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History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 by F. A. M. Mignet

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attachment to the republic into suspicion; and the mass, which had at
first supported, now forsook them. The constitutionalists of 1791, and the
directorial party formed an alliance. The club of _Salm_, established
under the auspices of this alliance, was opposed to the club of _Clichy_,
which for a long time had been the rendezvous of the most influential
members of the councils. The directory, while it had recourse to opinion,
did not neglect its principal force--the support of the troops. It brought
near Paris several regiments of the army of the Sambre-et-Meuse, commanded
by Hoche. The constitutional radius of six myriametres (twelve leagues),
which the troops could not legally pass, was violated: and the councils
denounced this violation to the directory, which feigned an ignorance,
wholly disbelieved, and made very weak excuses.

The two parties were watching each other. One had its posts at the
directory, at the club of _Salm_, and in the army, the other, in the
councils, at _Clichy_, and in the _salons_ of the royalists. The mass were
spectators. Each of the two parties was disposed to act in a revolutionary
manner towards the other. An intermediate constitutional and conciliatory
party tried to prevent the struggle, and to bring about an union, which
was altogether impossible. Carnot was at its head: a few members of the
younger council, directed by Thibaudeau, and a tolerably large number of
the Ancients, seconded his projects of moderation. Carnot, who, at that
period, was the director of the constitution, with Barthélemy, who was the
director of the legislature, formed a minority in the government. Carnot,
very austere in his conduct and very obstinate in his views, could not
agree either with Barras or with the imperious Rewbell. To this opposition
of character was then added difference of system. Barras and Rewbell,
supported by La Réveillère, were not at all averse to a coup-d'état
against the councils, while Carnot wished strictly to follow the law. This
great citizen, at each epoch of the revolution, had perfectly seen the
mode of government which suited it, and his opinion immediately became a
fixed idea. Under the committee of public safety, the dictatorship was his
fixed system, and under the directory, legal government. Recognising no
difference of situation, he found himself placed in an equivocal position;
he wished for peace in a moment of war; and for law, in a moment of coups-

The councils, somewhat alarmed at the preparations of the directory,
seemed to make the dismissal of a few ministers, in whom they placed no
confidence, the price of reconciliation. These were, Merlin de Douai, the
minister of justice; Delacroix, minister of foreign affairs; and Ramel,
minister of finance. On the other hand they desired to retain Pétiet as
minister of war, Bénésech as minister of the interior, and Cochon de
Lapparent as minister of police. The legislative body, in default of
directorial power, wished to make sure of the ministry. Far from falling
in with this wish, which would have introduced the enemy into the
government, Rewbell, La Réveillère and Barras dismissed the ministers
protected by the councils, and retained the others. Bénésech was replaced
by François de Neufchâteau, Pétiet by Hoche, and soon afterwards by
Schérer; Cochon de Lapparent, by Lenoir-Laroche; and Lenoir-Laroche, who
had too little decision, by Sotin. Talleyrand, likewise, formed part of
this ministry. He had been struck off the list of emigrants, from the
close of the conventional session, as a revolutionist of 1791; and his
great sagacity, which always placed him with the party having the greatest
hope of victory, made him, at this period, a directorial republican. He
held the portfolio of Delacroix, and he contributed very much, by his
counsels and his daring, to the events of Fructidor.

War now appeared more and more inevitable. The directory did not wish for
a reconciliation, which, at the best, would only have postponed its
downfall and that of the republic to the elections of the year VI. It
caused threatening addresses against the councils to be sent from the
armies. Bonaparte had watched with an anxious eye the events which were
preparing in Paris. Though intimate with Carnot, and corresponding
directly with him, he had sent Lavalette, his aid-de-camp, to furnish him
with an account of the divisions in the government, and the intrigues and
conspiracies with which it was beset. Bonaparte had promised the directory
the support of his army, in case of actual danger. He sent Augereau to
Paris with addresses from his troops. "Tremble, royalists!" said the
soldiers. "From the Adige to the Seine is but a step. Tremble! your
iniquities are numbered; and their recompense is at the end of our
bayonets."--"We have observed with indignation," said the staff, "the
intrigues of royalty threatening liberty. By the manes of the heroes slain
for our country, we have sworn implacable war against royalty and
royalists. Such are our sentiments; they are yours, and those of all
patriots. Let the royalists show themselves, and their days are numbered."
The councils protested, but in vain, against these deliberations of the
army. General Richepanse, who commanded the troops arrived from the army
of the Sambre-et-Meuse, stationed them at Versailles, Meudon, and

The councils had been assailants in Prairial, but as the success of their
cause might be put off to the year VI., when it might take place without
risk or combat, they kept on the defensive after Thermidor (July, 1797).
They, however, then made every preparation for the contest: they gave
orders that the _constitutional circles_ should be closed, with a view to
getting rid of the club of _Salm_; they also increased the powers of the
commission of inspectors of the hall, which became the government of the
legislative body, and of which the two royalist conspirators, Willot and
Pichegru, formed part. The guard of the councils, which was under the
control of the directory, was placed under the immediate orders of the
inspectors of the hall. At last, on the 17th Fructidor, the legislative
body thought of procuring the assistance of the militia of Vendémiaire,
and it decreed, on the motion of Pichegru, the formation of the national
guard. On the following day, the 18th, this measure was to be executed,
and the councils were by a decree to order the troops to remove to a
distance. They had reached a point that rendered a new victory necessary
to decide the great struggle of the revolution and the ancient system. The
impetuous general, Willot, wished them to take the initiative, to decree
the impeachment of the three directors, Barras, Rewbell, and La
Réveillère; to cause the other two to join the legislative body; if the
government refused to obey, to sound the tocsin, and march with the old
sectionaries against the directory; to place Pichegru at the head of this
_legal insurrection_, and to execute all these measures promptly, boldly,
and at mid-day. Pichegru is said to have hesitated; and the opinion of the
undecided prevailing, the tardy course of legal preparations was adopted.

It was not, however, the same with the directory. Barras, Rewbell, and La
Réveillère determined instantly to attack Carnot, Barthélemy, and the
legislative majority. The morning of the 18th was fixed on for the
execution of this coup-d'état. During the night, the troops encamped in
the neighbourhood of Paris, entered the city under the command of
Augereau. It was the design of the directorial triumvirate to occupy the
Tuileries with troops before the assembling of the legislative body, in
order to avoid a violent expulsion; to convoke the councils in the
neighbourhood of the Luxembourg, after having arrested their principal
leaders, and by a legislative measure to accomplish a coup-d'état begun by
force. It was in agreement with the minority of the councils, and relied
on the approbation of the mass. The troops reached the Hôtel de Ville at
one in the morning, spread themselves over the quays, the bridges, and the
Champs Élysées, and before long, twelve thousand men and forty pieces of
cannon surrounded the Tuileries. At four o'clock the alarm-shot was fired,
and Augereau presented himself at the gate of the Pont-Tournant.

The guard of the legislative body was under arms. The inspectors of the
hall, apprised the night before of the movement in preparation, had
repaired to the national palace (the Tuileries), to defend the entrance.
Ramel, commander of the legislative guard, was devoted to the councils,
and he had stationed his eight hundred grenadiers in the different avenues
of the garden, shut in by gates. But Pichegru, Willot, and Ramel, could
not resist the directory with this small and uncertain force. Augereau had
no need even to force the passage of the Pont-Tournant: as soon as he came
before the grenadiers, he cried out, "Are you republicans?" The latter
lowered their arms and replied, "Vive Augereau! Vive le directoire!" and
joined him. Augereau traversed the garden, entered the hall of the
councils, arrested Pichegru, Willot, Ramel, and all the inspectors of the
hall, and had them conveyed to the Temple. The members of the councils,
convoked in haste by the inspectors, repaired in crowds to their place of
sitting; but they were arrested or refused admittance by the armed force.
Augereau announced to them that the directory, urged by the necessity of
defending the republic from the conspirators among them, had assigned the
Odéon and the School of Medicine for the place of their sittings. The
greater part of the deputies present exclaimed against military violence
and the dictatorial usurpation, but they were obliged to yield.

At six in the morning this expedition was terminated. The people of Paris,
on awaking, found the troops still under arms, and the walls placarded
with proclamations announcing the discovery of a formidable conspiracy.
The people were exhorted to observe order and confidence. The directory
had printed a letter of general Moreau, in which he announced in detail
the plots of his predecessor Pichegru with the emigrants, and another
letter from the prince de Condé to Imbert Colomès, a member of the
Ancients. The entire population remained quiet; they were mere spectators
of an event brought about without the interference of parties, and by the
assistance of the army only. They displayed neither approbation nor

The directory felt the necessity of legalizing, and more especially of
terminating, this extraordinary act. As soon as the members of the five
hundred, and of the ancients, were assembled at the Odéon and the School
of Medicine in sufficient numbers to debate, they determined to sit
permanently. A message from the directory announced the motive which had
actuated all its measures. "Citizens, legislators," ran the message, "if
the directory had delayed another day, the republic would have been given
up to its enemies. The very place of your sittings was the rendezvous of
the conspirators: from thence they yesterday distributed their plans and
orders for the delivery of arms; from thence they corresponded last night
with their accomplices; lastly, from thence, or in the neighbourhood, they
again endeavoured to raise clandestine and seditious assemblies, which the
police at this moment are employed in dispersing. We should have
compromised the public welfare, and that of its faithful representatives,
had we suffered them to remain confounded with the foes of the country in
the den of conspiracy."

The younger council appointed a commission, composed of Sieyès, Poulain-
Granpré, Villers, Chazal, and Boulay de la Meurthe, deputed to present a
law of _public safety_. The law was a measure of ostracism; only
transportation was substituted for the scaffold in this second
revolutionary and dictatorial period.

The members of the five hundred sentenced to transportation were: Aubry,
J. J. Aimé, Bayard, Blain, Boissy d'Anglas, Borne, Bourdon de l'Oise,
Cadroy, Couchery, Delahaye, Delarue, Doumère, Dumolard, Duplantier, Gibert
Desmolières, Henri La Rivière, Imbert-Colomès, Camille Jordan, Jourdan
(des Bouches-du-Rhône) Gall, La Carrière, Lemarchand-Gomicourt, Lemérer,
Mersan, Madier, Maillard, Noailles, André, Mac-Cartin, Pavie, Pastoret,
Pichegru, Polissard, Praire-Montaud, Quatremère-Quincy, Saladin, Siméon,
Vauvilliers, Vienot-Vaublanc, Villaret-Joyeuse, Willot. In the council of
ancients: Barbé-Marbois, Dumas, Ferraud-Vaillant, Lafond-Ladebat, Laumont,
Muraire, Murinais, Paradis, Portalis, Rovère, Tronçon-Ducoudray. In the
directory: Carnot and Barthélemy. They also condemned the abbé Brottier,
Lavilleheurnois, Dunan, the ex-minister of police, Cochon, the ex-agent of
the police Dossonville, generals Miranda and Morgan; the journalist,
Suard; the ex-conventionalist, Mailhe; and the commandant, Ramel. A few of
the proscribed succeeded in evading the decree of exile; Carnot was among
the number. Most of them were transported to Cayenne; but a great many did
not leave the Isle of Ré.

The directory greatly extended this act of ostracism. The authors of
thirty-five journals were included in the sentence of transportation. It
wished to strike at once all the avenues of the republic in the councils,
in the press, in the electoral assemblies, the departments, in a word,
wherever they had introduced themselves. The elections of forty-eight
departments were annulled, the laws in favour of priests and emigrants
were revoked, and soon afterwards the disappearance of all who had swayed
in the departments since the 9th Thermidor raised the spirits of the cast-
down republican party. The coup-d'état of Fructidor was not purely
central; like the victory of Vendémiaire; it ruined the royalist party,
which had only been repulsed by the preceding defeat. But, by again
replacing the legal government by the dictatorship, it rendered necessary
another revolution, which shall be recounted later.

We may say, that on the 18th Fructidor of the year V. it was necessary
that the directory should triumph over the counterrevolution by decimating
the councils; or that the councils should triumph over the republic by
overthrowing the directory. The question thus stated, it remains to
inquire, 1st, if the directory could have conquered by any other means
than a coup-d'état; 2ndly, whether it misused its victory?

The government had not the power of dissolving the councils. At the
termination of a revolution, whose object was to establish the extreme
right, they were unable to invest a secondary authority with the control
of the sovereignty of the people, and in certain cases to make the
legislature subordinate to the directory. This concession of an
experimental policy not existing, what means remained to the directory of
driving the enemy from the heart of the state? No longer able to defend
the revolution by virtue of the law, it had no resource but the
dictatorship; but in having recourse to that, it broke the conditions of
its existence; and while saving the revolution, it soon fell itself.

As for its victory, it sullied it with violence, by endeavouring to make
it too complete. The sentence of transportation was extended to too many
victims; the petty passions of men mingled with the defence of the cause,
and the directory did not manifest that reluctance to arbitrary measures
which is the only justification of coups-d'état. To attain its object, it
should have exiled the leading conspirators only; but it rarely happens
that a party does not abuse the dictatorship; and that, possessing the
power, it believes not in the dangers of indulgence. The defeat of the
18th Fructidor was the fourth of the royalist party; two took place in
order to dispossess it of power, those of the 14th of July and 10th of
August; two to prevent its resuming it; those of the 13th Vendémiaire and
18th Fructidor. This repetition of powerless attempts and protracted
reverses did not a little contribute to the submission of this party under
the consulate and the empire.



