Изображения страниц

But his popularity, as rapid in its descent as it had been slow in its rise, was already on the wane, and fading away before the resentments of the monarchical party and the threatening agitations of the Ultra-Republicans. The national ateliers had more especially assumed the character of a cloud, tempest-laden, even in the face of the government. The executive began to contemplate doing away with this grievance; dreading at the same time a conflict, or at least a most formidable resistance. The 20,000 idle and turbulent men composing the national ateliers had got up a new obstacle to the Republic. This was a military dictatorship, with the name of Bonaparte at its head. 6. We are induced to believe,” says Lamartine, " that the immense popularity of the name of Napoleon was the whole of the conspiracy."

Lamartine felt the danger, and resolved to meet it with energy. He was the first to take the initiative in the decree, which maintained during the foundation of the Republic the ostracism of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte. “ He was, of all the members of the proscribed dynasty, the one most signalised by public favour. Heir to the imperial throne by virtue of a senatus-consulte, this prince, little known and unfairly represented in France, was the only one who had attempted to establish his claim to the sovereignty of France by two acts which had at the same time ensured his reputation-his imprisonment, and his exile.”

The moment when Lamartine was about to lay the decree for the proscription of the prince before the assembly, word was brought that an officer had been shot by a Bonapartist in the neighbourhood of the palace. This was a great opportunity, and Lamartine made the most of it, and the decree was ratified by acclamation. This decree, thus obtained, was changed a few months afterwards into the election of the proscribed prince to the Presidency of the Republic by 6,000,000 of voices.

Disorder, turbulence, and anarchy, continued on the increase in Paris. General Cavaignac was instructed to bring the divisions of the army the Alps nearer to the capital. Everything announced an outbreak, and it took place on the night of the 22nd of June, at ten o'clock. The attempt to get rid of a number of the idlers supported at the national expense, by sending them to the departments, was the cause. The fall of Marie and of Lamartine, who had shown most determination in the endeavour to break up the army of sedition, was resolved upon.

The night was passed in preparations on both sides. The morning of the 23rd opened with an attack upon the Luxembourg, which being thwarted, the crowd descended upon the quays, increased there and on its way by numbers of the lower classes. The National Guard, as has been so often said before, did not answer the summons with sufficient alacrity. General Cavaignac had in the mean time assembled his troops around the Tuileries, the Chambers, and the Champs Elysées. The Hôtel de Ville was also occupied by fifteen or sixteen battalions under General Duvivier, and the communication between the two was kept upon the line of the quays. General Damesne was placed in command on the right bank of the river, as far as to the Pantheon ; General Lamoricière on the left, as far as to the Château d'Eau. The battle began on the Boulevards, where two barricades were carried by assault.

“ I shall not, however, relate,” says Lamartine, “ the different combats which took place on these sad days, during which generals, National



Guards, soldiers, and still more especially the Garde Mobile, representatives of the people, and the Archbishop of Paris himself, shed their blood, and covered their country with mourning, and their names with glory. Negrier, Duvivier, Lamoricière, Bedeau, Bréa, Bixio, Dornés, Lafontaine, Lebreton, Foucher, Le François, and so many others, marked with their generous blood the pages where history will find their devotion recorded.”

The sanguinary victory obtained by the lovers of order upon this occasion did not satisfy the minds of the majority in the National Assembly. The executive government was, Lamartine says, justly” mistrusted, and the very next morning it was required to give in its resignation. This it demiurred to do in the midst of danger ; but by ten o'clock, the Assembly having unanimously conferred the civil power upon General Cavaignac, to whom all military power had been previously conceded, Lamartine wrote in the name of his colleagues the following letter to the assembly:

“Citizens Representatives, —The commission of the executive power would have been wanting to its duties and its honour to have withdrawn before a sedition and a public danger : it only retires before a vote of the Assembly. In giving back to you the power with which you have invested it, it re-enters into the ranks of the National Assembly, to devote itself with you to the common danger and the safety of the Republic."

Lamartine's high-flown and egotistical narrative of his own brief domination will form a curious chapter in history. The lasting impression conveyed by it is, that à mere constitutional-reform movement was converted, by ill-judged opposition, by the existence of a predatory party such as is to be found in all great cities, and by want of resolution at the crisis, into a Revolution. The revolution accomplished, Lamartine and his colleagues deserve well from posterity in having placed themselves in the breach between society and lawlessness. But their great fault lay in spilling so much blood in the vain attempt to found an ideal republic, inconsistent with the French character.

