« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
was of a nature to open even a most veloped by the Revolution of 1830. friendly eye to the weakness of the He felt, then, neither joy nor happiLafitte Administration. Some depu- ness when he saw the day arrive for ties resolved to speak out to the him to seize the reins of GovernChamber, and to excite it from its ment; but casting on his country a apparent and false security. M. Gui- firm but a sad look of distrust and zot attacked the Ministry from the sorrow, he accepted the mission with Tribune, and the Ministry replied the sentiment of a man who has a by announcing an early dissolution of great duty to perform—with the disthe Cabinet. The fall of the Lafitte trust of a mind chagrined, but with Administration was one of the greatest the courage of a great and noble blessings ever conferred on France or heart. on Europe. Whilst it boasted of its His celebrated Ministry of March 13, pacific and moderate intentions, it en- 1831, was no hasty combination. Before couraged the hopes, and raised the forming it, he was resolved to know the expectations of the ultra-Liberal party. real state of the police, the finance, Whilst it affected independence and a and the diplomacy of the country.great love of national honour, it was, He saw and conferred with the foriner like the Melbourne Administration, Council ; he deliberated a long time the slave of a faction, and the ally of before he declared his resolution ; he revolutionists. Whilst it gave daily really and truly hesitated more than and solemn promises to the ambassa- once, and he did not consent to be dors of foreign powers that it desired chief of the Cabinet till he had sounded to cultivate the best possible under. well all the questions, resolved, at least standing with the Governments they in principle, all the difficulties and represented, it at the same time encou- examined profoundly all the repugraged secretly the hopes of the Poles nances, as well as all the objections. without meaning to help them ; told He wished that, from the moment the the French party in Belgium that it Ministry should be named, it should was convinced that the union of that begin to act. Unity-an entire, and province with France was the only well-based, and well-considered unity means of putting for ever at rest the was that which he regarded as indisagitations of the Low Countries; sup- pensable. The difficulty was great plied means to the Spanish Liberals to to bring all together to one way of carry on their political intrigues and thinking and to one system of action, their border insurrections; kept the but yet he succeeded; and when he Italian refugees in a state of suspense, saw the Ministry ready to be formed sometimes encouraging, and at other and to act, he received from the hand of times discouraging them ; and, in one Louis Phillippe the commission to unite word, preached peace, but encouraged the proposed members into a Cabinet. war-preached order, and yet was the He was one of those who would not author of anarchy.
consent to accept the confidence of a Casimir Perier neither excited nor prince without being assured that he restrained those who took the lead in possessed the means of rendering himtheir subversion of a Government of self worthy. The situation of France clubs, emeutes, and mob dominion.— when Casimir Perier accepted office He felt that the time was at hand, but and formed his Ministry was most he thought the moment had scarcely deplorable. She had no ally but Engarrived; he resolved not to undertake land ; she had no public opinion ; her the task of governing without having finances were in a most melancholy at least reasonable chances of success. situation; her public credit was gone ; He did not desire office for the sake her trade and commerce were in a state of its glitter or show; he had more of ruin ; her manufactories were closambition than that. Naturally an ed; her nobility were emigrating, or enemy of disorder-profoundly attach- selling their properties and funds, and ed to all ideas of authority—of subor- converting all into ready money ; her dination—of respect-inaccessible to metropolis was daily exposed to the speculative illusions—full of contempt agitation of street emeutes and insurand irony for the politics of romancers rections in the public places; her poliand poets-he saw with some severity tical and revolutionary clubs were inand some disgust the agitations of creasing every week, and were demodern society, and above all, that manding new concessions every day ; feverish, unhealthy, irritable state de. her press insulted the throne, the
altar, and the privileged classes- enthusiasm of all thinking and enerpreached anarchy and levelling in broad getic men. It was at a moment of day; and whilst the ambassadors of peril like that we have described, foreign powers were insulted in their that Casimir Perier, renouncing the hotels, the clergy were thrown into ease of a brilliant position, and of the Seine, or hunted down like wild an untouched popularity, delivered beasts when they appeared in public. himself up, without illusions, sacri. The working classes necessarily suf- ficing all his ease and all his popufered much from this sad state of de- larity at once, to the perfidy and pression, misery, and anarchy. The menaces of all the factions then Progagandist party urged them to pil- powerful and sanguinary—ready to lage—and the modern Robespierrian defend his cause against the authors demagogues counselled the sans cu- of the Revolution—not under-rating lottes to proceed to the Faubourg St. any obstacle or peril—but rather re. Germain and rob the hotels of the garding the horizon as more charged absent nobility—or hang those they and more black than even was the might find at the next lamp-posts. case. He was indeed superior, but There was no cry heard but for a gene- not insensible to calumny and injusral war, and those who discouraged that tice. He knew and felt that to gonotion were stigmatised as traitors and vern France then, was to renounce all scoundrels. We remember to have repose, all security, all ease ; and yet, witnessed in Paris the emeute of 13th though his health was most frail, and February, 1831, and to have asked his constitution most feeble, he ensome of the leaders the objects they tered the arena-ay, and by no means bad in view ; but they could give no certain of victory. He regarded the other account of their principles and Revolution of 1830 as a most dangerwishes than il faut la guerre. ous experiment. He knew that that “ War! War !" was their only cry, experiment must fail if any other pobut it was war to the cottage as well licy were adopted than that which he as to the throne—war to the altar as proposed, but he was by no means cerwell as to the home and war to all who tain that even that policy would sucpossessed, on the part of those who ceed. He was also no theorist. He did not.