The chief result of the 18th Fructidor was a return, with slight
mitigation, to the revolutionary government. The two ancient privileged
classes were again excluded from society; the dissentient priests were
again banished. The Chouans, and former fugitives, who occupied the field
of battle in the departments, abandoned it to the old republicans: those
who had formed part of the military household of the Bourbons, the
superior officers of the crown, the members of the parliaments, commanders
of the order of the Holy Ghost and Saint Louis, the knights of Malta, all
those who had protested against the abolition of nobility, and who had
preserved its titles, were to quit the territory of the republic. The ci-
devant nobles, or those ennobled, could only enjoy the rights of citizens,
after a term of seven years, and after having gone through a sort of
apprenticeship as Frenchmen. This party, by desiring sway, restored the

At this period the directory attained its maximum of power; for some time
it had no enemies in arms. Delivered from all internal opposition, it
imposed the continental peace on Austria by the treaty of Campo-Formio,
and on the empire by the congress of Rastadt. The treaty of Campo-Formio
was more advantageous to the cabinet of Vienna than the preliminaries of
Leoben. Its Belgian and Lombard states were paid for by a part of the
Venetian states. This old republic was divided; France retained the Ionian
Isles, and gave the city of Venice and the provinces of Istria and
Dalmatia to Austria. In this the directory committed a great fault, and
was guilty of an attempt against liberty. In the fanaticism of a system,
we may desire to set a country free, but we should never give it away. By
arbitrarily distributing the territory of a small state, the directory set
the bad example of this traffic in nations since but too much followed.
Besides, Austrian dominion would, sooner or later, extend in Italy,
through this imprudent cession of Venice.

The coalition of 1792 and 1793 was dissolved; England was the only
remaining belligerent power. The cabinet of London was not at all disposed
to cede to France, which it had attacked in the hope of weakening it,
Belgium, Luxembourg, the left bank of the Rhine, Porentruy, Nice, Savoy,
the protectorate of Genoa, Milan, and Holland. But finding it necessary to
appease the English opposition, and reorganize its means of attack, it
made propositions of peace; it sent Lord Malmesbury as plenipotentiary,
first to Paris, then to Lille. But the offers of Pitt not being sincere,
the directory did not allow itself to be deceived by his diplomatic
stratagems. The negotiations were twice broken off, and war continued
between the two powers. While England negotiated at Lille, she was
preparing at Saint Petersburg the triple alliance, or second coalition.

The directory, on its side, without finances, without any party in the
interior, having no support but the army, and no eminence save that
derived from the continuation of its victories, was not in a condition to
consent to a general peace. It had increased the public discontent by the
establishment of certain taxes and the reduction of the debt to a
consolidated third, payable in specie only, which had ruined the
fundholders. It became necessary to maintain itself by war. The immense
body of soldiers could not be disbanded without danger. Besides, being
deprived of its power, and being placed at the mercy of Europe, the
directory had attempted a thing never done without creating a shock,
except in times of great tranquillity, of great ease, abundance, and
employment. The directory was driven by its position to the invasion of
Switzerland and the expedition into Egypt.

Bonaparte had then returned to Paris. The conqueror of Italy and the
pacificator of the continent, was received with enthusiasm, constrained on
the part of the directory, but deeply felt by the people. Honours were
accorded him, never yet obtained by any general of the republic. A
patriotic altar was prepared in the Luxembourg, and he passed under an
arch of standards won in Italy, on his way to the triumphal ceremony in
his honour. He was harangued by Barras, president of the directory, who,
after congratulating him on his victories, invited him "to crown so noble
a life by a conquest which the great country owed to its insulted
dignity." This was the conquest of England. Everything seemed in
preparation for a descent, while the invasion of Egypt was really the
enterprise in view.

Such an expedition suited both Bonaparte and the directory. The
independent conduct of that general in Italy, his ambition, which, from
time to time, burst through his studied simplicity, rendered his presence
dangerous. He, on his side, feared, by his inactivity, to compromise the
already high opinion entertained of his talents: for men always require
from those whom they make great, more than they are able to perform. Thus,
while the directory saw in the expedition to Egypt the means of keeping a
formidable general at a distance, and a prospect of attacking the English
by India, Bonaparte saw in it a gigantic conception, an employment suited
to his taste, and a new means of astonishing mankind. He sailed from
Toulon on the 30th Floréal, in the year VI. (19th May, 1798), with a fleet
of four hundred sail, and a portion of the army of Italy; he steered for
Malta; of which he made himself master, and from thence to Egypt.

The directory, who violated the neutrality of the Ottoman Porte in order
to attack the English, had already violated that of Switzerland, in order
to expel the emigrants from its territory. French opinions had already
penetrated into Geneva and the Pays de Vaud; but the policy of the Swiss
confederation was counter-revolutionary, from the influence of the
aristocracy of Berne. They had driven from the cantons all the Swiss who
had shown themselves partisans of the French republic. Berne was the
headquarters of the emigrants, and it was there that all the plots against
the revolution were formed. The directory complained, but did not receive
satisfaction. The Vaudois, placed by old treaties under the protection of
France, invoked her help against the tyranny of Berne. This appeal of the
Vaudois, its own grievances, its desire to extend the directorial
republican system to Switzerland, much more than the temptation of seizing
the little amount of treasure in Berne, a reproach brought against it by
some, determined the directory. Some conferences took place, which led to
no result, and war began. The Swiss defended themselves with much courage
and obstinacy, and hoped to resuscitate the times of their ancestors, but
they succumbed. Geneva was united to France, and Switzerland exchanged its
ancient constitution for that of the year III. From that time two parties
existed in the confederation, one of which was for France and the
revolution, the other for the counter-revolution and Austria. Switzerland
ceased to be a common barrier, and became the high road of Europe.

This revolution had been followed by that of Rome. General Duphot was
killed at Rome in a riot; and in punishment of this assassination, which
the pontifical government had not interfered to prevent, Rome was changed
into a republic. All this combined to complete the system of the
directory, and make it preponderant in Europe; it was now at the head of
the Helvetian, Batavian, Ligurian, Cisalpine, and Roman republics, all
constructed on the same model. But while the directory extended its
influence abroad, it was again menaced by internal parties.

The elections of Floréal in the year VI. (May, 1798) were by no means
favourable to the directory; the returns were quite at variance with those
of the year V. Since the 18th Fructidor, the withdrawal of the counter-
revolutionists had restored all the influence of the exclusive republican
party, which had reestablished the clubs under the name of _Constitutional
Circles_. This party dominated in the electoral assemblies, which, most
unusually, had to nominate four hundred and thirty-seven deputies: two
hundred and ninety-eight for the council of five hundred; a hundred and
thirty-nine for that of the ancients. When the elections drew near, the
directory exclaimed loudly against the _anarchists_. But its proclamations
having been unable to prevent democratic returns, it decided upon
annulling them in virtue of a law, by which the councils, after the 18th
Fructidor, had granted it the _power of judging_ the operations of the
electoral assemblies. It invited the legislative body, by a message, to
appoint a commission of five members for that purpose. On the 22nd
Floréal, the elections were for the most part annulled. At this period the
directorial party struck a blow at the extreme republicans, as nine months
before it had aimed at the royalists.

The directory wished to maintain the political balance, which had been the
characteristic of its first two years; but its position was much changed.
Since its last coup-d'état, it could no longer be an impartial government,
because it was no longer a constitutional government. With these
pretensions of isolation, it dissatisfied every one. Yet it lived on in
this way till the elections of the year VII. It displayed much activity,
but an activity of a narrow and shuffling nature. Merlin de Douai and
Treilhard, who had replaced Carnot and Barthélemy, were two political
lawyers. Rewbell had in the highest degree the courage, without having the
enlarged views of a statesman. Laréveillère was too much occupied with the
sect of the Theophilanthropists for a government leader. As to Barras, he
continued his dissipated life and his directorial regency; his palace was
the rendezvous of gamesters, women of gallantry, and stock-jobbers of
every kind. The administration of the directors betrayed their character,
but more especially their position; to the embarrassments of which was
added war with all Europe.

While the republican plenipotentiaries were yet negotiating for peace with
the empire at Rastadt, the second coalition began the campaign. The treaty
of Campo-Formio had only been for Austria a suspension of arms. England
had no difficulty in gaining her to a new coalition; with the exception of
Spain and Prussia, most of the European powers formed part of it. The
subsidies of the British cabinet, and the attraction of the West, decided
Russia; the Porte and the states of Barbary acceded to it, because of the
invasion of Egypt; the empire, in order to recover the left bank of the
Rhine, and the petty princes of Italy, that they might destroy the new
republics. At Rastadt they were discussing the treaty relative to the
empire, the concession of the left bank of the Rhine, the navigation of
that river, and the demolition of some fortresses on the right bank, when
the Russians entered Germany, and the Austrian army began to move. The
French plenipotentiaries, taken by surprise, received orders to leave in
four and twenty hours; they obeyed immediately, and set out, after having
obtained safe conduct from the generals of the enemy. At a short distance
from Rastadt they were stopped by some Austrian hussars, who, having
satisfied themselves as to their names and titles, assassinated them:
Bonnier and Roberjot were killed, Jean de Bry was left for dead. This
unheard-of violation of the right of nations, this premeditated
assassination of three men invested with a sacred character, excited
general horror. The legislative body declared war, and declared it with
indignation against the governments on whom the guilt of this enormity

Hostilities had already commenced in Italy and on the Rhine. The
directory, apprised of the march of the Russian troops, and suspecting the
intentions of Austria, caused the councils to pass a law for recruiting.
The military conscription placed two hundred thousand young men at the
disposal of the republic. This law, which was attended with incalculable
consequences, was the result of a more regular order of things. Levies _en
masse_ had been the revolutionary service of the country; the conscription
became the legal service.

The most impatient of the powers, those which formed the advanced guard of
the coalition, had already commenced the attack. The king of Naples had
advanced on Rome, and the king of Sardinia had raised troops and
threatened the Ligurian republic. As they had not sufficient power to
sustain the shock of the French armies, they were easily conquered and
dispossessed. General Championnet entered Naples after a sanguinary
victory. The lazaroni defended the interior of the town for three days;
but they yielded, and the Parthenopian republic was proclaimed. General
Joubert occupied Turin; and the whole of Italy was in the hands of the
French, when the new campaign began.

The coalition was superior to the republic in effective force and in
preparations. It attacked it by the three great openings of Italy,
Switzerland, and Holland. A strong Austrian army debouched in the duchy of
Mantua; it defeated Scherer twice on the Adige, and was soon joined by the
whimsical and hitherto victorious Suvorov. Moreau replaced Scherer, and,
like him, was beaten; he retreated towards Genoa, in order to keep the
barrier of the Apennines and to join the army of Naples, commanded by
Macdonald, which was overpowered at the Trebia. The Austro-Russians then
directed their chief forces upon Switzerland. A few Russian corps joined
the archduke Charles, who had defeated Jourdan on the Upper Rhine, and was
preparing to pass over the Helvetian barrier. At the same time the duke of
York disembarked in Holland with forty thousand Anglo-Russians. The small
republics which protected France were invaded, and a few more victories
would have enabled the confederates to penetrate even to the scene of the

In the midst of these military disasters and the discontent of parties,
the elections of Floréal in the year VII. (May, 1799) took place; they
were republican, like those of the preceding year. The directory was no
longer strong enough to contend with public misfortunes and the rancour of
parties. The retirement of Rewbell, who was replaced by Sieyès, caused it
to lose the only man able to face the storm, and brought into its bosom
the most avowed antagonist of this compromised and worn-out government.
The moderate party and the extreme republicans united in demanding from
the directory an account of the internal and external situation of the
republic. The councils sat permanently. Barras abandoned his colleagues.
The fury of the councils was directed solely against Treilhard, Merlin,
and La Réveillère, the last supports of the old directory. They deposed
Treilhard, because an interval of a year had not elapsed between his
legislative and his directorial functions, as the constitution required.
The ex-minister of justice, Gohier, was immediately chosen to replace him.

The orators of the councils then warmly attacked Merlin and La Réveillère,
whom they could not dismiss from the directory. The threatened directors
sent a justificatory message to the councils, and proposed peace. On the
30th Prairial, the republican Bertrand (du Calvados) ascended the tribune,
and after examining the offers of the directors, exclaimed: "You have
proposed union; and I propose that you reflect if you yourselves can still
preserve your functions. If you love the republic you will not hesitate to
decide. You are incapable of doing good; you will never have the
confidence of your colleagues, that of the people, or that of the
representatives, without which you cannot cause the laws to be executed. I
know that, thanks to the constitution, there already exists in the
directory a majority which enjoys the confidence of the people, and that
of the national representation. Why do you hesitate to introduce unanimity
of desires and principles between the two first authorities of the
republic? You have not even the confidence of those vile flatterers, who
have dug your political tomb. Finish your career by an act of devotion,
which good republican hearts will be able to appreciate."

