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Vicissitudes in France. — Polignac Ministry. - Public Opinion.
- La Fayette in Lyons. — Breton Association. — Parisian Cafes. — Pamphlets. — Journals. — Journalism. — Comite Directeur. -Jesuits. - State of the Question. — Meeting of the Chambers. — Character of Parties.
It has been the destiny of the protracted calm and monotony France, during the last half cen- of affairs, in the bosom of that tury, to fix the attention of the people, so habituated to the conworld by alternate scenes of de- templation of the most exciting gradation and glory ; by astonish- changes, the most extreme and ing vicissitudes of political condi- violent vibrations, in the combition; by the commission of the nations of its political condition. darkest public crimes, and by the Tranquil the period may well be exhibition of magnanimity and of called, for France, which at home enthusiasm in the pursuit of great saw nothing more important than national objects, seldom surpass- the assassination of a prince of the ed; and as the theatre in short, blood, the descent of the crown of those events, achievements, sac- in the regular order of hereditary rifices, and revolutions in human succession, an occasional uprisaffairs, whereon history delights ing and consequent fusillade of to dwell. The incidents of 1830 the uneasy spirits among the peohave added another chapter of ple, the suppression or re-estabdeep and absorbing interest to her lishment of the liberty of the Press, already wonderful annals. Since the disbanding of the National the second Restoration, a period Guards, a contested election, the of comparatively long tranquillity, funeral of a Manuel or a Foy, both internal and external, had stormy discussions in the Chamelapsed, when the Revolution of ber of Deputies, or capricious the Three Days, and the subordi- shiftings of the ministerial portfolios nate events which preceded or from one to another of the unstaaccompanied it, came to interrupt ble tenants of office : and which
abroad saw nothing more impor- in the brief period of eleven tant than the unopposed invasion months from its appointment, was of Spain, or the bloodless occu- destined to overthrow the throne pation of the Morea. In our own they were designed to strengthen fortunate, peaceful, and prosper- and confirm. M. de Polignac had ous land, where the stability and been transferred from the court quiet of a happy form of govern- of St James to the hotel of Forment and of wise laws prevent the eign Affairs and invested with the frequent occurrence of those pro- responsible control of the goverfoundly interesting events, which ment, first, as minister merely, and electrify mankind, such things afterwards as President of the could not pass without filling a Council, in order to gain a name space, by no means insignificant, synonymous with incapacity as a in our annals. But in France it statesman, and fatuity as a man. is otherwise : for what is a change His associates were either, like of ministry, compared with a
compared with a MM. de Bourmont and La Bourchange of dynasty, the abolition donnaye, the most supremely of a law to the abolition of a con- odious individuals in France, in stitution, the dispersion of a hand- the estimation of the great body of ful of turbulent students toʻ the the Nation; or like MM. Courdefeat of a noble army, the de- voisier, Chabrol, and Montbel, mise of a king to his dethrone- and M. Guernon de Ranville, who ment, the doating ineptitude of a soon took the place of La BourLouis or a Charles to the sublime donnaye, were chiefly distinaspirations and splendid errors guished for their known or supof Napoleon ? And the inglo- posed devotion to the cause of rious chase of the unresisting Con- ultra-royalty and the parti-prêtre. stitutionalists of Spain — how little Such was the Cabinet, consisting worth it could be to men, who had of names in part but too notorious participated in the magnificent at the present hour, whose organtriumphs of Marengo and Jena, or ization signalized the latter part the bloody reverses of Leipsic the year 1829; and it was reand Waterloo ! But animation ceived with those ominous and and vicissitude and preparation threatening bursts of public indigand anticipation have once more nation, which clearly indicated an regained their sway over the approaching crisis. course of public affairs in France, If the Chamber of Deputies had and by consequence in the rest of been at this time in session, the Europe ; and in resuming our Opposition would, of course, have narrative, we enter apon the rec- chosen that as the theatre of their ord of events, which do not yield resistance to the new Cabinet, and in importance or interest, to those the voice of France would there which signalized the days of the have been heard on this momenRepublic or the Empire. tous subject. But Charles and
