Slike strani

perty and perfons, have been refpected; and that the difcipline of the army of Italy, equal to its valour, has merited the esteem and admiration of the Romans reftored to themselves.

The Directory has but one trait to add

The provifional government, of the Roman republic has appointed an ambassador to the French republic. He fet off on the 3d Ventofe. Oh, citizens representatives! what a feature in the history of the world is the fending to Paris of a minister from the Roman confuls, to thank the French for the generous fupport given by them to the deliverance of Rome! What foul, however under the influence of apathy, could remain infenfible to so glorious a fight? Who can, without tranfport, hear the recital of the awaking of the Roman people from their flumber? Who could refufe to falute the renafcent republic? But, above all, how fublime to bear the title of French citizen, and to fee that great people extinguish for ever the thunders of the Vatican, with the fame hand that is erecting again, in the Capitol, altars to liberty!

The Executive Directory cannot doubt the effect which this national fentiment will produce upon you, citizens representatives; and they have reason to believe that you will approve, in a folemn manner, the conduct of the army of Italy.


MERLIN, Prefident.
LAGARDE, Sec. General,

Proclamation of General Berthier, at Rome, on the 27th Pluviose. THE Roman people are restored to their rights of fovereignty by proclaiming their independence, by affuming the government of ancient Rome, and by conftituting the Roman republic.

The general in chief of the French army in Italy declares, in the name of the French republic, that he acknowledges the independent Roman republic, and that it is under the fpecial protection of the French arms.

The general in chief alfo acknowledges, in the name of the French republic, the provifional government chofen by the Roman people.

All temporal authorities proceeding from the Pope are therefore fuppreffed, and fhall exercife no functions whatever.

The general in chief fhall make every difpofition neceffary to fecure the independence of the Roman people, and to perfect the organization of their government, in order that their new laws may be founded on the bafis of liberty and equality.

He will adopt every measure calculated to promote the happiness of the Romans.


The French general Cervoni is charged with the direction of the police, and providing for the fecurity of the city of Rome; and alfo with the inftallation of the new government.

The Roman republic, acknowledged by the French republic, comprehends all the territory which remained under the temporal authority of the Pope after the treaty of Campo Formio.


Note fent on the 15th Sept. 1797, to the Government of Berne. Paris, 29 Fructidor (15 Sept.). THE "HE Executive Directory, convinced that the miffion of Mr. Wickham to the Helvetic cantons, has no reference whatever to the respective interests of England and Switzerland, and that his fole object is to excite and further plots against the internal and external fecurity of the French republic, charge Citizen Mingaud to invite and require the government of the canton of Berne, and alfo the other Helvetic cantons, if neceffary, to give directions for Mr. Wickham's immediate departure from the territories of Switzerland.


LAGARDE, Sec. Gen.

Reply of the Canton of Berne.

THE republic of Berne, always holding in the highest eftimation the good intentions of the French republic, has taken. into mature confideration the note tranfinitted to them by Citizen Mingaud, in the name of the Executive Directory of the French republic.

They have to remark, that, for nearly a century past, British agents or minifters have uniformly refided in Switzerland, and that Mr. Wickham, whofe departure from Switzerland is required by the Executive Directory, being accredited to all the ftates of the Helvetic confederacy as minifter plenipotentiary, the republic of Berne cannot decide feparately on a fubject which fo effentially involves the rights of others, and the neutrality of the Helvetic body, as declared and recognifed by all the powers

now at war.

The government of Berne, always employed in maintaining harmony and good understanding with France and the other bel ligerent powers, fubmits the above confiderations to the wifdom and good fenfe of the Executive Directory, affuring the Directory, at the fame time, that the government of Berne, in concert with the co-ftates, will lofe no time in coming to a refolution


fuitable to the magnitude of the fubject, fhould the Executive Directory deem it expedient to addrefs itself to this effect, to the laudable Helvetic body.


MORLOT, Chancellor.

Berne, 11th O. 797.

Letter from M. Ochs, Envoy from Bafle, to his Confiituents.

Magnificent and gracious Lords,

TH HIS is probably the last time that these antiquated titles fhall ftrike the ears of your excellencies. I cannot diffemble the pleasure I have in renouncing them myself, and in cherishing the hope that the endearing title of citizen is foon to fucceed


1 confider the revolution in Switzerland as completed. The different cantons, their dependencies, and fome of their allies, will, I hope, foon form a democratic and reprefentative republic. Threats, boaftings, irregular meafures, which may be thought ingenious and firm, petty thifts, miferable intrigues, may perhaps retard the crifis, and even render it troublesome: but thefe means will not prevent the revolution from being carried into effect. The decree is paffed. Deftiny feems to have declared the end of all degrading aristocracies.