Merlin and La Réveillère, deprived of the support of the government by the
retirement of Rewbell, the dismissal of Treilhard, and the desertion of
Barras, urged by the councils and by patriotic motives, yielded to
circumstances, and resigned the directorial authority. This victory,
gained by the republican and moderate parties combined, turned to the
profit of both. The former introduced general Moulins into the directory;
the latter, Roger Ducos. The 30th Prairial (18th June), which witnessed
the breaking up of the old government of the year III., was an act of
reprisal on the part of the councils against the directory for the 18th
Fructidor and the 22nd Floréal. At this period the two great powers of the
state had each in turn violated the constitution: the directory by
decimating the legislature; the legislature by expelling the directory.
This form of government, which every party complained of, could not have a
protracted existence.

Sieyès, after the success of the 30th Prairial, laboured to destroy what
yet remained of the government of the year III., in order to establish the
legal system on another plan. He was whimsical and systematic; but he had
the faculty of judging surely of situations. He re-entered upon the scene
of the revolution of a singular epoch, with the intention of strengthening
it by a definitive constitution. After having co-operated in the principal
changes of 1789, by his motion of the 17 of June, which transformed the
states-general into a national assembly, and by his plan of internal
organization, which substituted departments for provinces, he had remained
passive and silent during the subsequent interval. He waited till the
period of public defence should again give place to institutions.
Appointed, under the directory, to the embassy at Berlin, the neutrality
of Prussia was attributed to his efforts. On his return, he accepted the
office of director, hitherto refused by him, because Rewbell was leaving
the government, and he thought that parties were sufficiently weary to
undertake a definitive pacification, and the establishment of liberty.
With this object, he placed his reliance on Roger-Ducos in the directory,
on the council of ancients in the legislature, and without, on the mass of
moderate men and the middle-class, who, after desiring laws, merely as a
novelty, now desired repose as a novelty. This party sought for a strong
and secure government, which should have no past, no enmities, and which
thenceforward might satisfy all opinions and interests. As all that had
been dene, from the 14th of July till the 9th Thermidor, by the people, in
connexion with a part of the government, had been done since the 13th
Vendémiaire by the soldiers, Sieyès was in want of a general. He cast his
eyes upon Joubert, who was put at the head of the army of Italy, in order
that he might gain by his victories, and by the deliverance of Italy, a
great political importance.

The constitution of the year III. was, however, still supported by the two
directors, Gohier and Moulins, the council of five hundred, and without,
by the party of the _Manège_. The decided republicans had formed a club
that held its sittings in that hall where had sat the first of our
assemblies. The new club, formed from the remains of that of Salm, before
the 18th Fructidor; of that of the Panthéon, at the beginning of the
directory; and of the old society of the Jacobins, enthusiastically
professed republican principles, but not the democratic opinions of the
inferior class. Each of these parties also had a share in the ministry
which had been renewed at the same time as the directory. Cambacérès had
the department of justice; Quinette, the home department; Reinhard, who
had been temporarily placed in office during the ministerial interregnum
of Talleyrand, was minister of foreign affairs; Robert Lindet was minister
of finance, Bourdon (of Vatry) of the navy, Bernadotte of war,
Bourguignon, soon afterwards replaced by Fouché (of Nantes), of police.

This time Barras remained neutral between the two divisions of the
legislature, of the directory and of the ministry. Seeing that matters
were coming to a more considerable change than that of the 30th Prairial,
he, an ex-noble, thought that the decline of the republic would lead to
the restoration of the Bourbons, and he treated with the Pretender Louis
XVIII. It seems that, in negotiating the restoration of the monarchy by
his agent, David Monnier, he was not forgetful of himself. Barras espoused
nothing from conviction, and always sided with the party which had the
greatest chance of victory. A democratic member of the Mountain on the
31st of May; a reactionary member of the Mountain on the 9th Thermidor; a
revolutionary director against the royalists on the 18th Fructidor;
extreme republican director against his old colleagues on the 30th
Prairial; he now became a royalist director against the government of the
year III.

The faction disconcerted by the 18th Fructidor and the peace of the
Continent, had also gained courage. The military successes of the new
coalition, the law of compulsory loans and that of hostages, which had
compelled every emigrant family to give guarantees to government, had made
the royalists of the south and west again take up arms. They reappeared in
bands, which daily became more formidable, and revived the petty but
disastrous warfare of the Chouans. They awaited the arrival of the
Russians, and looked forward to the speedy restoration of the monarchy.
This was a moment of fresh competition with every party. Each aspired to
the inheritance of the dying constitution, as they had done at the close
of the convention. In France, people are warned by a kind of political
odour that a government is dying, and all parties rush to be in at the

Fortunately for the republic, the war changed its aspect on the two
principal frontiers of the Upper and Lower Rhine. The allies, after having
acquired Italy, wished to enter France by Switzerland and Holland; but
generals Masséna and Brune arrested their hitherto victorious progress.
Masséna advanced against Korsakov and Suvorov. During twelve days of great
combinations and consecutive victories, hastening in turns from Constance
to Zurich, he repelled the efforts of the Russians, forced them to
retreat, and disorganized the coalition. Brune also defeated the duke of
York in Holland, obliged him to re-embark, and to renounce his attempted
invasion. The army of Italy alone had been less fortunate. It had lost its
general, Joubert, killed at the battle of Novi, while leading a charge on
the Austro-Russians. But this frontier, which was at a distance from the
centre of action, despite the defeat of Novi, was not crossed, and
Championnet ably defended it. It was soon to be repassed by the republican
troops, who, after each resumption of arms, having been for a moment
beaten, soon regained their superiority and recommenced their victories.
Europe, by giving additional exercise to the military power, by its
repeated attacks, rendered it each time more triumphant.

But at home nothing was changed. Divisions, discontent, and anxiety were
the same as before. The struggle between the moderate republicans and the
extreme republicans had become more determined. Sieyès pursued his
projects against the latter. In the Champ-de-Mars, on the 10th of August,
he assailed the Jacobins. Lucien Bonaparte, who had much influence in the
council of five hundred, from his character, his talents, and the military
importance of the conqueror of Italy and of Egypt, drew in that assembly a
fearful picture of the reign of terror, and said that France was
threatened with its return. About the same time, Sieyès caused Bernadotte
to be dismissed, and Fouché, in concert with him, closed the meetings of
the Manège. The multitude, to whom it is only necessary to present the
phantom of the past to inspire it with fear, sided with the moderate
party, dreading the return of the reign of terror; and the extreme
republicans failed in their endeavour to declare _la patrie en danger_, as
they had done at the close of the legislative assembly. But Sieyès, after
having lost Joubert, sought for a general who could enter into his
designs, and who would protect the republic, without becoming its
oppressor. Hoche had been dead more than a year. Moreau had given rise to
suspicion by his equivocal conduct to the directory before the 18th
Fructidor, and by the sudden denunciation of his old friend Pichegru,
whose treason he had kept secret for a whole year; Masséna was not a
political general; Bernadotte and Jourdan were devoted to the party of the
Manège; Sieyès was compelled to postpone his scheme for want of a suitable

Bonaparte had learned in the east, from his brother Lucien and a few other
friends, the state of affairs in France, and the decline of the
directorial government. His expedition had been brilliant, but without
results. After having defeated the Mamelukes, and ruined their power in
Upper and Lower Egypt, he had advanced into Syria; but the failure of the
siege of Acre had compelled him to return to his first conquest. There,
after defeating an Ottoman army on the coast of Aboukir, so fatal to the
French fleet the preceding year, he decided on leaving that land of exile
and fame, in order to turn the new crisis in France to his own elevation.
He left general Kléber to command the army of the east, and crossed the
Mediterranean, then covered with English ships, in a frigate. He
disembarked at Fréjus, on the 7th Vendémiaire, year VIII. (9th October,
1799), nineteen days after the battle of Berghen, gained by Brune over the
Anglo-Russians under the duke of York, and fourteen days after that of
Zurich, gained by Masséna over the Austro-Russians under Korsakov and
Suvorov. He traversed France, from the shore of the Mediterranean to
Paris, in triumph. His expedition, almost fabulous, had struck the public
mind with surprise, and had still more increased the great renown he had
acquired by the conquest of Italy. These two enterprises had raised him
above all the other generals of the republic. The distance of the theatre
upon which he had fought enabled him to begin his career of independence
and authority. A victorious general, an acknowledged and obeyed
negotiator, a creator of republics, he had treated all interests with
skill, all creeds with moderation. Preparing afar off his ambitious
destiny, he had not made himself subservient to any system, and had
managed all parties so as to work his elevation with their assent. He had
entertained this idea of usurpation since his victories in Italy. On the
18th Fructidor, had the directory been conquered by the councils, he
purposed marching against the latter with his army and seizing the
protectorate of the republic. After the 18th Fructidor; finding the
directory too powerful, and the inactivity of the continent too dangerous
for him, he accepted the expedition to Egypt, that he might not fall, and
might not be forgotten. At the news of the disorganization of the
directory, on the 30th Prairial, he repaired with haste to the scene of

His arrival excited the enthusiasm of the moderate masses of the nation.
He received general congratulations, and every party contended for his
favour. Generals, directors, deputies, and even the republicans of the
Manège, waited on and tried to sound him. Fêtes and banquets were given in
his honour. His manners were grave, simple, cool, and observing; he had
already a tone of condescending familiarity and involuntary habits of
command. Notwithstanding his want of earnestness and openness, he had an
air of self-possession, and it was easy to read in him an after-thought of
conspiracy. Without uttering his design, he allowed it to be guessed;
because a thing must always be expected in order to be accomplished. He
could not seek supporters in the republicans of the Manège, as they
neither wished for a coup-d'état nor for a dictator; and Sieyès feared
that he was too ambitious to fall in with his constitutional views. Hence
Sieyès hesitated to open his mind to Bonaparte, but, urged by their mutual
friends, they at length met and concerted together. On the 15th Brumaire,
they determined on their plan of attack on the constitution of the year
III, Sieyès undertook to prepare the councils by the _commissions of
inspectors,_ who placed unlimited confidence in him. Bonaparte was to gain
the generals and the different corps of troops stationed in Paris, who
displayed much enthusiasm for him and much attachment to his person. They
agreed to convoke an extraordinary meeting of the moderate members of the
councils, to describe the public danger to the Ancients, and by urging the
ascendancy of Jacobinism to demand the removal of the legislative body to
Saint-Cloud, and the appointment of general Bonaparte to the command of
the armed force, as the only man able to save the country; and then, by
means of the new military power, to obtain the dismissal of the directory,
and the temporary dissolution of the legislative body. The enterprise was
fixed for the morning of the 18th Brumaire (9th November).

During these three days, the secret was faithfully kept, Barras, Moulins,
and Gohier, who formed the majority of the directory, of which Gohier was
then president, might have frustrated the coup-d'état of the conspirators
by forestalling them, as on the 18th Fructidor. But they gave them credit
for hopes only, and not for any decided projects. On the morning of the
18th, the members of the ancients were convoked in an unusual way by the
_inspectors;_ they repaired to the Tuileries, and the debate was opened
about seven in the morning under the presidentship of Lemercier. Cornudet,
Lebrun, and Fargues, the three most influential conspirators in the
council, drew a most alarming picture of the state of public affairs;
protesting that the Jacobins were flocking in crowds to Paris from all the
departments; that they wished to re-establish the revolutionary
government, and that a reign of terror would once more desolate the
republic, if the council had not the courage and wisdom to prevent its
return. Another conspirator, Régnier de la Meurthe, required of the
ancients already moved, that in virtue of the right conferred on them by
the constitution, they should transfer the legislative body to Saint
Cloud, and depute Bonaparte, nominated by them to the command of the 17th
military division, to superintend the removal. Whether all the members of
the council were accomplices of this manoeuvre, or whether they were
terrified by so hasty convocation, and by speeches so alarming, they
instantly granted what the conspirators required.

Bonaparte awaited with impatience the result of this deliberation, at his
house in the Rue Chantereine; he was surrounded by generals, by Lefèvre,
the commander of the guard of the directory, and by three regiments of
cavalry which he was about to review. The decree of the council of
ancients was passed about eight, and brought to him at half-past eight by
a state messenger. He received the congratulations of all around him; the
officers drew their swords as a sign of fidelity. He put himself at their
head, and they marched to the Tuileries; he appeared at the bar of the
ancients, took the oath of fidelity, and appointed as his lieutenant,
Lefèvre, chief of the directorial guard.

This was, however, only a beginning of success. Bonaparte was at the head
of the armed force; but the executive power of the directory and the
legislative power of the councils still existed. In the struggle which
would infallibly ensue, it was not certain that the great and hitherto
victorious force of the revolution would not triumph. Sieyès and Roger
Ducos went from the Luxembourg to the legislative and military camp of the
Tuileries, and gave in their resignation. Barras, Moulins, and Gohier,
apprised on their side, but a little too late, of what was going on,
wished to employ their power and make themselves sure of their guard; but
the latter, having received from Bonaparte information of the decree of
the ancients, refused to obey them. Barras, discouraged, sent in his
resignation, and departed for his estate of Gros-Bois. The directory was,
in fact, dissolved; and there was one antagonist less in the struggle. The
five hundred and Bonaparte alone remained opposed.

