Imatges de pÓgina
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in the British constitution, went illegal acts or warrants signed by before a measure, and if he could them, should first be recognized by prevent any bill from coming into the senate, and all of them then adparliament, he would be an abso- mitted by the legislative body. The lute monarch. “ If thi. opinion be influence of the executive with the juft, what must be the importance legislative powers must always be of the preliminary negative of the fufficient to procure impunity to executive power in the new French its instruments. In truth, it was contiunion? That scheme reduces faid, there was nothing in this gothe influence of the people on those vernment but a magistracy invested who are styled their representatives, with unlimited power. The ret almost to nothing. Not only have of the appendages were calculated the legislators no sympathies, 10

sympathies, no for its convenience, and not given connections with the people: they for the purpole of independent and have not the power, if they were liberal atliftance, or if necessary, of the immediate representatives of adequate controul. The chief ma. the nation, to adopt a single law gistrale was, indeed, a king, infor promoting their advantage, or vested with royal prerogatives. He remedying their grievances. The was the fountain of honour and executive power alone is to feel, to emolument. He was the fource think, to suggest. Every measure from which every favour must be of public liberty, and of national expected. He was the instrument atility, must originate with that an- to punish or protect. His fatellite thority whole designs every wise councils, whatever fantastical aplegislator has contemplated with pellations they might allume, were incessant jealousy, whole wisdom he nothing: they gave neither light has ever thought it necessary to lup- nor hcat in the system; they reiport by authoritative counlel, whole ther warmed nor beautified. They misconduct and incapacity he has begot no love; they dispensed nu thought it indispensable to correct favours; they infpired' no confiby senatorial advice, and by legis. dence; they attracted no admiralative controul. There was no tion. They were the source of nocontrivance by which the repre- thing liberal, nothing munificent, tentatives could draw lupport from nothing beneficial.

They did the people, even if there did exist noi emanate from the people; they between them a community of in- did not belong to the nation; they terests and sentiment: nothing by could not fix its hopes, or be the which the people might be aided depofitaries of its wishes. through the representative body. acted only by the sufferance of the There was no provision for the li- king." berty of the press, none to enable On the other hand, on this subthe people to meet and consider the ject which was so interesting to all mealures of government. While Europe, it was said, “ that any conthe principal members of admini- ftitution that possessed in itself the ftration were relieved from all re- power of represling anarchy, comsponsibility, the ministers were not pohing the agitated mass, and reto be liable to impeachment, until taining men in society, was prethe validity of the charges of any ferable to that state of discord and

distraction

They

distracion which accompanied, or so, on the other hand, there was Mowed from the preceding revolu- not any citizen so humble in fortune tions. There is nothing of human as to be excluded from a possibility contrivance that is perfect. Free and chance of rising by merit to the governments tend to one great evil, most honourable and important staand arbitrary governments to ano- tions, or even from the actual exther. The great evil incident to ercise of some small degree of po

a democratical government, is tur- litical power.” bulence, endleis innovation, and Whatever may be thought of the

civil convulsions. The great evil political expediency of framing fo ilcident to arbitrary governments unlimited a government, certain it is of an opposite nature. It is mo- is, that the name of a king or emnotonous and fad, but constant, peror alone was wanting to Buonaftable, and permanent. Whatever parte. With a fenate appointed by evils might arile out of ihe new himself, and recruited from year to government, ftill fluctuation and in- year by his sole influence; the noliability would be none of them. mination to all offices, civil, poliAs the evils of democracy were tical, military and naval; the comfelt lo leverely, it was natural, and mand and distribution of the whole by no means improper to have re military and nayal force of the emcourse to the only remedy which pire; the power of foreign nego. was to be found : and if bad con- ciation on peace, war, and comfequences, from adopting that re- merce; a complete though indirect medy, should arile hereafter, none control over the treasury; the fole could arife worse than what the privilege of propofing laws, and French people had suffered fince withdrawing them in any stage of 1789: and even a relpite from suf- deliberation and discussion ;-with fering, for a time, was not a thing all these and other means of influto he delpifed. There was every ence and command, poflessed by the reason to hope that Buonaparte first conlul, he held in his hand as would mingle İnis power with mode- ftrong, and perhaps from the fhew ration, benignity, and all the arts of liberty, even íronger reins of of a bumane and generouš policy. gorernment than any Afiatic despot. After so liberal a share of power The former constitutions, framed as was neceslarily vefted, for the fince 1789, resembled a stage-coach, strength and stability of the govern- crowded with passengers on the top ment, in the hands of the first con- and box, and holding in their hands ful, it could not be expected that both the whip and the reins. They any confiderable participation in were top-heavy and could not but political privileges could remain to be overturned; they were inverted French citizens at large, or the pyramids trembling on their fumgreat body of the people; yet, in mits. The new constitution bore a truth, the political situation of that resemblance to a pyramid refing numerous body was greatly im- on its base, and culminating into proved in comparilon of what it a proper apex. It would certainly had been under the monarchy. As, be difficult to overset this pyramid on the one hand it was necessary to by external impulsion. Whether it be a French citizen in order to hold may not be torn in pieces by the any othice, high or low, in the state; internal powder of paflion, remains

yet

yet to be tried. It is certainly a 6001. sterling a year. This act of very extraordinary and curious ex. national gratitude was generally onperiment It appears to wear cer- dersiood to be a contrivance of tain prominent features both of an- Buonaparte's for lowering, and incient and modern times. Consuls deed humbling Sieyes in the eyes of senates, tribunes, municipalities, and the French nation. The decree other particulars, carry back our for compelling the abbé to accept views to Roman liistory. Trial by the eftate, without convincing any jury and political representation be- one that compulsion was at all nelong to modern Europe.