It is honourable for my canton to be the first which gave the example to Switzerland. It will be glorious for it to have commenced partially the general revolution, without anarchy, and without convulfion: if any man, from obftinacy, rafh engagements, or from principles of pride or felfishness, be difpofed to refift the torrent, to irritate the minds, or to provoke the paffions of his fellow-citizens, and to flain the paffage from the ancient regimen to the new order of things, let him remove from our frontiers! He will fpare himfelf remorfe, and us regret.-I have been informed of the efforts which feveral worthy magiftrates, and a great number of privileged citizens, have continued to make, fince my departure, to haften our particular revolution. Their names fhall be ever engraven on my heart; and I greatly rejoice, that in a fhort time a perfect equality established among us will not permit them any longer to fufpect that the fentiments I entertain for them are in the fmalleft degree connected with the hope of their protection. I am also informed of the rapidity with which our fubject ftates, which, thank Heaven, will foon ceafe to be fo, proceed in the career of their emancipation. They are, as it were, electrified. They have ceafed to fear, or to be the dupes of our fineft exhortations. They be gin to believe that the great nation does not love qur aristocracy, that its government is not divided in opinion with refpect to us.


They are no longer perfuaded that a hundred thoufand Ruffians are marching towards the Rhine, or that the caufe of oligarchies is the cause of God. They feel that they are men, and recollect that their ancestors and themfelves have done every thing for us, and that we have done nothing for them. They have difcovered that they want a guarantee for the future, and that this guarantee can only be found in the equality of political rights, a constitution refting on that bafis, and, above all, new elections. Our fecret council has, indeed, written to me, that our fubjects defire to remain as they are; but I cannot easily believe that men of common fenfe, provided they are free to fpeak what they think, would feriously manifeft the defire of remaining hereditary fubjects, and that in a kind of fubjection of which there exifts not even any example in the monarchies of Europe. Befides, I have, received addreffes which demonftrate the contrary: they remind me of the opinions which I have always profeffed, and conjure me to feize, like a real tribune of the people, the favourable opportunities for emancipating the petitioners. I have alfo been correctly informed of the progrefs which the minority of the magiftrates have fucceffively made, and which for fome time seemed to be decifive. I have experienced from this inexpreffible joy; but I learn with regret that much valuable time is loft in deputations, commiffions, and frivolous conceffions, wifhed to be made with principles: that a mental reservation prevails; that hopes are entertained of continuing in place, and, in a word, that a new influence appears to have arifen from the diet of Arau; a diet which completely deceived the expectation of every true Swifs as well as foreigners; a diet which, during the three weeks it has been affembled, has fet itfelf against every thing it ought to have performed. Again, and for the last time, I fpeak to you on the real interefts of the country. I tell you, that the light of fimple common fenfe, the force of circumstances, the regeneration of primitive ideas, the public and general good, an infinite number of political confiderations, and particularly the principles of eternal juftice, impofe upon you the duty of acquiefcing, without delay, in the wishes of your fubjects, and in the councils of the magiftrates and citizens who have proved themfelves their defenders. Declare, then, by a formal decree,

ift. That there are no longer any fubjects.

2d. That each village, burgh, and section of towns, fhall form a primary affembly, and immediately elect representatives→→→ one for each fifty perfons who have reached the age of twentyfour years.

3d. That thefe reprefentatives, affembled at Bafle, fhall form a particular conftitution, to remain in force until the fentiments of the other parts of Switzerland be known,

[ocr errors]

4th. That they fhall establish, in the mean time, while the conftitution is preparing, fome provifional committees for maintaining order, and managing the prefent bufinefs; and, finally, that each of you charge yourselves to prefent to those appointed for the above purpofe, the act of refignation of all your places, without any referve whatever.

I am anxious to be before you in this tranfaction. I declare, therefore, that I renounce every hereditary privilege; that henceforth I confider our subjects as fellow-citizens; and that I am ready to depofit in the hands of the reprefentatives of the people every power, authority, command, prefidency for life, or otherwife, with which I am invefted. The influence which a declaration fo precise may have in the prefent circumftances, will, perhaps, ll up the measure of the complaint which the ariftocracy have been accumulating againft me fince the 14th of July 1789, expecting the great day of their vengeance. I am not ignorant of their malevolence; but the more the aristocracy hate me, the more I love myself.

(Signed, &c.)




The Citizens of the Country to the Burgefjes of the Town of Bafle: January 18, 1798. You know that the people of the country require their liberty. It is a right which they derive from God and nature. During an age, this right has been a stranger to the country inhabitants of the canton of Bafle, and we have been obliged to remain filent. We have been compelled to bend our heads under an aristocratic yoke, which the burgeffes of the town of Balle have impofed upon us. How painful this must be to every true Swifs! We well know that your pretended rights are fupported by alienations and titles. We know that the town of Bafle purchafed its fubjects from ruined princes or fanatical priests: but can you perfuade yourfelves that the rights of man are alienable? You know as well as we do, that claims and contracts rest folely on the right of the strongest, and on the force of arms, and that fuch pretenfions have no reality but in the power of maintaining them. Your rights are not hereditary: we never fubfcribed your title-deeds; we never consented to them. We expect that our demand will receive your approbation. You will not oppofe a confederation, which has for its only object the general good, and which may even extend the limits of your civil liberty.. If fome


« PrejšnjaNaprej »