The 18th Brumaire had immense popularity. People did not perceive in this event the elevation of a single man above the councils of the nation; they did not see in it the end of the great movement of the 14th of July, which had commenced the national existence.

The 18th Brumaire assumed an aspect of hope and restoration. Although the nation was much exhausted, and little capable of supporting a sovereignty oppressive to it, and which had even become the object of its ridicule, since the lower class had exercised it, yet it considered despotism so improbable, that no one seemed to it to be in a condition to reduce it to a state of subjection. All felt the need of being restored by a skilful hand, and Bonaparte, as a great man and a victorious general, seemed suited for the task.

On this account almost every one, except the directorial republicans, declared in favour of the events of that day. Violation of the laws and coups-d'etat had occurred so frequently during the revolution, that people had become accustomed no longer to judge them by their legality, but by their consequences. From the party of Sieyes down to the royalists of 1788, every one congratulated himself on the 18th Brumaire, and attributed to himself the future political advantages of this change. The moderate constitutionalists believed that definitive liberty would be established; the royalists fed themselves with hope by inappropriately comparing this epoch of our revolution with the epoch of 1660 in the English revolution, with the hope that Bonaparte was assuming the part of Monk, and that he would soon restore the monarchy of the Bourbons; the mass, possessing little intelligence, and desirous of repose, relied on the return of order under a powerful protector; the proscribed classes and ambitious men expected from him their amnesty or elevation. During the three months which followed the 18th Brumaire, approbation and expectation were general. A provisional government had been appointed, composed of three consuls, Bonaparte, Sieyes, and Roger Ducos, with two legislative commissioners, entrusted to prepare the constitution and a definitive order of things.

The consuls and the two commissioners were installed on the 21st Brumaire. This provisional government abolished the law respecting hostages and compulsory loans; it permitted the return of the priests proscribed since the 18th Fructidor; it released from prison and sent out of the republic the emigrants who had been shipwrecked on the coast of Calais, and who for four years were captives in France, and were exposed to the heavy punishment of the emigrant army. All these measures were very favourably received. But public opinion revolted at a proscription put in force against the extreme republicans. Thirty-six of them were sentenced to transportation to Guiana, and twenty-one were put under surveillance in the department of Charante-Inferieure, merely by a decree of the consuls on the report of Fouche, minister of police. The public viewed unfavourably all who attacked the government; but at the same time it exclaimed against an act so arbitrary and unjust. The consuls, accordingly, recoiled before their own act; they first commuted transportation into surveillance, and soon withdrew surveillance itself.

It was not long before a rupture broke out between the authors of the 18th Brumaire. During their provisional authority, it did not create much noise, because it took place in the legislative commissions. The new constitution was the cause of it. Sieyes and Bonaparte could not agree on this subject: the former wished to institute France, the latter to govern it as a master.

The constitution of Sieyes, which was distorted in the consular constitution of the year VIII., deserves to be known, were it only in the light of a legislative curiosity. Sieyes distributed France into three political divisions; the commune, the province or department, and the State. Each had its own powers of administration and judicature, arranged in hierarchical order: the first, the municipalities and tribunaux de paixand de premiere instance; the second, the popular prefectures and courts of appeal; the third, the central government and the court of cassation. To fill the functions of the commune, the department, and the State, there were three budgets of notability, the members of which were only candidates nominated by the people.

The executive power was vested in the proclamateur-electeur, a superior functionary, perpetual, without responsibility, deputed to represent the nation without, and to form the government in a deliberating state-council and a responsible ministry. The proclamateur-electeur selected from the lists of candidates, judges, from the tribunals of peace to the court of cassation; administrators, from the mayors to the ministers. But he was incapable of governing himself; power was directed by the state council, exercised by the ministry.

The legislature departed from the form hitherto established; it ceased to be a deliberative assembly to become a judicial court. Before it, the council of state, in the name of the government, and the tribunat, in the name of the people, pleaded their respective projects. Its sentence was law. It would seem that the object of Sieyes was to put a stop to the violent usurpations of party, and while placing the sovereignty in the people, to give it limits in itself: this design appears from the complicated works of his political machine. The primary assemblies, composed of the tenth of the general population, nominated the local list of communal candidates; electoral colleges, also nominated by them, selected from the communal list the superior list of provincial candidates and from the provincial list, the list of national candidates. In all which concerned the government, there was a reciprocal control. The proclamateur-electeur selected his functionaries from among the candidates nominated by the people: and the people could dismiss functionaries, by not keeping them on the lists of candidates, which were renewed, the first every two years, the second every five years, the third every ten years. But the proclamateur-electeur did not interfere in the nomination of tribunes and legislators, whose attributes were purely popular.

Yet, to place a counterpoise in the heart of this authority itself, Sieyes separated the initiative and the discussion of the law, which was invested in the tribunate from its adoption, which belonged to the legislative assembly. But besides these different prerogatives, the legislative body and the tribunate were not elected in the same manner. The tribunate was composed by right of the first hundred members of the national list, while the legislative body was chosen directly by the electoral colleges. The tribunes, being necessarily more active, bustling, and popular, were appointed for life, and by a protracted process, to prevent their arriving in a moment of passion, with destructive and angry projects, as had hitherto been the case in most of the assemblies. The same dangers not existing in the other assembly, which had only to judge calmly and disinterestedly of the law, its election was direct, and its authority transient.

