Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

accept them.Art. 8. Before their council of five hundred, to the fol“* feparation, and during the time of lowing effect Representatives of their átting, each council shall name, the people, the liberty of France from ainong their members, a com- was born in the Tenvis-Court of mittee of twenty-five members. Versailles. From the immortal day Art. 9. The committees appointed of the allembly at that place to the by the two councils will, in con- pretent, it has been without efficacy junction with the executive con- toiled about, a prey 10 ditferent fular commission, determine upon all factions, and lubject to the weak.. urgent objects relative to the police, nets and convulfive naladies of in, legislatioa, and finance.--Art. 10. fancy. It this day puts on the toga' To the committee of the council of virilis. ' The days of its convulsions five hundred fall belong the right are at an end. No sooner have you of propofing, and to that of the seated her on the confidence and council of elders that of fanctioning. love of the French nation, peace -Art. 11. The two committees and plenty smile and sparkle on lier thall also, in the oreler above men- lips Listen to the benedictions of tioned, regulate the changes in this people, of her armies, long the those parts of the constitution which spori olimelline tactions, and let experience may have thewn to be their cries of acclamation penetrate inconvenient or vicious Art. 12. into the bottom of your cou's. Hear These changes can have no other !10-the fublime cry of pofterity: object but that of consolidating and If liberty was born in the Tennisguaranteeing inviolably the fove. Court of Versailles, the attained to reignty of the French people, the due firergth in the Orangery of republic one and indivisible, the re- St. Clouri. If the conflituents of presentative system, the division of 17'y were the fathers of the revo.. power, libert;, equality, and the lotion, the legislators of the vear security of property:-- Art. 15. The S are the fathers and packicators of executive confular commission may their country. Already is the fub. lay before the committee their views lime cry re-echod by Europe. apon this fubjeći.---Art. 14. The Every day it fall was louder and two committees are charged to pre- louder, and ihall by and by fill the pare a civil code, -- Art. 15. Their hundred mouths of fame. Yoil littings ihall be held at Paris in the have just created a magiftracy of an palace of the legibatire body,' extraordinary and temporary na. which they may convoke extraordi- ture, wbich may be expected to resarily for the ratification of peace, store order and victory, the only or in case of great public Janger. means of peace.

Sexi in this ma -Art. 16. These reivlutiors that gistracy you have appointed two be printed, and sent by extraordi- commissions to fecond its efforts, hary couriers to the departments, and the improvement of the fucial and foleninly published and fuck system, fo dear to every beart. In up in all communes of the re- tince mouths your coniuls (who puble.

yrere present) are to give an ac. As foon as the acceptance of the count of your proceedings. They elders was votihed, the prendent, are to labour for toe good of their Luçian Buonaparte, audrelled the colemporrick, and of polierits:--

ID 3)

They They are invested with all the from 1795, in favour of executive gopowers necesary for doing good. vernment. No more acts of oppression, no more Throughout the whole of the last lists of prescription, no more swi- revolution, especied on the ninth nishness and immorality! Hence- and tenth of November, the oppoforth liberty and security of property fite characters of its principal aufor the French citizens: 'a'lurë thors were strikingly displayed.guarantee for such foreign govern- Sieyes was as usual filent, reserved, ments as are willing to make peace! and trufted for fuccefs entirely to And as for those who are disposed intrigue and management. Not a to continue the war, if they have word escaped from him. He might been unable to prevail against have been taken for a spectator. France, in a state of disorganiza- Buonaparte discovered the natural tion, and exliausted by plunder, impetuofity of his temper, the frankwhat can they do now?”

ness of a soldier, and the confidence Thus we have seen the over- and assurance of a conqueror. Their throw of four different constitutions opposite modes of conduct were in France in the Ipace of ten years. variously spoken of, not only in point The same soldier who established of moral and political propriety, the constitution of 1795, by the but as they were calculated to effect mouth of the cannon, diffolved it, or to frustrate the end proposed by in 1799, by the point of the bayonet. both. It was certainly intended by It seems to be a law in the moral abbé Sieyes, and others in the leas well as political world, that no- cret, to bring about the revolution, thing that is quickly produced, is agreeably to the declaration of Boulay of long duration. Two maxims la Meurthe, by moral, though cerboth equally erroneous produced tainly not altogether coriflitutional thele rapid changes: the one, that influence; and by this influence, it governments may be made and per- was alleged by the partizans of fected by one continuous and unin. Sieyes, it might easily have been terrupted effort, like any inanimate brought about without violence, machine or structure, and without which was an object much to be a gradual and leisurely improvement desired, on many accounts.-" By of times and circumstances: the the confiitution, the elders were other, that the end jufiifies the empowered to remove the legislameans; and consequently that withe ture to St. Cloud, or any other out any regard to oaths, compacts, place within a certain distance of or establised authority, a political the capital. By the conftitution conftitution

