« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Casim'r Perier always admitted it. the conflict became desperate, and this Toe Government refused too much,' portion of the Restoration was and a conflict between two systenis continued scene of useless and deplorbrought about such a dissidence as to able conflicts. Casimir Perier had no amont almost to a civil war. The idea of changing the laws, but by the monarchy became too distrustful; the laws. He had no notion of revoltOpposition returned towards the Revo- ing against an established Charta, lution. The Government granted too dynasty, and laws. We had seen readily and retracted too hastily. The enough of the first Revolution to make Opposition affected a love for the him a sworn foe to any other, and his charter, though to it they were really intentions were Conservative, and his opposed, and pretended that they principles moderate.
Yet how pas, should be satisfied with the honest ful. sionate, bitter, and somet mes vehe. filinent of its conditions, when, in . ment and satirical were his speeches ! truth, they were always labouring to He did not spare a single fault
, he did extend those conditions and alter its not allow to escape him a single error. spirit. The charter of 1814 was essen. He attacked the Government without tially monarchical; its authors, the ceasing and without pity; and annoycircunstances under which it was ed that his motives were misundergranted, the epoch when it was made, stood, and that he was suspected of a all proved that it was intended to be, want of loyalty to his princes, because as it was, monarchical. The Opposi- he opposed their counsellors, he betion wished to give it another charac- came increasingly bitter, and at last ter; they pretended that France only was personal and violent. Yet still submitted to the Bourbons on condi. he was opposed to any thing like retion of baving a charter. This was volution, and when his parliamentary false. Louis XVIII. might have re- friends counselled “extra legal meaestablished the old monarchy without sures,” he always replied, " our cure is any charter at all, though its chances in the Charta.” of duration would undoubtedly have Casimir Periér was not loved by the diminished. It is not true that the Lafayettes, Lamarquez, Lafittes, SalFrench would have made a war against vertes, Minuels, &c. &c. of the Restotheir princa; and the Restoration, ra- ration. He was too legal for them. ther than have submitted, in 1814, to Foy was the nearest to him, after Gjian absolute monarchy. They were zot. Perier was too honest for the much more wearied of the bloodshed Opposition--too sincere a constituand evils of the empire than they were tionalist or a charterist for them. of its despotism.
In 1824 the new elections were The Opposition was divided on the made, after the war in Spain. The question of the Spanish war, as well as elections were Royalist–Liberalism on many other questions, from 1920 to was laid low ; but Casimir Perier was 1823, into two parties. Casimir Pe- one of the very few who were returned rier and M. Guizot belonged to the to the new Chamber. The absence moderate and truly constitutional par- of the ultra-L beral party delighted ty. The opposition of others was him. He had more force, more scope, nothing short of conspiracy; unfor- more influence. He was the opponent tunately the counsellors of the Crown of De Vilele, and he conducted his too frequently induced the Throne to opposition with talent, firmness, and view the Opposition en masse, in- loyalty. But M. De Villele was too stead of separately, and all who were powerful an adversary to be easily not for the Administration were set overthrown. He was supported by down as enemies to the dynasty." the most compact and homogeneous This was unjust, but it was the fault majority ever yet seen in any country. of the Papist party:
He was indifferent to the seductions of Casimir Perier in 1893, as in 1831, the imagination-inaccessible to those wished for the Charta, and for nothing of passion-always present, always more than the Charta. The Bourbons calm-his personal prudence was unibeld the same sentiments, but the Min. versally admitted his mind was flexisters of the Crown, on the one side, ible, and fertile in resources he had wished for less than the Charta ; and a fine talent and a great character the ultra-Opposition, on the other side, and he exercised an influence over the desired more than the Charta. Thus Chambers and France, which Casimir
Perier always acknowledged with re- the Whig party. He never went fur. spect, and spoke of in terms of sincere ther than Earl Grey, and would have admiration.