Lastly, there existed, as the complement of all the other powers, a conservatory body, incapable of ordering, incapable of acting, intended solely to provide for the regular existence of the state. This body was the constitutional jury, or conservatory senate; it was to be for the political law what the court of cassation was to the civil law. The tribunate, or the council of state, appealed to it when the sentence of the legislative body was not conformable to the constitution. It had also the faculty of calling into its own body any leader of the government who was too ambitious, or a tribune who was too popular, by the "droit d'absorption," and when senators, they were disqualified from filling any other function. In this way it kept a double watch over the safety of the whole republic, by maintaining the fundamental law, and protecting liberty against the ambition of individuals.

Whatever may be thought of this constitution, which seems too finely complicated to be practicable, it must be granted that it is the production of considerable strength of mind, and even great practical information. Sieyes paid too little regard to the passions of men; he made them too reasonable as human beings, and too obedient as machines. He wished by skilful inventions to avoid the abuses of human constitutions, and excluded death, that is to say, despotism, from whatever quarter it might come. But I have very little faith in the efficacy of constitutions; in such moments, I believe only in the strength of parties in their domination, and, from time to time, in their reconciliation. But I must also admit that, if ever a constitution was adapted to a period, it was that of Sieyes for France in the year VIII.

After an experience of ten years, which had only shown exclusive dominations, after the violent transition from the constitutionalists of 1789 to the Girondists, from the Girondists to the Mountain, from the Mountain to the reactionists, from the reactionists to the directory, from the directory to the councils, from the councils to the military force, there could be no repose or public life save in it. People were weary of worn-out constitutions; that of Sieyes was new; exclusive men were no longer wanted, and by elaborate voting it prevented the sudden accession of counter-revolutionists, as at the beginning of the directory, or of ardent democrats, as at the end of this government. It was a constitution of moderate men, suited to terminate a revolution, and to settle a nation. But precisely because it was a constitution of moderate men, precisely because parties had no longer sufficient ardour to demand a law of domination, for that very reason there would necessarily be found a man stronger than the fallen parties and the moderate legislators, who would refuse this law, or, accepting, abuse it, and this was what happened.

Bonaparte took part in the deliberations of the constituent committee; with his instinct of power, he seized upon everything in the ideas of Sieyes which was calculated to serve his projects, and caused the rest to be rejected. Sieyes intended for him the functions of grand elector, with a revenue of six millions of francs, and a guard of three thousand men; the palace of Versailles for a residence, and the entire external representation of the republic. But the actual government was to be invested in a consul for war and a consul for peace, functionaries unthought of by Sieyes in the year III., but adopted by him in the year VIII.; in order, no doubt, to suit the ideas of the times. This insignificant magistracy was far from suiting Bonaparte. "How could you suppose," said he, "that a man of any talent and honour could resign himself to the part of fattening like a hog, on a few millions a year?" From that moment it was not again mentioned; Roger Ducos, and the greater part of the committee, declared in favour of Bonaparte; and Sieyes, who hated discussion, was either unwilling or unable to defend his ideas. He saw that laws, men, and France itself were at the mercy of the man whose elevation he had promoted.

On the 24th of December, 1799 (Nivose, year VIII.), forty-five days after the 18th Brumaire, was published the constitution of the year VIII.; it was composed of the wrecks of that of Sieyes, now become a constitution of servitude. The government was placed in the hands of the first consul, who was supported by two others, having a deliberative voice. The senate, primarily selected by the consuls, chose the members of the tribunal and legislative body, from the list of the national candidates. The government alone had the initiative in making the laws. Accordingly, there were no more bodies of electors who appointed the candidates of different lists, the tribunes and legislators; no more independent tribunes earnestly pleading the cause of the people before the legislative assembly; no legislative assembly arising directly from the bosom of the nation, and accountable to it alone - in a word, no political nation. Instead of all this, there existed an all-powerful consul, disposing of armies and of power, a general and a dictator; a council of state destined to be the advanced guard of usurpation; and lastly, a senate of eighty members, whose only function was to nullify the people, and to choose tribunes without authority, and legislators who should remain mute. Life passed from the nation to the government. The constitution of Sieyes served as a pretext for a bad order of things. It is worth notice that up to the year VIII. all the constitutions had emanated from the Contrat-social, and subsequently, down to 1814, from the constitution of Sieyes.

The new government was immediately installed. Bonaparte was first consul, and he united with him as second and third consuls, Cambaceres, a lawyer, and formerly a member of the Plain in the convention, and Lebrun, formerly a co-adjutor of the chancellor Maupeou. By their means, he hoped to influence the revolutionists and moderate royalists. With the same object, an ex-noble, Talleyrand, and a former member of the Mountain, Fouche, were appointed to the posts of minister of foreign affairs, and minister of police. Sieyes felt much repugnance at employing Fouche; but Bonaparte wished it. "We are forming a new epoch," said he; "we must forget all the ill of the past, and remember only the good." He cared very little under what banner men had hitherto served, provided they now enlisted under his, and summoned thither their old associates in royalism and in revolution.

