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C H A P. X.
France. Interior Administration of the Republic. Observations of the Factions in France. Plan for the Election of anew Third of the Councils. Royalist Conspiracy. Oath imposed upon Electors. General Election. New Members inhoduced. New Director chosen. Debate in the Council of Five Hundred t oncerning the Colonies. Debates concerning the Finances. New Plan of Finance. Breach between the Council of Five Hundred and the Directory. Conduct of the Directory censured. Private Correspondence protected from Violation and Inspection. Buonaparte's Conduct with respect to Venice censured. Laws of Divorce ordered to be revised. t Report on religious Worship. Resolutions in favour of Emigrants —in favour of Priests. Power taken from the Directory of putting Districts in a Slate of Siege. Political Clubs'instituted. Army discontented with the Proceedings of the Councils. Change of Ministers. Atltvnpt to remove Barras Jrom the Directory. Moderate Measures of the Council of Ancients. Factions prepare to decide the Contest by Face. Marchoj Troops within the constitutional Limits. Violent Dissensions between the Councils and Directory on this Subject. Parties in the Directoiy. The Council surrounded by a military Force, and the • Representalives in Opposition put under Arrest. Flight of Carnal, and Arrest of Barthelemi.-. Resolutions of the Councils. Banishment of the accused Members. Reflection* on this Subject. Election of two new Members of the Directory. Negotiation ql Lisle. Treaty with Portugal—annulled. Brief Remarks on the political Sltiation of Fiance and England.
WE have formerly remarked, that whatever of heroism or public virtue modern France presents to our view is only to be found ■ in its military annals. Its civil history affords a picture of little hut Tiolence and intrigue. Faction has driven faction off the stage, and, in the contest for power, almost every principle which the revolution was instituted to establish has been forgotten and violated.
These observations have been strongly confirmed by the events of 1797; and our remarks on the new constitution, in our volume for 1795, have been equally verified. We then predicted, that the government was not so constituted as to afford any -well-founded hopes of its permanence. The executive government appeared to be ioo
slightly connected with the eour> cils, and the members of it tco independent of each other. We stated our preference of an unity in the executive government, with a regular chain of subordination through the different offices; and intimated our apprehensions that disagreements and contests would probably take place among the members of the directoiy themselves. In this respect also the transactions of the past year have confirmed our speculations; and we have seen not only the directory at vaiiance with the councils, but even with each other.
The violence of party spirit, which in the course of the succeeding year was to produce a new revolution, with some acts of atrocity, did not seem to agitate the councils
councils in the latter part of the year 1796. They were chiefly occupied in temperate, though somewhat tedious discussions relative to the election of the new third of the legislature; and after much trivial argument, and many visionary proposals, the following plan of the committee appointed for the purpose was adopted :—
1. There shall be elected, for the present year only, a third of deputes, by the departments of Belgium, of Montblanc, and the other united countries.
2. The division of the ci-devant Belgium into nine departments shall be proyisorily maintained.
3. A new general list shall deterrr.'ne the number of the deputies to be elected, annually, by every department ofthe republic, in proportion to its population.
+. There shall be sent to the renewed legislative body, after the 1st of next Germinal, the application of each deputy to his department.
5. To draw them by ballot, not by deputations, but upon the totality of the ex-members of the contention of one and the same council.
6. To obtain, as the result of the ballot, the effective maintenance of S3 ex-members of the convention in activity in the council of elders, and of 167 members in activity in the council of rive hundred.
7. To make share in this ballot all those of the present deputies of Corsica and the colonies, who shall act be replaced before the 15 Ventose.
To except from the ballot - no nther «x- members of the convention than those elected as members of the new third.
9. To present, by proper regulations, the difficulties which may
attend the execution of the drawing by ballot.
Pastoret then reminded the council, that the constitution also required the renewal of one member of the directory, and moved, that a committee should devise the mode of doing so; which was agreed to.
The next business of importance which occupied the councils was the detection of a royalist conspiracy, which was communicated to the council of five hundred by a message from the directory on the 31st of January, and the particulars of which were laid before the same body on the 4th of February following. The principal of these conspirators appeared to be a man of the name of Dunan,on whom wasfound a passport for Hamburgh, with a power of passing and repassing at pleasure; the ot'iers were Brotier, in whose pocket-book were found several papers, dated at Verona, with jhe signature of Louis XVJII.; Laville Harnois, formerly rmister . of requests to the king; and a baron Poly.
