페이지 이미지

fters into which men are transformed by unlimited power; whether arrayed in imperial purple, and furrounded by pretorian guards; or wearing for a diadem a jacobin cap, and followed by an executioner and a revolutionary

Such are the crimes which cannot but excite horror in those who have lived at a distance from their fanguinary influence, but the reflection on which, to those who have been witneffes of their enormity, renders exiftence hateful.-Such are the mon- jury.


[ocr errors]


ONE of the princes of Ger- honour that the Queen dowager many have higher claims on the love of the people, or the eulogy of the modern bards, than the ami. able and youthful monarch, who now fills the imperial throne. Of his warlike achievements, during the prefent campaign, the trump of fame has fufficiently informed you, but there is a trait of his heart in private and domestic life, which I receive from the most unquestionable autho, rity, and which will endear him to you more than a thousand victories.

Jofeph the fecond, who was an economist, left to Leopold, who did not live long enough, after he became emperor, to diffipate (them) an unincumbered diadem and immenfe treasures. These all concentered in the prefent emperor, to whom was bequeathed the difpofal of them fo unconditionally, that the dowager Empress his mother was, in a manner, rather a dependent on his bounty, than poffeffed of powers in her self to claim as widow, wife, and mother. No fooner did the youth find himself thus dangerously placed, than he resolved to put it out of his own power to act unbecoming the fon of an Emprefs and Queen. Convening, therefore, his court and council, he appropriated an early day for his coronation, or rather nomination to the emperorship,-the regular ceremony being performed long after at Frankfort, and he intreated the

brilliant, the young monarch rofe in the midst of it, and holding in his hand a fcroll, thus addreffed himself to his minifters, in the prefence of thousands of his fubjects I perceive a paffage of great importance is omitted in the will of my royal father. No fuitable, independent provifion has been made for my beloved and imperial mother. The long tried virtue of that noble lady, the tender confidence and domeftic love, in which the lived with my father, convinces me, that it never could have been intended, that fo good a wife, fo kind a parent, and fo excellent a woman, could be left in a state of dependence on her fon. Much more likely is it that the fon fhould have been bequeathed to the commands, indulgence, and management of his mother. Or if it was intended that the fon fhould receive the whole revenue of the empire, it could only be in confidence that he would act as her agent, and fee that her private, her natural, and proper rights, were paid into her coffers with the least care and inconvenience to herfelf.

'In the latter cafe, I hope I fhould be found, throughout my reign, a faithful fteward of my dear parent and of the people; and, fuppofing for a moment, this cafe poffible, I cannot be infenfible to the exalted affection and esteem the late EmperE 2


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

or and King muft have for me, that he could, after his death, confide the fortunes of fuch a wife to the truft of his fon. But human nature is fo frail, and the truft is fo awful, that I tremble while I poffefs it; and cannot, indeed, be eafy, till I have disburdened myfelf of the weight it impofes. To this end, my loving friends, minifters and fubjects, I have herein bound myfelf, (hewing the scroll) by an inftrument of the laft folemnity, to become responsible in a yearly fum fuited to her rank, although inferior to her defervings. And I have, as nearly as may be, made this difpofition from my private funds, and from fources the leaft likely to infringe on, or to affect, the treasures of the state, which I hold in truft alfo,-for the honour of my empire, and the prosperity of Auftria; yet I confider myself as called upon by my fubjects to explain, account for, and juftify every expenditure, before I make an arrangement in favour of any part of my own family: but I feel, at the fame time, that it is an act of duty and juftice on my part, which will be crowned by the fanction of all my people.

Here then, madam, continued the royal youth, dropping on his knee as he defcended from his throne, and

prefenting the fcroll-here is the deed by which I relieve myself from an infupportable burden, the idea of your Majefty's becoming the victim of a fon's weaknefs, indifcretion, or ingratitude: and you will find that I have, by the fame act, taken the liberty to appoint you the guardian of my youth, in all that can properly be called (if any thing can) my private fortunes. I retain in my hand the public treasures becaufe the weight of them would, from the multiplicity of demands, be attended with fatigue to you; but I fhall not fail, from time to time, as exigences may arife, to derive benefit, in their application, from your known wifdom, goodnefs of heart and judgement, and your love of the empire.'

With regard to the public, one might very reasonably expect from fuch an outfet, what has happened in the progrefs of the reign of this monarch; we were prepared for his having almost emptied the coffers of his private property, and almost stript his palace of his furniture, many of its neceffaries, and all its luxuries, before he invited the affiftance of his people to carry on this unparalleled



A Mother was dragging her only daughter to the beach, in order to fell her to the white men.