The decree of the council of ancients and the proclamations of Bonaparte
were placarded on the walls of Paris. The agitation which accompanies
extraordinary events prevailed in that great city. The republicans, and
not without reason, felt serious alarm for the fate of liberty. But when
they showed alarm respecting the intentions of Bonaparte, in whom they
beheld a Caesar, or a Cromwell, they were answered in the general's own
words: "_Bad parts, worn out parts, unworthy a man of sense, even if they
were not so of a good man. It would be sacrilege to attack representative
government in this age of intelligence and freedom. He would be but a fool
who, with lightness of heart, could wish to cause the loss of the stakes
of the republic against royalty after having supported them with some
glory and peril_." Yet the importance he gave himself in his proclamations
was ominous. He reproached the directory with the situation of France in a
most extraordinary way. "What have you done," said he, "with that France
which I left so flourishing in your hands? I left you peace, I find you at
war; I left you victories, I find nothing but reverses; I left you the
millions of Italy, I find nothing but plundering laws and misery. What
have you done with the hundred thousand Frenchmen whom I knew, my
companions in glory? They are dead! This state of things cannot last; in
less than three years it would lead us to despotism." This was the first
time for ten years that a man had ventured to refer everything to himself;
and to demand an account of the republic, as of his own property. It is a
painful surprise to see a new comer of the revolution introduce himself
thus into the inheritance, so laboriously acquired, of an entire people.

On the 19th Brumaire the members of the councils repaired to Saint Cloud;
Sieyès and Roger Ducos accompanied Bonaparte to this new field of battle;
they went thither with the intention of supporting the designs of the
conspirators; Sieyès, who understood the tactics of revolution, wished to
make sure of events by provisionally arresting the leaders, and only
admitting the moderate party into the councils; but Bonaparte refused to
accede to this. He was no party man; having hitherto acted and conquered
with regiments only, he thought he could direct legislative councils like
an army, by the word of command. The gallery of Mars had been prepared for
the ancients, the Orangery for the five hundred. A considerable armed
force surrounded the seat of the legislature, as the multitude, on the 2nd
of June, had surrounded the convention. The republicans, assembled in
groups in the grounds, waited the opening of the sittings; they were
agitated with a generous indignation against the military brutalism that
threatened them, and communicated to each other their projects of
resistance. The young general, followed by a few grenadiers, passed
through the courts and apartments, and prematurely yielding to his
character, he said, like the twentieth king of a dynasty: "_I will have no
more factions: there must be an end to this; I absolutely will not have
any more of it_," About two o'clock in the afternoon, the councils
assembled in their respective halls, to the sound of instruments which
played the _Marseillaise_.

As soon as the business of the sitting commenced, Emile Gaudin, one of the
conspirators, ascended the tribune of the five hundred. He proposed a vote
of thanks to the council of ancients for the measures it had taken, and to
request it to expound the means of saving the republic. This motion was
the signal for a violent tumult; cries arose against Gaudin from every
part of the hall. The republican deputies surrounded the tribune and the
bureau, at which Lucien Bonaparte presided. The conspirators Cabanis,
Boulay (de la Meurthe), Chazal, Gaudin, etc., turned pale on their seats.
After a long scene of agitation, during which no one could obtain a
hearing, calm was restored for a few moments, and Delbred proposed that
the oath made to the constitution of the year III. should be renewed. As
no one opposed this motion, which at such a juncture was of vital
importance, the oath was taken with an enthusiasm and unanimity which was
dangerous to the conspiracy.

Bonaparte, learning what had passed in the five hundred, and in the
greatest danger of desertion and defeat, presented himself at the council
of ancients. All would have been lost for him, had the latter, in favour
of the conspiracy, been carried away by the enthusiasm of the younger
council. "Representatives of the people," said he, "you are in no ordinary
situation; you stand on a volcano. Yesterday, when you summoned me to
inform me of the decree for your removal, and charged me with its
execution, I was tranquil. I immediately assembled my comrades; we flew to
your aid! Well, now I am overwhelmed with calumnies! They talk of Caesar,
Cromwell, and military government! Had I wished to oppress the liberty of
my country, I should not have attended to the orders which you gave me; I
should not have had any occasion to receive this authority from your
hands. Representatives of the people! I swear to you that the country has
not a more zealous defender than I am; but its safety rests with you
alone! There is no longer a government; four of the directors have given
in their resignation; the fifth (Moulins) has been placed under
surveillance for his own security; the council of five hundred is divided;
nothing is left but the council of ancients. Let it adopt measures; let it
but speak; I am ready to execute. Let us save liberty! let us save
equality!" Linglet, a republican, then arose and said: "General, we
applaud what you say: swear with us to obey the constitution of the year
III., which alone can maintain the republic." All would have been lost for
him had this motion met with the same reception which it had found in the
five hundred. It surprised the council, and for a moment Bonaparte was
disconcerted. But he soon resumed: "The constitution of the year III. has
ceased to exist; you violated it on the 18th Fructidor; you violated it on
the 22nd Floréal; you violated it on the 30th Prairial. The constitution
is invoked by all factions, and violated by all; it cannot be a means of
safety for us, because it no longer obtains respect from any one; the
constitution being violated, we must have another compact, new
guarantees." The council applauded these reproaches of Bonaparte, and rose
in sign of approbation.

Bonaparte, deceived by his easy success with the ancients, imagined that
his presence alone would suffice to appease the stormy council of the five
hundred. He hastened thither at the head of a few grenadiers, whom he left
at the door, but within the hall, and he advanced alone, hat in hand. At
the sight of the bayonets, the assembly arose with a sudden movement. The
legislators, conceiving his entrance to be a signal for military violence,
uttered all at once the cry of "Outlaw him! Down with the dictator!"
Several members rushed to meet him, and the republican, Bigonet, seizing
him by the arm, exclaimed, "Rash man! what are you doing? Retire; you are
violating the sanctuary of the laws." Bonaparte, pale and agitated,
receded, and was carried off by the grenadiers who had escorted him there.

His disappearance did not put a stop to the agitation of the council. All
the members spoke at once, all proposed measures of public safety and
defence. Lucien Bonaparte was the object of general reproach; he attempted
to justify his brother, but with timidity. After a long struggle, he
succeeded in reaching the tribune, and urged the assembly to judge his
brother with less severity. He protested that he had no design against
their liberty; and recalled his services. But several voices immediately
exclaimed: "He has lost all their merit; down with the dictator! down with
the tyrants!" The tumult now became more violent than ever; and all
demanded the outlawry of general Bonaparte. "What," said Lucien, "do you
wish me to pronounce the outlawry of my brother?" "Yes! yes! outlawry! it
is the reward of tyrants!" In the midst of the confusion, a motion was
made and put to the vote that the council should sit permanently; that it
should instantly repair to its palace at Paris; that the troops assembled
at Saint Cloud should form a part of the guard of the legislative body;
that the command of them should be given to general Bernadotte. Lucien,
astounded by these propositions, and by the outlawry, which he thought had
been adopted with the rest, left the president's chair, and ascending the
tribune, said, in the greatest agitation: "Since I cannot be heard in this
assembly, I put off the symbols of the popular magistracy with a deep
sense of insulted dignity." And he took off his cap, robe, and scarf.

Bonaparte, meantime, on leaving the council of the five hundred, had found
some difficulty in regaining his composure. Unaccustomed to scenes of
popular tumult, he had been greatly agitated. His officers came around
him; and Sieyès, having more revolutionary experience, besought him not to
lose time, and to employ force. General Lefèvre immediately gave an order
for carrying off Lucien from the council. A detachment entered the hall,
advanced to the chair which Lucien now occupied again, placed him in their
ranks, and returned with him to the troops. As soon as Lucien came out, he
mounted a horse by his brother's side, and although divested of his legal
character, harangued the troops as president. In concert with Bonaparte,
he invented the story, so often repeated since, that poignards had been
drawn on the general in the council of five hundred, and exclaimed:
"Citizen soldiers, the president of the council of five hundred declares
to you that the large majority of that council is at this moment kept in
fear by the daggers of a few representatives, who surround the tribune,
threaten their colleagues with death, and occasion the most terrible
deliberations. General, and you, soldiers and citizens, you will only
recognise as legislators of France those who follow me. As for those who
remain in the Orangery, let force expel them. Those brigands are no longer
representatives of the people, but representatives of the poignard." After
this violent appeal, addressed to the troops by a conspirator president,
who, as usual, calumniated those he wished to proscribe, Bonaparte spoke:
"Soldiers," said he, "I have led you to victory; may I rely on you?"--
"Yes! yes! Vive le Général!"--"Soldiers, there were reasons for expecting
that the council of five hundred would save the country; on the contrary,
it is given up to intestine quarrels; agitators seek to excite it against
me. Soldiers, may I rely on you?" "Yes! yes! Vive Bonaparte." "Well,
then, I will bring them to their senses!" And he instantly gave orders to
the officers surrounding him to clear the hall of the five hundred.

The council, after Lucien's departure, had been a prey to great anxiety
and indecision. A few members proposed that they should leave the place in
a body, and go to Paris to seek protection amidst the people. Others
wished the national representatives not to forsake their post, but to
brave the outrages of force. In the meantime, a troop of grenadiers
entered the hall by degrees, and the officer in command informed the
council that they should disperse. The deputy Prudhon reminded the officer
and his soldiers of the respect due to the representatives of the people;
general Jourdan also represented to them the enormity of such a measure.
For a moment the troops hesitated; but a reinforcement now arrived in
close column. General Leclerc exclaimed: "In the name of general
Bonaparte, the legislative body is dissolved; let all good citizens
retire. Grenadiers, forward!" Cries of indignation arose from every side;
but these were drowned by the drums. The grenadiers advanced slowly across
the whole width of the Orangery, and presenting bayonets. In this way they
drove the legislators before them, who continued shouting, "Vive la
république!" as they left the place. At half-past five, on the 19th
Brumaire of the year VIII. (10th November, 1799) there was no longer a

Thus this violation of the law, this coup-d'état against liberty was
accomplished. Force began to sway. The 18th of Brumaire was the 31st of
May of the army against the representation, except that it was not
directed against a party, but against the popular power. But it is just to
distinguish the 18th Brumaire from its consequences. It might then be
supposed that the army was only an auxiliary of the revolution as it had
been on the 13th Vendémiaire and the 18th Fructidor, and that this
indispensable change would not turn to the advantage of a man--a single
man, who would soon change France into a regiment, and cause nothing to be
heard of in a world hitherto agitated by so great a moral commotion, save
the tread of his army, and the voice of his will.




The 18th Brumaire had immense popularity. People did not perceive in this
event the elevation of a single man above the councils of the nation; they
did not see in it the end of the great movement of the 14th of July, which
had commenced the national existence.

The 18th Brumaire assumed an aspect of hope and restoration. Although the
nation was much exhausted, and little capable of supporting a sovereignty
oppressive to it, and which had even become the object of its ridicule,
since the lower class had exercised it, yet it considered despotism so
improbable, that no one seemed to it to be in a condition to reduce it to
a state of subjection. All felt the need of being restored by a skilful
hand, and Bonaparte, as a great man and a victorious general, seemed
suited for the task.

On this account almost every one, except the directorial republicans,
declared in favour of the events of that day. Violation of the laws and
coups-d'état had occurred so frequently during the revolution, that people
had become accustomed no longer to judge them by their legality, but by
their consequences. From the party of Sieyès down to the royalists of
1788, every one congratulated himself on the 18th Brumaire, and attributed
to himself the future political advantages of this change. The moderate
constitutionalists believed that definitive liberty would be established;
the royalists fed themselves with hope by inappropriately comparing this
epoch of our revolution with the epoch of 1660 in the English revolution,
with the hope that Bonaparte was assuming the part of Monk, and that he
would soon restore the monarchy of the Bourbons; the mass, possessing
little intelligence, and desirous of repose, relied on the return of order
under a powerful protector; the proscribed classes and ambitious men
expected from him their amnesty or elevation. During the three months
which followed the 18th Brumaire, approbation and expectation were
general. A provisional government had been appointed, composed of three
consuls, Bonaparte, Sieyès, and Roger Ducos, with two legislative
commissioners, entrusted to prepare the constitution and a definitive
order of things.

The consuls and the two commissioners were installed on the 21st Brumaire.
This provisional government abolished the law respecting hostages and
compulsory loans; it permitted the return of the priests proscribed since
the 18th Fructidor; it released from prison and sent out of the republic
the emigrants who had been shipwrecked on the coast of Calais, and who for
four years were captives in France, and were exposed to the heavy
punishment of the emigrant army. All these measures were very favourably
received. But public opinion revolted at a proscription put in force
against the extreme republicans. Thirty-six of them were sentenced to
transportation to Guiana, and twenty-one were put under surveillance in
the department of Charante-Inférieure, merely by a decree of the consuls
on the report of Fouché, minister of police. The public viewed
unfavourably all who attacked the government; but at the same time it
exclaimed against an act so arbitrary and unjust. The consuls,
accordingly, recoiled before their own act; they first commuted
transportation into surveillance, and soon withdrew surveillance itself.

