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His determination was foon made; to neglect the remarks of folly; to profit by this miftruft, by diminishing his labours; to appear feldom in the tribune, for which, in other refpects, he found himself little fuited; but he continued to work ufefully in the committees, and the more fo, as he did not there meet with a kind of obftacle he found it impoffible to combat; namely, that of treachery, applauded and fupported by thofe very men who have the greatest interest in unmasking it.

In this manner he bore a more or lefs eonfiderable fhare in the great labours and important queftions which occupied the Affémbly; though it is proper to fay, if for no other purpose than that of accuracy, that none of his plans were adopted without mutilation, and a mixture of other matter, more or less foreign to the object. A part of his projects and memoirs has remained behind, if it be not loft, among the papers of the cnmmittees, and by himself they are scarcely ever remembered.

This compofed the fecond period of his political life, lefs active, lefs public, but often as laborious as the former, and which ended in June 1791. After a certain length of time, Sieyes had reafon to fufpect the preparatives for a coalition of certain parties. They fpoke of the neceffity of a fecond chamber, in the English mode, rendered more perfect according to a French fashion, which, they faid, "ought neceffarily to be the portion of the minority of the nobleffe, "because they were the effective

cause of the Revolution."

Already had certain members of the Affembly, far from being leaders of the intention, but acquainted with all the intrigues, made a motion to divide the legislative body into two fections; a motion admitted by many good deputies; but very different from the nobilitary project of two chambers, though calculated to facili.

tate its admiffion during the heat or `the wandering of debate. It became Sieyes to confider the proceeding with anxiety; Sieyes, who had first held out the distinction of orders in a ftate as a political monster, and had placed among the focial principles, the unity and equality of the people, and the unity and equality of its legiflative reprefentation.

He addreffed himself to various chiefs of the parties, to clear up his doubts. They had the duplicity to affure, and to fwear to him, that no with was entertained to impair or di• minifh the principle of equality. He was not convinced, and therefore adopted the defign to compel them to exhibit their fentiments in more open day. He compofed, with another, a project of a declaration to be voluntarily fubfcribed, the object of which was, in fact, no more than the oath of equality decreed fifteen months before by the legislative body, fubfequent to the 10th of Auguft 1792. It contained befides an engagement to maintain the unity and equality. of the reprefentation charged to vote the law; and that in all cafes, not excepting that of the motion already made for two fections, if decreed by the Affembly. It is to be remarked, that Sieyes received, on all hands, the highest encouragement, and the most preffing inftances to the fpeedy. accomplishment of his defign.

The writing here mentioned was fcarcely gone to prefs, before these men procured a copy. A moft virulent defamatory libel was put into the hands of a dangerous ignorant man, Salles, who was charged to commence the attack, by reading it at the Jacobins. It was previously adjusted, that this was to be received with the most violent applaufe. Such measures being taken, then followed a manoeuvre of the most extraordinary kind of calumny on the one part, and grofs ignorance on the other. The declaration was not yet publish


ed, a few proofs only having been hrft intrusted to thofe only who had engaged to collect fignatures, when Sieyes was folemnly denounced on the 19th June, 1791, from the tribune of the Jacobins, as having formed the counter-revolutionary project, ift, Of reviving the nobility; 2d, Of inftituting two legiflative chambers; and, 3d, Of having inundated the 83 departments with a formulary for fignature for this criminal purpofe. As a proof of this, a copy of the fill yet unpublished declaration was prefented; a declaration compofed, ex profeffo, against the two fup. pofed projects. But it was the fupporters of the nobility and of the two chambers who managed this denunciation, and conducted all the detail of this ftrange hoftility! It must be efpecially remarked, that the King was to take his flight the following day, in the night between the 20th and 21ft, and that the mafters of this Jacobin convulfion were accomplices in that act. Time, which has unveiled the whole of this manoeuvre, has equally discovered the intention of the coalitionary leaders. They fuppofed they could much more effectually infure the fuccefs of their odious defigns, if they could facrifice Sieyes, or at leaft render him fo far fufpected, that it fhould be impoffible for him to gain attention at the first eclat of this meditated flight; for they were well acquainted with his pinion of the abfurdity of acknowledging, as a reprefentative, any one who fhould not have been freely elected by the body reprefented. This accounts for the precipitation in denouncing a work not yet published, and the page of the libel, where too early mention is made of fending it into the departments. This anečdote, the developement of which to the Jacobins, in the midst of studied rage, lafted three days, was fo difgufting to the few impartial honeft men of that fociety, that they reEd. Mag. Jan. 1796.


turned thither no more. In its detail, as well as in the difavowals, both fucceffive and combined, of ma


of thofe who figned, and of fome others who were not in the fecret, it exhibits a mafs of little vile paffions, a combination of wickedness and treachery.