We closed the history of France his Camarilla bad purposely for 1829 with an account of the lected this moment for a change formation of that ministry, which, of Ministry, in order to give the
new Ministers time to mature lic movement and impulse, was at their plans, and if possible ac- this time free, and was thus enaquire firmness in their places, be- bled to utter the decisions of the fore they should be called upon to national will, and invoke the face the Chamber of Deputies. friends of liberty and order to If the opinions of the leading men stand fast each by the other in the of the Nation had not been long great catastrophe that seemed imbefore fully made up, if the Peo- pending. In what manner the ple themselves had stood in need Press discharged this most sacred of any regular and responsible duty we shall presently see ; but concentration of public opinion for that it was not the Press, which their information or guidance in created the public excitement imthis emergency, the King would mediately consequent on the aphave derived great advantage from poiutment of the Polignac ministhis arrangement. For it is to be try, is satisfactorily proved by the considered that France, with its reception given to La Fayette at thirty millions of inhabitants, pos- this period, in the south of France. sessed but one popular assembly, Since the Revolution of the but one body in which the great Three Days, so many personal intelligences of the times could in details and anecdotes in illustratheir own persons address the lan- tion of that event have been spread guage of warning or persuasion to before the world in the newspatheir fellow citizens. Provincial pers,
that all men now understand bodies, analogous to our state leg. the elevated position occupied by islatures, unfortunately it had not ; General La Fayette in his own for, by a political oversight of the country. They have seen the most fatal character, the ancient extraodinary influence exercised provinces, which at the Revolu- by him, a simple Deputy, in giviion offered so favorable a basis for ing direction to the march of a Federal Republic, had been opinions and of action. It was the sedulously and anxiously melted accumulated result of reiterated down in the revolutionary cruci- acts of lofty patriotism at home, ble into one homogeneous mass. brightened by the reflected splenPolitical meetings of an occasion- dor of his illustrious reputation in al nature, suited to the expression another hemisphere. He had reof opinion concerning the admin- turned to France, after the Ameristration of public affairs, were ican war, the youthful hero of a either contrary to the laws, or un- new-born
With the sanctioned by the usages of the characteristic ardor of his nature, French. The Press remained, he threw himself into that Revoand the Press alone, as the directlution, which in its outset promisand legitimate channel for corn- ed so much for the lasting good ca municating to the People at large France. When bad inen seized the views and feelings, the hopes upon the helm of state, and La and apprehensions, of the master- Fayette was compelled to fly minds of the Nation. Happily the from a country reeling with the Press, that potent engine of pub- wild vertigo of revolutionary mad
ness, he became the martyr of movable god Terminus, to indiliberty, as the prisoner of him, cate the limits between liberty and who worthily rules the Croats and despotism. Huns on the borders of European Such at this moment was the civilization ;- of him, who, not general position of La Fayette, content with the infamy which at- such his absolute popularity as an tached to the name of Austria, as individual. His intimate connexthe kidnapper and base jailer of ion with America was incidenRichard Cour de Lion, suffered tally the occasion of a considerathat name to be in like manner ble enhancement of the charm disgraced once more, by re- attached to his name. Col. Le peating the same petty outrage Vasseur's Journal of his patron's against the laws of hospitality and visit to America had recently been honor in the person of La Fay- published, and was eagerly read ette. When restored to personal and greatly admired, as well for freedom and to his country, he its own intrinsic merits, as opacproudly and conscientiously refus- count of the flattering picture it ed that homage to the victorious gives of the political condition of child of the Revolution, which ma- the United States. We in Amerny n émigré professor of ultra roy, ica, who judge of this work in the alism had condescended