been delighted to see England govern. From 1824 to 1827, the whole bur- ed by Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, den of the Opposition rested on Casimir and Sir James Graham. Perier. He made many mistakes and Before we turn to the Revolution of adopted many errors, but he was no 1830, and the subsequent life of M. conspirator, no revolutionist, no ene- Casimir Perier, we n: st be allowed to my to his King, and no rebel. He say a word on the ordinance of July, read the Charta differently from the 1830, and on the labours, parliamentcounsellor of the Crown, but he be- ary and otherwise, of the subject of lieved the throne to be as essential to this sketch during the Restoration. France as was France to the throne. The Polignac Administration was
The elections of 1827 changed the not an isolated event. After three system of the Government. A new years of concession, the Opposition Ministry was formed, and the Crown, had become audaciously anti-monarof its own accord, appointed an Admis chical and impudently revolutionary. nistration in harmony with the sane We do not mean to comprise Casimir and moderate portion of public opi- Perier in this censure. But, as to the nion. The Viscount de Martignac Opposition generally, the fact cannot was a man of a million. His cloquence, be doubted. The cry for “the Char. his good faith, his virtue, his sincerity, ta, the whole Charta, and nothing but his attachment to his princes, and yet the Charla," was Jesuitical and false. his love of rational liberty, pointed The chiefs of the Opposition have since him out as "the" man of the epoch. admitted it. This cry was raised in But the Opposition dealt unfairly with order that France might not be alarm. him. Instead of rallying round him, ed. If France had had an idea that a they deserted him; instead of second- revolution and change of dynasty had ing, they attacked him. Casimir Pe. been intended, the Opposition would rier said, that it appeared to him “ im- not have had a single representative possible de faire vivre la dynastie avec in the Chamber, even in 1827. The toute la Charte-e sans toute la Charte Chamber of 1898 acted most unde defendre la dynastie.”. This was worthily. The Opposition acted most a remarkable truth, as it was after- dishonestly. The commercial and de. wards reduced to practice. In ren- partmental laws of 1828, which the dering justice to the conciliatory in. Chamber of Deputies would not pass, tentions, and to the moderate efforts as proposed by the Government, were of the Martignac Ministry, he doubted the greatest concessions ever made by its force and its duration. He would any monarchical Government to any not attack nor oppose it, because he people ; and the very men who asked considered its nomination a concession more in 1829 would, in 1831, have made by the throne to the opinions of been delighted to have granted less the electoral body; but he was one of The opposition of the Opposition to those who believed that a conflict be- the Murtignac Ministry we call distween the Bourbons and the Opposi- graceful. It was senseless, unprintion of the Ultra party would, some cipled, and anarchical. It alarmed the day, sooner or later, be almost a ne- throne, disturbed the country, and agi. cessity; and it was his opinion that it tated the whole of Europe. Well would end either in the re-establish- might M. Martignac exclaim, “We ment of the old monarchy or in the march in the midst of anarchy." What total overthrow of the Papist party. was to be done? To make further
The appointment of the Polignac concessions was impossible. To withAdministration led to the conflict he draw those which were made would be anticipated, but not to the result he imprudent. Yet something must be had expected. He never would hear done. The Government could not reof à change of dynasty; he never main stationary. The priest party wrote diatribes or treason against the was then called on for its counsels. drapeau blanc. He thought that the They were listened to. A return to priest party would be overthrown, and a counter-revolution was advised, and that the King and royal family would the Polignac Administration thenceforth be compelled to adiress named. The opposition, even to the itself to the Conservative portion of creation of that Cabinet, was mad,
monstrous, revolutionary; no profes- evil which threatened the total over-
In the Session of 1817 M. Perier nistration !" was the order of the day. made eight speeches, but the most re
What was to be done? The Throne markable were two which he delivered said, “I have the right to name my
-one against the bill for the represown Ministers.” The Ministers said, sion of the abuses of the prest, and "Wait and examine our acts." The the other in favour of an amendment, Opposition said, “N'imparte, n'im- tending to cstablish the necessity for porte, d bas le Ministère !" and Charles the contracting of public loans by pubX. dissolved the Chamber and appeal. lic tenders, and, as in England, openly, ed to the Electoral Colleges The and in the face of the world, and to
A majority of forty the best bidders. voted an insolent address to the King: In 1818 he pronounced ten speeches, It was an infringement on the royal nearly all of a financial character ; but prerogative, a direct and palpable in- those which attracted most attention fringement. The Chamber was dis- were his speeches relative to the floatsolved again. The same men were ing debts, and as to the caution money returned. Associations had been form- to be supplied by journals, as a secued by the Opposition of an illegal rity for the payment of the fines which character: some to control the elec- might be imposed upon them for tions, and others to refuse the payment breaches of the law. of taxes; but Casimir Perier stood aloof In the Session of 1819 he made from all. He looked with sorrow and twenty speeches. He attacked the sadness to the approaching conflict
