom of a enlightened understandings. They government ?

efforts men,

wished to take advantage of the But if the source of all our cala- present agitation, and to govern mities be the faulty conftitution of France as in 1793: whilst all preour government, what must we do sent were anxious for the eltablishio remove them? construct a new ment of well-regulated liberty, a political edifice that fliall be folid liberty productive of happiness. and durable. The basis, or general “ We," said this orator for the principles of the constitution were committee of five," will liberty for good. They were the principles all: they only for themselves. We of every republican government: wish to nationalize the republic, the fovereignty of the people ; the they to establish only their own vnity of the republic; an equality of party. They were eager to introrights, liberty, and the voice of the duce a new cast of nobility, which people declared by representation. would be so much the more insupBut the conftitutional superstructure, portable than the old, which we formed on those foundations, was have destroyed, that it would have essentially vicious, as experience had comprehended only the most ignodemonstrated. They must rise ranț, the most immoral, and the agiin, he said, to the fublimity of vilest portion of the nation. If, whole fundamental principles, and therefore, the present state of things in them only see the constitution, can no longer sublist, we must deand their obligation to support it. Itroy it and replace it by another, To thew any anxious adherence to which thall raile the republic out of mere regulations, to the technical the abyss in which it was on the part of the constitution, would be point of being buried.

But can a fuperftitious and fatal scrupulo. this new order of affairs be defifity. It would tend to a diffolution nitive ? no: it is imposible to frame of the political fabric, and be, in a perfect constitution in a moment. , fact, a violation of the oath of fide. In its creation we cannot exercise lity they had taken to the republic. too much reflection. We must take This falutary truth must be un- the time, ard use the precautions dauntedly brought to view and necessary for its establishment, and firmly contemplated. It was a form the instruments by which this truth, recognized by all enlightened may be accomplished. We must and honelt men; nor was it a mat- have fomething provisional and inter that admitted of any doubt in termediary ;, and this is, precisely, the minds and consciences of those what will be presented to you in demagogues by whom the councils the project now to be submitted to had been to long tormented. They your deliberation. It creates an were as fenfible as they themselves executive power, composed of three

[D 2]

, to be dig frei ty tie ren over ske, ssas acopted and sack Gere';'s, a: ; *10, by the carrier to the cosa il of eiders, by PRIEMET Dora's, 5 ir talents, win ain, aier Ste fizit op. art ingy slip raze, wil position, it was adopel and fars

Disin arhlesse, give fored. Te proct was detailereky ai.

file that

3:15 ed in the k'owi z articies: cile esse 172,, ard Art, i. Tiere is no longer any by !scco's, p 2272 is way fiz a executive direrry, and the fel. Inii asu brolias: peace. Tie lasing rebossero longer merstaa luz Grive barties are no 16 TD- ber, of lie rational representation, ed, and leave two com 6,5 tor on account of we exceites and the f.;pying their place, on aly 11- vert atierap's which they have goal insation of pice, kompation, untimix mue, ard panicularly ce for ance. Suh are tire kading the greater part of them in the fitL'es of the przed for an ia- tios prorring: (Here the 17.06.21!! government ow fub- names of the members, to the nun. Irin. Bir cord leration. It ber of fists-ore were mentioned.) femeirey to the great erd Ait. 2. The legitlative borly create tineat pical movement hat providerly an executive confular hajtok place. At this critis, commun, compotei of citizens papre lives of the people, yna Siejes and Roger Ducos, late die Winorm a corragen.ent of the rectors, and Buonaparte, general. atsal positiina si the republic.- They shall bear the name of ConDu will elevate your minds to the fils of the French Republic:- Art. 3. grand views of a funnd and en- This camnition is inrefied with laryed prilicy. There is an end of the full powers of the directory, liberty it yoi bave nie urage to act and especizily commissioned to ora generous and magnanimous part." ganize order in all parts of the ad

This pcech, by Boulay de la minitiration, to re-eiiablith internal Mes.the, wlan hadiomuchfiynalized trauquillity, and to procure an hohis zeii and talents, in opposition nourable and folid peace:-Art. 4. to tyramy and up: hion, and who It is authorized to fund delegates, was a man not only of fine parts, wiih a power limited according to bit of unblema:ed character, and its own power.--Art. 5. The lewhich was a kind of preamble to gillative body is adjourned to the the new government, grew univerfal twentieth of February. It is to attention not only in france but the meet at that period in full power at neighbouring nations: as it seemed Paris.- Art. 6. During the adjournnot only to give a propeatus of the ment of the legislative body, the constitution to be cablished, but members fall preserve their indemallo of the spirit in which it was to nity and their constitutional secube conducted: a fpirit of peace, riv.- Art. 7. They may, without nuvaleration, jufice, and a respect listing their quality as reprelentafor the rights of nations. It was no tives of the people, be employed doubt intended to beipoak favour as ministers, diplomatic agents, deto the contuli, botii with the French legates of the executive consular and other nations. The project com niffion, and in all other civil being formally prelenied by aro: functions. They are even invited ther member of the commillion, and in the name of the public good to


« AnteriorContinua »