to pay, but translation, and who are familiar which La Fayette could not be- with all the subjects it discusses, stow even upon the great Julius' cannot fully appreciate the excelwhen false to Rome. ' Consistent lence and value of it as composed in his untiring zeal for national lib- for the meridian of France. The erty at the latter epoch of the Res- highly talented and most estimatoration, he of course earned the ble author of the Journal, who honor of being hated by the Bour- courageously perilled his life in bons in proportion as he was be- the combat of the Three Days, loved by France. Meantime he and bore off in honorable wounds revisited America, and retrod, in the brave man's badge of glory, one continued ovation, such as wrote the book for France, who never royal progress or march of needed the examples and infororiental pomp had exhibited, - mation it contained, not for the scenes of his early usefulness America, who already possessed and glory. Bringing back to his them in all their original fullness. native country a treasure of heart- This publication therefore so opfelt blessings and heaped-up to- portunely made, while it directly kens of eternal gratitude, to show added to the celebrity of La Faythe world how republicans loved ette, operated in the same way to honor their benefactor, he re- indirectly, by reviving the symappeared among the children of pathies of enlightened Frenchinen young France as the patriarch of in the prosperity of republican the revolution, holding in 1829 America, and gathering those the liberal opinions of 1789, un- sympathies around La Fayette as shaken by misfortune or change, the visible representative of transand standing as it were the im- atlantic freedom.
These explanations are neces sion before the imagination. sary to the understanding of the Louis XIV., the rash tribunes of fact we are about to relate ; at the the Republic, Napoleon, and ansame time that they will serve to other Louis, had all passed off like elucidate the deference paid to La a dream, and the contest for the Fayette, as we shall hereafter see, secure possession of constitutional in the preparation and accom- freedom, formerly waged by the plishment of the revolution of the people of 1791, was now, after so Three Days. When the ordi- many bloody but fruitless sacrifinances nominating the new Minis- ces, renewedly waging by the ters appeared in the Moniteur, La people of 1829 with untiring resFayette was on the way to the olution and pertinacity. There south of France, to visit his patri- lived a man, bearing the name of monial estates in his native prov- Charles Capet, and the title of ince of Auvergne, which had been King of France, to whom the restored to him under the law of dreadful lessons of the age seemindemnity; and his journey was ed as water spilled on the ground, extended to the delightful resi or seed scattered on the surface of dence of his grand-daughter, Mad- the ocean ; and who in sight of ame Adolphe Perrier, amid the the red soil of the Place de la rich valleys of Dauphiny and the Révolution on the one hand, and Isère. Nothing, except the cir- the bronze columns of the Place cumstances of his welcome to Vendôme on the other, was mediAmerica, could exceed the enthu- tating to deprive France, as she siasm with which La Fayette was believed, of the liberties dearly fêté by the inhabitants of the towns bought with her blood. La Faythrough which he passed. The ette, the champion of freedom in people seized with extreme avid- 1791, reappeared among them ity upon this occasion for testisy- again, the champion of freedom ing their admiration of a great in 1829; and he seemed as one man, and their sense of the actual risen from the dead, the resuscicomplexion of the political affairs tated memorial of a by-gone era, of the country. The occasion a revenue from among the beatiwas most auspicious in both res fied spirits of the early days of pects.
revolutionized France, come to Thirtyeight years had_rolled encourage the zealous, to fix the rapidly away since La Fayette wavering, to stimulate the phleg, was last among them; and what matic, and to deliver a mission of a mighty mass of overpowering gratulation and hope to a regenerreflection belonged to that period ated race.
What fitter opportuin the flight of time! The brightnity could be found for speaking hopes of the first constitution, the out the universal indignation felt lurid splendors of the Republic, by the people at the appointment the maddening excitements of the of a ministry, whose very existence Empire, the two Restorations with in office they considered as a deall their train of humiliating con- clared conspiracy against the sequences, arose in quick succes- Charter?