Lot 48: PORTALIS Jean-Etienne-Marie (1746-1807) Catéchisme à l'usage de tout l'Empire Français, 1806.

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November 24, 2012, 2:30 PM CET
Marseille, France
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Description: PORTALIS Jean-Etienne-Marie (1746-1807) Catéchisme à l'usage de tout l'Empire Français, 1806. Réunion de documents imprimés et manuscrits. - Rapport présenté, le 4 avril dernier, à sa Majesté l'Empereur et Roi, par son ministre des cultes ; au sujet de l'exécution de l'article 39 de la loi du 18 germinal an X, relatif à la publication d'un seul catéchisme pour toutes les églises de l'Empire français. Fascicule imprimé, 7 pages in-folio, Imprimerie Impériale, Paris, Août 1806. Copie d'un rapport de Portalis ministre des cultes avec décret du 4 avril 1806. - Manuscrit : brouillon de ce rapport, 4 pages in-folio, texte en colonnes avec notes marginales écrit à l'encre noire sur papier vergé. Ratures, corrections, citations latines de la main du Cardinal d'Astros dans la marge. - On joint deux brouillons manuscrits de ce catéchisme : 3 pp. et 3 pp. 1/2 in-folio. « D. Quels sont nos devoirs envers Napoléon 1er Notre Empereur ? R. Nous lui devons le respect, l'obéissance, la fidélité, le service militaire, les tributs ordonnés pour la conservation et la défense de l'Empire et de son trône, nous lui devons encore des prières ferventes pour son salut et pour la prospérité spirituelle et temporelle de l'état. D. Pourquoi sommes nous tenus de tous ces devoirs envers notre Empereur ? R. C'est premièrement, parce qu'il est sur la terre, l'image de Dieu qui en le comblant de ses dons, soit dans la paix, soit dans la guerre, l'a rendu le ministre de sa puissance, et l'a établi notre souverain. Honorer et servir notre empereur, c'est servir Dieu même qui crée les empires et les distribue selon sa volonté. Deuxièmement parce que Jésus Christ tant par la doctrine que par son exemple, nous a enseigné lui même ce que nous devons à notre souverain : il est né en obéissant à l'édit de César Auguste : il a payé l'impôt prescrit, et de même qu'il a ordonné de rendre à Dieu ce qui appartient à Dieu, il a aussi ordonné de rendre à César ce qui appartient à César. D. N'y a-t-il pas des motifs particuliers qui doivent plus fortement nous attacher à Napoléon Ier notre empereur ? R. Oui : car c'est celui que Dieu a suscité, dans les circonstances les plus difficiles, pour rétablir le culte public de la religion catholique, de la religion sainte de nos pères, et pour en être le protecteur. Il a ramené et conservé l'ordre public par sa sagesse profonde et active, il défend l'état par son bras puissant. Il est devenu l'oint du Seigneur, par la consécration qu'il a reçue du souverain pontife, chef de l'église universelle. D. Que doit-on penser de ceux qui manqueraient à leurs devoirs envers notre empereur ? R. Selon l'apôtre St Paul, ils résisteraient à l'ordre établi de Dieu même ; ils se rendraient coupables d'un grand péché et dignes de la damnation éternelle. Quelles sont nos obligations envers les magistrats ? Nous devons les honorer, les respecter, et leur obéir, parce qu'ils sont dépositaires de l'autorité de notre Empereur. D. Les devoirs dont nous sommes tenus envers notre empereur nous lieront ils également envers ses successeurs légitimes, dans l'ordre établi par les constitutions de l'Empire ? R. Oui sans doute. Nous lisons dans la Sainte Ecriture, que Dieu seigneur du ciel et de la terre, par une disposition de sa volonté supréme, et par la providence donne les Empires, non seulement à une personne en particulier, mais aussi à sa famille ».
Notes: Jean-Étienne-Marie Portalis (1 April 1746 - 25 August 1807) was a French jurist and politician in time of the French Revolution and the First Empire.
His son, Joseph Marie Portalis was a diplomat and statesman.
Portalis was born at Le Beausset, currently in the Var département of Provence, France to a bourgeois family, and was educated by the Oratorians at their schools in Toulon and Marseille, and then went to the University of Aix.
As a student, he published his first two works, Observations sur Émile (on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Emile: Or, On Education) in 1763 and Des Préjugés in 1764.
In 1765 he became a lawyer at the parlement of Aix-en-Provence, and soon obtained so great a reputation that he was instructed by Étienne François de Choiseul in 1770 to draw up the decree authorizing the marriage of Protestants.
From 1778 to 1781, Portalis was one of the four assessors or administrators of Provence.
In November 1793, after the First French Republic had been proclaimed, he came to Paris and was thrown into prison for being the brother-in-law of Joseph Jérôme Siméon, the leader of the Federalists in Provence.
He was soon released to a maison de santé, where he remained until the fall of Maximilien Robespierre during the Thermidorian Reaction.
On being released he practised as a lawyer in Paris, and, in 1795, he was elected by the capital to the Council of Ancients of the French Directory, becoming a leader of the moderate party opposed to the directory rule.
As a leader of the moderates, he was targeted by the coup d'état of 18 Fructidor, but, unlike General Charles Pichegru and François Barbé-Marbois, he managed to escape to Switzerland, then to Holstein, and did not return until after Napoleon Bonaparte established himself as the leader of the new Consulate.
Bonaparte made him a conseiller d'état in 1800, and then charged him, with François Denis Tronchet, Félix-Julien-Jean Bigot de Préameneu, and Jacques de Maleville, to draw up the Code Civil.
Of this commission he was the most notable member, and many of the most important titles, notably those on marriage and heirship, are his work.
He did a famous speech, "Discours préliminaire au projet de code civil" in which he presents the core principles of the civil code: legal certainty (non-retroactivity), the notion of "ordre public" and the forbidding of the "arrêt de règlement" which was a characteristic production of the Ancien Régime's judges and was contrary to the idea that only the law prevails.
In 1801 he was placed in charge of the Department of Religion or Public Worship, and in that capacity had the chief share in drawing up the provisions of the Concordat of 1801.
In 1803 he became a member of the Académie française, in 1804 Minister of Public Worship, and in 1805 a Chevalier Grand-Croix de la Légion d'honneur.
He soon after became totally blind, and, after an operation, he died at Paris.
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