had not therefore, the consolation de The policy of the Cabinet of the rived by some men from a belief in 13th of March was the natural policy abstract principles. He had no great of the monarchy of 1830_but it was confidence in political friends, and never recognised nor proclaimed till none in political partisans. He enCasimir Perier undertook to do so. deavoured to imagine that he should Oh, how loud was that howl which be deserted by all, and even conductproceeded from all parts, when Casi- ed as a victim to some revolutionary mir Perier proclaimed that the policy orgies, to be offered up as a sacrifice of his Administration would be “ peace, to their mad and brutal passions ; and liberty, and public order !” His true all this he realised in his own mind ; merit was, not that of having discover- and yet, with all these motives for reed the system, for from the moment nouncing, instead of accepting the Louis Phillippe was named King he terrific duties of Prime Minister at declared he would adopt no other ; that moment, he accepted the combut Casimir Perier was the first Min. bat, feeling, that he was the only man ister who proclaimed that those were who at that moment could stand in his intentions-he was the first who the breach. Nor must it be forgotsaid, “ mine shall be a system of re- ten that at the palace and the court, sistance”-not a negative policy, but Casimir Perier had some personal a policy of action ; he was the first enemies. He was proud, haughty, who gave that tone of authority which domineering ; had strong passions is so necessary to a Government, and and strong dislikes ; and was resolv. which commands confidence. He ed to be a real bona fide President was the first who rallied round the of the Council, presiding himself Government not only the interests, but over all the meetings of the Cabinet, the convictions and devotedness of the and not allowing Louis Philippe to middling classes, and assured, to the continue his favourite system of precold and chilling system of repression siding himself. He was willing to and counter-revolution, the support undertake all his responsibility of an of the convictions, and even of the undivided presidentship, but he was
resolved that it should be undivid- cessary also for him to prove. In ed.
politics a system is not every thing.When Casimir Perier took office, The system sbould be reasonable and the approaching dissolution of the wise; but it is the execution of that Chamber of Deputies, rendered essen- system which assures to it success, tial by the fact of the Revolution of which constitutes its glory. What 1830, was likewise unfavourable to did M. Perier bring along with him the development of his system. Who in support of the system which he procould predict what a new Chamber claimed? One only thing—but it was might say, think, and decide? The press a great one—the security offered to the clubs—the schools—the young France by his own_character. M. and ardent portion of the army and Na- Perier said at the Tribune, “Pour tional Guards, were all opposed to the garder la paix au dehors, comme pour system of “peace, liberty, and public la conserver au dedans, il ne faut order." Their cry was still for war. peut-être qu'une chose~c'est que la The whole of the west of France was in France soit gouvernée." a state of agitation. The question of Under the preceding AdministraBelgium was 80 wholly undecided, tions France had often asked, “ Where that the question of peace or war was is the Government ?” And echo anstill in suspense. Poland still fought swered, “ Where ?" But with Casivaliantly with broken swords. Nearly mir Perier the question could be put all the press excited daily the warlike no longer. France soon knew, and dispositions of the lower orders-and soon felt, that she was governed inby degrees all France had become in- deed. oculated with the mania for war. It On one occasion an old friend of became necessary then to give confi- himself and of his family, attached dence to Europe, without abandoning to the cause of Bonaparte, and believthe new French dynasty; to satisfying that the Government of Napoleon France, without allowing her pas- II. was practicable, attacked, 'in no sions to be gratified ; and to bring one very measured terms, the President party to resign itself to the Revo- of the Council, in his private dressinglution of 1830, as understood by room, to which he was always adthe cmservateurs—and to bring the mitted at an early hour in the mornother to be contented with the simple ing. “M. Perier,” said the Bonachange of dynasty, and with the revi- partist, “ your system cannot standson of a few of the articles of the all France is opposed to you—you are Charta of 1814. Yet Casimir Perier only supported by the bankers and caphad to fulfil the promises made by the italists of the Bourse—your system is Charta of 1830; and deeply did he selfish, pecuniary, disgraceful to France regret one of those promises, viz. the and anti-national ; France requires the destruction of the Hereditary Peerage. old fractions of the empire—the desHe had also at once to show to Europe truction of the treaties of Vienna—the that he did not fear war whilst he of- emancipation of the people of Europe, fered peace; and that the sword was who are her natural allies—and not the at his side whilst the olive-branch was kings of this continent, who can never in his hand. And in the midst of all sympathise with the Revolution of these difficulties he was surrounded 1830. Your system cannot last.” everywhere by distrust ; for no mind To all this he replied, " The France was confiding—everywhere by un- you know is the France of the kennels, certainty; for no one was satisfied. of the gutters, of the dregs of society, He had but one idea, one reply, to op- of the mob, of the clubs, of the schools ; pose to all this and thai was
beardless boys, indolent vagabonds, “ Je teuz la pair, et je ne veux que la and dissatisfied speculators. The Charte ;"
France which supports my system is In other words, he insisted that the opulent France, industrious France, monarchy of 1830 should be, and
honest and laborious France-wellshould also be considered, as a defini principled France, which loves order tive and regular Government.
6 Wis. as well as liberty, and peace better
than dom and pride," said Casimir Perier,
conquest. We shall see which “should be inscribed on the banner France will prevail. If yours shall of our national Revolution.”
succeed, do not imagine you will stop But that which he said, it was ne
at even the terrorism of 1793—you
will go beyond that. The social re- Orleans, and their apprehensions lest volution you will then witness will the policy of M. Perier should be un. exceed all the anarchy yet witnessed favourable to its existence. The Conon the earth. If my France shall suc- servatives themselves could not believe ceed, you will see the Revolution of in the possibility of their own success. 1830 everywhere respected and looked It was too good to be true. Some up to our new dynasty confided in even said, " that he carried resistance and honoured-peace and order suc- too far;" and many a time was he ceed to the present state of incipient obliged not only to attack the hydra anarchy—and France will have gained of anarchy and Propagandism, but al. all she proposed by the Revolution of so to devote a portion of each day to
encourage his timid though sincere To this prediction the Bonapartist followers. replied, that the system of Casimir The elections of 1831 afforded a Perier would lead back France to the great scope for the exercise of his institutions of the Restoration ; and energy and talents. He derived vast that, if his plans and policy should suc- assistance from the advice of M. Guiceed, France would soon have no zot, and both publicly and privately more liberty than she enjoyed under acknowledged it to the end of his life. the reigns of Louis XVIII. and Charles The struggle was desperate between X. His answer to this observation was wisdom and passion, false patriotisin truly characteristic.
and real love of country; between the “ More liberty than under the Re- love of glory in the French character, storation ! More frecdom than under and the rising desire for peace; bethe reigns of Louis XVIII. and Charles tween the enthusiasm and fanaticism X.! Why, you do not know what of the mob, and the calm and digniyou talk about; no! tell your party- fied love of rational liberty of the supeyour Imperialists—your Republicans rior and middliug classes.
When -tell them all, that if I live, they shall the Chamber met, it was unknown to weep tears of blood to have back again itself as it was to the Governmentthe liberties of the Restoration! Dur. Its new members arrived, and many, ing no period of the history of France, many of its old ones too—with all their has so great a degree of liberty been suspicious, all the doubts, and misgivenjoyed as during that portion of her ings of the country, and with all its ilexistence. Take you back to the Res- lusions. The old Liberal party was toration ! ah, indeed I should be hap- there with all its exigencies, though it py, happy beyond expression, if I could confided in its own patriotism, and was ever hope again to see France as free, willing to find a guide and a commandas prosperous, as blessed as she was er. During the Restoration, the old under the Restoration !"