. censorship; opposed the coal-tax; opBut still the question returned, What posed the electoral law; opposed the Was to be done? The Charta of 1814 double vote; opposed the gamblingcontained a special article, which pro- houses; and defended the rights of vided that, in special cases, and to French shipping in American ports
. meet special difficulties, the Charta In the Session of 1820 he made might be suspended by the Throne. fifty-six speeches, and addressed the No article proved more clearly than Chamber, in the course of that year, on this that the Charta of 1814 was es- the subject of the Naples Revo'ut on; sentially monarchical. The King now the charges made against the Coté
temporary suspension Gauche by M. de Serre; the right of must take place; but we know that the Chamber of Deputies to amend We assert an historical truth when we laws; the question of dotations and declare that Charles X. had no inten- majorats in favour of persons who had tion of permanently suspending it
, but rendered essential service to the State only of meeting pressing evils by a or the King ; on the accusation special and pressing remedy. He brought against the Gauche of making might
, indeed, have allowed the new anarchical speeches; on criminal just Chamber to meet, proposed the budget, ice; on the commercial difficulties be. and have dared it to refuse the ways tween France and America; on the and means to the Government functions of the director of the police Though Casimir Perier was a member of the kingdom; on a new censorship; of the 221 who voted the address to on the budget; on the beer laws; and Charles X., he always declared that on other questions of a financial chabe for one would not refuse the bud. racter. get
. So the ordinances of July 1830 In the Session of 1821 he spoke were made, but how they were enforced forty-two times. Sometimes on the we shall see in another portion of this necessity of adopting a permanent history. They were made in virtue of financial position; at another time on a direct
, special, and positive clause of the position of the colonists of St. Dothe Charta of 1814, and they were mingo; on the legislation of the press; made with no other intention than that on the censorship; on the Ministerial of meeting a pressing and growing responsibility resulting from the frauds
committed by Matthéo, the sub-cashier the right of petitioning—the indemof the Treasury; on the alleged irre- nity to the St. Domingo Coloniste gularity of certain financial operations as to the right of the King to modify at the Bourse by the Covetto Minis- a law by an ordinance—as to the contry; on the expenses attendant on the tracts for the Spanish war—the sinkcollection of taxes; on pensions to the ing fund—and the foreign corn bill. widows and orphans of soldiers in During this Session, also, the ecclesiasactive service; and, as usual, on other tical budgets, and the conduct of the subjects of a financial character. “ congregation” and the “Jesuits,"
In the Session of 1822 he only came under debate; as likewise an inspoke twenty-two times; and in the teresting debate on the right of the Session of 183 only ninc. In that Chamber of Peers to interfere in the of 1822 the question of the negotia- discussion of the budget. The finantion of new rentes was debated by cial situation of the country, the posthim with talent, and he distinguished office, and the immorality of the lottery, himself by his conflicts, with M. de also furnished him with materials for Peyronnet. He defended, also, Gene- very good and useful addresses. ral Bertin against M. Maugin, and In the Session of 1827 M. Casimir opposed some reductions in the budget Perier spoke forty-four times. The proposed by the Finance Commission. Session commenced by an attack on The Session of 1823 was that in which the then new tariff of the post-office, Manuel was excluded from the Cham- and on its operation on the journals ber. M. Perier spoke frequently on of the country, as well as
on the this question, and but seldom on any transport of gold and silver by means other. It was one of the errors of the of the post-office. Then came a disRestoration, and the recorded protest cussion on the laws as to the press, of Casimir Perier is an unanswerable which occupied much of his time and “ morceau" of logical argumentation. attention. The whole question of the
During the Session of 1894 M. securities to be given by, and to be ofCasimir Perier delivered twenty-eight fered to the press, was debated with speeches. The principal topic of dis- talent and energy, and M. Perier had to pute was the proposed conversion of contend with two able antagonists in the the 5 rentes, which M. de Villéle persons of M. de Corbiere, and M. Duproposed, and M. Perier opposed, don. The repression of the slave-trade with so much of sense and of truth. was also debated, as well as a proposal Casimir Perier was a decided and of a member of the Opposition to apenergetic enemy to every system which point a commission to watch over the tampered with the public credit; and prerogatives of the Chamber, and to he was, undoubtedly, one of those who see they were not infringed on. The most powerfully contributed to the whole question of the woods and for. subsequent rejection of that measure ests of the Crown, and the comby the Chamber of Peers.