O mother, thy bofom bore me; I was the first fruit of thy love; what crime have I committed to deferve a life of flavery? I alleviate the forrows of thy age. For thee I labour the ground; for thee I gather flowers; for thee I enfnare the fish of the food. I have defended thee from the cold; I have borne thee, when it was hot,

into the fhades of fragrant trees; I watched thee while thou flumberest, and drove away from thy face the ftings of the mofkitoes. O mother, what will become of thee, when thou haft me no longer? The money thou received will not give thee another daughter; thou wilt die in mifery, and my bittereft grief will be, that I cannot affist thee. O mother, fell not thy only daughter!

In vain did the implore! She was


*This is not feigned, but perfectly genuine. The chevalier de Parny, who refided a long time at Madagascar, tranflated it, with others, into French, and from that tranflation the present is made.


fold, was loaded with chains, con- her dear parent and country for ducted to the ship; and conveyed from ever.


MANUEL JOSEPH SIEYES was born at Frejus, in the department of Var, the 3d of May 1748. He was the 5th child of his parents, who had two more after him. His first studies commenced in the house of his father, under a preceptor; who, at the fame time, took his pupil to the College of the Jefuits, to receive public leffons with the other children of the town. The Jefuits took notice of this scholar. They propofed to his father to fend him to their great feminary at Lyons, one of the best establishments for education they had in France. It was at the time of the commencement of that quarrel which, in its confequences, pro duced the abolition of that Society. The father of Sieyes refifted the advice of the reverend fathers, and the bishop of the place, which joined. them. He fent his fon to finish his claffes at the College des Doctrinaires, at Draguignan, a town of fome note in the fame department.

Sieyes faw the greater number of his companions leave the college, to enter into the fchools of artillery or military engineering. He longed to follow the fame courfe, and wrote to his parents with all the ardour of youthful paffion. In anfwer he was recalled home: he was destined to the ecclefiaftic state. The Bishop of Frejus had feduced his father with the promise of speedy advancement. This induced him to confider the weak state of health of the boy, which feemed to juftify the project. Young Sieyes was fent to Paris, to the feminary of St Sulpice, to go through the courses of philofophy and theology.

He was then in his fourteenth year; but in a fituation fo contrary to his natural difpofition, it is not ex.

traordinary that he should have con tracted a fort of favage melancholy' accompanied with the moft stoic in- ` difference as to his person and his future fituation. He was deftined to bid farewell to happiness; he was out of nature; the love of study only could charm him. His attention became strongly directed to books and the sciences. In this manner pasfed, without interruption, ten years of his life, till the expiration of what, in the Sorbonne, is called the courfe of licence.

During this long interval, he hadnot attended to the theological and pretended philofophical ftudies of the university of Paris, more than was neceffary to pass the ordinary examinations and thefes. Urged by his difpofition, or perhaps in compliance with the mere want of entertainment to fill his time, and exert his activity, he ran through, without diftinction or regularity, every department of literature, ftudied the mathematics and natural philofophy, and endeavoured to initiate himself into the arts, particularly mufic. An involuntary inclination, nevertheless, led him to meditation. He was much attached to works of metaphyfics and morality; and has often faid, that no books had ever afforded him more lively fatisfaction than those of Locke, Condillac, and Bonnet. In them he faw men having the fame intereft, the fame instinct, and bufied upon one common object.

His fuperiors had, according to their cuftom, infpected his reading and his writings. They had found among his papers fome scientific projects of confiderable novelty. They configned in their regifter the following note: "Sieyes fhews a difpofi "tion of fome ftrength for the fci


[ocr errors]


"ences: but it is to be feared, that he avoided all the functions, and al his private reading may give him, the occafions which might hold him› tafte for the new pbilofophical forward manifeftly as a clergyman. "principles." They comforted themfelves, however, by obferving his decided love of retirement and study, the fimplicity of his manners and his character, which even then appeared to be practically philofophical. "You may make him, they once wrote to his bishop, a canon, as he is a gen«tleman, and a man of information. "But we muft advife you, that he is by no means fit for the ecclefiafti"cal miniftry."



Sieyes, having finished his licence in the Sorbonne, neglected the formality of the doctor's bonnet,and entered the world at the age of twentyfour.

Part of the year 1773 and 1774 was employed in cultivating mufic, then at the period of a revolution at Paris, and partly in refuting the fyftem of the Economifts. He made, or fuppofed he had made, in thofe years, important researches concerning the irregular proceedings of the human mind, in philofophy, metaphyfics, language, and intellectual me. thods.