The two new consuls and the retiring consuls nominated sixty senators, without waiting for the lists of eligibility; the senators appointed a hundred tribunes and three hundred legislators; and the authors of the 18th Brumaire distributed among themselves the functions of the state, as the booty of their victory. It is, however, just to say that the moderate liberal party prevailed in this partition, and that, as long as it preserved any influence, Bonaparte governed in a mild, advantageous, and republican manner. The constitution of the year VIII., submitted to the people for acceptance, was approved by three millions eleven thousand and seven citizens. That of 1793 had obtained one million eight hundred and one thousand nine hundred and eighteen suffrages; and that of the year III. one million fifty-seven thousand three hundred and ninety. The new law satisfied the moderate masses, who sought tranquillity, rather than guarantees; while the code of '93 had only found partisans among the lower class; and that of the year III. had been equally rejected by the royalists and democrats. The constitution of 1791 alone had obtained general approbation; and, without having been subjected to individual acceptance, had been sworn to by all France.

The first consul, in compliance with the wishes of the republic, made offers of peace to England, which it refused. He naturally wished to assume an appearance of moderation, and, previous to treating, to confer on his government the lustre of new victories. The continuance of the war was therefore decided on, and the consuls made a remarkable proclamation, in which they appealed to sentiments new to the nation. Hitherto it had been called to arms in defence of liberty; now they began to excite it in the name of honour: "Frenchmen, you wish for peace. Your government desires it with still more ardour: its foremost hopes, its constant efforts, have been in favour of it. The English ministry rejects it; the English ministry has betrayed the secret of its horrible policy. To rend France, to destroy its navy and ports, to efface it from the map of Europe, or reduce it to the rank of a secondary power, to keep the nations of the continent at variance, in order to seize on the commerce of all, and enrich itself by their spoils: these are the fearful successes for which England scatters its gold, lavishes its promises, and multiplies its intrigues. It is in your power to command peace; but, to command it, money, the sword, and soldiers are necessary; let all, then, hasten to pay the tribute they owe to their common defence. Let our young citizens arise! No longer will they take arms for factions, or for the choice of tyrants, but for the security of all they hold most dear; for the honour of France, and for the sacred interests of humanity."

Holland and Switzerland had been sheltered during the preceding campaign. The first consul assembled all his force on the Rhine and the Alps. He gave Moreau the command of the army of the Rhine, and he himself marched into Italy. He set out on the 16th Floreal, year VIII. (6th of May, 1800) for that brilliant campaign which lasted only forty days. It was important that he should not be long absent from Paris at the beginning of his power, and especially not to leave the war in a state of indecision. Field-marshal Melas had a hundred and thirty thousand men under arms; he occupied all Italy. The republican army opposed to him only amounted to forty thousand men. He left the field-marshal lieutenant Ott with thirty thousand men before Genoa; and marched against the corps of general Suchet. He entered Nice, prepared to pass the Var, and to enter Provence. It was then that Bonaparte crossed the great Saint Bernard at the head of an army of forty thousand men, descended into Italy in the rear of Melas, entered Milan on the 16th Prairial (2nd of June), and placed the Austrians between Suchet and himself. Melas, whose line of operation was broken, quickly fell back upon Nice, and from thence on to Turin; he established his headquarters at Alessandria, and decided on re-opening his communications by a battle. On the 9th of June, the advance guard of the republicans gained a glorious victory at Monte-Bello, the chief honour of which belonged to general Lannes. But it was the plain of Marengo, on the 14th of June (25th Prairial) that decided the fate of Italy; the Austrians were overwhelmed. Unable to force the passage of the Bormida by a victory, they were placed without any opportunity of retreat between the army of Suchet and that of the first consul. On the 15th, they obtained permission to fall behind Mantua, on condition of restoring all the places of Piedmont, Lombardy, and the Legations; and the victory of Marengo thus secured possession of all Italy.

Eighteen days after, Bonaparte returned to Paris. He was received with all the evidence of admiration that such decided victories and prodigious activity could excite; the enthusiasm was universal. There was a spontaneous illumination, and the crowd hurried to the Tuileries to see him. The hope of speedy peace redoubled the public joy. On the 25th Messidor the first consul was present at the anniversary fete of the 14th of July. When the officers presented him the standards taken from the enemy, he said to them: "When you return to your camps, tell your soldiers that the French people, on the 1st Vendemiaire, when we shall celebrate the anniversary of the republic, will expect either the proclamation of peace, or, if the enemy raise insuperable obstacles, further standards as the result of new victories." Peace, however, was delayed for some time.

In the interim between the victory of Marengo and the general pacification, the first consul turned his attention chiefly to settling the people, and to diminishing the number of malcontents, by employing the displaced factions in the state. He was very conciliatory to those parties who renounced their systems, and very lavish of favours to those chiefs who renounced their parties. As it was a time of selfishness and indifference, he had no difficulty in succeeding. The proscribed of the 18th Fructidor were already recalled, with the exception of a few royalist conspirators, such as Pichegru, Willot, etc. Bonaparte soon even employed those of the banished who, like Portalis, Simeon, Barbe-Marbois, had shown themselves more anti-conventionalists than counter-revolutionists. He had also gained over opponents of another description. The late leaders of La Vendee, the famous Bernier, cure of Saint-Lo, who had assisted in the whole insurrection, Chatillon, d'Autichamp and Suzannet had come to an arrangement by the treaty of Mont-Lucon (17th January, 1800). He also addressed himself to the leaders of the Breton bands, Georges Cadoudal, Frotte, Laprevelaye, and Bourmont. The two last alone consented to submit. Frotte was surprised and shot; and Cadoudal defeated at Grand Champ, by General Brune, capitulated. The western war was thus definitively terminated.

