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CHA P. III.
Effees of what passed in the Council of Five Hundred on the Deliberations and · Measures 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 Mea. Jures proper to be adopted in the present Crisis.—The Council addresled by the Chairman of the Committee, by Boulay de la Meurthe, und again by Lucian Buonaparte.--The Council adjourned, and the Session terminated. -Reflections.
IT has already been mentioned that moment. It stated, that the coun
the council of elders, before its cil of elders had become the organ adjouri mentfrom 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 lic drums, and shouts from the court of berty; that the executive power the palace, and al the same time by existed no longer, since 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 thele, 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, demision, and cil, Le Mercier, said, that ailaslins, that the other was under an arrest, armed with poniards, were not the five elders proposed, that an worthy of the name of representa- executive provisionary commission, ures. Another of the deputies þe- composed of three members, Mould gan lo reply, but the council deter- be appointed; thạt the legislative mined to hear none but those of body should be adjourned to the twentheir own body. The struggle he- ty-first of December; that an intertween Buonaparte and the council mediary commillion, for preserving of five hundred being terminated in the rights of the national representhe manner we bave seen, a com- tation, should be formed, which mifiion of five elders brought for- fould have the power of convoking ward their report of the measures the legislative body fooner, if it proper to be adopted in the present thonght proper; and that the assem
bly.hould be adjourned till nine in Bournonville, Money, St. Remi, the evening, as above. ítated, when Andréossi, Solignac, admiral Bruix, the present measures thould be taken Louis Buonaparte, chief of a squainto confideration.--Thcle 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 thic council of five hundred, diers, wlio, with their bodies, had a kind of rump* parliament formed formed a bield for Buonaparte, had the basis of a provisional arrange- deserved well of their country, by meii, to take place of the legisla- saving a majority of the legisative turte governmend now dissolved, body and the republic, attacked by unt: a new conftitution should be a minority, confilling of atlaslins." effabited. Though the council of This motion was agreed to, and a elders declared themselves to be the correlpondent resolution was passed whole of the national reprefentation, unanimously. After this, a plan, and competent of them lelves to take or project, as it was called, for an measures suitable to the occafion, intermediary government, was prethey judged it proper to sanction sented by Chazal, and was submit: their proceedings, as much as possi- ted to the confideration of a special ble, byevery appearance of legal for. commissiour 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 State of preparation, Lucian Buo. of five hundred as had remained at naparte, delcending from the prefiSt. Cloud, who were all of them of dent's chair to the tribune, addrerthe moderate party, should allemble sed the council as follows:-" Retogether in the evening, and resume 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 seven, the time appointed by on all sides; without confidence or the ellers, and the council was resources, without strength or union opened under the presidency of Life 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 hearts of all good citizens after bestowing the highest praise feel the evil; every one wishes for on 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 fixed on the late " the commander-10-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 Crom well, was so called, after it was tad by sotunel Pride.
" It is we who ought to begin promised, and of which so many the work, we who ought to pro-, hands have obliterated its scarce pole remedies against that general finished pages; and that it is only diffolution which threatens us. The an offensive or defensive weapon peuple 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, thall 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 coun. directory 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 question which I admisfortunes is in the bad organiza.' dress to each of nav colleagues. tion of the politic syftem. There Let us meditate and determine upon is no longer an executive directory; the principles of that liberty, which experience, like realon, proves that actuates our souls as to the situation the present organization of the con- of the country. This ancient ftitution is as vicious as its basis is palace of kings, why are we are now auguft. This incoherent organiza- fitting, on this foierin night, attests tion renders political convulsions that power is nothing, and that necessary every year, and it is only glory is everything. If we are to prevent the repetition of political now unworthy to l. reckoned the convulsions that the people form first nation on eart!'); if from pulil. conftitutions.
lanimous confiderations 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 mall from this day lole our our present position, protected from glory, and we cannot long prefaclions, we have no excuse if we serve our power ; when the mea. do not act right; if we forget that sure 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 support to the edifice. “I have flatter ed myself, represene which is crumbling to dust, we tatives of the people, that I might fhall deserve the just execration hold this langu nge. On your deof the present and all futures ages. liberations depend the public pro
“ There are constitutional princi- perty and peace. You oughi to ples existing : but there no longer forget all factio us connections, and exists a constitutional organization, to think only of the happiness of for that which did exist was daily the French nation, 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 beafurance for their rights, so long fore you its opinion as to your pre
sent situation and the means of will tear it from them, and present ameliorating it.