As to Sieyes, he was not aware of his danger. He prepared to reply. On the day after the 20th June, he had already annexed, in print, to the calumniated declaration, a narrative" of the extraordinary fcene which had paffed at the Jacobins. He was about to publish this, but the general inquietude on the 21ft June; the delufion of the public, fo eafily led to act upon the nearest and most striking objects; the great mass of incidents and abominable attempts, ftill little known, which filled that and the following days; the fmall, and almoft imperceptible number of deputies who had remained faithful and pure; and, laftly, the unsteady, hameless, and utterly unprincipled reign of the famous revifing coalition, infpired Sieyes with his ultimate determination. It was to fhut himfelf up decidedly in a philofophical filence.

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Here ended, as we have already remarked, the fecond period of the career of Sieyes.

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From this moment, during the whole fitting of the legislative af fembly till the opening of the convéntion, he remained a complete ftranger to all the political action. is the third interval, and prefents nothing remarkable, except his peaceable contempt for the fuppofitions of which he has not ceafed to be the object. But to return to the facts:

At the first formation of the department of Paris, he was elected adminiftrator and member of the directory. The sketch of the ufeful operations he performed in this fituation is no part of the object of this writing, any more than the account


of his fpeeches or writings in the conftituent affembly.

It was alfo propofed to make him bishop of Paris. He faw that he was urged to this place by enemies as well as friends: but his opinions alone made it his duty not to accept it. At the moment of election, he wrote to the electoral body, to ac quaint them with his intended refufal.

The conflituent affembly had fcarce ly clofed its fittings, before he refigned his place in the department, and retired into the country, about a league from Paris.

He had been on a vifit to a friend, at the distance of more than fixty leagues from Paris, and was fill there when he heard of the events of the 10th of Auguft. This great event gave him no furprize. It was naturally to be expected. He wrote to Paris, that if the infurrection of the 14th of July was the revolution of the French, that of the roth of Auguft might be called the revolution of the patriots; but, at the fame time, he asked, whether the legiflative body had feized the government, and propofed to direct the fame with out participation, till the new convention fhould meet ?

The events at the end of Auguft and beginning of September prove that the legislative body wanted Atrength. It durft not feize the reins of government.

The hopes of Sieyes for the public welfare had been re-animated, though, in truth, they ought to have been de. preffed. He waited in expectation of the early fittings of the Convention, and propofed to retreat, during the winter, to a place fill more remote than his refidence at that time. In the midst of thefe reflections, he learned that he had been chofen deputy to the Convention by three Departments. This was without his knowledge, for he had no perfonal acquaintance in either of the three.

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Neither his difpofition nor his incli nation could lead him to a poft in which he no longer confidered himfelfas enabled to ferve his country. But the circumftances of the times did not admit of a refufal, which would furely have been mifinterpreted. He therefore flowly proceeded to Paris, where he arrived, and attended the Convention the fame day, Sep. 21ft. From the objects, from the figures, which on all fides claimed his attention and aftonishment, as well as from the difcourfes he heard, he might, without dereliction of mind, have thought himfelf tranfported by magic to an unknown country at the extremity of the earth.


He found himself a ftranger to all he met, and particularly foto the men in power, with whom his unliappy fate feemed to command him to become intimate. He applied to obfervation, while they urged the enter prize they had formed to vanquish and deftroy the Convention already degraded by their prefence.

Several times he endeavoured to be ufeful otherwife than by fimple affiduity at the fittings. Among his perfectly ineffectual attempts, we may quote his report of the 13th of January 1793, upon the provifionary organization of the adminiftration of war, a report at first received with the filence of inquifitive curiofity, afterwards calumniated and ridiculed, and at last rejected by all parties.

He laboured to organize a new eftablishment for public inftruction; which must not be confounded with the incurable madnefs of fixing dogmatically, and legiflatively decreeing the materials of inftruction.

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His plan was at the time it appeared the fhorteft, and is ftill the moft complete of any which have been prefented. The Committee of Infruction, after having adopted, charged one of its members, to whom the Affembly was well difpofed, to report the fame from the tribune.

It was not ill received. The Con- hand, and without difcuffion.

vention adjourned the difcuffion to a near day. The reporter, in conformity to the prudence of the times, thought proper previously to fubmit it to the affembly called La Reunion; where, after fome flight amendments, there remained no difference of opinion, excepting on the manner of paffing it, whether in toto, or article by article.