He departed in 1775 for Brittany, with a bishop who was going to be inftalled; and who, in order to carry Sieyes with him had procured him the Brevet de joyeux avenement on his cathedral. A fhort time after taking poffeffion of his canonicate, he was at liberty to return to Paris. He was indebted for this to one of the titles or brevets given at Versailles, by virtue of which the revenues of his benefice could be received at Paris. An opportunity prefented of changing his fituation. He be came fucceffively vicar general, canon, and chancellor of the church of Chartres. In the midst of these mutations there is nothing worthy of remark, except his extreme care to avoid interfering in any minifterial duty. He never preached; he never took confeffion;

At that time the clergy of France was divided into two kinds or claf fes of individuals, the ecclefiaftics preachers and the ecclefiaftics adminiftrators. Sieyes was at most of the fecond clafs. He was deputy to the States of Bretagne, for the diocefe where he had his firft benefice; and on this occafion we may remark, that nothing could equal the indignation he brought from this affembly,' against the fhameful oppreflion in which the noblefe held the unhappy third state of the people.

At that time he had a permanent administrative employment at Paris, He was counsellor commiffary nomi nated by the diocese of Chartres to the fuperior chamber of the clergy of France.

When the Provincial Affembly of Orleans was formed, Sieyes had fome reputation for his adminiftrative knowledge. He was nominated a member, not by the advice of the Minifter, but of thofe already elected. He gave proofs of fome capacity for business, and a patriotic difpofition: fo that he was ftrongly invited by the affembly to take the prefidency of the intermediary commiffion. He performed the functions for a fhort time.

On the day when the chambers were exiled to Troyes, Sieyes gave the advice to go inftantly to the palace, to arrest and hang the Minister, who figned orders evidently arbitrary, illegal, and profcribed by the people. But his advice did not prevail.

It was during his leifure in the country, where he was in the habit of paffing two-thirds of the year, that he compofed, in the fummer of 1788, towards the end of the ministry of Cardinal Loménie, his Vues fur les Moyens d' Exécution dont les Repréfen tans de la France pourront difpofer in


1789 *, with this infcription, calculated to fhew his intention: "We 66 may elevate our defires to the extent of our rights; but our projects must be measured by our "means." This pamphlet was delivered to the printer, and was advancing towards publication, when, on his return to Paris, he thought fit to fufpend its appearance. The political question which interefted and employed the minds of all France, feemed already to have changed its nature; it was forced to yield to the modifications which the pretenfions of the different claffes had urged. It was no longer the whole nation, defirous of afferting its rights agint the abfolute power of royalty; it was the nobility, ever ready to form combinations, who, taking advantage of the reunion and difpleasure of the Notables, had no other aim than that of urging their own interests against thofe of the people, with the hope, likewise, of causing the Minifter to confirm their account, as well as their new pretenfions, fimply by putting him in fear. This was the circumftance which led Sieyes to write his Effai fur les Privileges t, and immediately afterwards, his work entitled, Qu'est-ceque le Tiers-Etat t. It is ealy, by comparing thefe two publications with the former, to fhew how different, though not oppofite, their fpirit is to that in which he traced his Vues fur les Moyens d' Exécution. These three pamphlets appeared immediately following each other, at the end of 1788, and the beginning of 1789.

The Tiers-Etat of Paris, which the Minifters had thought fit to convene very late, had to nominate twenty deputies to the States General. It was agreed by the electoral affembly, that neither a noble nor a priest

fhould be eligible. After the nineteenth fcrutiny, the vote of exclufion was refcinded, and the majority of votes, at the last ballot, were in favour of the author of Qu'est-ce que le Tiers?

The States General were affembled, and feveral weeks were confumed in vain difputes refpecting the verification of the powers. The public, all France, expected, with impatience, the first efforts of the reprefentatives of the people. Sieyes dared to cut the cable which ftill confined the veffel near the shore.

He thought it became him to endeavour to put in practice the principles which had made him known, and procured him the truft he poffeffed; opinions which became every day more decidedly thofe of the people at large. No man has more openly and decidedly fhewn his manner of thinking, and the principles of his conduct. He fpoke with fuccefs to the National Affembly, on the 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, and 23d of June. But our prefent intention is not to give a detail of fuch objects as come under the province of history.

We may diftinguifh the political career of Sieyes into three intervals; from the opening of the States General to that of the Convention. The firft dates from the day wherein he uttered thefe words :-They wish to be free; but they know not how to be just.

These words efcaped him-and they were received by the ear of Paffion. Hatred and the fpirit of faction was earneftly difpofed to preferve them: and falfehood added its commentaries. Under their united efforts, that which was improperly called his influence difappeared. In the fufpicions exhibited around him, he obferved the work of calumny.


*Views of the Executive Means which are at the Difpofal of the Representa tives of France, in 1789.

Effay on Privileges.

What is this Third Eftate?

« 이전계속 »