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cestor's :-stronger even than the conqueror who afterwards usurped his throne.
Hume shows that the elements of our constitution existed in France formerly, and were imported thence into England: This piece of history was urged with great force by the Comte de Lauraguais before the opening of the Etats Generaux, and since by M. Lally de Tollendal, and by Mr Montlausier as an argument ad hominem against the charge of innovation. But what are precedents under circumstances wholly dissimilar, and at a distance of seven centuries? The true reason for adopting or reviving such a government was, that with it the King might still reign--without it he could not. But the nobles and clergy, although willing to relinquish pecuniary privileges, made a desperate stand for the right of voting par ordre, or, in other words, of deciding all questions two to one against the people. The committee (brireau) in which Monsieur, now Louis XVIII., presided, had been alone in the Assembly of the Notables for the double representation of the Tiers Etat, making it equal to the two others.
Nothing can show more strongly the advantage of governing with public opinion, legally represented in a legislative assembly, ihan the well known fact, that when Necker declared in 1781, that there was a yearly deficiency of ten millions in the revenue, which his successor soon after stated at eighty, neither of them could find any remedy, but in a surrender at discretion of the old absolute monarchy: and yet the new representative monarchy raised lately on its credit, and at a moment's warning, a capital more than equal to this great deficiency; and this it was enabled to do during an invasion,-just after one great revolution in the government, and with some apprehensions of another, simply because the state of the finances had been laid open to public inspection, and it was known that their administration would in future be the annual object of Parliamentary inquiry Taxes, far heavier than were formerly deemed insupportable, had been paid without difficulty. Bonaparte has the merit of this discovery: But the capacity of credit remained unknown; and nothing ever appeared so inexplicable to him as the resources of our own budget.
The nobles, against whom the Revolution was principally directed, fled without an attempt to defend themselves, abandon-. ing at once their station, property, privileges and country, which a timely compromise on moderate terms might have saved. Their greatest enemies were among the middling classes; for the labouring multitude took no active part in the Revolution, till the divisions between the great and the small proprietors, the no
blesse and the tiers etat, had made an opening for them to invade at once property, liberty and life, and lay society prostrate at their feet.- Le pouvoir democratique, says the author of the • Considerations, resté seul maître du champ de bataille, s'acharna ' adec fureur sur le cadavre des vaincus, et dispersa, si l'on peut s'exprimer ainsi, jusqu'à leurs cendres!'
Their animosity, however, was always directed much more against the privileges of the Nobles than the prerogatives of the King: and they shed the blood of Louis XVI. far more out of hatred to the aristocracy that deserted him, than to the royalty which he adorned.
A period of anarchy followed, under the Directory, during which a double opposition, the one Terrorist, the other Royalist, distracted the country with their alternate successes and defeats. The author before us compares the situation of France at that period to that of Rome under the Triumvirs. But the French Directors were neither Marius nor Sylla, neither Pompey nor Crassus :--The heterogeneous institutions over which they presided had no roots in the soil, and were overthrown with ease by the strong hand of a soldier, then hailed as a deliverer. When Bonaparte came to power he found all ranks of people confounded together ;-a promiscuous multitude, frightened, ruined, and bleeding-weary of the name of liberty, anxious to be rescued from impending anarchy and jacobinism, but still alive to military glory; no man was so well able as himself to give them what they most desired, and preserve them from what they most dreaded : In his hands the army soon became the sole aristocracy in France.
Fifteen years of military glory seemed to have eradicated from the minds of this volatile people all idea of civil liberty. Scarcely an individual of the rising generation had heard the name; factions were unknown under Bonaparte: But the spell of his power was no sooner broken, than the Utopian theories of 1789 were revived, together with the opposite principles of the old monarchy. The Voltigeurs de l'Assemblée Nationale and the Voltigeurs de Louis Quatorze, came out at the very same time from their respective hiding-places, and met together in the presence-chamber of Louis XVIII.; while the discomfited party of the gloire militaire was ready to side with whoever should hold out the best hopes of preferment in the way of their trade.
Sharp-shooters of Louis XIV.'s time. A current joke, not particularly liberal nor humane perhaps on the old royalists, who showed themselves at court soon after the Restoration :-alluding to their antiquated dress and infirm figure.
But the old regime received them with coldness and disdain ; the wives of the marshals were slighted at court; the army was reorganized in a manner which left no hopes of advancement to an immense mass of young officers reduced to half-pay; in short, most of the military party, or Bonapartists, inlisted irrevocably under the banners of the Liberals,—whose constitutional opinions furnished them with artillery against the common enemy
Up to this time, ancient institutions all over Europe were giving way gently and silently; but the sudden restoration of many old governments suggested the possibility of making a successful stand. The friends of these ancient institutions assumed courage, and renewed the combat.—' l'Europe,' says Mr de Pradt, est dans la position où se trouva le monde payen, à l'apparition du christianisme. Avant de déménager, le vieil Olympe defendit ses autels tant qu'il put ... Jupiter tonna avec ce qui lui restait de foudres ; vain fracas ; après trois cents ans de combats, il fallut ceder la place, et de tout ce cortége de divinités fantastiques ; il ne reste rien que dans Homere et dans Virgile, que dans les arts et les constellations. De même à l'époque de la réformation, une lutte de cent ans fit disparaître l'ancien régime religieux, de tout l'espace qu'atteignit la réformation. Il en est de même aujourd'hui ; le monde subit une nouvelle réformation ; ceux qu'elle atteint se debattent contre elle. On ne cede pas ces places pour rien. D'un bout de l'Europe à l'autre, toutes les anciennes prééminences cherchent à se raffermir, et agissent dans un concert forcé et naturel : Carlsbad appuye Paris, et Paris Carlsbad. Il n'en faut savoir mauvais gré à personne,-cela est dans la nature des choses.'
