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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 also 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 moft zealous and ener getic among the jacobins, had, in 1797, rendered a fimilar fervice to his own party, in controlling the national 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 state, 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 Tranflation to St. Cloud.-A Debate on this Subject suspended, 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 addresses a Speech to the Council of Elders, in which he states 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 t!! nine o'Clock in the Evening.-Proceedings in the Council of Fice Hunured.—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 Corfitution.—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 greateți fang froid, even by the moderate Party.-MefJage from the Elders.-Buchaparte appears in the Council of Five Hurdred.-Uproar and Violence.-Lucian Buonaparte, together with his Robes, lays afide the Office of Prefident.-Threatened by the adverse Party.-Carried out of the Hall by a Party of Grenadiers.-The Soldiers harangued by both the Buonapartes.-The Council of Five Hundred dispersed, and the Legislature thus diffcloed by a military Force.
HE committees of in petors, thole of the five hundred, as well as of the eiders, with the exdirectors Sieyes and Ducos, and other perions of conüderation and influence, paffed the night at the Thuilleries, to prepare measures for the fitting at St. Cloud, whither the legillature, according to the decree,
repaired the following day, at noon. Sieyes 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 ftaff. The court of the cafile in which the courcils were affembled, and the
village of St. Cloud, were filled with Lagarde's letter was tranfmitted troops and fpectators from Paris. to the council of five hundred. The cry of vive Buonaparte! was At this inftant Buonaparte enevery where heard, and re-echoed tered the hall, and the whole both by the foldiery and people. council, eager to hear him, kept At half an hour past two, the coun- profound filence. "Your folici-· cil of elders, formed in the cham- tude," faid the general, "for the ber called the gallery, by a great falvation of your country, has called majority, was opened. The refig- me to come before you. I will nation of Barras was received, and not diffemble, for I will fpeak alordered to be fent to the council of ways with the frankness of a foldier; five hundred. A motion was made you ftand on a volcano, but, you by Savary to inquire into the rea- may depend on our devoted atfons that had determined the com- tachment. I have come here with mittee of infpectors to remove the my brave companions in arms.— legiflature from Paris to St. Cloud. Crowned as they are with victory, This motion was feconded by they prefent to you that fecurity Guomard, and fupported by Co- which is the refult of the fervices lombel, who farther propofed that a they have done their country. To fecret committee fhould immedi- what purpofe is it to talk of Cæfar or ately be appointed for that pur- Cromwell, and of a military gopole. Fargues, a member of the vernment? If we are invited by committee, vindicated its proceed your confidence, we shall know how ings, and hinted at certain propofi to justify it. It is alfo neceffary to tions, which had been made to Buo- declare to you that vigorous meanaparte, and of which we fhall pre- fures are neceffary. Plots are at fently be informed from the gene- this moment carried on. Crimes ral's own mouth. A debate on thefe are hatching; nor are your dangers points was fuperfeded by a motion thofe alone with which you are immade by Cornudet, and carried, mediately threatened. The miniffor fufpending all bufinefs until mel- ter of police has just received the fages fhould have been fent to the most difaftrous news from LaVendée, directory, who, by the conftitution, announcing the progrefs of the remust refide in the fame commune bels, and the reduction of feveral with the legislature, and to the towns. Let us not be divided. council of five hundred; acquaint- Affociate your wildom to the force ing them that the council of elders that furrounds me. I will be nowas conflituted in due form. thing 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]
A fhort time after the meffages agreed on had been difpatched, a letter was received from the fecretary-general Lagarde, informing the council, that four of the directors
had 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 1 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 still under the mark 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."
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 exiflence, 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,
"your bayonets againft me, when-. ever you find me an enemy to liberty."
Fargues recommended, as an anfwer to all calumnies and fufpicions, that the fpeech which had just been made by the general, fhould 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," said 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 question 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.
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 also, 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 fafety. 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 raised 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 ourselves to fome decrees of regulation. The conftitution is founded on the fovereignty of the people, the divifion of powers, and the freedom of difcuffion. While thefe principles are held facred, is not refpect shewn 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 [C 3]