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Form of the Oath taken by the Inhabitants of Zurich on the 22d
February. WE swear to establish for ourselves a constitution without
the intervention of foreign powers, which shall have for its bafis religion and virtue, and which shall lay the foundation of liberty and equality upon the rights of the state and of citizens, and consequently the sovereignty of the people, by which we shall be able to remain Swiss confederated and independent, and which thall guarantee to us the observance of the laws, the security of persons and property, public and private.
Decree published on the 2d of March by the Sovereign Council of the
State of Soleure. WE, the avoyer, great and little councils and deputies of the
towns and country of the republic of Soleure, make known by these presents, that the representatives of the people assembled in our presence, according to the tenour of their inftruâions, have insisted that the ancient form of government should be maintained in all its parts; nevertheless, after maturely reflecting on the circumstances of the prefent crisis, and from paternal folicitude for the welfare and tranquillity of the state, we have come to the resolution of effe ding such alterations in the present form of our government as fall introduce an equality of rights between the inhabitants of the towns and those of the communes.
I. Above all, we have taken, in the presence of Almighty God, a solemn oath to maintain inviolate our holy religion, as it has been transmitted to us by our forefathers; to defend it at the risk of our property and life, and to live and die faithful to its principles.
II. That we will defend, to the last man, against all enemies whatsoever, that precious jewel of liberty and independence which our ancestors purchafed for us with their blood; and that, acting in the character of free Swiss, we will never separate ourfelves from the Helvetie confederacy; but, on the contrary, we will religiously fulfil all the duties which we have contracted in virtue of existing alliances.
III. We will decree and ordain, that henceforth every citi. zen shall enjoy the right of being eligible to all the offices of government and public administration, and that the distinction which hitherto prevailed among the burgesses of the commune of this town fhall henceforth cease.
IV. We further ordain, that a perfect equality shall take place between the citizens of the towns and country, in respect to the government and the right of representation ; that, consequently, the government shall be in close union with the people ; and that the burgesses of the commune of this town and those of the country communes shall participate equally in the legislative power, by means of representatives freely chosen by themselves.
v. That it shall exclusively belong to the legislative power so constituted, to declare war, make peace, enter into treaties or alliances, enact laws civil or criminal, impose general contributions, determine the constitution and form of government, and to confer, or confirm, all appointments to public offices.
VI. Our conftitution will thus be founded on the basis of equality, and form a democratic representation. A commission specially appointed for the purpose, in concert with the reprefentatives of the towns and communes, will forthwith enter on the talk of digesting and perfecting the new constitution.
VII. Nevertheless, we ordain that, in the interval, the go. vernment hitherto established shall continue to exist provisionally; that it Thall be every where respected, and remain in force until the formal acceptance and establishment of the new con. ftitution. Finally, that persons and property, public and prin vate, that of the state and of the communes, Thall be placed, under the protection of the laws, declared inviolable, and held sacred.
To the High and Mighty Lords, the Avoyer and Privy Council of
the City and Republic of Berne. High and Mighty Lords, Franckfort, Nov. 22d, 1797. AI LTHOUGH your Lordlips gave me no notification of the
demand which the Executive Directory of France have made to you, relative to my million, I could not be ignorant of what was notorious throughout Switzerland, and I thought it my duty to communicate it to my court, informing it, at the same time, of the insulting manner in which it was transmitted to you.
The King lees, in all this proceeding, which attacks equally the rights of nations and your ancient dignity and independence, the treacherous intention of breaking the ties which have at all times attached him to your states, and the project formed to fap the very foundations of the Helvetic union.
Persuaded of this truth, his Majesty, who, by sending his minister to Switzerland, meant to give a proof of his good-will and friendship towards your states, will not permit the continua tion of his relidence in your dominions to afford a pretext to the hostile projeds of a neighbour, whose ambition respects neither juflice nor the rights of sovereignty, and who are only endeavouring to extend to your happy countries a destructive system, VOL. VII. S
from which, by the assistance of Divine Providence, you have been able, hitherto, to protect yourselves. The King has, in consequence, ordered his whole embassy to withdraw from the Helvetic territory without delay.
In communicating this resolution to your Lordships, the King orders me to affure you that it is dictated only by his extreme folicitude, for the preservation of your tranquillity, and that your Lordships may depend upon the continuation of the good-will and friendship which have always directed his Majesty in his intercourse with your state,
I seize eagerly this opportunity, high and mighty Lords, to express my own full sense of the gracious manner in which I have been treated by your Lordships, and my regret at being no longer the organ of my fovereign's sentiments to you.
Permit me, high and mighty Lords, to express to your government in particular my fincere acknowledgments for all the goodness you have heaped upon me during my residence in your 'city,
Wherever I may be, I Thall never cease praying for your prosperity, and that, by the aslistance of the Almighty, your nation may continue to enjoy, under yons wise government, the inestimable advantages you fiave hitherto been able to give it.
