Imatges de pÓgina

intrufted with this choice, ought to participation of that body by which be placed not at the base, but at the it is to be executed. Experitop of the establishment. The ence has proved the necessity of elections should proceed, not from this measure. the bottom, where they must necel- Along with the legislative body sarily be bad; but from the head, you have a tribunate, whose busiwhere they must necessarily be ness it is continually to petition in good; for the electors, if they are the name of the people. Necelproperly constituted, will always sarily composed of the most enerhave the greatest interest in the getic and the most eloquent men ija maintenance of order and liberty, the country, it will be entitled to in the stability of institutions, and make continual appeals to public in the folidity of good principles. opinion, to cenfure in every way It is sufficient that their choice can the proceedings of government; fall upon none who are not pointed to denounce those which it confiout by the people.

ders hostile to the constitution, to Such is a good democracy, with accuse and to profecute all the exall the advantages of that form of ecutive agents; to speak and to gorernment; for, in this system, publish their sentiments with the the most perfect equality prevails molt complete independence, withamong all the citizens, since every out the members ever being called one may be placed upon the list of upon to answer for their speeches eligibles. But besides, you thus ob- and writings. The existence of this tain the democracy purged from all popular magistracy, together with its inconveniences; for under this the liberty of the prels, which, order of things, there is no popu- under a vigorous government, muft lace, or mob, to agitate in the fo- always be unrestrained, forms one run or in clubs. The ignorant of the principal lecurities for pubclass exercise no influence either lic liberty'; for, du what you can, upon the legislature, or upon the these securities can never be real gwernment. By these means, too, and durable, but when they rest you get rid of demagogues. Every upon public opinion. thing is managed in the name of In a republic like France, the the people, and for the intereit of executive government must be the people. Nothing is done by strong. It ought to have unity of the people, or under their precipi- thought and of action. This is the tate direction. They are tranquil only real advantage of a monarchy. under the protection of the laws: The representative fyftem may they enjoy the advantages of real avail itself of this unity. Of what

ever number of functionaries the The functions of the legislative head of the executive power may body comprises three distinct ope- be composed, it is always evident rations. The proposal of a law, that, ultimately, one must have the its difcuffion, and its adoption. means of terminating difcuflion, The proposal ought not to be and bring all opinions to concur. made by the same allemhly which The judiciary power may be conadopts. This is an acknowledged fidered as an emanation from the principle. The discuflion ought executive. It belongs therefore Lot to take place without thc to the latter to appoint judges,




without, however, having the right tent permanence of the conservato displace them, in order that thus tive lenate, and in the turbulent the latter may be independent in character of the tribunate. The the sentences they pronounce.

executive power, besides, is reThe connection of the executive strained by the decided responsibipower, with the armed force, muft lity of the ministers and the regube regulated by the exigency of lar proceedings of the council of circumstances. Our fitua ion may state. require, either that certain members It is next said, that it is to be of the executive thould have the leared that the scheme of the tripower of commanding the armies, bunate will produce turbulence and or that numerous military corps violence. These apprehensions

should remain under its command spring from the remembrance of | in the neighbourhood of the great our past evils.

But the demaor established capital. gogues of the convention, and of All this may be considered only as the council of five hundred, had a provisional, but we must hasten to right to bring forward laws drawn get into the tract of principle in up in form. They caused them to proportion as our situation becomes be disculled, and often to be adoptmore calm, both at home and ed, by undue influence. They abroad.

kept the property, the liberty, the life The government, the foundation of ihe citizen in a constant state of of which I have pointed out, is uncertainty. Here the tribunes may that which the new social compact make a great deal of noise in their presents. The basis of it has long own house; but all they can tay, fublisted in the mind of its author, has no force but that which it deSieyes. It was eagerly adopled, rives from opinion. If they are with some alterations by another very violent, public opition will be man of genius (Buonaparte) qua- decidedly unfavourable to them. lified to appreciate its merit, and They will alarm the public more made to derive new glory from the than the executive power, or the fupport given to its establishment conservative fenate, which will after having enlightened the discul- know perfectly well how to main. fion of it by the powers of his un- tain themselves against the result of derstanding."