The power gained by the talent, zeal, and devotion of the Provisional Government, used for the restoration of a legitimate monarchy, would have saved thousands of lives, and France from a national dictatorship, though not from war without. Lamartine has since acknowledged, that although he refused to interfere in the Italian question unless called upon, he would have interfered, whether called upon or not, if he had been in power upon the invasion of Piedmont.

Europe has thus been saved from a general war only by change of government, and at a time when the great French apostle of peace was at the head of foreign affairs. How long, then, can peace be expected to last, under a power supported and environed by nothing but the memory of past military glories, or under the undivided, uncontrolled, and unlimited force which has been made to supersede a responsible monarchy!



LEAVING the small township of Guildford, briefly described in our last, the traveller passes over a firm natural road, chiefly composed of hard clay, with occasional patches of a lighter soil; and at the distance of about four miles commences upon the ascent of the Darling Range. Here the road diverges from two points ; the right leading to the inland town of York, and the left to the fertile and picturesque district called by its native name Toodyay. Let us in the course of our exploration take the latter, and then, returning by the former, a fair opportunity will be afforded of judging of the qualities and capabilities of this portion of the settled districts.

The Darling Range, which extends north and south for nearly 300 miles, rises abruptly from the plains, and stands like a huge buttress between them and the interior of the land. A nice scramble it is, both for man and horse, to gain the summit by the circuitous rocky path, traced out alone by the drays and vehicles of the settlers, and worn here and there by the passage of the winter rains. To the newly-arrived emigrant, who has gazed so long o'er the monotonous lowland and forest, and looked oftentimes wistfully at these distant hills, it is a matter of indescribable joy when his desires are at length accomplished, and he turns to gaze upon the scene beneath, and mark the aspect of a country whose beauties and resources he is to adopt, and add his mite towards their development. Many a time and oft is he destined to gaze from this eminence on each prominent feature of the landscape, and turn with either pleasure or disgust from that region where the fate of his annual exertions and hard stritings is made known, and the meed of necessary civilisation dispensed to him. The view has its charms. To the left may be seen in the dim distance the estuary of the Swan, and a glimpse of some of the white buildings of Perth; to the right, the eye wanders over what

appears to be a boundless forest, broken occasionally by small isolated hills covered with timber, and concealing the course of the river and the innumerable clearings upon its banks. It is a solemn moment for the emigrant, to stand for the first time upon the highest eminence which his adopted country affords, and catch another faint glimpse of that remorseless ocean which bore him for so many anxious days and nights on its fretful and unsleeping bosom, towards the new distant haven of his hopes and his struggles upon earth. At such a moment, the novelty of his situation raises him above the conflict of emotions wherein the past and present are fearfully mingled, -and he would fain ask that the future might be made known to him. These suggestions recur painfully to the writer from the details of a little incident which occurred to him on his first visit to this part of the country, in company

with friend who had volunteered to act as guide during the pilgrimage through which the reader is about to be conducted. We left Guildford ere the sun had risen over the hills, on a bright clear morning, such as can scarcely be seen except in Australia; and mounted on well-conditioned steeds, which seemed in their brute natures to hail the spirit of the hour, journeyed towards the foot of the range.


By the side of the road, but a short distance from the township, stood, encircled by a rail fence, a small and ruined barn, or primitive dwellinghouse; and through the rafters of the partly open roof arose a thin wreath of white smoke, announcing the temporary fire of some benighted person, or more probably wandering native family. Our companion proposed that we should light that unfailing solace of the bush, the pipe, at this fire, ere we were fairly on our journey, and had encountered the noontide heat of the day. As we drew up to the shattered tenement, we observed that its occupant was but the shadow of a human being, of an appearance so indescribable that, amid the dirty whole which made up his apparel and fleshly form, but little could be distinguished one way or the other. He wore a light battered foraging cap upon his head, and undoubtedly seemed as forlorn and outcast :-as in truth he was—as human being could by his frailties or infirmities be found, subdued and punished. The fire was in perfect keeping with the creature who had kindled it; it was made up

of a bundle of sticks and reeds, loosely and vaguely piled upon each other ; and, emitting no flame, sent up into the still morning air but a faint struggling wreath of vapour, emblematic of the fading creature who ere our arrival stood vacantly gazing at its tardy progress towards a blaze. He seemed to be without food, and unencumbered with anything that might be fondly termed property. His furtive look, and apparent disinclination to anything approaching ordinary communication, spoke volumes of the unhappy condition to which years of heedless wandering and habitual intemperance had reduced him. His course of life since his residence in the colony—if it could be presumed that he had in common with other mortals a local habitation or a name e-had been taken amid the most unfrequented wilds of the territory, in slow and solitary search for the rarest seeds and botanical specimens for which this colony has long been celebrated ; at times partaking of the primitive fare of the native tribes, but more frequently drowning the cares and the disappointments of his monotonous existence in the drunken revel of the towns, when, by the fortunate sale of the materials of his labours, he was enabled to indulge in the remaining solace of his life.

