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in the British conftitution, went before a measure, and if he could prevent any bill from coming into parliament, he would be an abfolute monarch. "If this opinion be juft, what must be the importance of the preliminary negative of the executive power in the new French conftitution? That scheme reduces the influence of the people on thofe who are ftyled their reprefentatives, almost to nothing. Not only have the legiflators no fympathies, 110 connections with the people: they have not the power, if they were the immediate reprefentatives of the nation, to adopt a fingle law for promoting their advantage, or remedying their grievances. The executive power alone is to feel, to think, to fuggeft. Every meafure of public liberty, and of national utility, muft originate with that anthority whofe defigns every wife legiflator has contemplated with inceffant jealoufy, whole wifdom he has ever thought it neceflary to fupport by authoritative counfel, whofe mifconduct and incapacity he has thought it indifpenfable to correct by fenatorial advice, and by legiflative controul. There was no contrivance by which the reprefentatives could draw fupport from the people, even if there did exift between them a community of interefts and fentiment: nothing by which the people might be aided through the reprefentative body. There was no provifion for the liberty of the prefs, none to enable the people to meet and confider the mealures of government. While the principal members of adminiftration were relieved from all refponfibility, the minifters were not to be liable to impeachment, until the validity of the charges of any
illegal acts or warrants figned by them, fhould first be recognized by the fenate, and all of them then admitted by the legislative body. The influence of the executive with the legiflative powers must always be fufficient to procure impunity to its inftruments. In truth, it was faid, there was nothing in this government but a magiftracy invested with unlimited power. The reft of the appendages were calculated for its convenience, and not given for the purpole of independent and liberal affiftance, or if neceffary, of adequate controul. The chief magiftrate was, indeed, a king, invefted with royal prerogatives. He was the fountain of honour and emolument. He was the fource from which every favour must be expected. He was the inftrument to punish or protect. His fatellite councils, whatever fantaftical appellations they might affume, were nothing: they gave neither light nor heat in the fyftem; they neither warmed nor beautified. They begot no love; they difpenfed no favours; they infpired no confidence; they attracted no admiration. They were the fource of nothing liberal, nothing munificent, nothing beneficial. They did noi emanate from the people; they did not belong to the nation; they could not fix its hopes, or be the depofitaries of its withes. They acted only by the fufferance of the king."
On the other hand, on this fubjet which was fo interefting to all Europe, it was faid, " that any conftitution that poffeffed in itself the power of repreffing anarchy, compofing the agitated mass, and retaining men in fociety, was preferable to that fate of difcord and diftraction
fo, on the other hand, there was, not any citizen fo humble in fortune as to be excluded from a poffibility and chance of rifing by merit to the moft honourable and important ftations, or even from the actual exercife of fome small degree of political power."
diffraction which accompanied, or
Whatever may be thought of the political expediency of framing fo unlimited a government, certain it is, that the name of a king or emperor alone was wanting to Buonaparte. With a fenate appointed by himfelf, and recruited from year to year by his fole influence; the nomination to all offices, civil, political, military and naval; the command and diftribution of the whole military and naval force of the empire; the power of foreign negociation on peace, war, and commerce; a complete though indirect control over the treafury; the fole privilege of propofing laws, and withdrawing them in any ftage of deliberation and difcuffion;-with all these and other means of influence and command, poffeffed by the firft conful, he held in his hand as ftrong, and perhaps from the fhew of liberty, even Atronger reins of government than any Afiatic defpot. The former conftitutions, framed fince 1789, refembled a stage-coach, crowded with paflengers on the top and box, and holding in their hands both the whip and the reins. They were top-heavy and could not but be overturned; they were inverted pyramids trembling on their fummits. The new constitution bore a refemblance to a pyramid refting on its base, and culminating into a proper apex. It would certainly be difficult to overset this pyramid by external impulfion. Whether it may not be torn in pieces by the internal powder of paffion, remains yet
yet to be tried. It is certainly a very extraordinary and curious experiment It appears to wear certain prominent features both of ancient and modern times. Confuls fenates, tribunes, municipalities, and other particulars, carry back our views to Roman hiftory. Trial by jury and political reprefentation belong to modern Europe.
The particular period of the Roman hiftory that the legiflators appear to have had more especially under their eye, is that of Auguftus Cælar; between whofe fituation, circumftances, and conduct, and thofe of the French conful, the readers of history cannot fail to difcover feveral firiking parallels.