I have the honour to be, &c.
PEACE AND SAFETY TO ALL HIS FRIENDS. Mengaud, Commissary of the Executive Directory, to the Inhabitants
of all the Countries not yet occupied by the French Republic, De-
equally decided the incorporation of your countries with the French republic
This proceeding of France is that of a free people, fubsti. tuted to the rights of the government, against nature, which weighs you down. And in as much as the exercise of those rights, become ours, did not take place sooner, by purging them of all that is incompatible with the dignity of man, it does not follow that we have forgotten that you are still in chains. We come to break them.
Happier than your fathers, whose blood flowed in the wars which laid the foundation of the different kinds of government in Switzerland, and which have only bequeathed you a burdensome
and degrading existence, you are at length going to enjoy the blessings of Providence, who only created men to make them members of one and the same fainily.
You knew nothing but tithes, corvées, &c. You had only prieits, nobles, and privileged persons : your trades, your induftry, your arts, in short your very subsistence, all bore the stamp of the facerdotal despotism so dexterously combined with a no less odious tyranny. Now, you are men: liberty and equality will no longer permit among you any other distinction than that of merit, ialents, and virtue. Called all indiscriminately to the helm of the society, in the support and safety of which you are all equally interested, your subsistence will, in future, be secure, the granaries of the French republic being the property of all its children. Your trade, encouraged within, protected without, will no longer be thackled. Industry, the arts, agriculture, will receive encouragements to be expected only from a nation victorious, free, powerful, and generous, enlightened on the nature of rights, and on the manner of exercising them.
Learn to appreciate these advantages, and merit them, by turning a deaf ear to the interested and treacherous infinuations of the evil-minded and of fools, who endeavour to fink the value of them in your eyes, and to mislead you.
We come among you as friends. We are your brothers. Do not be afraid of any ill treatment. Properties and persons shall be protected, as much as the enemies of liberty shall be made to suffer. The most exact and strict discipline shall be observed by the warriors, who have never had, nor ever will have, any other enemies than those of liberty. Such are the orders of the Executive Directory.
The Deputies of the Bernese People to their Fellow-citizens. WHEN, some days ago, we were called by your meetings to
fit in the midst of the government, you justly hoped that great advantages would result from it, and that the closer union of the citizens of the state would be the true means of protecting us successfully against the dangers that were every moment increasing, and more and more threatening our country. Your hope will not be disappointed, dear fellow-citizens ; and though in lo short a time it has not yet been possible for us to remove your fears upon the arrangements without, we have, nevertheless, taken a great step towards the triumph which we should defire; that is, by having increased our strength by a union most wise and most necessary. As a thousand little streams running by
themselves, and which, by a happy inclination, fall into one channel, form a powerful and majestic river ; so are we going to become a striking and formidable mass, whose courage and afsurance of a good cause cannot fail to obtain success.
Man is designed to improve his fate; it is one of the great bleilings attached to his nature. All the human difpofitions fhould make a progress according to circumstances; but the most important of all is the union of men under laws and government, which we call the state.
The edifice of our constitution, existing for ages, its very antiquity wonld be a respectable testimony in its favour, even if we had not a ftill more perfect proof in the general prosperity which the nation has enjoyed to the present time under its influence. However, as nothing which is the work of man can be perfect, our government, perhaps, has need of some reforms; and the fathers of the country have been long occupied in the means of effecting them without shocks and without agitations; for nothing is more dangerous than to touch, though ever so flightly, the conftitutional laws of a state. It seemed therefore that the present moment was not proper for this great work, and surely it might have produced much more valuable advantages had it been possible to delay it till happier times. Nevertheless, confefs it, dear fellow.citizens, a strong desire of innovation has appeared on your part. This wish was that of a small number, it is true ; but it was imprudent, if it came from yourselves; it was incompatible with that noble pride which ought to animate a free people, if it was the result of a foreign impulse.
It was to satisfy your views, that, as soon as we had taken our places in the assembly of the government, alterations were proposed to us which appeared useful to the general good of the country, and suitable to circumstances. We have supported those propositions with firmness, as you entrusted to us the care of co-operating as we should judge necessary for the safety of the country.
If it be true that our constitution was not exempt from abuses, which human weakness renders almost inseparable from governinents, how many have already disappeared through the wisdom and prudence of the administration? Did we not possess, in the fulleit extent it could have, the security of persons and property, the two most precious advantages of civil society? Can the administration be accused of a single deviation from justice? Can the members of our government be reproached with the least inclination that could look like corruption ? Could the treasures of the state be administered with stricter responsibility, with greater economy? And if the fertility of a parched and rocky soil, if the prosperity of a loyal nation, that has preserved the ancient purity of its manners, be the most certain proofs of the