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to its object and its plan of execution. This unheard-of refinement in piracy, which must be chronicled in a year in which we were in alliance, and living in peace and friendship with the French nation, has been planned and cxecuted in broad daylight, in the centre of our republic: in spite of and in opposition to our laws, consistent with this fyftem, mercenary and abandoned privateers, who destroy our navigation, would complete its ruin, by fettering its last resource, viz. the trade of this republic. The vessels destined for these depredations are even fitted out in our own harbours. Even their own papers betray the fraudulent intentions of the owners. The French, who for some time since have been prohibited from engaging in the fitting out privateers in their own country, are received here with open arins. Here the muster-rolls are drawn up, here the letters of marque, &c. are distributed, and the agents of the French republic, residing at the different ports in particular, are privy to the fitting out of these hoftile fhips. But far from being intended to cruise against the enemy, far from running the least risk on this account; these flender vefsels proceed undisturbed to the various places of their pretended destination. There they wait for their sacrifices; there they lurk for that which may escape the open hostility of the English. Yes, we tremble to say it (only truth and candour is the character of republicans), there can nothing escape the cruelty of these freebooters. How is it, Citizens Directors, that thefe abuses have been suffered to continue without interruption? Can any prudence restrain or check the laws against such proceedingsor why are the laws suffered to sleep? Thus far we have confidered the subject only in a political point of view. When it is looked at as a commercial object, a number of questions much more alarming will be the natural result. But we will not wound your bleeding bosoms by a more open display; the more so as the increasing decay of our commerce muft ever be a subject of regret. No, Citizens Directors, the French Directory is ignorant of ihese piracies--they have been perpetrated without their knowledge-they have not even imagined that such hostile abuses could have existed. The fentiments which have hitherto animated them are proofs to us of their ignorance of our complaints, and this is at present our only comfort and support. The use you will make of this representation of our sufferings, and the denunciation of this system of rapine, are left to your pleasure and discretion. It is hoped the honest warmth, candour, and uprigleness of true republicans will afford a ftill greater claim upon the good-will and esteem of the French Executive Directory. But it is not merely the disowning a handful of vile avaricious men, unworthy of the name of French citizens, that we are warranted to expect from the magnanimity of the French Directory, to whom their proceedings have been hitherto unknown; it is not this alone that will answer the demands of a found policy. No; we are moreover convinced that the excellent decisions of the first magiftrates in Europe will clearly tend to show their absolute persuafion, that it is the interest even of the French republic to remove the grievances we complain of; and that it is also requisite for the fafety of the neutral Hags in our ports, as well as for the property of the Batavian merchants and others, that redress should not be withheld.
It may be asked, whether the ports and rivers, now almost deserted, thall be left in this situation? Whether the consignments shall be given into other hands? Whether our navigation shall be given up, to increase and promote that of the common enemy? Is not the preservation of these havens and sea-ports necessary for the support of our allies, and the commerce of the North the invaluable resources of our marine, in receiving the various productions of pitch, tar, hemp, and all kinds of grain. Convinced by these considerations, the French Directory, we confidently trust, will, through your representations, take the most effectual measures for the purpose of putting an end to this barbarous system (the object of our complaints). May this disposition increase the friendly sentiments of both nations, by an everlasting union, and draw closer the sacred bands by which we are at present connected, and which can alone preserve the indivifibility and welfare of both republics.
We submit, Citizens Directors, our thoughts in the plain and simple guise of truth, beseeching you to make such a use of these our requests, as your patriotic fentiments, and the love of our dear country, may inspire. Health and respect. By order of the above-mentioned committee,
H. BROEL, Sec.
In regard to the depredations committed by French privateers upon the Dutch trade, the first chamber decreed,
That no privateer be suffered to capture, in Dutch rivers and waters, any thip belonging to neutral or allied nations, under a penalty of 3000 guilders, to be paid by the captain and crew of the privateer, two-thirds of which to go to the poor, and one third to the crew of the ship which rescues the captured thip; further, that, under the same penalty, no prize of the above description, when taken in foreign parts, shall be carried into any port of the republic.
The second chamber fanctioned the decree passed by the first chamber.
Decree Decree of the Legislative Body of Helvetia.
Arau, 2015 Sept. 1798. THE Legislative Councils, considering that the legislators of
the republic have sacred duties to fulfil, after the sad events in which they have seen on one side a portion of the children of Helvetia milled by fanatical priests, and deceived by foreign and perfidious emissaries, rise against the mother-country, abjure the constitution which they had accepted, and arm against their brethren ; and on the other side, magistrates, equally courageous and wise, repressing revolt by the sole force of the republic, that is to say, by the zeal of the good citizens who are animated by the love of liberty and the Helvetic union; that they have seen too, the brave French army lavishing their blood in the support of their allies, and gaining a victory, affli&ing without doubt, because obtained over our milled brethren; but glorious and salutary, inasmuch as it overwhelms fanaticism, and establishes the republic upon bases not to be shaken :-considering that as faithful organs of the Helvetic people, the representatives ought to express the sentiments as well as the will of the people, and that it belongs to them to decree in their name to the valiant defenders of the country the sole recompence worthy of them, the expresions of the gratitude of a free people; to the rebels, and, above all, to the infamous authors of this parricidal plot, the penalty due to their crimes:—finally, to the unfortunate who have suffered the destructive scourge of war, the succours which they may expect from a mother-country :--the Legislative Councils taking into consideration the ineffage of the Directory of the 17th September, decree, after having declared urgency:
1. The Legislative Body declare solemnly, that the French army and the Citizen General Schawenbourg have deserved well of the Helvetic republic.