Liberal party had been too much a The Bonapartist could say no more. party, and too little a principal. This This was the system of Casiinir Pe- Casimir Perier knew--this he felt, rier, and he summed up all by saying, and this he deplored. “Je veux la paix, et je ne veux que la fessed more formally than he did the Charte."
constitutional necessity of a bond of It would be as unnecessary as it union between the Chamber and the would be tedious to recount all the Ministry ; but no one held in more facts of his powerful and wise admin- profound contempt that ambiguous istration. It was conceived and di- policy which gave out that each mearected by himself-and its object was sure and each law must be judged of clear and precise. At the commence. isolately, without paying any attention ment, it astonished even those whom to the necessities of the Government, it satisfied. Even those who desired and wants of the majority. When, most ardently its success were scep- then, the Deputies of 1831 elected M. tical as to its duration. Those who LAFITTE, the chief of the last Cabiwere in heart republicans still affected net, President of the Chamber, Casito have the new monarchy, and to de- MIR PERIER gave in his resignation ; sire its strength. For it must not be and, but for the unexpected attack forgotten that, even after the defeated made by the King of the Pays Bas emeute of the 14th July, 1831, the on the rebel province of Belgium, this Republicans had not raised the stand- eminent statesmen had resolved to ard of the Republic. They still vow- leave office. That was a moment of prood their attachment to the dynasty of found danger for the new French dy
No one pro
nasty. If Casimir Perier had not con- zot was one of his principal supporters sented to remain, a war with Europe in this Herculean combat, and some would, apparently, at least, have been effective aid was also supplied by M. inevitable. How great was the anx. Dupin. Many a day during this sesiety of the king and of the Conserva. sion will be noted in the Parliamenttive interests of the country during ary annals of France; but none more that moment of uncertainty. How so than when the debate arose on the loud was the laugh of joy and derision “ordre du jour motivè." Warsaw when the name of LAFITTE came out had fallen, and its fall had produced of the balloting urn with a majority a profound impression in France. All for him as President of the Chamber the fractions of the Opposition united of Deputies! The majority was but to avail themselves of this event, and ONE—but Casimir Perier was no Lord to convert it into instruments of venMelbourne or Count Molè. He un- geance, revolt, and war. Paris had a derstood the principle of a majority in sad and menacing aspect-tumultuous the Chamber of Deputies very differ- mobs appeared. One of them surently to them; he acted on the princi- rounded and wished to insult M. Peple which decided the Duke Wel. rier himself. They spoke of marching ington, when he resigned power be. against the Tuilleries-of marching cause a majority of THREE was against against the Chambers; and at the same him. But the mirth and the satisfac- time the question of Poland—i. e., tion of the ultra-Liberal party was of the question of war or of peace—was short duration. Casimir Perier con- brought under the attention of the sented to remain in power, notwth- Chamber. This was the sitting of standing the defeat he sustained at the the 21st of September. M. Perier, Chamber, or at least he consented to however, triumphed, and the peace of make another trial of the new Depu- the world was decided by a majority ties. His decision was a wise one of one hundred and sixteen. We say The joy of the Revolutionary party at advisedly, “ The peace of the world." the momentary defeat of Casimir Pe- For if that day M. Casimir Perier rier was a lesson to the Chamber it- had not triumphed, a universal war, self; and when it read in the columns a war of principles, a revolutionary of the Revolutionary prints the invec- war must have followed, which would tires poured forth against the Conser- have reproduced the ensemble of the vative policy of that statesman, and war of the Convention, as well as the tie curses heaped upon him when he war of Napoleon. consented to make another trial of From the moment that Casimir Pethe Chamber, the Deputies hesitated rier had assured so formidable a mano longer. A majority, then, frank, jority for his system of peace, he loyal, and decided, rallied round that marched with firmness in the course Conservative drapeau, and from that he had chalked out. His conferences moment no Minister was ever sup, with foreign ambassadors were freported by a more compact and decided quent. His morning walks with Count majority. But still the Opposition d'Appony, in a garden close to the both within and without the Chamber Bois de Boulonge, were discovered. was formidable and numerous. Still There he endeavoured to convince that the most dangerous theories were pro- diplomatist, and through him all Eumulgated in the most seductive forms, rope, that the intentions of the new and it was not only necessary to de- dynasty were essentially Conservafend against calumnious attacks and tive; and whilst Prince Talleyrand gloomy predictions a line of policy not pledged himself in London for the yet in full operation, and the success truth of this declaration, the whole of of which was necessarily slow, if not the policy, as well as the assurances even doubtful; but it was also essen- of M. Perier at Paris, guaranteed tial to prove to those who loved a ra- the truth and accuracy of both their tional liberty, that to regulate is not statements. to stifle it—that to keep it within At last one year passed away, and bounds is not to crush it—and that M. Perier beheld himself
, on the 18th resistance is not treason. This was March, 1832, still the leader and chief the task which every day Casimir of the Conservative Administration of Perier had to recommence with pas- the former year. This was a great sion, ardour, aud conviction, day after triumph. Twelve months of existence day of a laborious session. Á. Gui- to a Ministry at such an epoch, was in