« PreviousContinue »
“always been a stranger to the spirit of faction, “ to submit to you some preliminary resolutions, “ of which you will appreciate, I hope, the ne“ cessity.
Article 1. “ The chamber of representatives “ declares, that the independence of the nation r is menaced. 2dly.
“ The chamber declares its sitting permanent. All attempt to dissolve it is a crime " of high treason : whoever shall show himself
capable of this attempt shall be regarded as a “ traitor to his country, and be arraigned as such.
3dly. “ The army of the line and the vational “ guards who have fought, and still fight, to de“ fend the liberty, the independence, and the ter
ritory of France, have deserved well of their country.
4thly. “ The minister of the interior is invited “ to call together the general staff, the comman“ ders and legionary majors of the national
guard of Paris, to advise on the means of arm“ing and completing that urban guard, whose “ patriotism and approved zeal, for six and
twenty years, offer a sure guarantee to the liberty, the prosperity, and tranquillity of the
capital, and to the inviolability of the repre“sentatives of the nation.
5thly. “ The ministers, of war, of foreign af
“ fairs, of police, and of the interior, are invited to
present themselves instantly to the assembly.”
The propositions of General Lafayette were listened to in profound silence, and received at the end with applause. The three first were immediately adopted, the fourth was considered premature, but the latter received the unanimous support of the chamber, as a measure which the urgency of the case demanded. One of the members went so far as to
that these steps must be taken without delay, as in a few moments, perhaps, the chamber might be dissolved. It was ordered, moreover, that the de. claration of Lafayette, with the exception of the first article, should be placarded in the capital, and sent to the departments; also, that it should be immediately transmitted to the peers and to the Enıperor. Mr. Regnault de St. Jean d'Angely then entered the house, and read the following bulletin.
“ The Emperor arrived at 11 o'clock; he has “ called a council of ministers; he has announced " that the army, after a signal victory in the
plains of Fleurus, in which the flower of the « Prussian forces was destroyed, fought a great “ battle two days afterwards, four leagues from “ Brussels. The English army was beaten during “ the whole day, and obliged to give up the field
“ of battle. We had taken six English colours, “ and the day was decided, when, at night, some « malcontents spread an alarm, and occasioned a “ disorder which the presence of his majesty could “not allay, on account of the darkness. The con“ sequence has been a disaster which nothing “ could immediately repair. The army is rally
ing under the walls of Avesnes and Philippe“ ville. His majesty passed by Laon; and there “ gave orders that the levy in mass of the national
guards of the departments should stop the fu
gitives. He is returned to Paris, to confer with « his ministers on the means of re-establishing " the materials of the army. The intention of “his majesty is also to concert with the chamber " those legislative measures which circumstances
require. His majesty is, at this moment, occupied in framing propositions for the consi“ deration of the chamber.”
M. Regnault proposed to read likewise a supplement to the Moniteur of the 21st, containing an account of the fatal battle of Mont St. Jean *: in which no attempt was made to conceal that the defeat had been decisive. But the chamber passed to the immedirte nomination of a commission of administration, to provide for the reception of the national guard,
* See Appendix.
destined for their protection. Some discussion took place, as to the reception of the ministers; and it was decided, upon a proposal of M. Dumolard, that the chamber should put the questions to them through the president. The president then informed the house, that the archchancellor, and the Duke of Bassano, had acknowledged the receipt of the declaration of the representatives. At a quarter after three, Messieurs Regnault, Flaugergues, and Bedoch, entering the hall, a crowd of members surrounded them, but no communication was made, either from the ministers or the palace. M. Jay then proposed, that a second message should be sent, to invite ministers to the assembly. This was carried, with the observation, that invited should be changed into ordered.' Another member advised some measures of personal security ; saying, that the glory of perishing blindly was too common, and should have no charms for the man that ought to preserve himself for the safety of his country. This proposition, which sufficiently shewed the apprehension of some members, was more clearly developed by M. Penières, who moved, that the command of the national guard, though in the hands of the Emperor, should be given, at once, to some one possessed of the confidence of the chamber.
This motion was not carried ; but at half after four, General Sebastiani proposed, that the legionary chiefs of the national guard should each put a battalion under arms for the protection of the national representatives and the town of Paris. This measure would have been adopted had not M. Garnier, from the commission of administration, announced that a battalion of the guard was then in service about the palace; and had not the president assured the assembly that there was no sign of the public tranquillity being disturbed, nor the shadow of any commotion. Besides, General Durosnel, the actual commandant, was declared not to have forfeited his title to public confidence.
The president now read this letter from the four ministers :
66 Mr. PRESIDENT,
Having been detained up to the present “time at the chamber of peers, and at council, “and having received almost at the same moment “ your message and that of the peers, we are “ about to present ourselves to the assembly.
“ We have the honour, &c.
PRINCE OF ECKMULH.'