plaints urged against the civil list for In the Session of 1825 he spoke having felled too great a quantity of very frequently. No less than fifty-six timber, were examined, and led to speeches did he deliver that Session; angry and personal debates. The fiand the subjects which most occupied nancial situation of France was likewise his attention were the law of indem- discussed by M. de Villéle as by M. nity to the emigrants—the new bill Perier. on the public debt and sinking fund In the Session of 1828 M. Casimir the conversion of the 5 per cents-- Perier abstained nearly entirely from the expenses of the Spanish war—the appearing at the Tribune. The Mar. debt due by Spain to France-the tignac Ministry had been named, and consolidated debts—and the recogni. a new era commenced for France tion of the new states of South Ame- and her King. Its glorious but unrica.
successful mission was to keep within In the Session of 1826 he addressed bounds the exaggerated pretensions of the House fifty-two times, and on a faction—but to satisfy all the just exivariety of interesting topics. Amongst gencies of real public opinion. Two them were the questions of the gam- great measures marked this Sessionbling at the Stock Exchange—the one was destined to prevent electoral citation of the director of the Journal frauds, and the other to abolish the du Commerce to the bar of the House censorship. The character and sen.
tinents of the majority were now He voted what he believed to be right: changed. The priest party was de- but he even did that, on this occasion, feated. The true royalist party for with fear and trembling. He was no 1828 was represented by M. de Mar- in ringer of the royal prerogatives, but tignac. No one felt this more strongly he had an energetic hatred for the than Casimir Perier, and no one ac- priest party. The reply of Charles X. knowledged it more honourably. He to the address of the 221 did not surbelonged, then, no longer to the Oppo- prise M. Perier, but the dissolution of sition, and was placed on the list of the Chambers on the 16th May was a candidates for the post of President great fault on the part of the Crown, of the Chamber of Deputies, and and was felt to be so by the subject of named member of the commission of this memoir. No one knew better the budget. He spoke but eight times than did Casimir Perier that the Chamduring the Session, and would even ber was not prepared to refuse the have lent to the Government his impor- budget to the Polignac Administration, tant aid, but that his health was much but that, on the contrary, having satisaffected, and required repose.
fied its convictions or its passions, by The Session of_1829 was the last the passing of the address, it would for constitutional France and the old have voted the ways and means, and race of the House of Bourbon. M. even have passed other laws which the Perier spoke but three times during that Government was prepared to submit. Session; and, on each occasion, on The dissolution of the Chamber on the the same subject—the debt due from 16th May, 1830, was then a capital Spain to France. He had Count Roy fault--and the result of the next genefor an antagonist, but he sustained the ral elections demonstrated its folly. Of conflict with great talent and spirit. course, the same men were returned ; On all other questions he was silent. of course, they were exasperated at He perceived with sorrow that the having been put to the vast trouble and Martignac Ministry was not supported expense of two recent elections; of by the majority, and, to avoid the ap- course, they returned to Paris with pearance of being factious, he did not hostile in:entions; and it now did beoppose the passing of the law confer- come rather questionable whether the ring on the Crown the right to grant Chamber would vote the budget if pre* dolations" to poor peers. The closing sented by the same Ministry. of the Session of 1829 was pronounced M. Casimir Perier felt, however, little the 31st July, and eight days after- doubt upon the subject; he thought to wards the Martignac Ministry existed the end that, notwithstanding the result no longer.
of the two elections, if the King resolved The Session of 1830 opened the 2d to maintain his Ministry, the Chamber March The Polignac Ministry had could not refuse the means for carrying been appointed. The general elec- on the government, so long as the acts tions had taken place. The Chamber of the Government were not illegal.": of Deputies voted, on the 15'h March, But the King was persuaded to take the memorable address of the 221; another course to act upon the 14th but, though M. Casimir Perier voted article of the Charta of 1814, and to in that number, he did not once ad- make the memorable and fatal ordinan. dress the House. He was no rebel, no ces of July. exciter of sedition, no lover of tumult.