The charges exhibited against them were founded on the evidence of Kamel, commandant ofthe national guard; Malo, commandant of the '21st of dragoons; Guillaume, secretary to M;:lo, and D'Obelin, a private dragoon. These witnesses st.ited, that in several separate* conversations with Ramel and Malo, which the latter took care should be overhe.ird by others", the accused communicated to them a plan' of a counter-revolution, to be effected by the assistance or England. The king, (Louis XVIII.) it appeared was, on his arrival, to publish a general amnesty, which the parliaments were afterwards to revoke, as not being done with the sanction of their authority; offices were to be conferred at first on,
the the most popular of the representatives of the people, but this was only with a view of sacrificing them soon after. La Fayette was to be exhibited in an iron cage, and those who had been less active to be sent to the galleys. The principal terrorists and Jacobins were to be engaged as associates in the conspiracy, if it should be found the royalists could not do without tliem. The rest of the evidence related to a wild and impracticable plan of twenty-nine articles, for seizing the city of Paris, and securing the most dangerous of their opponents.
On their examination, Laviile Harnois admitted the articles to be his, but denied having any intention to overturn the government, and asserted that the operations for overawing Paris, &c. were only to be put in effect, in case the Jacobins should succeed in overthrowing the present government. Brotier,onbeingquestioned respecting his appearing as an agent of Louis XVIII. answered—" I cannot tell that, but the papers found upon me tell it." Dunan asserted, that he only visited Ramel in the hope of obtaining a contract for spirituous liquors; and Poly admitted having had conferences with Ramel, but denied the evidence relative to La Fayette. In the pocket-book of Dunan a letter was found, which was said to he written by Mr. Windham, of which the following copy was published in the newspapers, and which ought -to have been publicly denied, if a fabrication of the directory, as we confess we have suspected it to be.—
\3th January, 1797.
"Mr. Windham i» extremely
sorry that the chevalier Dunan
should be under the necessity of
setting out without Mr. Windham's
having been able to see him. He thought he had arranged it with th<! chevalier, that he should not depart befoie Mr. Windham was informed of it.—If possible, he will be very glad to see the chevalier between the present period and that of his departure-; but if it will incommode him too much at a moment in which he must necessarily be much occupied, he begs him to be persuaded that it is not Mr. Windham's fault that nothing is decided respecting the sendtngof fundsforothcr parties of royalists, and that Mr. Windham will not fail to acquaint M. de Puissaye that it is neither the chevalier's nor hiscolleague's faults. He has just received letters from M. de Puissaye, dated the 27th of December, in which he informs him that the affair of liis command is arranged, and that he has no other object than to remain at his post, occupying himself as formerly. Mr. Windham will, if possible, send M. Dunan a letter for M- de Puissaye, as well as one for sir Sydney Smith. He is also impatient to know, whether it has been settled what M. Dunan is to expect for the transmission of funds, and whether he hi* seen lord Grcnvilie upon that snbject? If M. Dunan could give Mr. Windham a call, which he does not desire if it will incommode him too much, he will not go out, but order a dinner at home at five o'clock, if it will suit the chevalier to dine with him i he intre.its him, however, m>t to put himself to inconvenience, and to accept the assurances of his attachment, and wishes for the success of his aflfarr."
As the operations of the conspirators were to have been in a great degree of a military nature, and as tire raising of recruits was a considerable part of their plan, the directory rectory referred the conspirators for trial to a military tribunal: against this order the prisoner! appealed to tiie tribunal of cassation, cr court of general appeal, but the resolution of the directory was confirmed by the tribunal.
On the 5th of March the two councils drew the important lots which were to deprive a third of their members of their seats in the legislature. The members excluded (rem the council of ancients were, Michel, Moisset, Oliviere Gerente, Chambont-Latour, Dandenac-air.e, Deverite, Maignen.Girard Villards, Florcnt Guyot, Blanc, Bartot, Garrot, Amyon, Coibel, Creuze, Pascal, Corent-Fusbier, Boueher-SaintSauveur, Vincent, Allafoit, Cornillau.Gerand, (desCotcsdu Nord), Durand-Maillanne, Gibergue, Gurnery, EcsnarJ, Guerineur, Marceln Beraud, JohannOt.Derazci, Mus>;-t, Gouly, Giiard (de l'Aude,) Guittard, Lehauit, Reguis, Delmas, Cabaroc, Bonnesceur, Vernerct, Dandenac jeune, Pierre-Michel, Fouvcroy, Lanjuinais, Desvars, Dekher, Bouillerot, Bolot, Cattilhon, Pouiain-Grandprc, Miochc, Rudel, Serres, Regnaud-Bratel, Sauve, Conte, Campmaitin, Bouret, Salleles Thiemet, Bourgois, Goupilleau-dc-Fontenay, Bar, Ma■'■iip, Belin, Lauren:, Plaichard, Courtois, Mils, Roy, Vigney, Varlet.
And those from the council of five
hundred were Albert, Andrcy,
Aoger, Babey, Balland, Balmain, liancal, Bauchelon, BefTroy, Belley, Berlier,Bortezene, Bezard, Blanqui, Blondel, Bodin, Boissy-d'Anglas, Bonet, Bonnemain, Bordas, BorieCambort, Cambaceres, Camboulis, Camus, Carpentier, Casenave, Cassauyes, Cavignac, Caser.euve, Chabanon, Charrel, Criassct,Chaste'•ain, Chauvier, Chauvin, Chiappe,
Christiani, Cledel, Colombel, Coupe (del'Oise),Couturire,Dabray,Datimermesnil, Daunou, Deformont, Delamarre,Delaunay,Dclcasso,Delecloy,Dcspinassy,Deville,Dorneir, Drouet, Dubois Crance, Dubonloz, Dumas, Andre Dumont, Dur pais,Duval (Claude), Duval,(JeanPierre ),Eschasseriaux;une,Fei'rand, Fleury, F^icot, Gamon, Garnot, Gossuin, Goupiileau, Gourdan, Gouzy, Guilierault,, Goiter, Guyardin, Guyomard, Guvton, Hourier, Hubert, Ingraud, Isnard, Izoard, Jard-Panvillier, Jeannest-Lanoue, Jeuenne, Karcher, Laforest, Lakanal, Lanthenas, Laurenceot, Lecointe-Puyravaux, Legot, LemaillandjLemane, Lesagc-Senault, Lespinasse, Littel, Louvet (JeanBaptiste),Louvet,( Pierre-Florent), Lozeau, Mailhc, MaU;c, Marboz, Mavcoz,Marec,Mvtrsiette, Mathieu, Maulde, Meaulle, Mercier, Montegut, Morissou,Obelin, Pacros, PeleC (de la Lozere),Perieres, Pepin, Perm (des Vosges),P.Flieger, Picque, Fierier, Pinel, Plazanet,Piost, Quinctte, Raffron, Real, Reverchon, Richard, Richaud, Rivery, Robe:jot, Roualt, Roux (delaMarne), Ronyer, Ruault, Ruelle, SaintMartin (del'Aideche), Saint-Martin (Valogne), Salmor., Saurinc, Savornin, Serveau,. Texier, Thabaud, Thibaut, Tondis,Treilhard. As the period of the general election approached, the ardour of party zeal became every where apparent; and the whole nation was in some meastireagitated by the efforts of contending factions. The partisans of the directory aflirm, that large sums of money Were remitted from the enemies of the republic, to influence the elections in favour of royalists; while the accusation is retorted by their opponents who a?seit that every unfair mode was' practised to prevent the constitu
tif-n from a free and unbiassed operation. That the directory themselves were nut without their fears, is evident from a message which they presented to the council of fivehuiidred on the Uth of March. It intimated that the government was too weak to contend against the plots of anarchy and royalism, because it was unsupported by the public functionaries, of whom many had refused the civic oath. It proceeded to state, that pamphlets, vilifying the government, and justifying the emigrants, were circulated at this crisis with more than ordinary industry. It concluded with recommending an oath of hatred to loyalty and anarchy, to be taken by the electors, previous to their entering on the discharge of their functions.
A debate ensued, in which Pastoret, Thibadeau, Cam us, and others, combated strenuously the proposal of the directory.. It was represented as no less than a violation of die constitution, as nugatory in its object, and insulting both to the electors and their constituents. In answer to these objections it was urged, that whatever the constitution had not specifically prohibited was lawful in itself; and that while Monk refused to take the oath of hatred to royalty, he boasted of his attachment to that republic he was labouring to overturn. After a tumultuous scene the debate was adjourned; but on the succeeding day the directory triumphed, by the majority of the, council decreeing that every elector by seniority, after the president, should make the following declaration:
"I promise attachment and fidelity to the republic and the constitution of the third year, and I pledge myself to defend them with all my power against the attacks of royalty and anarchy."
A propos il made by the directory about the same time toexcludepersons accused of emigration from the primary assemblies, was referred to a committee.
The elections were in general peaceably conducted, and in the choice of the electors a degree of moderation was evinced by the primary assemblies. The vener.ible prince of Conti was chosen an elec 'tor by the primary assembly of Melun, and several of the ancient nobility were distinguished in the same manner by the districts in which they resided. In the appointment of the deputies, those were generally successful who could boast of any services rendered to the state. The generals Pichegru and Jourdan, admiral Villaret, and many other military officers of note and merit were returned. In some places the elcctionsundoubtedly fell upon improper persons; and even the famous Barrere, who, by the existing laws, was at that moment an outlaw, was chosen a representative by the district of Taxbes.
On the '20th of May the new members were introduced to the councils. In the council of five hundred the name of Barrere was received with marks of indignation; but when thatof Pichegru was announced, the whole assembly rose, and seemed to pay an instantaneous and involuntary respect to that gallant commander, who conquered not less by his virtues * than by
• At one of the Dutch fortresses which submitted to Pichegru, the commandant was weak or wicked enough to intimate to the French general that there were a number of emigrants mixed with the garrison, and to ask what must be their fate when the place capitulated.—" I acknowledge no such description of men as emigrants (replied Pichegru); the garrison are all prisoners of war.''