« PreviousContinue »
to a measure which the worst sycophants of that Despetism are ashamed to avow and support.*
We have another and more satisfactory reason for noticing this Proposal, namely, that it betrays the uneasiness of the Directory respecting the approaching Elections, and that, notwithstanding the Legislative steps already taken to place them under their controul, and the Military precautions now taking with the same view, they are not so sure that the Jacobin interest will prevail against the general sentiments and wishes of the Country, as the Friends of Peace and Public Tranquillity have been disposed to apprehend.
Whilst we are upon this subject, and as a strong proof how much the attention of the Directory is taken up with the means of securing the Elections, we cannot omit noticing a Report made to the Council of Antients, on the 30th of January, on a Decree passed without opposition by the other Council, for transferring, in almost every Department, the Electoral Assemblies for the ensuing year to some new place, instead of the principal Town in each, fixed upon by the former Law, and at which they have hitherto been held. The reason assigned, says the Reporter (Rouault) in the other Council, in favour of the new Regulation, is, “ THAT THE POPULATION OF THE PRINCIPAL Towns (Chefs-lieux) of 45 DEPARTMENTS, IS DECIDEDLY ADVERSE TO A REPUBLICAN
* Morning Chronicle of Tuesday last." Whatever motives may dic. “ 'tate this proposal, it appears an improvement upon the former prac“ tice, at least while the Government is yet young and unfixed. — It “ will tend to consolidate the Government, and to prevent the Execu“ tive Power from being affected by the inexperience or the faction of " the new Legislators !”
Government.” — Without disproving this allegation, he states, that the new places of Election, fixed by the Council of Five Hundred, are in most instances in some corner or extremity of the respective Departments, at the greatest possible distance (often seventy or eighty miles) from the residence of the great body of Electors ; in many cases small Villages, where the Electors (should they attend) cannot be accommodated, except in Tents. The principal exception to this disposition, he observes, is Marseilles, a large Town, “ but notoriously governed by “ the most blood-thirsty Terrorists in France."
Upon these grounds, he had the courage to propose the rejection of the Decree. This was opposed ; and, though the farther discussion of it was adjourned, we apprehend the Council of Antients will not be at liberty to over-rule the views of the Jacobins, in an object so essential to their influence at the future Elections.
On the 2d of February, the Directory, by an Arrété, ordered the City of Lyons to be declared in a state of Siege. The real object of this most violent measure is probably to overawe, or entirely to supersede, the Elections in that part of France, and to strike terror into other great Towns in which the Moderate Party is supposed to prevail.
Among other reasons alledged by the Directory, as the grounds of this Measure, it is stated in their Arrêté, that so general is the disaffection, that from want of courage in a few, and of disposition in the great number, no person can be found in that great City willing to hold 'any public Employment, and that it has not enjoyed its due Share of the advantages of the glorious 18th of Fructidor (4th September). How it can be a stranger to those advantages, we are at a loss to conjecture. Were
M m 2
not its Representatives in both Councils proscribed ? Were not its Juries, and every Public Officer appointed by the People, dismissed, and replaced by others chosen by the Directory ? - Have not Trade and Confidence, which began to revive, been again annihilated there, as in every other Town of France ?-Is it not to pay its share of the enormous Requisitions and Taxes that have since been laid ?-When with the events of that day, the prospect of returning Peace, internal Tranquillity, Order, and Justice, vanished from all France, could it still dawn on the une fortunate City of Lyons ?
What then could be wanting at Lyons, to complete such signal benefits? to give it up to military execution, or, in the words of the Directory (perfectly expressive, we admit, of the spirit of the Government since the 18th Fructidor) thereby to give it a full participation in all the salutary effects of that glorious day.—Who is the worthy successor of Collot D'Hereois, in the Command of the atrocities to which Lyons is now a prey, we have not yet learnt ; but we have little doubt he will complete, to the satisfaction of his Employers, the career of destruction in which that Monster was interrupted by the death of ROBESPIERRE.
The infamous GARAT, the same who read the Sentence of Death to the late King of FRANCE, is appointed Ambassador of the Republic to the King of NAPLES.
The fate of Switzerland, we apprehend, is decided; but as we do not know the exact price, either in Territory or Contribution, which France is to receive for its fraternizing assistance, nor the precise plan of its new Govern
EXAMINER. 533 ment, we must reserve the melancholy details of this Event for our next Number.
Upon the best authority, we can assure our Readers, that the Loan upon England does not fill; and that, at the date of our last Intelligence, the great Nation, with all its credit, all its tricks, and all its terror, had not been able to borrow as many Livres as the public spirit of ENGLISHMEN has cheerfully subscribed, in Voluntary Donation, Pounds Sterling, to what Mr. Jekyl has so patriotically called the National Begging Box,
N° XVI.-MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1798.
The spirit of our ancestors is up;
TT might have been supposed that differences of opinion I would prevail, as to the policy of raising part of the Supplies by means of VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS. Some persons might disapprove of having recourse to them at all; others might agree with Mr. SHERIDAN ", that they ought to be resorted to in the first instance, postponing the Loan and increase of the existing Taxes ; - and others might think it expedient to receive such Contributions in aid of the other measures of Finance,
* « Might not the whole plan be postponed, except that which « provides for Voluntary Contributions ? and I am sure, for one, I “ have no objection to read the Bill, in that case, three times in “ one day, that we may try this experiment.” – Mr. SHERIDAN'S Speech on the 3d Reading of tbe Assessed Tax Bill. - DEBRETT’S Parliamenta, ry Register, p. 577.