It was not long before a rupture broke out between the authors of the 18th
Brumaire. During their provisional authority, it did not create much
noise, because it took place in the legislative commissions. The new
constitution was the cause of it. Sieyès and Bonaparte could not agree on
this subject: the former wished to institute France, the latter to govern
it as a master.

The constitution of Sieyès, which was distorted in the consular
constitution of the year VIII., deserves to be known, were it only in the
light of a legislative curiosity. Sieyès distributed France into three
political divisions; the commune, the province or department, and the
State. Each had its own powers of administration and judicature, arranged
in hierarchical order: the first, the municipalities and _tribunaux de
paix_ and _de premiere instance;_ the second, the popular prefectures and
courts of appeal; the third, the central government and the court of
cassation. To fill the functions of the commune, the department, and the
State, there were three budgets of _notability_, the members of which were
only candidates nominated by the people.

The executive power was vested in the _proclamateur-électeur_, a superior
functionary, perpetual, without responsibility, deputed to represent the
nation without, and to form the government in a deliberating state-council
and a responsible ministry. The _proclamateur-électeur_ selected from the
lists of candidates, judges, from the tribunals of peace to the court of
cassation; administrators, from the mayors to the ministers. But he was
incapable of governing himself; power was directed by the state council,
exercised by the ministry.

The legislature departed from the form hitherto established; it ceased to
be a deliberative assembly to become a judicial court. Before it, the
council of state, in the name of the government, and the _tribunat_, in
the name of the people, pleaded their respective projects. Its sentence
was law. It would seem that the object of Sieyès was to put a stop to the
violent usurpations of party, and while placing the sovereignty in the
people, to give it limits in itself: this design appears from the
complicated works of his political machine. The primary assemblies,
composed of the tenth of the general population, nominated the local _list
of communal candidates_; electoral colleges, also nominated by them,
selected from the _communal list_ the superior list of provincial
candidates and from the _provincial list_, the list of national
candidates. In all which concerned the government, there was a reciprocal
control. The proclamateur-électeur selected his functionaries from among
the candidates nominated by the people: and the people could dismiss
functionaries, by not keeping them on the lists of candidates, which were
renewed, the first every two years, the second every five years, the third
every ten years. But the proclamateur-électeur did not interfere in the
nomination of tribunes and legislators, whose attributes were purely

Yet, to place a counterpoise in the heart of this authority itself, Sieyès
separated the initiative and the discussion of the law, which was invested
in the tribunate from its adoption, which belonged to the legislative
assembly. But besides these different prerogatives, the legislative body
and the tribunate were not elected in the same manner. The tribunate was
composed by right of the first hundred members of the _national list_,
while the legislative body was chosen directly by the electoral colleges.
The tribunes, being necessarily more active, bustling, and popular, were
appointed for life, and by a protracted process, to prevent their arriving
in a moment of passion, with destructive and angry projects, as had
hitherto been the case in most of the assemblies. The same dangers not
existing in the other assembly, which had only to judge calmly and
disinterestedly of the law, its election was direct, and its authority

Lastly, there existed, as the complement of all the other powers, a
conservatory body, incapable of ordering, incapable of acting, intended
solely to provide for the regular existence of the state. This body was
the constitutional jury, or conservatory senate; it was to be for the
political law what the court of cassation was to the civil law. The
tribunate, or the council of state, appealed to it when the sentence of
the legislative body was not conformable to the constitution. It had also
the faculty of calling into its own body any leader of the government who
was too ambitious, or a tribune who was too popular, by the "droit
d'absorption," and when senators, they were disqualified from filling any
other function. In this way it kept a double watch over the safety of the
whole republic, by maintaining the fundamental law, and protecting liberty
against the ambition of individuals.

Whatever may be thought of this constitution, which seems too finely
complicated to be practicable, it must be granted that it is the
production of considerable strength of mind, and even great practical
information. Sieyès paid too little regard to the passions of men; he made
them too reasonable as human beings, and too obedient as machines. He
wished by skilful inventions to avoid the abuses of human constitutions,
and excluded death, that is to say, despotism, from whatever quarter it
might come. But I have very little faith in the efficacy of constitutions;
in such moments, I believe only in the strength of parties in their
domination, and, from time to time, in their reconciliation. But I must
also admit that, if ever a constitution was adapted to a period, it was
that of Sieyès for France in the year VIII.

After an experience of ten years, which had only shown exclusive
dominations, after the violent transition from the constitutionalists of
1789 to the Girondists, from the Girondists to the Mountain, from the
Mountain to the reactionists, from the reactionists to the directory, from
the directory to the councils, from the councils to the military force,
there could be no repose or public life save in it. People were weary of
worn-out constitutions; that of Sieyès was new; exclusive men were no
longer wanted, and by elaborate voting it prevented the sudden accession
of counter-revolutionists, as at the beginning of the directory, or of
ardent democrats, as at the end of this government. It was a constitution
of moderate men, suited to terminate a revolution, and to settle a nation.
But precisely because it was a constitution of moderate men, precisely
because parties had no longer sufficient ardour to demand a law of
domination, for that very reason there would necessarily be found a man
stronger than the fallen parties and the moderate legislators, who would
refuse this law, or, accepting, abuse it, and this was what happened.

Bonaparte took part in the deliberations of the constituent committee;
with his instinct of power, he seized upon everything in the ideas of
Sieyès which was calculated to serve his projects, and caused the rest to
be rejected. Sieyès intended for him the functions of grand elector, with
a revenue of six millions of francs, and a guard of three thousand men;
the palace of Versailles for a residence, and the entire external
representation of the republic. But the actual government was to be
invested in a consul for war and a consul for peace, functionaries
unthought of by Sieyès in the year III., but adopted by him in the year
VIII.; in order, no doubt, to suit the ideas of the times. This
insignificant magistracy was far from suiting Bonaparte. "How could you
suppose," said he, "that a man of any talent and honour could resign
himself to the part of fattening like a hog, on a few millions a year?"
From that moment it was not again mentioned; Roger Ducos, and the greater
part of the committee, declared in favour of Bonaparte; and Sieyès, who
hated discussion, was either unwilling or unable to defend his ideas. He
saw that laws, men, and France itself were at the mercy of the man whose
elevation he had promoted.

On the 24th of December, 1799 (Nivôse, year VIII.), forty-five days after
the 18th Brumaire, was published the constitution of the year VIII.; it
was composed of the wrecks of that of Sieyès, now become a constitution of
servitude. The government was placed in the hands of the first consul, who
was supported by two others, having a deliberative voice. The senate,
primarily selected by the consuls, chose the members of the tribunal and
legislative body, from the list of the national candidates. The government
alone had the initiative in making the laws. Accordingly, there were no
more bodies of electors who appointed the candidates of different lists,
the tribunes and legislators; no more independent tribunes earnestly
pleading the cause of the people before the legislative assembly; no
legislative assembly arising directly from the bosom of the nation, and
accountable to it alone--in a word, no political nation. Instead of all
this, there existed an all-powerful consul, disposing of armies and of
power, a general and a dictator; a council of state destined to be the
advanced guard of usurpation; and lastly, a senate of eighty members,
whose only function was to nullify the people, and to choose tribunes
without authority, and legislators who should remain mute. Life passed
from the nation to the government. The constitution of Sieyès served as a
pretext for a bad order of things. It is worth notice that up to the year
VIII. all the constitutions had emanated from the _Contrat-social_, and
subsequently, down to 1814, from the constitution of Sieyès.

The new government was immediately installed. Bonaparte was first consul,
and he united with him as second and third consuls, Cambacérès, a lawyer,
and formerly a member of the Plain in the convention, and Lebrun, formerly
a co-adjutor of the chancellor Maupeou. By their means, he hoped to
influence the revolutionists and moderate royalists. With the same object,
an ex-noble, Talleyrand, and a former member of the Mountain, Fouché, were
appointed to the posts of minister of foreign affairs, and minister of
police. Sieyès felt much repugnance at employing Fouché; but Bonaparte
wished it. "We are forming a new epoch," said he; "we must forget all the
ill of the past, and remember only the good." He cared very little under
what banner men had hitherto served, provided they now enlisted under his,
and summoned thither their old associates in royalism and in revolution.

The two new consuls and the retiring consuls nominated sixty senators,
without waiting for the lists of eligibility; the senators appointed a
hundred tribunes and three hundred legislators; and the authors of the
18th Brumaire distributed among themselves the functions of the state, as
the booty of their victory. It is, however, just to say that the moderate
liberal party prevailed in this partition, and that, as long as it
preserved any influence, Bonaparte governed in a mild, advantageous, and
republican manner. The constitution of the year VIII., submitted to the
people for acceptance, was approved by three millions eleven thousand and
seven citizens. That of 1793 had obtained one million eight hundred and
one thousand nine hundred and eighteen suffrages; and that of the year
III. one million fifty-seven thousand three hundred and ninety. The new
law satisfied the moderate masses, who sought tranquillity, rather than
guarantees; while the code of '93 had only found partisans among the lower
class; and that of the year III. had been equally rejected by the
royalists and democrats. The constitution of 1791 alone had obtained
general approbation; and, without having been subjected to individual
acceptance, had been sworn to by all France.

The first consul, in compliance with the wishes of the republic, made
offers of peace to England, which it refused. He naturally wished to
assume an appearance of moderation, and, previous to treating, to confer
on his government the lustre of new victories. The continuance of the war
was therefore decided on, and the consuls made a remarkable proclamation,
in which they appealed to sentiments new to the nation. Hitherto it had
been called to arms in defence of liberty; now they began to excite it in
the name of honour: "Frenchmen, you wish for peace. Your government
desires it with still more ardour: its foremost hopes, its constant
efforts, have been in favour of it. The English ministry rejects it; the
English ministry has betrayed the secret of its horrible policy. To rend
France, to destroy its navy and ports, to efface it from the map of
Europe, or reduce it to the rank of a secondary power, to keep the nations
of the continent at variance, in order to seize on the commerce of all,
and enrich itself by their spoils: these are the fearful successes for
which England scatters its gold, lavishes its promises, and multiplies its
intrigues. It is in your power to command peace; but, to command it,
money, the sword, and soldiers are necessary; let all, then, hasten to pay
the tribute they owe to their common defence. Let our young citizens
arise! No longer will they take arms for factions, or for the choice of
tyrants, but for the security of all they hold most dear; for the honour
of France, and for the sacred interests of humanity."

Holland and Switzerland had been sheltered during the preceding campaign.
The first consul assembled all his force on the Rhine and the Alps. He
gave Moreau the command of the army of the Rhine, and he himself marched
into Italy. He set out on the 16th Floréal, year VIII. (6th of May, 1800)
for that brilliant campaign which lasted only forty days. It was important
that he should not be long absent from Paris at the beginning of his
power, and especially not to leave the war in a state of indecision.
Field-marshal Mélas had a hundred and thirty thousand men under arms; he
occupied all Italy. The republican army opposed to him only amounted to
forty thousand men. He left the field-marshal lieutenant Ott with thirty
thousand men before Genoa; and marched against the corps of general
Suchet. He entered Nice, prepared to pass the Var, and to enter Provence.
It was then that Bonaparte crossed the great Saint Bernard at the head of
an army of forty thousand men, descended into Italy in the rear of Mélas,
entered Milan on the 16th Prairial (2nd of June), and placed the Austrians
between Suchet and himself. Mélas, whose line of operation was broken,
quickly fell back upon Nice, and from thence on to Turin; he established
his headquarters at Alessandria, and decided on re-opening his
communications by a battle. On the 9th of June, the advance guard of the
republicans gained a glorious victory at Monte-Bello, the chief honour of
which belonged to general Lannes. But it was the plain of Marengo, on the
14th of June (25th Prairial) that decided the fate of Italy; the Austrians
were overwhelmed. Unable to force the passage of the Bormida by a victory,
they were placed without any opportunity of retreat between the army of
Suchet and that of the first consul. On the 15th, they obtained permission
to fall behind Mantua, on condition of restoring all the places of
Piedmont, Lombardy, and the Legations; and the victory of Marengo thus
secured possession of all Italy.

Eighteen days after, Bonaparte returned to Paris. He was received with all
the evidence of admiration that such decided victories and prodigious
activity could excite; the enthusiasm was universal. There was a
spontaneous illumination, and the crowd hurried to the Tuileries to see
him. The hope of speedy peace redoubled the public joy. On the 25th
Messidor the first consul was present at the anniversary fête of the 14th
of July. When the officers presented him the standards taken from the
enemy, he said to them: "When you return to your camps, tell your soldiers
that the French people, on the 1st Vendemiaire, when we shall celebrate
the anniversary of the republic, will expect either the proclamation of
peace, or, if the enemy raise insuperable obstacles, further standards as
the result of new victories." Peace, however, was delayed for some time.