Such was the being who then tended to the travellers a mouldering ember of the fire for the purpose to which we have alluded, and, having done so, he shrank instinctively from that closer inspection which is so hateful to one in his condition, yet so natural to those to whom such characters are objects of deep and painful interest. He stooped down, and with his feeble breath commenced to blow amidst the leaves, which seemed at that time to lack their wonted sympathy with the element glowing beneath. Not wishing to draw him from the recluse position which was evidently a matter of choice and feeling, we turned hastily from the spot, and wishing God speed him on his path, however desolate and drear that path might be, urged our horses into a light canter towards the hills. "We thought in this instance, as in the many which surrounded us in life, how true is the language of the poet, when speaking of that solitude which surpasses all other descriptions of worldly isolation:

To roam about, the world's tired denizen,

With none to bless us-none whom we can bless! But a few months subsequent to the occurrence we have briefly deseribed, tidings were brought in, we believe by the natives, of the re

mains of this poor creature having been found at the foot of a huge tree in the depths of the forest, though not many miles from the township we had just left. It was winter time, in the very heart of the rainy season, when a frame so wasting and enfeebled as his own required security and shelter, both from the pelting of the pitiless storm and the deluge of moisture which floated in the atmosphere, and everywhere saturated the surface of the land. In some wild night, when the howling of the tempest was lost in the still louder roar of the giants of the forest, and the gloom occasionally rent by the vivid glare of the forked lightning which lent additional horrors to the scene, was this poor houseless wretch, stiffened with cold and convulsed in hopeless agony, yielding up his spirit from the desolate clay which for months and years delayed to part, yet gave oft-repeated promise of speedy dissolution. And why was he there? Why, at such a season, should he brave the dangers with which forms of hardy bearing shrank from contending? For the bare pittance of his precarious livelihood-for the small rewards of lonely, anxious toil, to purchase the soul-destroying drink, the necessary support of his declining strength, the comfort of his allotted term. In his simple history there appeared nothing to superinduce so fatal a predilection. He had been many years in the settlement, and many before his disposition and character fell prostrate beneath the load of sorrow, sickness, and desolation, which accrued upon his increasing depravity. Formerly employed at the Royal Gardens of Kew, he had been induced to accompany the first governor of the colony for the purpose of pursuing his avocations in a new field, and under auspices which might he said to be most favourable; yet his arrival served but to confirm those previous habits which, alas! in the bright climate of Australia, are but too seductive-too easily provided—for the weakest of human creatures to withstand. So that, after a career of habitual debauch, mingled with privation and exposure among the rocky hills and damp glades in search of botanical treasures, he gave in his heart-sickening end but a melancholy chapter to colonial annals, where the outcast and the socially extinct forms of civilised men are fresh in the memory of the colonist, and breathe sad warnings to posterity. Here, some dreary hollow in the mountains tells its tale of deep revenge or fatal encounter with the savage races; there, some lonely spot in the trackless forest marks where the bones of some lost traveller whitened for years ere they were discovered: all speak, like so many landmarks, to succeeding generations.

But we left the reader on the summit of the first line of hills of the Darling Range, and must hasten to conduct him on his journey. As far as can be discovered in the immediate neighbourhood of the road, the land upon the hills and in the valleys or gullies of the ranges appears useless for any purpose whatever. Large masses of granite with quartz pebbles may occasionally be seen ; and when this is not prominent, an ironstone country covered with fine stately timber is met with, relieving to a considerable degree the otherwise forbidding aspect of the range; for be it known that it is the habit of the settler to dwell upon the available portions of territory, and, caring little for the picturesque unless it be allied to fertility, to pass over unheeded many pleasing features of the country. The road is one continuous hill and dale, uncheered by the “clearing" of the settler, though much that is now passed by may, at a future time, be turned to account. At the end of about twenty miles the .

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »