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The other principal pofts in and round Paris, fuch as the bridges, the Luxemburg, the hall of the council of five hundred, the military fchool, the invalids, St. Cloud, and Versailles, were alfo occupied by troops under the command of Marmont, Serrurier, Lannes, Macdonald, and other generals, the companions and friends of Buonaparte. Lefebre was his firft lieutenant. While the general was engaged in clofe converfation with Sieyes and Ducos, on the important objects under their confideration, the tranflation of the legiflature to St. Cloud, and the means of preferving tranquillity in the capital, he was joined by general Augereau, who, with every demonftration of cordiality, faid, General, you did not fend for me, but I have come, unfought, to join you." Augereau, who was
one of the most zealous and ener getic among the jacobins, had, in 1797, rendered a fimilar fervice to his own party, in controlling the hational reprefentation by an armed force, to what he now offered, for the overthrow of his colleagues and friends to Buonaparte.
Moulins, finding every thing defperate, did not wait to be arrested, but, jumping out of the window, made his efcape across the garden of the Luxembourg. Gohier repaired to the Thuilleries, where, as prefident of the directory, he put the feal to the decree for the translation to St. Cloud. But he refufed to refign the feal of ftate, and returned to the palace of the directory, where he was put under a guard Sieyes and Ducos, about the fame time with Barras, refigned their offices.
CHA P. II.
The Village of St. Cloud filled with Troops, and Spectators from Paris.-The Two Councils conftituted there.-Refignations of the Directorial Office. Motion in the Council of Elders for inquiring into the Reasons for their Tranfiation to St. Cloud.-A Debate on this Subject fufpended, by a Motion for Meffages to the Council of Five Hundred and the Dire&ory, which was agreed to.-Buonaparte comes into the Hall and addrefjes a Speech to the Council of Elders, in which he flates the Danger of the Country, and invites them to affociate their Wisdom with the Force they had placed under his Command for its Salvation.--Oppofition to Buonaparte, and a Change in the Confiitution.-Buonaparte goes out and harangues the Soldiers and the People.-Returns, and infifts on the Neceffity of taking Measures for the Realization of facred Principles that had hitherto been only chimerical.—— Motion by Dalphonfe for renewing the Oath of Fidelity to the Conflitution.
This Motion oppofed, and the Defects of the Conflitution briefly stated.— The Council of Elders adjourned till nine o'Clock in the Evening.-Proceedings in the Council of Five Hundred.-Motion for a Committee for making a Report on the actual State of the Nation.-And propofing Measures for the public Intereft.-Suples expreffed of an intended Dictatorship, and Cries for maintaining the Confitution.-The actual Conflitution of France diftinguished froin certain Republics.-Motion for renewing the Oath of Fidelity to the Constitution.-Agreed to.-And the Ceremony performed with the greatest fang froid, even by the moderate Party.-Mef Jage from the Elders.-Buchaparte appears in the Council of Five Hundred.-Uproar and Violence.—Lucian Buonaparte, together with his Robes, lays afide the Office of Prefident.-Threatened by the adverfe Party.-Carried out of the Hall by a Party of Grenadiers.-The Soldiers harangued by both the Buonapartes.-The Council of Five Hundred difperfed, and the Legislature thus diffolved by a military Force.
thole of the five hundred, as well as of the eiders, with the exdirectors Sieyes and Ducos, and other pertons of consideration and influence, paffed the night at the Thuilleries, to prepare meatures for the fitting at St. Cloud, whither the legilature, according to the decree,
Sieves and Ducos arrived at the fame time, and retired to an apartment destined for the executive directory. Soon after, came the generals Buonaparte, Berthier, Murat, Marmont, and the whole staff. The court of the caftle in which the councils were aflembled, and the village
Lagarde's letter was tranfmitted to the council of five hundred. At this inftant Buonaparte entered the hall, and the whole council, eager to hear him, kept profound filence. "Your folicitude," faid the general, "for the falvation of your country, has called me to come before you. I will not diffemble, for I will fpeak always with the frankness of a foldier; you ftand on a volcano, but, you may depend on our devoted attachment. I have come here with my brave companions in arms.— Crowned as they are with victory, they prefent to you that fecurity which is the refult of the fervices they have done their country. To what purpofe is it to talk of Cæfar or Cromwell, and of a military government? If we are invited by your confidence, we fhall know how to justify it. It is alfo necessary to declare to you that vigorous meafures are neceffary. Plots are at this moment carried on. Crimes are hatching; nor are your dangers thofe alone with which you are immediately threatened. The minifter of police has juft received the most difaftrous news from LaVendée, announcing the progrefs of the rebels, and the reduction of feveral towns. Let us not be divided. Affociate your wildom to the force that furrounds me. I will be nothing but the devoted arm of the republic." A member, anxious to push the general to a declaration of the full extent of his political fyftem, added, in a very audible tone of voice, "And of the conftitution." "The conftitution!" refumed Buonaparte, with vivacity: "does it become you to invoke the conftitution? Have you not trodden it under your feet on the eighteenth of Fra&tidor, on the [C 2]
village of St. Cloud, were filled with troops and fpectators from Paris. The cry of vive Buonaparte! was every where heard, and re-echoed both by the foldiery and people. At half an hour past two, the council of elders, formed in the chamber called the gallery, by a great majority, was opened. The refignation of Barras was received, and ordered to be fent to the council of five hundred. A motion was made by Savary to inquire into the reafons that had determined the committee of infpectors to remove the legiflature from Paris to St. Cloud. This motion was feconded by Guomard, and fupported by Colombel, who farther propofed that a fecret committee fhould immediately be appointed for that purpole. Fargues, a member of the committee, vindicated its proceed ings, and hinted at certain propofi tions, which had been made to Buonaparte, and of which we fhall prefently be informed from the general's own mouth. A debate on thefe points was fuperfeded by a motion made by Cornudet, and carried, for fufpending all bufinefs until melfages fhould have been fent to the directory, who, by the conftitution, muft refide in the fame commune with the legislature, and to the council of five hundred; acquainting them that the council of elders was conftituted in due form.