In the interim between the victory of Marengo and the general
pacification, the first consul turned his attention chiefly to settling
the people, and to diminishing the number of malcontents, by employing the
displaced factions in the state. He was very conciliatory to those parties
who renounced their systems, and very lavish of favours to those chiefs
who renounced their parties. As it was a time of selfishness and
indifference, he had no difficulty in succeeding. The proscribed of the
18th Fructidor were already recalled, with the exception of a few royalist
conspirators, such as Pichegru, Willot, etc. Bonaparte soon even employed
those of the banished who, like Portalis, Siméon, Barbé-Marbois, had shown
themselves more anti-conventionalists than counter-revolutionists. He had
also gained over opponents of another description. The late leaders of La
Vendée, the famous Bernier, curé of Saint-Lo, who had assisted in the
whole insurrection, Châtillon, d'Autichamp and Suzannet had come to an
arrangement by the treaty of Mont-Luçon (17th January, 1800). He also
addressed himself to the leaders of the Breton bands, Georges Cadoudal,
Frotté, Laprévelaye, and Bourmont. The two last alone consented to submit.
Frotté was surprised and shot; and Cadoudal defeated at Grand Champ, by
General Brune, capitulated. The western war was thus definitively

But the _Chouans_ who had taken refuge in England, and whose only hope was
in the death of him who now concentrated the power of the revolution,
projected his assassination. A few of them disembarked on the coast of
France, and secretly repaired to Paris. As it was not easy to reach the
first consul, they decided on a conspiracy truly horrible. On the third
Nivôse, at eight in the evening, Bonaparte was to go to the Opera by the
Rue Saint-Nicaise. The conspirators placed a barrel of powder on a little
truck, which obstructed the carriage way, and one of them, named Saint
Regent, was to set fire to it as soon as he received a signal of the first
consul's approach. At the appointed time, Bonaparte left the Tuileries,
and crossed the Rue Nicaise. His coachman was skilful enough to drive
rapidly between the truck and the wall; but the match was already alight,
and the carriage had scarcely reached the end of the street when _the
infernal machine_ exploded, covered the quarter of Saint-Nicaise with
ruins, shaking the carriage, and breaking its windows.

The police, taken by surprise, though directed by Fouché, attributed this
plot to the democrats, against whom the first consul had a much more
decided antipathy than against the _Chouans_. Many of them were
imprisoned, and a hundred and thirty were transported by a simple senatus-
consultus asked and obtained during the night. At length they discovered
the true authors of the conspiracy, some of whom were condemned to death.
On this occasion, the consul caused the creation of special military
tribunals. The constitutional party separated still further from him, and
began its energetic but useless opposition. Lanjuinais, Grégoire, who had
courageously resisted the extreme party in the convention, Garat,
Lambrechts, Lenoir-Laroche, Cabanis, etc., opposed, in the senate, the
illegal proscription of a hundred and thirty democrats; and the tribunes,
Isnard, Daunou, Chénier, Benjamin Constant, Bailleul, Chazal, etc.,
opposed the special courts. But a glorious peace threw into the shade this
new encroachment of power.

The Austrians, conquered at Marengo, and defeated in Germany by Moreau,
determined on laying down arms; On the 8th of January, 1801, the republic,
the cabinet of Vienna, and the empire, concluded the treaty of Lunéville.
Austria ratified all the conditions of the treaty of Campo-Formio, and
also ceded Tuscany to the young duke of Parma. The empire recognised the
independence of the Batavian, Helvetian, Ligurian, and Cisalpine
republics. The pacification soon became general, by the treaty of Florence
(18th of February 1801,) with the king of Naples, who ceded the isle of
Elba and the principality of Piombino, by the treaty of Madrid (29th of
September, 1801) with Portugal; by the treaty of Paris (8th of October,
1801) with the emperor of Russia; and, lastly, by the preliminaries (9th
of October, 1801) with the Ottoman Porte. The continent, by ceasing
hostilities, compelled England to a momentary peace. Pitt, Dundas, and
Lord Grenville, who had maintained these sanguinary struggles with France,
went out of office when their system ceased to be followed. The opposition
replaced them; and, on the 25th of March, 1802, the treaty of Amiens
completed the pacification of the world. England consented to all the
continental acquisitions of the French republic, recognised the existence
of the secondary republics, and restored our colonies.

During the maritime war with England, the French navy had been almost
entirely ruined. Three hundred and forty ships had been taken or
destroyed, and the greater part of the colonies had fallen into the hands
of the English. San Domingo, the most important of them all, after
throwing off the yoke of the whites, had continued the American
revolution, which having commenced in the English colonies, was to end in
those of Spain, and change the colonies of the new world into independent
states. The blacks of San Domingo wished to maintain, with respect to the
mother country, the freedom which they had acquired from the colonists,
and to defend themselves against the English. They were led by a man of
colour, the famous Toussaint-L'Ouverture. France should have consented to
this revolution which had been very costly for humanity. The metropolitan
government could no longer be restored at San Domingo; and it became
necessary to obtain the only real advantages which Europe can now derive
from America, by strengthening the commercial ties with our old colony.
Instead of this prudent policy, Bonaparte attempted an expedition to
reduce the island to subjection. Forty thousand men embarked for this
disastrous enterprise. It was impossible for the blacks to resist such an
army at first; but after the first victories, it was attacked by the
climate, and new insurrections secured the independence of the colony.
France experienced the twofold loss of an army and of advantageous
commercial connexions.

Bonaparte, whose principal object hitherto had been to promote the fusion
of parties, now turned all his attention to the internal prosperity of the
republic, and the organization of power. The old privileged classes of the
nobility and the clergy had returned into the state without forming
particular classes. Dissentient priests, on taking an oath of obedience,
might conduct their modes of worship and receive their pensions from
government. An act of pardon had been passed in favour of those accused of
emigration; there only remained a list of about a thousand names of those
who remained faithful to the family and the claims of the pretender. The
work of pacification was at an end. Bonaparte, knowing that the surest way
of commanding a nation is to promote its happiness, encouraged the
development of industry, and favoured external commerce, which had so long
been suspended. He united higher views with his political policy, and
connected his own glory with the prosperity of France; he travelled
through the departments, caused canals and harbours to be dug, bridges to
be built, roads to be repaired, monuments to be erected, and means of
communication to be multiplied. He especially strove to become the
protector and legislator of private interests. The civil, penal, and
commercial codes, which he formed, whether at this period, or at a later
period, completed, in this respect, the work of the revolution, and
regulated the internal existence of the nation, in a manner somewhat more
conformable to its real condition. Notwithstanding political despotism,
France, during the domination of Bonaparte, had a private legislation
superior to that of any European society; for with absolute government,
most of them still preserved the civil condition of the middle-ages.
General peace, universal toleration, the return of order, the restoration,
and the creation of an administrative system, soon changed the appearance
of the republic. Attention was turned to the construction of roads and
canals. Civilization became developed in an extraordinary manner; and the
consulate was, in this respect, the perfected period of the directory,
from its commencement to the 18th Fructidor.

It was more especially after the peace Amiens that Bonaparte raised the
foundation of his future power. He himself says, in the Memoirs published
under his name, [Footnote: _Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire de France
sous Napoléon, écrits à Sainte Hélène_, vol. i. p. 248.] "The ideas of
Napoleon were fixed, but to realise them he required the assistance of
time and circumstances. The organization of the consulate had nothing in
contradiction with these; it accustomed the nation to unity, and that was
a first step. This step taken, Napoleon was indifferent to the forms and
denominations of the different constituted bodies. He was a stranger to
the revolution. It was his wisdom to advance from day to day, without
deviating from the fixed point, the polar star, which directed Napoleon
how to guide the revolution to the port whither he wished to conduct it."

In the beginning of 1802, he was at one and the same time forming three
great projects, tending to the same end. He sought to organize religion
and to establish the clergy, which as yet had only a religious existence;
to create, by means of the Legation of Honour, a permanent military order
in the army; and to secure his own power, first for his life, and then to
render it hereditary. Bonaparte was installed at the Tuileries, where he
gradually resumed the customs and ceremonies of the old monarchy. He.
already thought of placing intermediate bodies between himself and the
people. For some time past he had opened a negotiation with Pope Pius
VII., on matters of religious worship. The famous concordat, which created
nine archbishoprics, forty-one bishoprics, with the institution of
chapters, which established the clergy in the state, and again placed it
under the external monarchy of the pope, was signed at Paris on the 16th
of July, 1801, and ratified at Rome on the 15th of August, 1801.

Bonaparte, who had destroyed the liberty of the press, created exceptional
tribunals, and who had departed more and more from the principles of the
revolution, felt that before he went further it was necessary to break
entirely with the liberal party of the 18th Brumaire. In Ventôse, year X.
(March, 1802), the most energetic of the tribunes were dismissed by a
simple operation of the senate. The tribunate was reduced to eighty
members, and the legislative body underwent a similar purgation. About a
month after, the 15th Germinal (6th of April, 1802), Bonaparte, no longer
apprehensive of opposition, submitted the concordat to these assemblies,
whose obedience he had thus secured, for their acceptance. They adopted it
by a great majority. The Sunday and four great religious festivals were
re-established, and from that time the government ceased to observe the
system of decades. This was the first attempt at renouncing the republican
calendar. Bonaparte hoped to gain the sacerdotal party, always most
disposed to passive obedience, and thus deprive the royalist of the
clergy, and the coalition of the pope.

The concordat was inaugurated with great pomp in the cathedral of Nôtre-
Dame. The senate, the legislative body, the tribunate, and the leading
functionaries were present at this new ceremony. The first consul repaired
thither in the carriages of the old court, with the etiquette and
attendants of the old monarchy; salvos of artillery announced this return
of privilege, and this essay at royalty. A pontifical mass was performed
by Caprara, the cardinal-legate, and the people were addressed by
proclamation in a language to which they had long been unaccustomed.
"Reason and the example of ages," ran the proclamation, "command us to
have recourse to the sovereign pontiff to effect unison of opinion and
reconciliation of hearts. The head of the church has weighed in his wisdom
and for the interest of the church, propositions dictated by the interest
of the state."

In the evening there was an illumination, and a concert in the gardens of
the Tuileries. The soldiery reluctantly attended at the inauguration
ceremony, and expressed their dissatisfaction aloud. On returning to the
palace, Bonaparte questioned general Delmas on the subject. "_What did you
think of the ceremony? _" said he. "_A fine mummery_" was the reply.
"_Nothing was wanting but a million of men slain, in destroying what you
re-establish. _"

A month after, on the 25th Floréal, year X. (15th of May, 1802), he
presented the project of a law respecting _the creation of a legion of
honour_. This legion was to be composed of fifteen cohorts, dignitaries
for life, disposed in hierarchical order, having a centre, an
organization, and revenues. The first consul was the chief of the legion.
Each cohort was composed of seven grand officers, twenty commanders,
thirty officers, and three hundred and fifty legionaries. Bonaparte's
object was to originate a new nobility. He thus appealed to the ill-
suppressed sentiment of inequality. While discussing this projected law in
the council of state, he did not scruple to announce his aristocratic
design. Berlier, counsellor of state, having disapproved an institution so
opposed to the spirit of the republic, said that: "Distinctions were the
playthings of a monarchy." "I defy you," replied the first consul, "to
show me a republic, ancient or modern, in which distinctions did not
exist; you call them toys; well, it is by toys that men are led. I would
not say as much to a tribune; but in a council of wise men and statesmen
we may speak plainly. I do not believe that the French love _liberty and
equality_. The French have not been changed by ten years of revolution;
they have but one sentiment--_honour_. That sentiment, then, must be
nourished; they must have distinctions. See how the people prostrate
themselves before the ribbons and stars of foreigners; they have been
surprised by them; and they do not fail to wear them. All has been
destroyed; the question is, how to restore all. There is a government,
there are authorities; but the rest of the nation, what is it? Grains of
sand. Among us we have the old privileged classes, organized in principles
and interests, and knowing well what they want. I can count our enemies.
But we, ourselves, are dispersed, without system, union, or contact. As
long as I am here, I will answer for the republic; but we must provide for
the future. Do you think the republic is definitively established? If so,
you are greatly deceived. It is in our power to make it so; but we have
not done it; and we shall not do it if we do not hurl some masses of
granite on the soil of France." [Footnote: This passage is extracted from
M. Thibaudeau's _Mémoires_ of the Consulate. There are in these
_Mémoires_, which are extremely curious, some political conversations of
Bonaparte, details concerning his internal government and the principal
sittings of the council of state, which throw much light upon this epoch.]
By these words Bonaparte announced a system of government opposed to that
which the revolution sought to establish, and which the change in society

Yet, notwithstanding the docility of the council of state, the purgation
undergone by the tribunal and the legislative body, these three bodies
vigorously opposed a law which revived inequality. In the council of
state, the legion of honour only had fourteen votes against ten; in the
tribunal, thirty-eight against fifty-six; in the legislative body, a
hundred and sixty-six against a hundred and ten. Public opinion manifested
a still greater repugnance for this new order of knighthood. Those first
invested seemed almost ashamed of it, and received it with a sort of
contempt. But Bonaparte pursued his counterrevolutionary course, without
troubling himself about a dissatisfaction no longer capable of resistance.