their vain clamours." Cabanis then proceeded to an- The constitution, after several swer the objections which had been meetings of the commisions and con: made to the plan of the conftitution. fuls, was carried by a great majority,

" It is alleged,” continued he; and received the sanction of the

first, that the power of the exe- whole. It bears date the thirteenth of cutive is immense; there is no le- December, and was offered to the curity against its designs. We French nation, in a proclamation by must have a government full of vi- the confuls, on the fifieenth. It was

If it were not cre- therein derlared to be founded on ated fo, it would ufurp, or it would true principles of a representative quickly perish, as happened in the government; on the facred rights cale of the directory. The secu- of property, cq.a ity, and liberty ; rities we here have are in the po- that the authorities which conititated it would be firm and durable, first consul, whether with or with. in order to secure the rights of the out the approbation of his two alcitizens and the interests of the sessors, might withdraw them, and Itale; and, finally, that the go. produce them anew in a modified vernment was now fixed upon the state. The first consul was to take principles on which it had begun. measures for the internal security This constitution consisted princi- and external defence of the state. pally in three consuls, or rather one, He was to station the forces, milicalled the chief consul with two tary and naval, and regulate the alfeffors, who had votes only in manner of their being employed, matters of secondary importance; The national guard in activity was a conservative senate, and a legilla- also subject to his direction, "He it five body divided into two parts, was in whom the puwer was vested tribunes and senators; the tribunes of maintaining political relations lo reason or plead on any propofi- abroad, managing negociations, tion, but not to vote; the senators making preliminary ftipulations, to vote and decide filently, but causing, ligning, and concluding all neither to argue nor even to declare treaties of peace, alliance, truce, the grounds on which they gave commerce, and other conventions. their opinion.


gour and life.

Declarations of war and treaties The chief conful was to propose of peace, alliance and commerce, laws, and make regulations for car. were proposed, discussed, decreed, nying them, when agreed to, into and promulgated like laws: but execution. He was to appoint the discusions on these subjects, whenew councils of state, ministers, ther in the tribunate, or legislative amballadors, agents, all officers of body, were to take place only in a the army and navy, judges, mem- fecret committee, and when the bers of local administrations, and chief conlul mould defire it. The commissioners of the government 10 first conlul was to direct the redifferent courts. He was to pro- ceipts and expenses of the state, claim and enforce the law, and to agreeably to the annual law which be allowed a yearly revenue of half mould determine the amount of a million of livres, or 20,8331. each. He was also to luperintend fierling. His two colleagues were the coinage of money. One of the allowed one hundred and fifty thou- ministers was - especially intrusted land livres each. The chief consul, with the administration of the pubquitting his station, either on the lic treasury. He was to secure the expiration of his functions, or in receipts, to order the transfer of consequence of resignation, was to fums, and the payments authorized become a Ternator of immediate by law. But he could not make, right and neceflity. No new laws or cause to be made, any payment could be promulgated but when the except in virtue, first of a law, and project thould have been proposed till the concurrence of funds, which by the government, communicated had been fixed for a distinct fpeto the tribunate, and decreed by cies of expense: fecondly, of a the legislative body. And, in every decree of the government: thirdly, stage of the discussion of thele pro- of a warrant signed by a mijects, government, that is, in fact, the nister,

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Next in dignity and consequence out of its own number, who were to the consulate was the conferva- to explain and defend its views tive fenate, composed of eighty' and motives, in either case, before members, irremoveable, and for the legislative body. It might relife, who should be forty years of fer lo the senate : but that solely on age at least. For the forniation of the ground of constitutionality, the the lenate, fisty members were at list of persons eligible, the proceedfirst appointed by the consuls. This ings of the legislative body, and the number was to be increased to that proceedings of government. It of fixty-two in the course of the might exprefs an opinion respectyear 8; to fixty-four in the course ing laws made, or to be made conof the year 9, and thus be gradually cerning abuses that might require increased to eighty, by the addition correction, or improvements to be of two members during each of the made in any part of the public adten first years. The appointment ministration : but such opinion had to the fituation of a lenator to be no necessary.consequence, and was made by the senate itself, which not to bind any constituted authowas to choose one out of three can- rity to act. The fittings of the ledidates presented, the first by the nate were not to be public. The Jegislative body, the second by the fittings of the legislative body and tribunate, and the third, by the the tribunate were to be public, chief conful. The fenate was to The number of strangers in both maintain or annul all the resolu- not to exceed two hundred in each, tion's referred to it as unconstitu- When the tribunate should adjourn tional by the tribunate or the go. itself, it might appoint a committee vernment.