ceflary, only served to call it more The particular period of the Ro- to recollection that the abbé had man history that the legislators ap- degraded himself in accepting what pear to have had more especially an elevated and generous spirit under their eye, is that of Anguftus would not have accepted, and could Cælar; between whose ftuation, not be compelled to do it; since it circumstances, and conduct, and

was in his
power, on the

very next those of the French conlul, the day, if lie had chosen, to have readers of history cannot fail to dif- given it back to the nation, if not cover leveral striking parallels. direclly, yet in a thousand forms of

The new constitution was pre- public benefit which fo fertile a fented to the acceptance of the genius could be at no loss to devise. French citizens, whether in their Besides this domain, abbé Sieyes respective communes or the armies. enjoyed his office of senator for life, In each commune, ind in each re- with the pension annexed as above giment there was opened a book stated. The ex.conful

Ducos, for acceptance or non-acceptance: whole only merit was said to be the constitution was almoli univer- that he prevented the other two tally acquie ed in, not with alacrity consuls from joftling one another, and enthusiasm, but from a weari- was rewarded with a similar

apnefs and painful recorrection of the pointment. Buonaparte, with kingly times of the other conftitutions. In power, was the first grand consul a few weeks the registers were re- for the period of ten years, at the turned, and the constitution was expiration of which he might be found to have been accepted by an: re-elected. Cambreres, a lawyer, immenfe majority of the people. who like other lawyers, had been

Mean while, the conials, pre- an organ to all parties, was apfuming, with reason on the speedy pointed second contul for the fame accepiance of the continution, took term; and Lebrun, a man of busipoffeilion of the government, of nefs, a poet, and who had been an which they gave official notice to avowed' loyalist, was appointed the confervative 'lenate, on the third coníuí for the period of five lwenty-seventh of Decembe , 1799. years. Gaudin was appointed mi

Abbé Sieyes retired from the milier of finance, and Reinbard of confulate to the conlervative senate. foreign relations; but he was in a The legislative committions were few weeks fucceeded by Talleyrand. intructed not only to make an offer It has already been mentioned that to him, but to pass a law for com- Berthier was minister at war, and pelling the abbé to accept the estate Fouché of police. The refidence of uf Coolne, a national domain, oi'ihe firliconiul was in the placentile

Thulieries; queen of France.

Thulleries; the same fuite of a- neral fell on men of unexceptiona. partments that had been occupied ble characters. As soon as the leby the late unfortunate king and nate was filled up, it proceeded to

The two ex- the nomination of the tribunes and consuls, Sieyes and Ducos, now the legislative body. The council senators, and the two consuls, Cam- of state, chosen by the first conful, baceres and Lehrun, were intrusted was generally allowed to unite great with the nomination of a majority talents with the most perlec inteof the Senate. Their choice in ge- grity.

Vol. XLII.

CHAP.

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The Return of Buonaparte from Egypt, the leading Event in the Hifiory of

1800. The vast and unbounded Porter vefied in him by the new Constitution.--General Expectations and Presages. Able and prudent Conduct of Buonaparte. The Juliice and Moderation of his Government.--His Soiicitude to pacisy and iranquillize France.--Means adopted for this purpojë.

- Both of Perjuafion and Force.Iar in the western Departments.- i'rmisice.-The W'ar renezked.Overtures from Buonapurte for Peace wil England.--Rejected.

the

W
HETHER we contemplate taken up with objects present to

great affairs of nations their senses, and new to iheir imain a political or military point of ginations, he was suddenly exalied view, the return of Buouaparle to to an authority, at least as ample France, in the beginning of Octo- and absolute as any of the French ber, 1799, is the grand and leading kings. He was invested with the event in the history of 1800, and power 'of taxation, the power of that which, more than any other, ihe sword, the power of war and influenced the state and condition, peace, the unlimited power of comnot only of France, Italy, and Ger- manding the resources, and dismany, but of every other country posing of the lives and fortunes of in Europe. Who could have be- every man in France.

He was lieved that a simple sub-lieutenant furnished with the means of creaof artillery, a stranger to France, by ting an army, by converting erery name and by birth, was destined to man, who was of age to bear arms, govern this great empire, and to into a soldier, whether for the degive the law, in a manner, to all sence of his own country, or carrythe continent, in defiance of reason, ing war into the country of an ene. justice, the hereditary rights of the my. He had no rival to thwart his legitimate princes of the realm, and measures, no colleague to divide his the combined efforts of so great a powers, no council to controul his number of loyalists in the interior operations, no liberty of speaking of the kingdom, and all the great or writing for the expression of pubpowers of Europe? There is not lic opinion, to check or influence any one in the world who could his conduct: and, to crown the have imagined the poffibility of an whole, his power, refting appaevent to extraordinary. Almost rently on the foundations of popuforgotten by a nation, ever in mo- lar election and democratic sway. tion, incapable of rest, and always From such a man, invested with

fach

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