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“But what ! I assure you it is the gentry of the court whose imagiation gives birth, every day, to these marvellous projects. They could sooner invent the like than Fehlemberg's sowing machine, or the steamboat. The idea has been conceived, says the minister, to have Chambord bought by the communes of France, for Duke of Bordeaux. The idea has been conceived ! By whom, I pray y? The Minister ? He would not conceal it, would not rest satisfied with the honour of approving on a like occasion. The Prince ? God forbid that it should have been his first idea, that this fancy should have seized him before that for sugar plums and rattles. The Communes, then, it seems? Not ours, as far as I know, on this side of the Loire, but those perhaps that have twice lodged the Cossacks of the Don. Here we feel sufficiently the blessings of the Holy Alliance ; but it is quite another thing there, where they enjoyed its presence, possessed Sacken and Platoff. There, very naturally, they propose buying chateaux for princes and then bethink them of rebuilding their roofs and firesides.
"Returning to the notion of purchasing Chambord, let us confess that it is not us poor village-folk, that God has favoured with such inspiratious. But of what importance is it after all? A man has been found in the higher circles, gifted with wit enough to have this happy idea; let it be a faithful courtier, formerly a pensioner of Fouché, or one of Bonaparte's gentlemen of the wardrobe, it is the same thing for us, who would have no other merit in the matter than that of paying.
“Certainly this is a new idea that the Minister so much admires and charges us to execute. We have seen such gifts bestowed as the payment of great services, of brilliant actions; Eugene, Marlborough, at the close of a life all filled with glory, obtained from the nations they had defended, these testimonials of public gratitude; and Chambord itself, without hunting so far off for examples, what they wish to give to the Prince for his toy-box, (layette*) was the recompence to Count de Saxe, for a victory that saved France at Fontenoi. France, free by his means, that is to say, independent, delivered from foreign power, flourishing at home, presented this domain to her liberator, who eame hither to repose, after thirty years of combat. His Royal Highness has been but six months at nurse, and it must be confessed, that between the conqueror Maurice (Count Saxe) and the Prince with the bib, there is some little difference, unless, perhaps, it be said, that commencing his life where the other finished his, he will finish as Maurice commenced, by delivering us from foreign powers. I wish it, and I hope for it from the blood of that Henry who drove Spain from France ; but it is folly, I believe, to pay bim already, and I in nowise approve of invalidest in swaddling clothes. To pay a baby who had just seen the light, like the captain who gained battles, and by fortunate exploits acquired for his country both peace and honour, is what has not been seen heretofore : it is a new idea, that would not have occurred to us without official notice. To invent this, and to put in place of the hus
*The word in fact means box, and more frequently baby-clothes. + The allied forces were not yet withdrawn. : The disabled soldiers supported at the expense of government,
sars of Count de Saxe, the Gentlemen of the Cradle, requires not only genius, but the talent of adulation which is only found where this kind of industry is well encouraged : this stroke rises above common meannesses, and places its author, whoever he be, beyond the generality of pick-thanks. He laughs in his sleeve apparently, at his coinrades, who tread in the beaten path of old, worn-out cajolings, not knowing how to devise any thing. He will now be i.nitated 'till another can outstrip him.
When the governor of an infant king said to his pupil formerly, Master, every thing is yours; this people belongs to you, body and goods, beasts and folks ; this was noted. All that surrounded him repeated; Master, every thing is yours, which, in the language of the courtiers, meant, every thing is ours, for the Court gives all to princes, as the priests give all to God; and these domains, these appurtenances, these civil lists, these budgets, belong not otherwise to the king than the revenues of the abbeys to Jesus Christ. Purchase, give Chambord, it is the court that will devour it, the prince will be neither the better nor the worse of it. Therefore these fine ideas of taxing us after so many fashions, always originate with the courtiers, who know very well what they are about in offering our money to the Prince. The offering is never for the saint, nor our savings for kings, but for that devouring swarm that hum around them from their cradle to St. De
He praises the Duke of Orleans, who placed his children at the public schools, to receive the same education as other children of all classes, and then goes on :
" There is no better education than that of the public schools, nor none worse than that of the court. Ah! if in place of Chambord for the Duke of Bordeaux, they spoke to us of paying for his education at the college (and would to God that he were of an age, that I could see it with my own eyes) if that was the proposition, I would consent to it with all my heart, and would vole as much as they wished, should it cost me the best cutting of my hay. We should not complain of this expense, because it is of importance to all of us.
“What will he learn at Chambord ? What Chambord and the court teaches There every thing is full of his ancestors. It is exactly on that account that I disapprove of it, and I would love much better that he would live with us than with his ancestors. There he will see, on all sides, the cyphers of a Diana, of a Chateaubriant, whose names yet sully these walls, once infected with their presence. Interpreters to explain such emblems will not be wanting to him, rest assured; and what instruction for a youth destined to reign! Here Louis, the model of kings, lived (this is the court expression, with the wife Montespan, with the daughter Lavalliere, with all the wives and daughters that it suited his pleasure to take from their husbands, or their parents. It was
* The burying place of the kings of France. VOL. V.-NO. 9.
then the age of morality, of religion ; and he took the communion every day. By this door, entered his mistress in the evening, and his confessor in the morning. There Henry did penance in the midst of his minions and monks; morals and religion of the good old times! Behold here the spot where a daughter bathed in tears, came to ask the life of her father, and obtained it (at what price ?) from Francis, who died there of bis good morals. In this chamber, another Louis ... in this, Philip ...; Oh! morals ! Oh! religion ! Chivalry, hypocrisy, where are you? How many reminiscences are preserved in this monument, where every thing respires the innocence of monarchical times ! and what a pity would it have been to give up to industry, this temple of ancient morals, of ancient gallantry,(another court expression, that cannot be decently traņslated) to permit laborious families and ignoble households to establish themselves under these ceilings, the witnesses of so many august debauches! This is what Chanıbord would say to the young prince.'
