Sieyes, who were later joined by other politicians, among them being Dupont de Nemours.
If my country needs me, if there are additions to the number of those who share the opinion of Talleyrand, Sieyes and Roederer, that war will break out again and that it will be unsuccessful for France, I will return, more sure of the feeling of the nation."
A majority of the Ancients was ready to support Sieyes and make drastic changes in the constitution; but in the Council of Five Hundred the prevalent feeling was democratic or even Jacobinical.
The aim of Sieyes was to perpetuate the republic, but in a bureaucratic or autocratic form.
The Jacobin Club was closed, thanks to the ability of Fouche, the new minister of Police; but the hopes of Sieyes were dashed by the death of General Joubert, commander of the Army of Italy, at the disastrous battle of Novi (15th of August).
A fortnight passed before he decided to support Sieyes in effecting a change in the constitution; and by then he had captivated all men except Bernadotte and a few intransigeant Jacobins.
Thereupon Sieyes and Ducos resigned office.
Stung to action by some words of Sieyes, Bonaparte appealed to the troops of the line in terms which provoked a ready response.
Lucien now consolidated the work of the soldiery by procuring from the Ancients a decree which named Bonaparte, Sieyes and Ducos as provisional consuls, while a legislative commission was appointed to report on necessary changes in the constitution.
Sieyes now sketched its outlines in vaguely republican forms; thereupon Bonaparte freely altered them and gave them strongly personal touches.
While restoring the principle of universal suffrage, which had been partially abrogated in 1795, Sieyes rendered this system of election practically a nullity.
In vain did Sieyes modify his scheme so as to provide for two consuls, one holding the chief executive powers for war, the other for peace.
Sieyes, conscious that his political mechanism would merely winnow the air, until the profoundly able and forceful man at his side adapted it to the work of government, relapsed into silence; and his resignation of the office of consul, together with that of Ducos, was announced as imminent.
The latter two, uniting with the two retiring consuls, Sieyes and Ducos, were to form the nucleus of the senate and choose the majority among its full complement of sixty members, the minority being thereafter chosen by co-optation.
Owing, however, to the influence of Sieyes, he became minister of justice in July 1799.
He gave a guarded support to Bonaparte and Sieyes in their enterprise of overthrowing the Directory (coup d'etat of Brumaire 1799).
After a short interval Cambaceres was, by the constitution of December 1799, appointed second consul of France - a position which he owed largely to his vast legal knowledge and to the conviction which Sieyes entertained of his value as a manipulator of public assemblies.
The scheme, in the main the work of Sieyes, was refused by the Convention, who submitted the whole question to a special commission of six, which under the influence of Robespierre adopted a report by Michel le Peletier de Saint Fargeau shortly before his tragic death.
Just before his resignation he had been elected, with Mirabeau and Sieyes, a member of the department of Paris; and in that capacity did useful work for some eighteen months in seeking to support the cause of order in the turbulent capital.
The general and the diplomatist soon came to an understanding, and Talleyrand tactfully brought about the alliance between Bonaparte and Sieyes (q.v.) (then the most influential of the five Directors) which paved the way for the coup d'etat of Brumaire (see French Revolution and Napoleon I.).
He devoted the last years of his life to writing his memoirs, which, with the exception of a fragment on the Theorie constitutionnelle de Sieyes (1836), remained unpublished.
The elections were the cause of a flood of pamphlets, of which one, Offrande a la patrie, was by Marat, and, though now forgotten, dwelt on much the same points as the famous brochure of the Abbe Sieyes: Qu'estce que le tiers Nat?
Before the coup d'etat of Brumaire he helped Napoleon in making overtures to Sieyes and Moreau, but otherwise did little.