taken to they were even authorized to propieces without ceremony or hesita- pole a revision of it. Il is true, tion, in order to make way for a new that three affirmative resolutions of one. But this series of revolutions the two councils, in the course of is marked by two diftinct tenden- nine years, were necessary to give cies, by which, both in the order authority to the allembly, which of time, cause, and tilect, they was to be charged with reviewing were equally divided. From 1790 and correcling the laws. But the 10 1795, the new inftitukons ran allemblies at St. Cloud might easily in favour of democratic anarchy; have found, in the urgency of affairs, excuses for departing from the de- would follow the impulse given by cree, by fhewing that the revifion himself, and the council of elders, could not be deferred. The pre. that he was not at the pains to gain fence of the soldiers might have in- over more than ten or twelve of the fluenced the votes, without viola- members. What an illusion, to ting them by open force. A majo- imagine that the majority of the rity of the five hundred might, five hundred, animated by the old in a very short time, have been conventionalists, who, out of power, gained over to join the elders, by had the prospect only of contempt, address; and the odious means of would lay down their offices without armed violence might have been a struggle? What ikill or prudence avoided. But the impetuous and do- can be traced in the conduct of this mineering character of Buonaparte, military politician, who, elated with it was faid, altered the original plan his military glory, could Ipeak only of the revolution for the worle.- of his victories, his soldiers, his In his speeches, proclamations, and brothers in arms?” Others, on all his deportment, particularly in the point of the general's conduct, as his andaci usiy penetrating into the far as it related to the accomplishhall : the fire hundred, while his ment of his design, observed “ that myrmidons accompanied, or were any advantages that might have ready in an instant to follow him. accrued to him from courting and In all thefe particulars he assumed cajoling, and giving his confidence the style of an arbitrary legislator, to a greater number of the tive determined to deal, alone, the hundred, were more than compendetiny of the republic, which alien- fated, by Prerely and promptitude ated the conncil of five hundred to of execution. In the course of the such a degree, that, instead of fol- time necessary to gain over a majolowing the example of the elders, rity in the councii, though oppofithey appeared almost unanimous for tion in certain quarters might have renewing the oath to the constitu- been avoided, adverle accidents tion; and a majority of them were might have happened, not thought even of opinion that Buonaparte of. The secret disclosed to a great should be outlawed. There rea number must have reached the ears mained now,

exculee

may be

indeed, no other of the three directors, Barras, Moumeans of overcoming their refift- lins, and Gohier, who would have ance, and laving himself; but that arrested Buonaparte. In fact, he resistance, and the danger in which had crossed the Rubicon, and hahe was placed, were of his own ving gained the council of elders, creation. A little more condescen- and being fire of a few firm and fion, moderation, openness, and at- able supporters among the five huntention to the members of the coun- dred, he trusted with confidence, cil of five hundred, would have and it was justified by the event, smoothed the way to the object in that the rest would be brought to view, without the odium, and the fubmiffion, by terror.” danger too that was incurred by a It has been julily observed that contrary mode of proceeding. So in this, as in other great revolutions, inattentive to that assembly, and lo not a little was owing to accident confident was Buonaparte that they or fortune. If the minority in the

(D1)

council

council of elders had been joined a force, though small perhaps, vet by a majority in that of five hundred, not undecided ; and this miglit in a calm and regular manner, it have brought the events of the day is by no means certain that the fol- to a quite different islue. But, alier diers would have cast the balance all, there ariles, in the course of in favour of the former council and ages, men of lucla force of mind as their general. The general was in some measure controls fortune, admirably feconded throughout the The council of five hundred was whole by his brother, the presi- not permitted to carry on their prodent: had it not been for his fea- ceedings in a colin and regular mansonable appearance and address to ucr any longer than it suited the gethe troops, they might have her neral and his party that they mould tated which party to obey, divided be thrown into confusion : and, on by their respect for the general, the whole, it may be said, that on and that authority which always at the present great occasion, the ge. tends every few of eltablished go- nius of Buonaparte carried all be vernment. Tinie would have been fore it, afforded for the council to mufier

CHAP. CHA P. IV.

Firji Jeaurcs of the consular Görernnient.--Proclamations by the legislative

Bory.- rd by the Chief Consul.---Now Oath to be taken by all public Functionaries.- letter to the foreign Minisiers of France.\rillen Defences of the Rezolution of St. Claud, and the provisional Government.Letter from the Chief Confiil to the Army of Egypt. ---Concilia'rry Conduct of Bwroparte.- Proffjed Spirit of the nee Government.- dious Lax's repealed.---llensures of Finance.--Of police and internal Garernment. Mercy extended to various Classes of Men.-Marine and Commerce.- A Mew Constitution.

,

HE

this end, a provisional government anxious, above all things, and, had been instituted; and they exin the first place, to confirm their horted all Frenchmen to rally around authority by the confidence and at their magistrates, and the soldiers tachment of the French nation; and of liberty to pursue the course of these they endeavoured to gain by their victories, which would be fol. good words and good actions, willi- lowed by peace, and those honours out, however, relaxing from that and rewards relerved for their glorigour, or even from such a degree rious labours. Buonaparte, in the of severity as might be necesary to character of commander-in-chief, maintain order and subordination illuut a proclamation on the same among lo numerous and inflammable day, dated eleven o'clock at night, a people. Proclamations explaining in which he gave an account of the the causes of the recent revolution state of parties and public affairs, were published and sent 10 the ar- and of his own conduct, from the mies, the departments, and all the time of his return to Paris to the principal divisions or classes of the present moment. In the conclucitizcos. The moment that the pro- fion, he says, " the factious were sifonal government was agreed on, intimida!ed, and dispersed them an addrels was published from the felves. The majority, relealed from legislative body, dated at St. Cloud, their blows, entered freely and the tenth of November, 1799, to the peaceably into the hall of fitting, French people, briefly stating the heard the propofitious which were italons which had determined them made to them for the public safety, in leek an asylum from the rero- deliberaied and prepared the faluIutionary government, in the arms tary resolution, which is to become of a confiitution which promiled, the new and provitional law of the at least, some repose. For the pur. republic. Frenchmen! you will pure of arriving more fpeedily at recognize, williout doubi, in this

conduce

« AnteriorContinua »