ART. VI.- Report of the Secretary of the Navy, with the accom
panying Documents, &c. Washington. 1829.
When in a former number, we took a review of our Naval History, we promised to revert to the subject, for the purpose of discussing more fully some of the topics, then suggested, which seemed to us to be full of interest to all who felt any concern in the character or progress of the American Navy. The recent message of the President, and the report which stands at the head of this article, present a suitable occasion for continuing our observations on this interesting subject. Presuming that the suggestions from the Navy Department have been well considered, and that the opinions expressed by the Secretary and Navy Commissioners, are the deliberate convictions of those who have been constituted the especial guardians of the establishment, and who must therefore be presumed to be best acquainted with its wants and interests, it is obvious that a great crisis has arrived in the affairs of the Navy. The first effect of any proposition to make a radical change in the organization or management of any important department of the Government, must be to create on the public mind an impression decidedly un
favourable to iis existing condition. The mere suggestion of the necessity of correcting abuses, founded, as it must be, on the admitted existence of such abuses, has a tendency to shake our confidence in the present state of the institution to be reformed, and so far to impair its popularity ; which, in a country where the omnipotence of public opinion is universally felt and acknowledged, may have no inconsiderable influence on its future character and usefulness. The task, therefore, of endeavouring to reform an establishment, without creating prejudice against it, of freely exposing defects in its organization, or abuses in its administration, without impairing that salutary confidence which affords the best security for its efficiency, is certainly one of extreme difficulty and delicacy, and which cannot but be attended with some hazard to the parties concerned. Still it is not to be questioned, that the true, indeed the only mode, of avoiding the injurious consequences of these exposures, (if we may venture so to call them,) is to apply the proper correctives, the very moment abuses are discovered, though we are well aware that this can never be done, at least in this country, without laying the whole subject open to the scrutiny of the world.
We are inclined to think, that there is more danger to be apprehended to our institutions from the culpable indifference of our public functionaries, and a fatal supineness on the part of the people, than from any overanxious zeal or any persevering efforts in the cause of “ reform.” The task of detecting, exposing and correcting abuses, is one that must at all times be painful, and he who undertakes it will find himself engaged in a most thankless office. When attempted by the head of one of the great departments of the Government, he must, from the very nature of the case, encounter at the outset the secret or open opposition of all who may have any interest in perpetuating the abuse which he seeks to correct, while he can look for support only from those who may happen to feel such an interest in the subject, as to take the necessary pains to inform themselves of the true state of the case, and who may be placed in a situation which enables them to make up a disinterested and enlightened opinion. We have no hesitation in expressing our gratification at the efforts now making by the Secretary of the Navy to simplify and reform the establishment over which he presides. We can readily conceive, that in the course of thirty years, during which the Navy Department has existed under its present organization, various abuses must have crept in, which may now require correction, and that in the ra
pid enlargement of the establishment, which has been more than doubled within the last twelve years, defects must bave been discovered, which unless speedily removed, may impair its efficiency and, finally, sap its very foundations. We know that public feeling, which, since the commencement of the late war had set with a resistless current towards the Navy, bas of late been perceptibly checked. The affectionate respect and confidence with which all who have been in any way connected with this establishment, were every where greeted, has been gradually and perceptibly impaired. Trivial errors in the deportment of our officers, slight defects in their characters, have been blazoned forth by the press, with an avidity which seemed to indicate almost a malicious pleasure, while the conduct of our officers, both at home and abroad, and the services of our fleets on foreign stations, have been subjected to the severest scrutiny and most unsparing criticism. It is more than probable, that this seeming spirit of jealousy and discontent has not sprung up without some foundation, and we take for granted—what was indeed to have been expected—that the relaxation from discipline, incident to a state of profound peace, and the want of the excitements of active and dangerous service, may have had an effect as injurious to the reputation of our officers, at least, as the partial shade which time has cast over the gallant achievements on which that reputation was founded. In this state of things, it has perhaps become necessary, in order to restore the Navy to that envied place in the confidence and affection of the people, where it has heretofore reposed in safety and honour, to institute at once a rigid inquiry into its present condition, subjecting to the strictest scrutiny every branch of its administration, with a view to reformation, wherever it may be found necessary. And thoroughly persuaded as we are, that the time has come, when this operation can no longer be delayed with safety, we rejoice to find that it has been undertaken as the first important act of the new administration. We fear this work has already been too long delayed. We have heard it asserted by those who have had the very best opportunities of knowing the fact, that the Navy Department has never been completely organized, and judging from facts which have from time to time come to our own knowledge, and especially from the documents which accompany the report now before us, we can have no doubt of the truth of this assertion. It appears from the report of the Secretary, which is fully supported in this respect by those of the Navy Commissioners and the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, that in the management of the fiscal concerns of the Depart