But the Chouans who had taken refuge in England, and whose only hope was in the death of him who now concentrated the power of the revolution, projected his assassination. A few of them disembarked on the coast of France, and secretly repaired to Paris. As it was not easy to reach the first consul, they decided on a conspiracy truly horrible. On the third Nivose, at eight in the evening, Bonaparte was to go to the Opera by the Rue Saint-Nicaise. The conspirators placed a barrel of powder on a little truck, which obstructed the carriage way, and one of them, named Saint Regent, was to set fire to it as soon as he received a signal of the first consul's approach. At the appointed time, Bonaparte left the Tuileries, and crossed the Rue Nicaise. His coachman was skilful enough to drive rapidly between the truck and the wall; but the match was already alight, and the carriage had scarcely reached the end of the street when the infernal machine exploded, covered the quarter of Saint-Nicaise with ruins, shaking the carriage, and breaking its windows.

The police, taken by surprise, though directed by Fouche, attributed this plot to the democrats, against whom the first consul had a much more decided antipathy than against the Chouans. Many of them were imprisoned, and a hundred and thirty were transported by a simple senatus- consultus asked and obtained during the night. At length they discovered the true authors of the conspiracy, some of whom were condemned to death. On this occasion, the consul caused the creation of special military tribunals. The constitutional party separated still further from him, and began its energetic but useless opposition. Lanjuinais, Gregoire, who had courageously resisted the extreme party in the convention, Garat, Lambrechts, Lenoir-Laroche, Cabanis, etc., opposed, in the senate, the illegal proscription of a hundred and thirty democrats; and the tribunes, Isnard, Daunou, Chenier, Benjamin Constant, Bailleul, Chazal, etc., opposed the special courts. But a glorious peace threw into the shade this new encroachment of power.

The Austrians, conquered at Marengo, and defeated in Germany by Moreau, determined on laying down arms; On the 8th of January, 1801, the republic, the cabinet of Vienna, and the empire, concluded the treaty of Luneville. Austria ratified all the conditions of the treaty of Campo-Formio, and also ceded Tuscany to the young duke of Parma. The empire recognised the independence of the Batavian, Helvetian, Ligurian, and Cisalpine republics. The pacification soon became general, by the treaty of Florence (18th of February 1801,) with the king of Naples, who ceded the isle of Elba and the principality of Piombino, by the treaty of Madrid (29th of September, 1801) with Portugal; by the treaty of Paris (8th of October, 1801) with the emperor of Russia; and, lastly, by the preliminaries (9th of October, 1801) with the Ottoman Porte. The continent, by ceasing hostilities, compelled England to a momentary peace. Pitt, Dundas, and Lord Grenville, who had maintained these sanguinary struggles with France, went out of office when their system ceased to be followed. The opposition replaced them; and, on the 25th of March, 1802, the treaty of Amiens completed the pacification of the world. England consented to all the continental acquisitions of the French republic, recognised the existence of the secondary republics, and restored our colonies.

During the maritime war with England, the French navy had been almost entirely ruined. Three hundred and forty ships had been taken or destroyed, and the greater part of the colonies had fallen into the hands of the English. San Domingo, the most important of them all, after throwing off the yoke of the whites, had continued the American revolution, which having commenced in the English colonies, was to end in those of Spain, and change the colonies of the new world into independent states. The blacks of San Domingo wished to maintain, with respect to the mother country, the freedom which they had acquired from the colonists, and to defend themselves against the English. They were led by a man of colour, the famous Toussaint-L'Ouverture. France should have consented to this revolution which had been very costly for humanity. The metropolitan government could no longer be restored at San Domingo; and it became necessary to obtain the only real advantages which Europe can now derive from America, by strengthening the commercial ties with our old colony. Instead of this prudent policy, Bonaparte attempted an expedition to reduce the island to subjection. Forty thousand men embarked for this disastrous enterprise. It was impossible for the blacks to resist such an army at first; but after the first victories, it was attacked by the climate, and new insurrections secured the independence of the colony. France experienced the twofold loss of an army and of advantageous commercial connexions.