of from ten to fifteen members, aus The legislative body was com- thorised to allemble it if thought posed of three hundred members, advisable. The fitting of the lenone less than thirty years of age. gillative body was to commence It was always to contain, at least, every year on the twenty-second of one citizen from each department November, and to continue only of the republic. The legislative four months. But it might be conbody enacted laws by a private voked, extraordinarily, during the ballot, and without any discussion eight remaining months by the goon the part of the members, relpect- vernment. ing the projects of laws debated in The revenues of certain national its presence, by the speeches of domains, to be fixed on, were to the tribunate and government. be liable to the payment of the exThe tribunate was composed of a penles of the state. The annual hundred members, at least twenty- salary of each member to be equal five years of age. They were to to the twentieth part of that of the be renewed by a fifth part every chief consul. The salary of a triyear; and were indefinitely eligible bune was 6251. annually; that of a as long as they continued on the na- legislator, 4161.. tional lift. The tribunate was to With regard to the new judicadiscuss the project of a law, and tories propoled, and the new regu. vote for its adoption or rejection. lations respecting the exercise of It was to send three speakers, cholen various ministerial functions, it may


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just be observed, in this place, This new constitution, as an unithat in the former, due regard was versal subject, as might be expected, paid to the equal distribution of of critical oblervation, and in Paris, justice ; and that in the latter, the according to the genius of the Pariauthority of the laws as well as the fians, of jokes and raillery. The personal freedom and property of French nation, it was there acindividuals, were consulted by the knowledged, must always have annexation of responsibility in many some darling idol. That which cases, to the fundry offices of ad- they had now got, possessed this adminiftration. But, on the other, the vantage, that it might be worshipconsuls were not responsible in any. ped without a breach of the second

It was ordained that the citizens commandment; since it was not the of every commercial district should “likeness of any thing in the heapoint out by their votes thole they vens above, or in the earth beconceived to be the most proper to neath.” While some praised it for manage their public affairs. The its unprecedented originality, and number so pointed out would form ingenious combinations, and launcha list of men, worthy of confidence, ing forth on the ocean of poflibiamounting to a tenth of the num- lity and human nature, conducted, ber of citizens having a right to not merely by shores and landmarks, vote. Out of this list were to be but chiefly by the polarity of reachosen the public functionaries of sons, others for that very reason the district. . The citizens compre- condemned it. Constitutions were hended in the communal lists of a not things to be formed like mathedepartment, were likewise to point matical diagrams, or like fyllogisms, out a tenth part of their own num- by recluse metaphysicians, but grew ber. Hence there was formed a out of examples and precedents, fecond lift, called departmental, which could alone fix the nature of from which were to be chosen the any constitution, and the limits of public functionaries of the depart- any form of government. ment. The citizens whose names The most prominent feature in ftood on, likewile named a tenth this new production was the great part of their own number. Thus and almost unlimited, or at least, in was formed a third lift, which com- fact, illimitable power of the first prehended the citizens of the de- consul. One party of rcaloners partment eligible to public national dreaded and detetted this as the functions. All the lists made up in grave of liberty: others exprefled virtue of this last articie, in the de- an opinion that it was not greater partments, were addresled to the than the temper of the French naferate, and composed the national tion and the circunstances of the lift: out of which list the fenate times demanded. On one side, an lias to choose the national function- observation of Mr. Hume's t was aries, as above observed.

quoted that if the king's negative,

This new constitution of the French republic is inserted, at full lergth, in the appendix of our last volume, page 142.

This writer was very popular, and almost adored by the French. And certa nly, though he is partial to absoluie monarchy, and a sworn enemy to democracy, his writ. ango had a great ware in bringing alout the revolution.


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