He wished to confirm his power by the establishment of privilege, and to
confirm privilege by the duration of his power. On the motion of Chabot de
l'Allier, the tribunal resolved: "That the first consul, general
Bonaparte, should receive a signal mark of national gratitude." In
pursuance of this resolution, on the 6th of May, 1802, an organic senatus-
consultus appointed Bonaparte consul for an additional period of ten

But Bonaparte did not consider the prolongation of the consulate
sufficient; and two months after, on the 2nd of August, the senate, on the
decision of the tribunate and the legislative body, and with the consent
of the people, consulted by means of the public registers, passed the
following decree:

"I. The French people nominate, and the senate proclaim Napoleon Bonaparte
first consul for life.

"II. A statue of Peace, holding in one hand a laurel of victory, and in
the other, the decree of the senate, shall attest to posterity the
gratitude of the nation.

"III. The senate will convey to the first consul the expression of the
confidence, love, and admiration of the French people."

This revolution was complete by adapting to the consulship for life, by a
simple senatus-consultus, the constitution, already sufficiently despotic,
of the temporary consulship. "Senators," said Cornudet, on presenting the
new law, "we must for ever close the public path to the Gracchi. The
wishes of the citizens, with respect to the political laws they obey, are
expressed by the general prosperity; the guarantee of social rights
absolutely places the dogma of the exercise of the sovereignty of the
people in the senate, which is the bond of the nation. This is the only
social doctrine." The senate admitted this new social doctrine, took
possession of the sovereignty, and held it as a deposit till a favourable
moment arrived for transferring it to Bonaparte.

The constitution of the 16th Thermidor, year X. (4th of August, 1802,)
excluded the people from the state. The public and administrative
functions became fixed, like those of the government. The first consul
could increase the number of electors who were elected for life. The
senate had the right of changing institutions, suspending the functions of
the jury, of placing the departments out of the constitution, of annulling
the sentences of the tribunals, of dissolving the legislative body, and
the tribunate. The council of state was reinforced; the tribunate, already
reduced by dismissals, was still sufficiently formidable to require to be
reduced to fifty members.

Such, in the course of two years, was the terrible progress of privilege
and absolute power. Towards the close of 1802, everything was in the hands
of the consul for life, who had a class devoted to him in the clergy; a
military order in the legion of honour; an administrative body in the
council of state; a machinery for decrees in the legislative assembly; a
machinery for the constitution in the senate. Not daring, as yet, to
destroy the tribunate, in which assembly there arose, from time to time, a
few words of freedom and opposition, he deprived it of its most courageous
and eloquent members, that he might hear his will declared with docility
in all the assemblies of the nation.

This interior policy of usurpation was extended beyond the country. On the
26th of August, Bonaparte united the island of Elba, and on the 11th of
September, 1802, Piedmont, to the French territory. On the 9th of October
he took possession of the states of Parma, left vacant by the death of the
duke; and lastly, on the 21st of October, he marched into Switzerland an
army of thirty thousand men, to support a federative act, which regulated
the constitution of each canton, and which had caused disturbances. He
thus furnished a pretext for a rupture with England, which had not
sincerely subscribed to the peace. The British cabinet had only felt the
necessity of a momentary suspension of hostilities; and, a short time
after the treaty of Amiens, it arranged a third coalition, as it had done
after the treaty of Campo-Formio, and at the time of the congress of
Rastadt. The interest and situation of England were alone of a nature to
bring about a rupture, which was hastened by the union of states effected
by Bonaparte, and the influence which he retained over the neighbouring
republics, called to complete independence by the recent treaties.
Bonaparte, on his part, eager for the glory gained on the field of battle,
wishing to aggrandize France by conquests, and to complete his own
elevation by victories, could not rest satisfied with repose; he had
rejected liberty, and war became a necessity.

The two cabinets exchanged for some time very bitter diplomatic notes. At
length, Lord Whitworth, the English ambassador, left Paris on the 25th
Floréal, year XI. (13th of May, 1803). Peace was now definitively broken:
preparations for war were made on both sides. On the 26th of May, the
French troops entered the electorate of Hanover. The German empire, on the
point of expiring, raised no obstacle. The emigrant Chouan party, which
had taken no steps since the affair of the infernal machine and the
continental peace, were encouraged by this return of hostilities. The
opportunity seemed favourable, and it formed in London, with the assent of
the British cabinet, a conspiracy headed by Pichegru and Georges Cadoudal.
The conspirators disembarked secretly on the coast of France, and repaired
with the same secrecy to Paris. They communicated with general Moreau, who
had been induced by his wife to embrace the royalist party. Just as they
were about to execute their project, most of them were arrested by the
police, who had discovered the plot, and traced them. Georges Cadoudal was
executed, Pichegru was found strangled in prison, and Moreau was sentenced
to two years' imprisonment, commuted to exile. This conspiracy, discovered
in the middle of February, 1804, rendered the person of the first consul,
whose life had been thus threatened, still dearer to the masses of the
people; addresses of congratulation were presented by all the bodies of
the state, and all the departments of the republic. About this time he
sacrificed an illustrious victim. On the 15th of March, the duc d'Enghien
was carried off by a squadron of cavalry from the castle of Ettenheim, in
the grand-duchy of Baden, a few leagues from the Rhine. The first consul
believed, from the reports of the police, that this prince had directed
the recent conspiracy. The duc d'Engbien was conveyed hastily to
Vincennes, tried in a few hours by a military commission, and shot in the
trenches of the château. This crime was not an act of policy, or
usurpation; but a deed of violence and wrath. The royalists might have
thought on the 18th Brumaire that the first consul was studying the part
of general Monk; but for four years he had destroyed that hope. He had no
longer any necessity for breaking with them in so outrageous a manner, nor
for reassuring, as it has been suggested, the Jacobins, who no longer
existed. Those who remained devoted to the republic, dreaded at this time
despotism far more than a counter-revolution. There is every reason to
think that Bonaparte, who thought little of human life, or of the rights
of nations, having already formed the habit of an expeditious and hasty
policy, imagined the prince to be one of the conspirators, and sought, by
a terrible example, to put an end to conspiracies, the only peril that
threatened his power at that period.

The war with Britain and the conspiracy of Georges Cadoudal and Pichegru,
were the stepping-stones by which Bonaparte ascended from the consulate to
the empire. On the 6th Germinal, year XII. (27th March, 1804), the senate,
on receiving intelligence of the plot, sent a deputation to the first
consul. The president, François de Neufchâteau, expressed himself in these
terms: "Citizen first consul, you are founding a new era, but you ought to
perpetuate it: splendour is nothing without duration. We do not doubt but
this great idea has had a share of your attention; for your creative
genius embraces all and forgets nothing. But do not delay: you are urged
on by the times, by events, by conspirators, and by ambitious men; and in
another direction, by the anxiety which agitates the French people. It is
in your power to enchain time, master events, disarm the ambitious, and
tranquillize the whole of France by giving it institutions which will
cement your edifice, and prolong for our children what you have done for
their fathers. Citizen first consul, be assured that the senate here
speaks to you in the name of all citizens."

On the 5th Floréal, year XII. (25th of April, 1804), Bonaparte replied to
the senate from Saint-Cloud, as follows: "Your address has occupied my
thoughts incessantly; it has been the subject of my constant meditation.
You consider, that the supreme magistracy should be hereditary, in order
to protect the people from the plots of our enemies, and the agitation
which arises from rival ambitions. You also think that several of our
institutions ought to be perfected, to secure the permanent triumph of
equality and public liberty, and to offer the nation and government the
twofold guarantee which they require. The more I consider these great
objects, the more deeply do I feel that in such novel and important
circumstances, the councils of your wisdom and experience are necessary to
enable me to come to a conclusion. I invite you, then, to communicate to
me your ideas on the subject." The senate, in its turn, replied on the
14th Floréal (3rd of May): "The senate considers that the interests of the
French people will be greatly promoted by confiding the government of the
republic to _Napoleon Bonaparte_, as hereditary emperor." By this
preconcerted scene was ushered in the establishment of the empire.

The tribune Curée opened the debate in the tribunate by a motion on the
subject. He dwelt on the same motives as the senators had done. His
proposition was carried with enthusiasm. Carnot alone had the courage to
oppose the empire: "I am far," said he, "from wishing to weaken the
praises bestowed on the first consul; but whatever services a citizen may
have done to his country, there are bounds which honour, as well as
reason, imposes on national gratitude. If this citizen has restored public
liberty, if he has secured the safety of his country, is it a reward to
offer him the sacrifice of that liberty; and would it not be destroying
his own work to make his country his private patrimony? When once the
proposition of holding the consulate for life was presented for the votes
of the people, it was easy to see that an after-thought existed. A crowd
of institutions evidently monarchical followed in succession; but now the
object of so many preliminary measures is disclosed in a positive manner;
we are called to declare our sentiments on a formal motion to restore the
monarchical system, and to confer imperial and hereditary dignity on the
first consul.

"Has liberty, then, only been shown to man that he might never enjoy it?
No, I cannot consent to consider this good, so universally preferred to
all others, without which all others are as nothing, as a mere illusion.
My heart tells me that liberty is attainable; that its regime is easier
and more stable than any arbitrary government. I voted against the
consulate for life; I now vote against the restoration of the monarchy; as
I conceive my quality as tribune compels me to do."

But he was the only one who thought thus; and his colleagues rivalled each
other in their opposition to the opinion of the only man who alone among
them remained free. In the speeches of that period, we may see the
prodigious change that had taken place in ideas and language. The
revolution had returned to the political principles of the ancient regime;
the same enthusiasm and fanaticism existed; but it was the enthusiasm of
flattery, the fanaticism of servitude. The French rushed into the empire
as they had rushed into the revolution; in the age of reason they referred
everything to the enfranchisement of nations; now they talked of nothing
but the greatness of a man, and of the age of Bonaparte; and they now
fought to make kings, as they had formerly fought to create republics.

The tribunate, the legislative body, and the senate, voted the empire,
which was proclaimed at Saint-Cloud on the 28th Floréal, year XII. (18th
of May, 1804). On the same day, a senatus-consultum modified the
constitution, which was adapted to the new order of things. The empire
required its appendages; and French princes, high dignitaries, marshals,
chamberlains, and pages were given to it. All publicity was destroyed. The
liberty of the press had already been subjected to censorship; only one
tribune remained, and that became mute. The sittings of the tribunate were
secret, like those of the council of state; and from that day, for a space
of ten years, France was governed with closed doors. Joseph and Louis
Bonaparte were recognised as French princes. Bethier, Murat, Moncey,
Jourdan, Masséna, Augereau, Bernadotte, Soult, Brune, Lannes, Mortier,
Ney, Davoust, Bessières, Kellermann, Lefèvre, Pérignon, Sérurier, were
named marshals of the empire. The departments sent up addresses, and the
clergy compared Napoleon to a new Moses, a new Mattathias, a new Cyrus.
They saw in his elevation "the finger of God," and said "that submission
was due to him as dominating over all; to his ministers as sent by him,
because such was the order of Providence." Pope Pius VII. came to Paris to
consecrate the new dynasty. The coronation took place on Sunday, the 2nd
of December, in the church of Notre-Dame.

Preparations had been making for this ceremony for some time, and it was
regulated according to ancient customs. The emperor repaired to the
metropolitan church with the empress Josephine, in a coach surmounted by a
crown, drawn by eight white horses, and escorted by his guard. The pope,
cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and all the great bodies of the state
were awaiting him in the cathedral, which had been magnificently decorated
for this extraordinary ceremony. He was addressed in an oration at the
door; and then, clothed with the imperial mantle, the crown on his head,
and the sceptre in his hand, he ascended a throne placed at the end of the
church. The high almoner, a cardinal, and a bishop, came and conducted him
to the foot of the altar for consecration. The pope poured the three-fold
unction on his head and hands, and delivered the following prayer:--"O
Almighty God, who didst establish Hazael to govern Syria, and Jehu king of
Israel, by revealing unto them thy purpose by the mouth of the prophet
Elias; who didst also shed the holy unction of kings on the head of Saul
and of David, by the ministry of thy prophet Samuel, vouchsafe to pour, by
my hands, the treasures of thy grace and blessing on thy servant Napoleon,
who, notwithstanding our own unworthiness, we this day consecrate emperor
in thy name."

The pope led him solemnly back to the throne; and after he had sworn on
the Testament the oath prescribed by the new constitution, the chief
herald-at-arms cried in a loud voice--"_The most glorious and most august
emperor of the French is crowned and enthroned! Long live the emperor! _"
The church instantly resounded with the cry, salvoes of artillery were
fired, and the pope intoned the Te Deum. For several days there was a
succession of fêtes; but these fêtes _by command_, these fêtes of absolute
power, did not breathe the frank, lively, popular, and unanimous joy of
the first federation of the 14th of July; and, exhausted as the people
were, they did not welcome the beginning of despotism as they had welcomed
that of liberty.