Bonaparte, whose principal object hitherto had been to promote the fusion of parties, now turned all his attention to the internal prosperity of the republic, and the organization of power. The old privileged classes of the nobility and the clergy had returned into the state without forming particular classes. Dissentient priests, on taking an oath of obedience, might conduct their modes of worship and receive their pensions from government. An act of pardon had been passed in favour of those accused of emigration; there only remained a list of about a thousand names of those who remained faithful to the family and the claims of the pretender. The work of pacification was at an end. Bonaparte, knowing that the surest way of commanding a nation is to promote its happiness, encouraged the development of industry, and favoured external commerce, which had so long been suspended. He united higher views with his political policy, and connected his own glory with the prosperity of France; he travelled through the departments, caused canals and harbours to be dug, bridges to be built, roads to be repaired, monuments to be erected, and means of communication to be multiplied. He especially strove to become the protector and legislator of private interests. The civil, penal, and commercial codes, which he formed, whether at this period, or at a later period, completed, in this respect, the work of the revolution, and regulated the internal existence of the nation, in a manner somewhat more conformable to its real condition. Notwithstanding political despotism, France, during the domination of Bonaparte, had a private legislation superior to that of any European society; for with absolute government, most of them still preserved the civil condition of the middle-ages. General peace, universal toleration, the return of order, the restoration, and the creation of an administrative system, soon changed the appearance of the republic. Attention was turned to the construction of roads and canals. Civilization became developed in an extraordinary manner; and the consulate was, in this respect, the perfected period of the directory, from its commencement to the 18th Fructidor.

It was more especially after the peace Amiens that Bonaparte raised the foundation of his future power. He himself says, in the Memoirs published under his name, [Footnote: Memoires pour servir a l'Histoire de France sous Napoleon, ecrits a Sainte Helene, vol. i. p. 248.] "The ideas of Napoleon were fixed, but to realise them he required the assistance of time and circumstances. The organization of the consulate had nothing in contradiction with these; it accustomed the nation to unity, and that was a first step. This step taken, Napoleon was indifferent to the forms and denominations of the different constituted bodies. He was a stranger to the revolution. It was his wisdom to advance from day to day, without deviating from the fixed point, the polar star, which directed Napoleon how to guide the revolution to the port whither he wished to conduct it."

In the beginning of 1802, he was at one and the same time forming three great projects, tending to the same end. He sought to organize religion and to establish the clergy, which as yet had only a religious existence; to create, by means of the Legation of Honour, a permanent military order in the army; and to secure his own power, first for his life, and then to render it hereditary. Bonaparte was installed at the Tuileries, where he gradually resumed the customs and ceremonies of the old monarchy. He. already thought of placing intermediate bodies between himself and the people. For some time past he had opened a negotiation with Pope Pius VII., on matters of religious worship. The famous concordat, which created nine archbishoprics, forty-one bishoprics, with the institution of chapters, which established the clergy in the state, and again placed it under the external monarchy of the pope, was signed at Paris on the 16th of July, 1801, and ratified at Rome on the 15th of August, 1801.

Bonaparte, who had destroyed the liberty of the press, created exceptional tribunals, and who had departed more and more from the principles of the revolution, felt that before he went further it was necessary to break entirely with the liberal party of the 18th Brumaire. In Ventose, year X. (March, 1802), the most energetic of the tribunes were dismissed by a simple operation of the senate. The tribunate was reduced to eighty members, and the legislative body underwent a similar purgation. About a month after, the 15th Germinal (6th of April, 1802), Bonaparte, no longer apprehensive of opposition, submitted the concordat to these assemblies, whose obedience he had thus secured, for their acceptance. They adopted it by a great majority. The Sunday and four great religious festivals were re-established, and from that time the government ceased to observe the system of decades. This was the first attempt at renouncing the republican calendar. Bonaparte hoped to gain the sacerdotal party, always most disposed to passive obedience, and thus deprive the royalist of the clergy, and the coalition of the pope.

The concordat was inaugurated with great pomp in the cathedral of Notre- Dame. The senate, the legislative body, the tribunate, and the leading functionaries were present at this new ceremony. The first consul repaired thither in the carriages of the old court, with the etiquette and attendants of the old monarchy; salvos of artillery announced this return of privilege, and this essay at royalty. A pontifical mass was performed by Caprara, the cardinal-legate, and the people were addressed by proclamation in a language to which they had long been unaccustomed. "Reason and the example of ages," ran the proclamation, "command us to have recourse to the sovereign pontiff to effect unison of opinion and reconciliation of hearts. The head of the church has weighed in his wisdom and for the interest of the church, propositions dictated by the interest of the state."

In the evening there was an illumination, and a concert in the gardens of the Tuileries. The soldiery reluctantly attended at the inauguration ceremony, and expressed their dissatisfaction aloud. On returning to the palace, Bonaparte questioned general Delmas on the subject. "What did you think of the ceremony? " said he. "A fine mummery" was the reply. "Nothing was wanting but a million of men slain, in destroying what you re-establish. "