2. Honourable mention shall be made in the register of the energetic conduct of Citizen Bolt, prefect of the canton of Sentis, of the communes of the cantons that have risen for the cause of liberty ; of Citizen Hoes, prefect of the canton of Linth; of the prefects of Lucerne and Wadstatten; of the sub-prefects; of the communes and citizens of Helvetia who have signalized themselves for the maintenance of freedom and the constitution.
3. The rebels, and principally the authors and accomplices in the conspiracy against the country, shall be prosecuted criminally, and tried according to the constitution, articles 93 and 94.
4. The orphans left by the patriots who perished on that occafion shall be brought up at the expense of the republic.
Finally, there shall be made throughout Helvetia a voluntary collection in favour of the persons burnt out in the district of Vol. VII.
Stantz, and of those in the adjacent parts who may have suffered in consequence of those events: the amount of the collection thall be transmitted to the Directory, who shall distribute it.
Meffage of the Helvetic Directory on the 3d of Oktober 1798, 19
the Legisative Body in their Meeting at Lucerne. THE Executive Directory expected with impatience the moment of your union. It congratulates you on having resumed your labours. The pure joy it experiences, and which it has already expreffed to you, is a fure pledge that it beholds in
Citizens Representatives, its elder brothers, some time abfent from one common family, and returned to labour for its prosperity and happiness. Since the period of our separation, we have received the commercial advantages stipulated by our treaty with France. Thus this pledge, so effential to our national existence, has been folly confirmed.
On the other hand, our foreign affairs are not become more auspicious. Peace between the great powers seems to be far off, and we find them on the point of renewing hostilities, without our possessing the means of protecting ourselves. We are surrounded by conspirators and evil-minded people, who correfpond with thofe that wish to introduce trouble and disorders.Poffefling your confidence, and supported by you, Citizens Representatives, we shall escape whatever dangers may threaten us. We come to deposit in your borom our devotion to the country, and our good withes for the national reprefentation.
Proclamation of the Austrian General on entering the Country of the
Grifons. THE lawful chiefs and magistrates of the laudable republic of
the three orders in Rhetia, appointed and authorized in legal form, having, in virtue of ancient eternal alliances and treaties, applied to his Imperial Royal Apostolic Majesty for the preservation and protection of the ancient constitution, liberty, and tranquillity of their country, his Imperial Royal Apoftolic Majefty has, in consideration of the subsisting treaties, most graciously charged us to advance with the corps of troops under our orders into the country of the Grisons, for the fole purpose of afferting, in compliance with the above request, the independence and integrity of the Rhotian republic, and to maintain the ancient constitution of the country, the dignity and authority of the magistrates lawfully appointed, and the enjoyment of all the liberties, rights, and privileges of the Grifons.
The undersigned commanding General announces therefore to all citizens, communes, high courts, and orders throughout Rhe. tia, that they are to consider the march of the Imperial royal troops into their country as a friendly, peaceful, and protecting measure, having no other object than to co-operate with the present lawful government in the preservation of the lawful order, constitution, and tranquillity. (Signed)
Majesty, and comınarding General of the troops
detached to the country of the Grisons. Feldkirch, 1216 October 1798.
Proclamation by the General in Chief to the French Army in
Switzerland. My Comrades, THE treaty of alliance concluded between the Helvetic and
French republics has given you an idea of the esteem which our government has for a nation celebrated for its ancient love of liberty. You have been victorious to your own difadvantage. By an unfortnnate error, while you thought you were defending your own independence, you have been defending the privileges of a few families. The moment is arrived when Helvetians, min. gling in your ranks, will follow the traces of their forefathers, and will share your glory and your dangers. If the gold of the English and their intrigues retard the peace which humanity demands, and the French government cordially wishes, what hope can remain to enemies so often vanquished by us, when we are united with a nation which has more than once proved its bravery ?
My comrades, the Helvetic Directory has invited its fellow. citizens to hold themselves ready to march in defence of the country. When circumstances shall require them to join us, you will find in them friends and brothers, and you will both be eager to emulate each other in valour and courage. You ought to rekindle those sentiments in your hearts, by redoubling your affection for citizens who share their habitations with you, and by showing your respect for the constituted authorities.
May an union the most cordial, a friendship the most intimate, reign between the Helvetic and French republics; and may that union operate as an example to yours with the Helvetians !
You will thus fulfil my dearest wilh. We shall be all more happy, and the hopes of our common enemies will yet be annihilated.
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