Slike strani

in any manner. The important trust confided to ime, requires, for my own fecurity, other assurances than writings; for the enemy, warmed by the enthusiasm of its successes in Italy, will think itself justified if circumstances require to violate the neutrality, if bound to the contrary by indeterminate words only.

I desire then, Gentlemen, for the last time, that you assemble on the frontiers of the canton of Balle, troops sufficient for repelling force by force; in failure of which I will take all the measures that the urgency of the circumstances may command.

Bafle, May 28. OUR Magistrates, for fatisfying the request of General Wurmser, deputed an, envoy to the French general, begging him not to pass the limits of their frontier, and to avoid hoftilities, as the Swiss would oppose the most vigorous resistance to the least infult. The French general made a very candid answer, by alluring the Helvetic Body, that they might depend on the strict observation of the line of neutrality; that the assemblies of troops had no other object than to detect smugglers, and to cause the iinposts to be regularly paid on that frontier.

Proclamation of the Executive Directory to the Armies of the Sambre

and Meuse.

NEW cries of war arc heard on the banks of the Rhine.

What rage is it thus goads on our cruel enemy, who, amidit his disasters and our triumphs, has the temerity of breaking an armistice which he himself demanded, and you granted himn, in hopes of a {peedy peace ?-Guided by the ferocious English, he receives their gold and contempt as the price of his submission, and of the blood of his braveit warriors. Let then the republican bayonet reach the tottering thrones of the monsters coalesced against the human race, and strike terror into their bofoms! let your irresistible valour within a few days put a period to that ftruggle of the liberty of the people against tyranny, which has lafted but too long; and let the haughty despots, who still dare to fight against that liberty, at last bow submislive at the aspect of the republican banners!

May 23


Speech of Carnot, President of the Executive Directory, , in the Champ

de Mars, on the 26th May, the Day of the Celebration of the Féte

in Honour of the Victories gained in Italy. IT is at this moment that nature appears to be re-animated ;

that the earth, the parent of flowers and of verdure, holds out to our view new harvests; that all mankind publish the gratifying intelligence which revives the universe ; that the French people, at this folemn festival, render a distinguished homage to the talents and the virtues of the friends of humanity and of their country. Oh! what day can be better calculated to unite every heart, what citizen, what man can be a (tranger to the sentiment of gratitude ! we exist only by a long train of generous actions, and our life is nothing more than a continual interchange of services. Scarce do our eyes look up to heaven than they recognize the Supreme Benefador. Weak without support, the love of our parents watches over our infancy, and provides for our wants; in this period of our existence, they guide our first steps, their patient solicitude affists in developing our organs, and from them we receive those firft ideas,

Other acts of kindness familiarize our hearts to affection, our minds to knowledge, and our bodies to useful labour.. 'Tis for our happiness that the philosopher meditates on the duties of man, that the learned penetrate into the recesses of nature, that the magistrate watches over the public safety, and that the legislator prepares himself in collecting the laws for our protection. It is soon, however, allowed us to become useful; grateful children, we scatter flowers on the old age of our parents, and their trembling voice pours blessings on us at the hour of their diffolution. come fathers in our turn, we prepare for the education of our children, the happiness of our older days, and we thus continue; in a héw generation, the chain of kindness and of gratitude.

This sensibility is not contracted to the circle of a family; it is employed in searching out indigence in the cottage, and in adminiftering succour and consolation, and at length pays good offices on the sentiments of kindness itself. Humanity? how delightful is your practice, and how deplorable is the mind which is unacquainted with your excellence!

He who is a good son and a good father is also a good citizen ; he loves his country, and with joy renders to it the tribute of his services ; he is delighted to give to his brother the protection which he himself hath received. Magistrate or warrior, artist or cula tivator, in the temple of the arts, in the fenate, in the field of glory, in the shops of industry, he demonstrates his solicitude to contribute to the prosperity of his country, and one day or other to merit her acknowledgment, for there is also an acknowledgment from nations to individuals. At this moment a great people is af. Vol: V.



sembled for the purpose of expressing her gratitude to those virtuous citizens who had merited her admiration. How delightful is it to discharge this talk? How grateful is it to us to render you this homagc--you to whom your country is indebted for its safety, its glory, and its prosperity?

You courageous philosophers, to whom France owes its political regeneration, whose writings have prepared the revolution, have filed the irons of llavery, and removed the furies of fanaticism.

You citizens, whose intrepidity has effected this happy revolution, founded the Republic, and wrestled for seven years against the crimes and the ambition of royalism and anarchy.

You, in fine, who exert yourselves to make France happy and flourishing, who immortalize her by your talents, and who enrich her by your discoveries, receive this folemn mark of national gratitude!

Receive it above all, you republican armies, you whose glory and whose success every one bears in his recollection. It is you who have defended us againit ten combined tyrants, who bave chased them from our territory, and who have hurled back on them the scourges of war; you have not only conquered men, but you have surmounted all the obstacles which nature placed in your way; you have triumphed over the fatigues of famine and of winter. What a spectacle for a people, and what a terrible lesson for the enemies of liberty! A new-born Republic arms its children for the defence of its independence, nothing can restrain their impetuosity; crossing rivers, forcing intrenchments, clambering rocks, now, after a world of victories, they establish out boundaries at the barriers which nature has given us, and pursuing on the ice the wreck of three armies, they have made an oppressed and an inimical nation a free and an allied people; they have ex. terminated the hordes of traitors of brigands, vomited forth by England, punished the guilty chiefs, and have established a Re public of brothers who have too long been misled; now enfranchising the Pyronnees, they precipitate themselves from their sum mit, and overturning every obstacle which opposes itself to their force, are stopped by nothing but by an honourable peace; scaling the. Alps and Appennines, they shoot across the Po! and the Adda!