A month after, on the 25th Floreal, year X. (15th of May, 1802), he presented the project of a law respecting the creation of a legion of honour. This legion was to be composed of fifteen cohorts, dignitaries for life, disposed in hierarchical order, having a centre, an organization, and revenues. The first consul was the chief of the legion. Each cohort was composed of seven grand officers, twenty commanders, thirty officers, and three hundred and fifty legionaries. Bonaparte's object was to originate a new nobility. He thus appealed to the ill- suppressed sentiment of inequality. While discussing this projected law in the council of state, he did not scruple to announce his aristocratic design. Berlier, counsellor of state, having disapproved an institution so opposed to the spirit of the republic, said that: "Distinctions were the playthings of a monarchy." "I defy you," replied the first consul, "to show me a republic, ancient or modern, in which distinctions did not exist; you call them toys; well, it is by toys that men are led. I would not say as much to a tribune; but in a council of wise men and statesmen we may speak plainly. I do not believe that the French love liberty and equality. The French have not been changed by ten years of revolution; they have but one sentiment - honour. That sentiment, then, must be nourished; they must have distinctions. See how the people prostrate themselves before the ribbons and stars of foreigners; they have been surprised by them; and they do not fail to wear them. All has been destroyed; the question is, how to restore all. There is a government, there are authorities; but the rest of the nation, what is it? Grains of sand. Among us we have the old privileged classes, organized in principles and interests, and knowing well what they want. I can count our enemies. But we, ourselves, are dispersed, without system, union, or contact. As long as I am here, I will answer for the republic; but we must provide for the future. Do you think the republic is definitively established? If so, you are greatly deceived. It is in our power to make it so; but we have not done it; and we shall not do it if we do not hurl some masses of granite on the soil of France." [Footnote: This passage is extracted from M. Thibaudeau's Memoires of the Consulate. There are in these Memoires, which are extremely curious, some political conversations of Bonaparte, details concerning his internal government and the principal sittings of the council of state, which throw much light upon this epoch.] By these words Bonaparte announced a system of government opposed to that which the revolution sought to establish, and which the change in society demanded.

Yet, notwithstanding the docility of the council of state, the purgation undergone by the tribunal and the legislative body, these three bodies vigorously opposed a law which revived inequality. In the council of state, the legion of honour only had fourteen votes against ten; in the tribunal, thirty-eight against fifty-six; in the legislative body, a hundred and sixty-six against a hundred and ten. Public opinion manifested a still greater repugnance for this new order of knighthood. Those first invested seemed almost ashamed of it, and received it with a sort of contempt. But Bonaparte pursued his counterrevolutionary course, without troubling himself about a dissatisfaction no longer capable of resistance.

He wished to confirm his power by the establishment of privilege, and to confirm privilege by the duration of his power. On the motion of Chabot de l'Allier, the tribunal resolved: "That the first consul, general Bonaparte, should receive a signal mark of national gratitude." In pursuance of this resolution, on the 6th of May, 1802, an organic senatus- consultus appointed Bonaparte consul for an additional period of ten years.

But Bonaparte did not consider the prolongation of the consulate sufficient; and two months after, on the 2nd of August, the senate, on the decision of the tribunate and the legislative body, and with the consent of the people, consulted by means of the public registers, passed the following decree:

"I. The French people nominate, and the senate proclaim Napoleon Bonaparte first consul for life.

"II. A statue of Peace, holding in one hand a laurel of victory, and in the other, the decree of the senate, shall attest to posterity the gratitude of the nation.

"III. The senate will convey to the first consul the expression of the confidence, love, and admiration of the French people."

This revolution was complete by adapting to the consulship for life, by a simple senatus-consultus, the constitution, already sufficiently despotic, of the temporary consulship. "Senators," said Cornudet, on presenting the new law, "we must for ever close the public path to the Gracchi. The wishes of the citizens, with respect to the political laws they obey, are expressed by the general prosperity; the guarantee of social rights absolutely places the dogma of the exercise of the sovereignty of the people in the senate, which is the bond of the nation. This is the only social doctrine." The senate admitted this new social doctrine, took possession of the sovereignty, and held it as a deposit till a favourable moment arrived for transferring it to Bonaparte.

The constitution of the 16th Thermidor, year X. (4th of August, 1802,) excluded the people from the state. The public and administrative functions became fixed, like those of the government. The first consul could increase the number of electors who were elected for life. The senate had the right of changing institutions, suspending the functions of the jury, of placing the departments out of the constitution, of annulling the sentences of the tribunals, of dissolving the legislative body, and the tribunate. The council of state was reinforced; the tribunate, already reduced by dismissals, was still sufficiently formidable to require to be reduced to fifty members.

Such, in the course of two years, was the terrible progress of privilege and absolute power. Towards the close of 1802, everything was in the hands of the consul for life, who had a class devoted to him in the clergy; a military order in the legion of honour; an administrative body in the council of state; a machinery for decrees in the legislative assembly; a machinery for the constitution in the senate. Not daring, as yet, to destroy the tribunate, in which assembly there arose, from time to time, a few words of freedom and opposition, he deprived it of its most courageous and eloquent members, that he might hear his will declared with docility in all the assemblies of the nation.

This interior policy of usurpation was extended beyond the country. On the 26th of August, Bonaparte united the island of Elba, and on the 11th of September, 1802, Piedmont, to the French territory. On the 9th of October he took possession of the states of Parma, left vacant by the death of the duke; and lastly, on the 21st of October, he marched into Switzerland an army of thirty thousand men, to support a federative act, which regulated the constitution of each canton, and which had caused disturbances. He thus furnished a pretext for a rupture with England, which had not sincerely subscribed to the peace. The British cabinet had only felt the necessity of a momentary suspension of hostilities; and, a short time after the treaty of Amiens, it arranged a third coalition, as it had done after the treaty of Campo-Formio, and at the time of the congress of Rastadt. The interest and situation of England were alone of a nature to bring about a rupture, which was hastened by the union of states effected by Bonaparte, and the influence which he retained over the neighbouring republics, called to complete independence by the recent treaties. Bonaparte, on his part, eager for the glory gained on the field of battle, wishing to aggrandize France by conquests, and to complete his own elevation by victories, could not rest satisfied with repose; he had rejected liberty, and war became a necessity.