It was a natural, but at the same time a very gross and fatal mistake in the party of the court, not unaptly called Ultra royalistes, to suppose that the restoration of the Royal family, to which, so far from contributing, they had been the greatest obstacle, implied the restoration of themselves. Completely the dupes of their feelings, they looked upon charters and representative governments as mere revolutionary inventions, which might be tolerated for a while, but must evidently be set aside in the end; and they did not doubt but an opportunity would soon occur. They completely spoiled the two restorations. • La restoration de 1814,' says Mr de Pradt, • fut une fête EuropéTout étoit usé, délustré, on ne sentoit plus que
le mai du moment, et il étoit immense. Toutes les esperances avoient été dechues ; toutes se rattachoient au changement. Il portoit avec lui l'idée de la fin de tout cequi blessoit ; les guerres, les violences, les conscriptions, l'interdiction des mers. Malheureusement la contre-revolution n'avoit pas été écartée avec assez de soin. '-And the ci-devant Archbishop
adds, sous son inspiration parut l'ordonnance des Processions et celle des * Dimanches : on vit le reste.'
Threre were at first very few constitutionalists in France. The people at large knew nothing and cared little about abstract liberty; but the remotest hint of bringing into question the sales of national property, or of the restoration of tythes and seigneurial rights, alarmed them extremely; while their long habit of submission to an arbitrary administration made them look for security to particular men, and not to particular institutions. The hatred of the first years of the Revolution against the nobles, which had been in a good measure forgotten under Bonaparte, was revived in all its original force the moment they avowed expectations of recovering their forfeited estates and privileges; and the Royal family, whose return was unfortunately associated with these offensive claims, suffered from the popular feeling against those in whose company they were returning. The latter missed an opportunity of compounding with the new proprietors. Such a transaction would then, we think, have been very generally practicable, and would have extinguished for ever the irreconcilable claims of some thousands of families against eight or ten millions of new proprietors. These, we have every reason to believe, were in the first instance disposed to compromise; but the dispossessed royalists insisted on the indefeasibility of their rights of property, as they had done before on that of their feudal rights and privileges; and few of these compromises could be effected.
The King had given a charter to his people: The Liberals cavilled much at the word given ; and late events have revived this unpromising controversy. This charter however declared, among other things, that the Chamber of Deputies should be
The zeal of the Reverend Author against the counter-revolution misleads him a little here. It is easy to show, that the observation of Sunday is clear gain for the labouring poor; for, though allowed one day's rest in seven, which is assuredly not too much, the wages of the other six must necessarily be such as to afford them bread for the seventh. But they get no more when they work every day; their wages being always ground down to the smallest possible sum which can enable them to subsist ; the gain is then exclusively their employers', while the loss of rest is theirs :-yet it is evident, that the allowance of one day's rest must be general: no labourer can take it if his neighbours do not, for he would starve ;-a cogent reason for Government to interfere. As to the other ominous circumstance mentioned by Mr de Pradt, we shall only observe that a ci-devant Archbishop of the church of Rome impeaches his past or his present sincerity, when he laughs at processions.
renewed yearly by fifths; that the electors should not be less tban thirty years of age, nor pay less than 300 francs of direct taxes; and that the members elected should not be less than forty years age, nor pay
less than one thousand francs of direct taxes. The details were left to a future law, which was passed accordingly in 1816–17. This law, made under the inAuence of the liberal party, and with the view of strengthening it against the royalists who had shown themselves in a very hoszile attitude in 1815, gave a paramount influence to the class of small proprietors, including most of the purchasers of national domains, and to such traders in towns as had paid 300 francs for their patent, and by confining the place of election to the chief town of the department, often at a great distance from the residence of the country electors, prevented the attendance at the poll of the most moderate amongst them. Three yearly elections * have already taken place under this law; and each has sensibly reduced the number of Royalists in the Chamber, and added to that of the Liberals.
The cautious and conciliating policy adopted by the King at his restoration, disconcerted and alarmed the Ultra royalists :and, in their wisdom, they devised a secret police of the kingdom, a sort of extra-government, under the auspices of persons of the highest rank, which meddled so unwarrantably with the measures of the ostensible government, that public functionaries scarcely durst obey the latter without the express permission of the former. Innumerable facts established beyond a doubt the existence of this illegitimate imperium in imperio.
The civil list of the Crown in France amounts to the enormous sum of thirty-four millions of francs, nearly one half more than that of Great Britain. A very considerable part is well known to be devoted to humane and charitable purposes, but enough remains, we suspect, to secure the friendship of most of the active politicians of the capital, if it was so applied; yet, by a perverse policy, of which however those who are afraid of the power of the Crown should be the last to complain, these great means have hitherto served only to keep up a deadly opposi
* One, especially, of these nominations was intended as an insult. In this country it would have been silently resented, and allowed to recoil on those who had offered it. But our neighbours do not understand the silent expression of feelings; Wherever they exist they must explode, and make a noise. Rousseau remarks somewhere that the Parisian dilettanti beat time with their hands and feet at the opera, that their musical sensibility may not be questioned. It appears that they beat time in politics also, as diligently as at the 0 pera.