to aftonished, affrightened, France, “ This morning asafsins, clothed their hideous blood-Itained counwith the robe of office, made these tenances, livid with imagined horroofs resound with the exclamations rors, writhirig in the very contrivance of rage and the accents of fury of the miseries which our courage Your courage and that of the folhas prevented. diers of the country have arrested “They speak of virtue, of the conthem; but let us fin sh depicturing fiitution, of oaths! Let them anto the astonished world the hideous swer. I dare them to the left. phyfiognomy of the!e children of Where were their oaths, when in terror. What has been said on this the caverns of the manage, forget. night(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 atter ages, with cut-throats and murderers to
“While your committeeisemplor: point the darger againsi our breasts? ed in devising measures of public Where was their reverence, their safety, permit rne for the last time protefied respect, even for the conto allude to those who have vowed ftitution, when, in the midst of their its defiruction.
bravos and auffins, they exclaimed ." Thev inceífıntly talk ofatiempts that the people of France must lave against the confiitution, and of vio- themselves, and that our lives no lated oaths. Thole very men, who, longer belonged to the nation ? when the idea of giving peace and -Audacious conspirators ; they happiness to the people of Frarce prompted insurrection, and now! was agitated, afected so many the vile cameleons, they invoke the political scruples. What did they fancitrof that confitutional charter, fay, 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 confparing in ob curity, set their feal of destruction !!! and asembling all the elements of “They hoped again to let loose the revolution, they truck difcord and torrent of their odious domination, dilmay irto the bodom of their coun- and then they thought the constitutry, and devoted every honourable tion but a feeble barrier to oppose man to profcription? Did they their progress; but, on the other think that we hail forgotten, that hand, when it was proposed to give France had forgotten, thole days of peace to France, ihe conftitution forrow and woe, whon terror hung Brooth, was an invincible obsiadark and dismal on the black horie cie! Thus, ever changing their zon? Did they think that we had diguise, the national character ftill forgotten their froirs of new cen- remained the fame. It was the ventiors, new revolutionary com- hideous ailemblage of guilt, of mittees, new cart ve and deral meanness, and of lyranny. tation? What did they ther thirk “But this day mult unmark them of their present carbs: Speak! catire ard for ever. We have The people of Frare- liften. But been flent respecting their pari. fince they dare to diguise their- cita! conipiracies, because we felves under tie mark of virtue, ! thought they would prefer being
the the object of our generosity to being constitution, observed-listened the victims of our juftice. Yet they, prompted-those savage murderers men vile as they, mistake genero- in the shape of men; those frightful fity for weakness, and now we must furies in the Nape of women, Imicease 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 the immense track of the republic. enjoys the shoats of public festivity Let them gather round in majestic and mirth. They newed the presence let them hear and judge. badges of their dignity to thote
"Since the constitution was first infernal groupes, and they were established, demagogues have never hailed by the litle 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 such fed was at hand; they conspired an appeal, they are condemned to night and day, and doubtleis, in silence and to execration. The favour of the people! for they moment of indulgence and of weakwished to restore the inestimable nels is paft, and men of worth have bleshings of the maximum of famine, felt that even civil war would be of revolutionary tribunals, and so lets diafirous than the infamy of inany 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 wicked men who must be no less projects realized.
i terrified at the smallness of their own Did these senators, now so full number, than at the multitude of their of respect, fo full of love, so full of crimes. Their odious gang is exzeal for the constitution, sew in hibited to public observation, to the those critical days the fame senti- animadversion of the army, to the ments? Did they then talk of ral- horror of mankind, to universal inlying round the constitution, when famy. the band of affallins, collected by “The eyes of France, of the artheir order round our halls, pre- mies, of Europe, of the world, are pared the prelude of our murder, upon us. If we should shew ourby overwhelming us with insults ? felves feeble to-day, we are the
-The fierce unrelenting yells of baseft of the human race. For my their friends and brothers cried for own part, I thould have blused any our blood, and when with one longer to have worn the toga, when, hand they presented to us the dead in this allembly, the clamours and ly poniaid, with the other was of the daggers of a few factious india fered the leaden fceptre: They, viduals, filenced the voice of thirty these men who now talk for the millions of men. I bould blush io