The ardour of the soldier, feconded by the genius and valour of the chief, they conceive with wisdom, they execute with energy, sometimes they arrange their forces with calmness, sometimes they precipitate themselves on dangers at the head of their brothers in arms. Oh! that I cannot here enrol the immense and glorirus tablet of their victories! that I'cannot name our intrepid defenders! what a crowd of sublimc images, and of the dearest names present themselves to my memory!! Immortal warriors,


posterity will refuse to add at once the multitude of your triumphis, but to us history cannot shew any thing that bears a resemblance.

But do we not see even in this enclosure a portion of our brave defenders? Vanquishers of the exterior enemies of the flate, they are come to repress its interior enemies, and to maintain within that Republic which they made to be respected without. Do you not see these venerable warriors who have grown grey under arms, those whom honourable wounds have forced to a premature repose, and who find here an asyluın! With what pleasure do our eyes contemplate this interesting union, with what sweet emotion do we behold these victorious foreheads!

Why should we not call to our recollection those heroes who have died for liberty? You live, at least, for ever in our hearts; your children shall be dear to us, the Republic will require itself on them of that debt which it owes to you; we come here to pay them that first acknowledgmert in proclaiming your glory, and its remembrance of your service.

Republican armies, conspicuous in this enclosure by a portion of yourselves ; invincible phalanxes, on every side of whom ! perceive trophies, from which I anticipate new successes, advance and receive the triumphal crown that the French people have ordered me to place on your colours.

And you, Frenchmen, whom some wish to mislead, be sensible of this touching spectacle. Is it in vain that our defenders shall triumph? Do you wish that divisions and intestine broils 1hould destroy all the fruit of their achievements? It becomes you, by my voice this day, to abandon your crimes, it is for all that their blood has flowęd; do not shew yourselves ungrateful in this day of retribution.

(Signed) CARNOT, President.

[ocr errors]

Speech of the French Minister Noel, at the Military Feast celebrated at

the Hague on the 29th of May, in Honour of the Success of the French

in Italy.

VALIANT FRENCHMEN, WHEN the voice of your country in danger collected you

under its banners, committing to your care the invaluable treasure of our sacred liberty, you Twore to preserve it inviolate, and to secure the foundations of the Republic with your blood. You have been faithful to your oath. First, round France, placed as a brazen wall, you saw with a calm eye the impotent endeavours of the Colossus which the coalition had raised, and you saw that Colossus bruised at your feet. Shortly, with the rapidity of lightning, you flew to all fides, and the moft obftimate opposition, with the oldest commanders and the oldest warriors

of Europe, answered no other purpose than to kindle the fame of our young fons of liberty.' The sword of our heroes has divided the extended net, with which ambitious conspirators conceived they should surround France. These treacherous enemies, who had foolishly promised the division of your native country, have been unable to defend their own dominions.

Kings and princes, able commanders and well-disciplined foldiers, have all fled before unconquerable Frenchmen. They are gone to far-distant courts, meanly cringing for assistance, and carrying with them proofs of your unrestrainable courage; the forrowful remnants of their power, and a prophetic register of their approaching destruction. The Sambre and the Meuse, the Moselle and the Rhinc, the Var, the Po, and the Adda, have, after each other, and alike, witnessed the wants, the sacrifices, the battles, and the triumphs of our republican armies. Cona querors of the seasons and the elements, as examples of all virtues, and every description of communicative valour; invincible in the field, and in our cities obedient to the laws, always Tçady to defend them against the machinations of difaffection; you have given to astonished Europe the unhcard-of spectacle of a five years war, which must afford a dreadful lesson and continual memento to those arrogant cabinets, who have hitherto relied on their Machiavelian power. In a word, your arms have established the Republic. That Republic to-day consecrates and hands to posterity your illustrious achievements. The constitutional act is fortified under the field of your triumphs. The feast, which calls this to our remembrance, brings you now together a solemnity, at this moment, observed by your brothers in arms. It is, besides, a spur to the conquerors of Italy, and a pledge for new successes, that the heroes of Jemappe and Fleurus already contemplate. At these words I see the sparks of bravery glitter in your eyes.

Your noble impatience impels you to the borders of the Rhine, like as it lately called you under the walls of Plaisanza and Pavia.

But, valiant soldiers ! be comforted: your present station is not less worthy of the fame you have acquired.

have acquired. Stationed through the confidence of a faithful ally to guard its boundaries, and to preserve the internal peace of a people who are worthy of the Jiberty which your victories have given them; you add to the lustre of your arms a more affecting enjoyment; giving self-evident proofs that, if your enemies have found you terrible, you have in your friends been generous, juft, and aiding.

You approach the end of your labours and your difficulties, Peace, which is the resulting fruit, prepared by a powerful and wile government, in possession of the love and confidence of the people; an bouourable and lasting peace will shortly crown your magnanimous exertions, your laudable perseverance.


« PrejšnjaNaprej »