The consulate was the last period of the existence of the republic. The
revolution was coming to man's estate. During the first period of the
consular government, Bonaparte had gained the proscribed classes by
recalling them, he found a people still agitated by every passion, and he
restored them to tranquillity by labour, and to prosperity by restoring
order. Finally he compelled Europe, conquered for the third time, to
acknowledge his elevation. Till the treaty of Amiens, he revived in the
republic victory, concord, and prosperity, without sacrificing liberty. He
might then, had he wished, have made himself the representative of that
great age, which sought for that noble system of human dignity the
consecration of far-extended equality, wise liberty, and more developed
civilization. The nation was in the hands of the great man or the despot;
it rested with him to preserve it free or to enslave it. He preferred the
realization of his selfish projects, and preferred himself to all
humanity. Brought up in tents, coming late into the revolution, he only
understood its material and interested side; he had no faith in the moral
wants which had given rise to it, nor in the creeds which had agitated it,
and which, sooner or later, would return and destroy him. He saw an
insurrection approaching its end, an exhausted people at his mercy, and a
crown on the ground within his reach.




After the establishment of the empire, power became more arbitrary, and
society reconstructed itself on an aristocratic principle. The great
movement of recomposition, which had commenced on the 9th Thermidor went
on increasing. The convention had abolished classes; the directory
defeated parties; the consulate gained over men; and the empire corrupted
them by distinctions and privileges. This second period was the opposite
of the first. Under the one, we saw the government of the committees
exercised by men elected every three months, without guards, honours, or
representation, living on a few francs a day, working eighteen hours
together on common wooden tables; under the other, the government of the
empire, with all its paraphernalia of administration, it chamberlains,
gentlemen, praetorian guard, hereditary rights, its immense civil list,
and dazzling ostentation. The national activity was exclusively directed
to labour and war. All material interests, all ambitious passions, were
hierarchically arranged under one leader, who, after having sacrificed
liberty by establishing absolute power, destroyed equality by introducing

The directory had erected all the surrounding states into republics;
Napoleon wished to constitute them on the model of the empire. He began
with Italy. The council of state of the Cisalpine republic determined on
restoring hereditary monarchy in favour of Napoleon. Its vice-president,
M. Melzi, came to Paris to communicate to him this decision. On the 26th
Ventôse, year XIII. (17th of March, 1805), he was received with great
solemnity at the Tuileries. Napoleon was on his throne, surrounded by his
court, and all the splendour of sovereign power, in the display of which
he delighted. M. Melzi offered him the crown, in the name of his fellow-
citizens. "Sire," said he, in conclusion, "deign to gratify the wishes of
the assembly over which I have the honour to preside. Interpreter of the
sentiments which animate every Italian heart, it brings you their sincere
homage. It will inform them with joy that by accepting, you have
strengthened the ties which attach you to the preservation, defence, and
prosperity of the Italian nation. Yes, sire, you wished the existence of
the Italian republic, and it existed. Desire the Italian monarchy to be
happy, and it will be so."

The emperor went to take possession of this kingdom; and, on the 26th of
May, 1805, he received at Milan the iron crown of the Lombards. He
appointed his adopted son, prince Eugene de Beauharnais, viceroy of Italy,
and repaired to Genoa, which also renounced its sovereignty. On the 4th of
June, 1805, its territory was united to the empire, and formed the three
departments of Genoa, Montenotte, and the Apennines. The small republic of
Lucca was included in this monarchical revolution. At the request of its
gonfalonier, it was given in appanage to the prince of Piombino and his
princess, a sister of Napoleon. The latter, after this royal progress,
recrossed the Alps, and returned to the capital of his empire; he soon
after departed for the camp at Boulogne, where a great maritime expedition
against England was preparing.

This project of descent which the directory had entertained after the
peace of Campo-Formio, and the first consul, after the peace of Lunéville,
had been resumed with much ardour since the new rupture. At the
commencement of 1805, a flotilla of two thousand small vessels, manned by
sixteen thousand sailors, carrying an army of one hundred and sixty
thousand men, nine thousand horses, and a numerous artillery, had
assembled in the ports of Boulogne, Etaples, Wimereux, Ambleteuse. and
Calais. The emperor was hastening by his presence the execution of this
project, when he learned that England, to avoid the descent with which it
was threatened, had prevailed on Austria to come to a rupture with France,
and that all the forces of the Austrian monarchy were in motion. Ninety
thousand men, under the archduke Ferdinand and general Mack, had crossed
the Jura, seized on Munich, and driven out the elector of Bavaria, the
ally of France; thirty thousand, under the archduke John, occupied the
Tyrol, and the archduke Charles, with one hundred thousand men, was
advancing on the Adige. Two Russian armies were preparing to join the
Austrians. Pitt had made the greatest efforts to organize this third
coalition. The establishment of the kingdom of Italy, the annexation of
Genoa and Piedmont to France, the open influence of the emperor over
Holland and Switzerland, had again aroused Europe, which now dreaded the
ambition of Napoleon as much as it had formerly feared the principles of
the revolution. The treaty of alliance between the British ministry and
the Russian cabinet had been signed on the 11th of April, 1805, and
Austria had acceded to it on the 9th of August.

Napoleon left Boulogne, returned hastily to Paris, repaired to the senate
on the 23rd of September, obtained a levy of eighty thousand men, and set
out the next day to begin the campaign. He passed the Rhine on the 1st of
October, and entered Bavaria on the 6th, with an army of a hundred and
sixty thousand men. Masséna held back Prince Charles in Italy, and the
emperor carried on the war in Germany at full speed. In a few days he
passed the Danube, entered Munich, gained the victory of Wertingen, and
forced general Mack to lay down his arms at Ulm. This capitulation
disorganized the Austrian army. Napoleon pursued the course of his
victories, entered Vienna on the 13th of November, and then marched into
Moravia to meet the Russians, round whom the defeated troops had rallied.

On the 2nd of December, 1805, the anniversary of the coronation, the two
armies met in the plains of Austerlitz. The enemy amounted to ninety-five
thousand men, the French to eighty thousand. On both sides the artillery
was formidable. The battle began at sunrise; these enormous masses began
to move; the Russian infantry could not stand against the impetuosity of
our troops and the manoeuvres of their general. The enemy's left was first
cut off; the Russian imperial guard came up to re-establish the
communication, and was entirely overwhelmed. The centre experienced the
same fate, and at one o'clock in the afternoon the most decisive victory
had completed this wonderful campaign. The following day the emperor
congratulated the army in a proclamation on the field of battle itself:
"Soldiers," said he, "I am satisfied with you. You have adorned your
eagles with immortal glory. An army of a hundred thousand men, commanded
by the emperors of Russia and Austria, in less than four days has been cut
to pieces or dispersed; those who escaped your steel have been drowned in
the lakes. Forty flags, the standards of the Russian imperial guard, a
hundred and twenty pieces of cannon, twenty generals, more than thirty
thousand prisoners, are the result of this ever memorable day. This
infantry, so vaunted and so superior in numbers, could not resist your
shock, and henceforth you have no more rivals to fear. Thus, in two
months, this third coalition has been defeated and dissolved." A truce was
concluded with Austria; and the Russians, who might have been cut to
pieces, obtained permission to retire by fixed stages.

The peace of Pressburg followed the victories of Ulm and Austerlitz; it
was signed on the 26th of December. The house of Austria, which had lost
its external possessions, Holland and the Milanese, was now assailed in
Germany itself. It gave up the provinces of Dalmatia and Albania to the
kingdom of Italy; the territory of the Tyrol, the town of Augsburg, the
principality of Eichstett, a part of the territory of Passau, and all its
possessions in Swabia, Brisgau, and Ortenau to the electorates of Bavaria
and Wurtemberg, which were transformed into kingdoms. The grand duchy of
Baden also profited by its spoils. The treaty of Pressburg completed the
humiliation of Austria, commenced by the treaty of Campo-Formio, and
continued by that of Lunéville. The emperor, on his return to Paris,
crowned with so much glory, became the object of such general and wild
admiration, that he was himself carried away by the public enthusiasm and
intoxicated at his fortune. The different bodies of the state contended
among themselves in obedience and flatteries. He received the title of
Great, and the senate passed a decree dedicating to him a triumphal

Napoleon became more confirmed in the principle he had espoused. The
victory of Marengo and the peace of Lunéville had sanctioned the
consulate; the victory of Austerlitz and peace of Pressburg consecrated
the empire. The last vestiges of the revolution were abandoned. On the 1st
of January, 1806, the Gregorian calendar definitively replaced the
republican calendar, after an existence of fourteen years. The Panthéon
was again devoted to purposes of worship, and soon even the tribunate
ceased to exist. But the emperor aimed especially at extending his
dominion over the continent. Ferdinand, king of Naples, having, during the
last war, violated the treaty of peace with France, had his states
invaded; and Joseph Bonaparte on the 30th of March was declared king of
the Two Sicilies. Soon after (June 5th, 1806), Holland was converted into
a kingdom, and received as monarch Louis Bonaparte, another brother of the
emperor. None of the republics created by the convention, or the
directory, now existed. Napoleon, in nominating secondary kings, restored
the military hierarchical system, and the titles of the middle ages. He
erected Dalmatia, Istria, Friuli, Cadore, Belluno, Conegliano, Treviso,
Feltra, Bassano, Vicenza, Padua, and Rovigo into duchies, great fiefs of
the empire. Marshal Berthier was invested with the principality of
Neufchâtel, the minister Talleyrand with that of Benevento. Prince
Borghese and his wife with that of Guastalla, Murat with the grand-duchy
of Berg and Clèves. Napoleon, not venturing to destroy the Swiss republic,
styled himself its mediator, and completed the organization of his
military empire by placing under his dependence the ancient Germanic body.
On the 12th of July, 1806, fourteen princes of the south and west of
Germany united themselves into the confederation of the Rhine, and
recognized Napoleon as their protector. On the 1st of August, they
signified to the diet of Ratisbon their separation from the Germanic body.
The empire of Germany ceased to exist, and Francis II. abdicated the title
by proclamation. By a convention signed at Vienna, on the 15th of
December, Prussia exchanged the territories of Anspach, Clèves, and
Neufchâtel for the electorate of Hanover. Napoleon had all the west under
his power. Absolute master of France and Italy, as emperor and king, he
was also master of Spain, by the dependence of that court; of Naples and
Holland, by his two brothers; of Switzerland, by the act of mediation; and
in Germany he had at his disposal the kings of Bavaria and Wurtemberg, and
the confederation of the Rhine against Austria and Prussia. After the
peace of Amiens, by supporting liberty he might have made himself the
protector of France and the moderator of Europe; but having sought glory
in domination, and made conquest the object of his life, he condemned
himself to a long struggle, which would inevitably terminate in the
dependence of the continent or in his own downfall.

This encroaching progress gave rise to the fourth coalition. Prussia,
neutral since the peace of Basle, had, in the last campaign, been on the
point of joining the Austro-Russian coalition. The rapidity of the
emperor's victories had alone restrained her; but now, alarmed at the
aggrandizement of the empire, and encouraged by the fine condition of her
troops, she leagued with Russia to drive the French from Germany. The
cabinet of Berlin required that the French troops should recross the
Rhine, or war would be the consequence. At the same time, it sought to
form in the north of Germany a league against the confederation of the
south. The emperor, who was in the plenitude of his prosperity and of
national enthusiasm, far from submitting to the _ultimatum_ of Prussia,
immediately marched against her.

The campaign opened early in October. Napoleon, as usual, overwhelmed the
coalition by the promptitude of his marches and the vigour of his
measures. On the 14th of October, he destroyed at Jena the military
monarchy of Prussia, by a decisive victory; on the 16th, fourteen thousand
Prussians threw down their arms at Erfurth; on the 25th, the French army
entered Berlin, and the close of 1806 was employed in taking the Prussian
fortresses and marching into Poland against the Russian army. The campaign
in Poland was less rapid, but as brilliant as that of Prussia. Russia, for
the third time, measured its strength with France. Conquered at Zurich and
Austerlitz, it was also defeated at Eylau and Friedland. After these
memorable battles, the emperor Alexander entered into a negotiation, and
concluded at Tilsit, on the 21st of June, 1807, an armistice which was
followed by a definitive treaty on the 7th of July.

The peace of Tilsit extended the French domination on the continent.
Prussia was reduced to half its extent. In the south of Germany, Napoleon
had instituted the two kingdoms of Bavaria and Wurtemberg against Austria;
further to the north, he created the two feudatory kingdoms of Saxony and
Westphalia against Prussia. That of Saxony, composed of the electorate of
that name, and Prussian Poland, called the grand-duchy of Warsaw, was
given to the king of Saxony; that of Westphalia comprehended the states of
Hesse-Cassel, Brunswick, Fulde, Paderborn, and the greatest part of
Hanover, and was given to Jerome Napoleon. The emperor Alexander, acceding
to all these arrangements, evacuated Moldavia and Wallachia. Russia,
however, though conquered, was the only power unencroached upon. Napoleon
followed more than ever in the footsteps of Charlemagne; at his
coronation, he had had the crown, sword, and sceptre, of the Frank king
carried before him. A pope had crossed the Alps to consecrate his dynasty,
and he modelled his states on the vast empire of that conqueror. The
revolution sought the establishment of ancient liberty; Napoleon restored
the military hierarchy of the middle ages. The former had made citizens,
the latter made vassals. The one had changed Europe into republics, the
other transformed it into fiefs. Great and powerful as he was, coming
immediately after a shock which had exhausted the world by its violence,
he was enabled to arrange it for a time according to his pleasure. The
_grand empire_ rose internally by its system of administration, which

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