The two cabinets exchanged for some time very bitter diplomatic notes. At length, Lord Whitworth, the English ambassador, left Paris on the 25th Floreal, year XI. (13th of May, 1803). Peace was now definitively broken: preparations for war were made on both sides. On the 26th of May, the French troops entered the electorate of Hanover. The German empire, on the point of expiring, raised no obstacle. The emigrant Chouan party, which had taken no steps since the affair of the infernal machine and the continental peace, were encouraged by this return of hostilities. The opportunity seemed favourable, and it formed in London, with the assent of the British cabinet, a conspiracy headed by Pichegru and Georges Cadoudal. The conspirators disembarked secretly on the coast of France, and repaired with the same secrecy to Paris. They communicated with general Moreau, who had been induced by his wife to embrace the royalist party. Just as they were about to execute their project, most of them were arrested by the police, who had discovered the plot, and traced them. Georges Cadoudal was executed, Pichegru was found strangled in prison, and Moreau was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, commuted to exile. This conspiracy, discovered in the middle of February, 1804, rendered the person of the first consul, whose life had been thus threatened, still dearer to the masses of the people; addresses of congratulation were presented by all the bodies of the state, and all the departments of the republic. About this time he sacrificed an illustrious victim. On the 15th of March, the duc d'Enghien was carried off by a squadron of cavalry from the castle of Ettenheim, in the grand-duchy of Baden, a few leagues from the Rhine. The first consul believed, from the reports of the police, that this prince had directed the recent conspiracy. The duc d'Engbien was conveyed hastily to Vincennes, tried in a few hours by a military commission, and shot in the trenches of the chateau. This crime was not an act of policy, or usurpation; but a deed of violence and wrath. The royalists might have thought on the 18th Brumaire that the first consul was studying the part of general Monk; but for four years he had destroyed that hope. He had no longer any necessity for breaking with them in so outrageous a manner, nor for reassuring, as it has been suggested, the Jacobins, who no longer existed. Those who remained devoted to the republic, dreaded at this time despotism far more than a counter-revolution. There is every reason to think that Bonaparte, who thought little of human life, or of the rights of nations, having already formed the habit of an expeditious and hasty policy, imagined the prince to be one of the conspirators, and sought, by a terrible example, to put an end to conspiracies, the only peril that threatened his power at that period.

The war with Britain and the conspiracy of Georges Cadoudal and Pichegru, were the stepping-stones by which Bonaparte ascended from the consulate to the empire. On the 6th Germinal, year XII. (27th March, 1804), the senate, on receiving intelligence of the plot, sent a deputation to the first consul. The president, Francois de Neufchateau, expressed himself in these terms: "Citizen first consul, you are founding a new era, but you ought to perpetuate it: splendour is nothing without duration. We do not doubt but this great idea has had a share of your attention; for your creative genius embraces all and forgets nothing. But do not delay: you are urged on by the times, by events, by conspirators, and by ambitious men; and in another direction, by the anxiety which agitates the French people. It is in your power to enchain time, master events, disarm the ambitious, and tranquillize the whole of France by giving it institutions which will cement your edifice, and prolong for our children what you have done for their fathers. Citizen first consul, be assured that the senate here speaks to you in the name of all citizens."

On the 5th Floreal, year XII. (25th of April, 1804), Bonaparte replied to the senate from Saint-Cloud, as follows: "Your address has occupied my thoughts incessantly; it has been the subject of my constant meditation. You consider, that the supreme magistracy should be hereditary, in order to protect the people from the plots of our enemies, and the agitation which arises from rival ambitions. You also think that several of our institutions ought to be perfected, to secure the permanent triumph of equality and public liberty, and to offer the nation and government the twofold guarantee which they require. The more I consider these great objects, the more deeply do I feel that in such novel and important circumstances, the councils of your wisdom and experience are necessary to enable me to come to a conclusion. I invite you, then, to communicate to me your ideas on the subject." The senate, in its turn, replied on the 14th Floreal (3rd of May): "The senate considers that the interests of the French people will be greatly promoted by confiding the government of the republic to Napoleon Bonaparte, as hereditary emperor." By this preconcerted scene was ushered in the establishment of the empire.

The tribune Curee opened the debate in the tribunate by a motion on the subject. He dwelt on the same motives as the senators had done. His proposition was carried with enthusiasm. Carnot alone had the courage to oppose the empire: "I am far," said he, "from wishing to weaken the praises bestowed on the first consul; but whatever services a citizen may have done to his country, there are bounds which honour, as well as reason, imposes on national gratitude. If this citizen has restored public liberty, if he has secured the safety of his country, is it a reward to offer him the sacrifice of that liberty; and would it not be destroying his own work to make his country his private patrimony? When once the proposition of holding the consulate for life was presented for the votes of the people, it was easy to see that an after-thought existed. A crowd of institutions evidently monarchical followed in succession; but now the object of so many preliminary measures is disclosed in a positive manner; we are called to declare our sentiments on a formal motion to restore the monarchical system, and to confer imperial and hereditary dignity on the first consul.