The following day, or the next day but one, the name of Sieyes was mentioned, together with the plan of inftruction. It was earnestly deman. ded in certain groupes, whether Sieyes was the author; and, upon the affirmative anfwer, the difpofitions were immediately changed. They pretended to mistrust his views and intentions. The plan was perufed, and re-perufed, with a ridiculous earneftnefs, not unlike that of the monkey infpecting a looking-glafs. By repeated examination, affifted by the keennefs of fufpicion, doubts and difhculties were firft raised, and foon afterwards it became an indubitable fact, that this etch contained a compleat fyftem of counter-revolution and federalism. The reporter was feverely taken to talk, for hay ing dared to prefent in the tribune a ny thing which had not been written by a member of the Mountain. It was confidered in the fame light as if he had been entrapped. The affair foon became of importance; it was treated in a revolutionary way; thofe who fought for an opportunity, imagined they had found it; the word order is given; the new patriots, on the 30th of June, ran to hear a truly delirious oration of Haffenfratz against Sieyes. The journals repeat the declamation, but refufe to admit the plan itself. The former day, upon the formal demand of Robespierre, in the Convention, this project was rejected with a high


Committee of Public Safety, at length, did not fail to exclude Sieyes from the Committee of Public inftruction," where he had been placed by a special decree of the Convention.

At this time obftacles of another nature, and truly infurmountable, came forward *. Sieyes, more infulated than ever, found it neceffary to confine himfelf, with the utmost trienefs, to the line of his duty.

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His fortune, at the commencement of the Revolution, confifted in benefices and penfions to the amount of feven or eight thoufand livres annually; in three fmall portions of annuities on the Hotel de Ville at Paris, making together the fam of eight hundred and forty livres ; and, laftly, in various fums lent on fecurity, which comprehended his patrimony, and favings for nine or ten years. The total, at that time, amounted to the principal fum of forty-fix or forty-feven thoufand livres. The article of favings had for its motive the defign of retiring to the United States of America, as foon as he could form a capital fufficient and transportable; its bafis confifted in the fimplicity of his manner of living, joined to the facility of entering into no expence during two-thirds of the year, which he paffed in the country with his Bifhop, at a few leagues diftance from Chartres.

After the decrees which put the property of ecclefiaftics into the hands of the nation, Sieyes concluded that he fhould foon be reduced to his own private and independent property. He had at that time renounced the defign of quitting his country. He therefore collected all the portions of his perfonal capital, in order to found upon it his future title to independence, by fecuring to himself at least the ftrict neceffaries of life. With this view he purchased, of one of the

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*Jufque datum Sceleri. Lucian,


most established commercial houses, an annuity of one thousand crowns, at nine per cent, by a principal fum of about thirty thousand livres. The contract was figned before notaries, at the beginning of the year 1791. The remainder of the fame capital increased, by a fmall addition, to the fum of fourteen thousand livres, was entrusted to one of his brothers, to be invested in landed property, at the distance of more than two hundred leagues from Paris. The laft decrees refpecting the indemnities of ancient incumbents having reduced the ecclefiaftical revenue of Sieyes, like thofe of all others, to one thousand livres, he offered the fame to his country in the tribune of the Convention, on the 20th of Brumaire, in the fecond year of the Republic [Nov. 10, 1793]: fo that the fortune of Sieyes confifts, if he is to be credited, in one life annuity of three thousand livres, and another of eight hundred and forty livres, befides the fum before-mentioned entrusted to his brother.

The caution which Sieyes had hitherto ufed had preferved him amidst the deftruction both of friends and enemies, and seems to have impofed on him a refolution to avoid any fitua

tion of refponfibility, which could not but be held with danger. From the time, therefore, that he publicly gave up the emoluments of his ecclefiaftical preferments, we hear nothing of him until after the fall of Robespierre, when he was in fome measure forced. into public notice, and compelled to take a fhare in the administration of affairs. He has fince come forwards on the formation of the new conftitution, with a propofal which has been rejected, and has lately been named one of the five fovereigns of the new monarchy of France, which elevation he has alfo declined. A perfon who has had fo great a share in the tran factions of the laft seven years in France is not likely, at the prefent period, to be fpoken of with a temperate regard to truth: by one party he will be vilified and abufed; by the other he will be elevated above the point of humanity. To time, therefore, we leave him, with a wish that the horrid fcenes which have lately degraded that unfortunate kingdom may never be repeated, and that the perpetrators and advifers, whoever they may be, who have hitherto efcaped, may yet meet with condign punishment.



LORD CHATHAM feems to havebeen one of thofe fuperior fpirits, who, in mercy to mankind, are permitted occafionally to vifit this lower world, to revive or create Nations, and to decide the fate of Empires.

The British Empire, finking under the difability of his immediate predeceffors, foon regained its prif tine vigour under the influence of Lord Chatham. His great mind pervaded every part of it, and, like

the torch of Prometheus, illumined and animated the whole. Called into power at the middle time of life, and with fome experience in the compli cated bufinefs of politics, by the voice of the people, and againft the inclination of his Sovereign, he never had the infolence to declare with what rank only of the executive department of Government he would do his Country the honour and favour to be contented. In oppofition sto


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