A fhort time after the meffages agreed on had been dispatched, a letter was received from the fecretary-general Lagarde, informing the council, that four of the directors bad given in their refignations, and that a fifth was under the guard of general Buonaparte; fo that, as there was no longer any directory, he could not receive their meflage.
twenty-fecond of Floreal, and the thirtieth of Prairial? The conftitution! is it any thing elfe than a pretext, and cloak for all manner of tyranny? The time for putting a period to thefe difafters is now come. You have charged me to prefent you with the means. Had I harboured perfonal defigns, or views of ufurpation, I fhould not have waited till this day, in order to realife them Before my departure, and fince my return, I have been folicited by the heads of different parties to take poffeffion of the public authority. Barras and Moulins propofed to me to feize the government. I could make difcoveries which would inftantly confound the greater part of my calumniators. All the rights of the people have been atrocioufly violated; and ftill under the matk of a regard for the conftitution. It is for your wildom and firmnefs to reeftablish thofe facred rights, and to ufe means for faving the country."
Fargues recommended, as an anfwer to all calumnies and fufpicions, that the fpeech which had juft been made by the general, thould be published. Lauflat gave it as his opinion that all discoveries fhould be made, not in a fecret committee, but in the most public manner. " And I too," faid Cornudet, "am of this opinion, fince it has become neceffary. But let it be recollected that the measures to be taken for the public fafety are not to be taken by us only, or without their being feconded by the council of five hundred and the more efpecially, that in a queftion which involves the general fafety, the whole French people are entitled to a fhare in the magiftracy."
Buonaparte, having returned to the hall of the elders, declared, that if it fhould be thought neceflary to name the confpirators, he was ready to name them. Several members recommended a fecret committee.No! no! faid others, let the general have a public hearing. Buonaparte then faid, It is time to fpeak out; and I have no defigns that I wish to keep fecret. I am not the inftrument of any faction, I am the fervant of the French people. The conftitution, too often violated, is utterly inadequate to the falvation of the people. It is indifpenfably neceflary to have recourfe to means fitted to carry into execution the facred principles of the fovereignty of the people, civil liberty, freedom of fpeech, as of thought; and, in a word, the realization of ideas hitherto only chimerical." The general confoled wives and mothers with the affu
Cornudet, a member of the committee of infpection, ftated, that from what had already been faid, refpecting confpirators and confpiracies, no doubt could be entertained of the reality of their exiftence, and that he himself had taken an active part in the measures of public fafety which were propofed, from the intimate knowledge he had of the criminal overtures which had been made to Buonaparte, and of the projects connected with them.
Buonaparte, while Cornudet was fpeaking, heated by the unexpected oppofition he had met with in the council of elders, went out of the hall, and going from one place to another, harangued the foldiers and the people: "Turn," faid he,
rance that victory and peace would foon reftore to their embraces their hufbands and their children.
Courtois declared that there were, at that inftant, commotions in Paris, and that emiffaries had been fent on purpose to excite
Dalphonfe did not deny the exiftence of public dangers. The conftitution, at different times, had fuffered violation. But I muft declare at this moment, to the French nation, whatever be my fate, that my intentions have always been pure and fimple. The remedy for the exifting evils will, no doubt, confift in the wife measures that fhall be taken by the legiflative bodies; but there is no remedy without the conftitution. A new directory may be chofen, fuch as is worthy of France. But I proteft against any that may be reforted to, to the detriment of the conftitution. I demand that an oath may be taken for the maintenance of the conftitution. The conftitution, faid Cornudet, I refpect, if by this be understood the fovereignty and the facred rights of the people. But, can that monftrous power be fuffered to exift, which, on the eighteenth of Fructidor, deftroyed the national reprefentation, and was daring enough, by its own authority, to form a legiflature? Is this a confervative power? this that makes continual additions to the weight of that yoke which is already too heavy and hard to be borne by the French people? Away, away with thofe abftractions that have ruined us! Return to the dictates of reafon and found fenfe. Learn wif dom from your own experience. Frame an executive government, that fhall have power to protect
the people, without the power of oppreffing them. I demand that the propofition of Dalphonfe be taken now into 'confideration, and put to the vote. I demand alfo, that a meffage be fent to the council of five hundred, to inform them of the difcoveries made by Buonaparte. But it was obferved by Fargues that Buonaparte himfelt had gone to the council of five hundred, carrying with him difpofitions of peace and public safety. Would you believe it, he continued, he has been aimed at by daggers, pointed againft him by Arena, whofe malpractices in Italy had been detected by the general, and who had a mind, by his blood, to deface the knowledge and remembrance of his own crimes. At this inftant fome attempt is in agitation. The faction prepare to ftrike fome blow. The general calls on you to unite with him more preffingly than ever. I demand a committee of the whole house.
Lemercier, the prefident of the council faid, "It is I, it is on my motion, that an altar is now raifed to our country. I am for the abolition of the incoherent charter, the tyrannical code of 1798. But I am far from thinking that we ought to confine ourfelves to fome decrees of regulation. The conftitution is founded on the fovereignty of the people, the divifion of powers, and the freedom of dif cuffion. While thefe principles are held facred, is not refpect fhewn to the conftitution?"
At four o'clock the council was refolved into a committee. At five it adjourned till nine the fame evening. Let us now follow Buonaparte to the council of five hun dred, fitting in the Orangery, which [C3] opened