"Has liberty, then, only been shown to man that he might never enjoy it? No, I cannot consent to consider this good, so universally preferred to all others, without which all others are as nothing, as a mere illusion. My heart tells me that liberty is attainable; that its regime is easier and more stable than any arbitrary government. I voted against the consulate for life; I now vote against the restoration of the monarchy; as I conceive my quality as tribune compels me to do."

But he was the only one who thought thus; and his colleagues rivalled each other in their opposition to the opinion of the only man who alone among them remained free. In the speeches of that period, we may see the prodigious change that had taken place in ideas and language. The revolution had returned to the political principles of the ancient regime; the same enthusiasm and fanaticism existed; but it was the enthusiasm of flattery, the fanaticism of servitude. The French rushed into the empire as they had rushed into the revolution; in the age of reason they referred everything to the enfranchisement of nations; now they talked of nothing but the greatness of a man, and of the age of Bonaparte; and they now fought to make kings, as they had formerly fought to create republics.

The tribunate, the legislative body, and the senate, voted the empire, which was proclaimed at Saint-Cloud on the 28th Floreal, year XII. (18th of May, 1804). On the same day, a senatus-consultum modified the constitution, which was adapted to the new order of things. The empire required its appendages; and French princes, high dignitaries, marshals, chamberlains, and pages were given to it. All publicity was destroyed. The liberty of the press had already been subjected to censorship; only one tribune remained, and that became mute. The sittings of the tribunate were secret, like those of the council of state; and from that day, for a space of ten years, France was governed with closed doors. Joseph and Louis Bonaparte were recognised as French princes. Bethier, Murat, Moncey, Jourdan, Massena, Augereau, Bernadotte, Soult, Brune, Lannes, Mortier, Ney, Davoust, Bessieres, Kellermann, Lefevre, Perignon, Serurier, were named marshals of the empire. The departments sent up addresses, and the clergy compared Napoleon to a new Moses, a new Mattathias, a new Cyrus. They saw in his elevation "the finger of God," and said "that submission was due to him as dominating over all; to his ministers as sent by him, because such was the order of Providence." Pope Pius VII. came to Paris to consecrate the new dynasty. The coronation took place on Sunday, the 2nd of December, in the church of Notre-Dame.

Preparations had been making for this ceremony for some time, and it was regulated according to ancient customs. The emperor repaired to the metropolitan church with the empress Josephine, in a coach surmounted by a crown, drawn by eight white horses, and escorted by his guard. The pope, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and all the great bodies of the state were awaiting him in the cathedral, which had been magnificently decorated for this extraordinary ceremony. He was addressed in an oration at the door; and then, clothed with the imperial mantle, the crown on his head, and the sceptre in his hand, he ascended a throne placed at the end of the church. The high almoner, a cardinal, and a bishop, came and conducted him to the foot of the altar for consecration. The pope poured the three-fold unction on his head and hands, and delivered the following prayer: - "O Almighty God, who didst establish Hazael to govern Syria, and Jehu king of Israel, by revealing unto them thy purpose by the mouth of the prophet Elias; who didst also shed the holy unction of kings on the head of Saul and of David, by the ministry of thy prophet Samuel, vouchsafe to pour, by my hands, the treasures of thy grace and blessing on thy servant Napoleon, who, notwithstanding our own unworthiness, we this day consecrate emperor in thy name."

The pope led him solemnly back to the throne; and after he had sworn on the Testament the oath prescribed by the new constitution, the chief herald-at-arms cried in a loud voice - "The most glorious and most august emperor of the French is crowned and enthroned! Long live the emperor! " The church instantly resounded with the cry, salvoes of artillery were fired, and the pope intoned the Te Deum. For several days there was a succession of fetes; but these fetes by command, these fetes of absolute power, did not breathe the frank, lively, popular, and unanimous joy of the first federation of the 14th of July; and, exhausted as the people were, they did not welcome the beginning of despotism as they had welcomed that of liberty.

The consulate was the last period of the existence of the republic. The revolution was coming to man's estate. During the first period of the consular government, Bonaparte had gained the proscribed classes by recalling them, he found a people still agitated by every passion, and he restored them to tranquillity by labour, and to prosperity by restoring order. Finally he compelled Europe, conquered for the third time, to acknowledge his elevation. Till the treaty of Amiens, he revived in the republic victory, concord, and prosperity, without sacrificing liberty. He might then, had he wished, have made himself the representative of that great age, which sought for that noble system of human dignity the consecration of far-extended equality, wise liberty, and more developed civilization. The nation was in the hands of the great man or the despot; it rested with him to preserve it free or to enslave it. He preferred the realization of his selfish projects, and preferred himself to all humanity. Brought up in tents, coming late into the revolution, he only understood its material and interested side; he had no faith in the moral wants which had given rise to it, nor in the creeds which had agitated it, and which, sooner or later, would return and destroy him. He saw an insurrection approaching its end, an exhausted people at his mercy, and a crown on the ground within his reach.