The new conftitution was prefented to the acceptance of the French citizens, whether in their refpective communes or the armies. In each commune, and in each regiment there was opened a book for acceptance or non-acceptance: the conflitution was almoft univerfally acquieced in, not with alacrity and enthufiafm, but from a wearinefs and painful recollection of the times of the other conflitutions. In a few weeks the registers were returned, and the conftitution was found to have been accepted by an immenfe majority of the people.
Mean while, the confuls. prefuming, with reafon on the fpeedy acceptance of the conftitution, took poffetion of the government, of which they gave official notice to the confervative fenate, on the twenty-feventh of Decembe, 1799.
Abbé Sieyes retired from the confulate to the confervative fenate. The legislative commiflions were instructed not only to make an offer to him, but to páfs a law for compelling the abbe to accept the cftate of Cione, a national domain, of
6001. fterling a year. This act of national gratitude was generally underflood to be a contrivance of Buonaparte's for lowering, and indeed humbling Sieyes in the eyes of the French nation. The decree for compelling the abbé to accept the eftate, without convincing any one that compulfion was at all neceflary, only ferved to call it more to recollection that the abbé had degraded himself in accepting what an elevated and generous fpirit would not have accepted, and could not be compelled to do it; fince it was in his power, on the very next day, if he had chofen, to have given it back to the nation, if not directly, yet in a thousand forms of public benefit which fo fertile a genius could be at no lofs to devife. Befides this domain, abbé Sieyes enjoyed his office of fenator for life, with the penfion annexed as above stated. The ex-conful Ducos, whole only merit was faid to be that he prevented the other two confuls from joftling one another, was rewarded with a fimilar appointment. Buonaparte, with kingly power, was the firft grand conful for the period of ten years, at the expiration of which he might be re-elected. Cambreres, a lawyer, who like other lawyers, had been an organ to all parties, was appointed fecond conful for the fame term; and Lebrun, a man of bufinefs, a poet, and who had been an avowed loyalift, was appointed third conful for the period of five years. Gaudin was appointed minifter of finance, and Reinhard of foreign relations; but he was in a few weeks fucceeded by Talleyrand. It has already been mentioned that Berthier was minifter at war, and Fouché of police. The refidence of the firft coniul was in the palace of the Thulieries;
Thulleries; the fame fuite of apartments that had been occupied by the late unfortunate king and queen of France. The two exconfuls, Sieyes and Ducos, now fenators, and the two confuls, Cambaceres and Lebrun, were intrusted with the nomination of a majority of the fenate. Their choice in ge
neral fell on men of unexceptionable characters. As foon as the fenate was filled up, it proceeded to the nomination of the tribunes and the legislative body. The council of ftate, chofen by the first conful, was generally allowed to unite great talents with the most perfect integrity.
The Return of Buonaparte from Egypt, the leading Event in the Hifiory of 1800. The vast and unbounded Power vefied in him by the new Conftitution.-General Expectations and Prefages.-Able and prudent Conduct of Buonaparte.-The Juice and Moderation of his Government.-His Solicitude to pacify and tranquillize France.-Means adopted for this Purpojë. -Both of Perfuafion and Force.-War in the western Departments.-Armiflice.-The War renewed.—Overtures from Buonaparte for Peace with England.-Rejected.
THETHER we contemplate the great affairs of nations in a political or military point of view, the return of Buouaparte to France, in the beginning of October, 1799, is the grand and leading event in the hiftory of 1800, and that which, more than any other, influenced the ftate and condition, not only of France, Italy, and Ger
many, but of every other country in Europe. Who could have believed that a fimple fub-lieutenant of artillery, a ftranger to France, by name and by birth, was deftined to govern this great empire, and to give the law, in a manner, to all the continent, in defiance of reafon, juftice, the hereditary rights of the legitimate princes of the realm, and the combined efforts of fo great a number of loyalifts in the interior of the kingdom, and all the great powers of Europe? There is not any one in the world who could have imagined the poffibility of an event fo extraordinary. Almoft forgotten by a nation, ever in motion, incapable of reft, and always
taken up with objects prefent to their fenfes, and new to their ima ginations, he was fuddenly exalted to an authority, at least as ample and abfolute as any of the French kings. He was invefted with the power of taxation, the power of the fword, the power of war and peace, the unlimited power of commanding the refources, and difpofing of the lives and fortunes of every man in France. He was furnished with the means of creating an army, by converting every man, who was of age to bear arms, into a foldier, whether for the defence of his own country, or carrying war into the country of an enemy. He had no rival to thwart his meafures, no colleague to divide his powers, no council to controul his operations, no liberty of fpeaking or writing for the expreffion of public opinion, to check or influence his conduct: and, to crown the whole, his power, refting apparently on the foundations of popular election and democratic fway. From fuch a man, invefted with fuch