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of educating the child, innocent of his family's crimes, in the spirit of the revolution,—to place him on the throne under the guardianship of a commission of patriots: we think no one can calmly contemplate the working of such a scheme, and pronounce it other than a fertile source of intrigue and disquiet, of imbecility at home and contempt abroad. It would soon have been found to be on all hands a mere mockery of royalty, and must have ended, either in some convulsion which would have swept monarchy out of the realm altogether, or in the re-establishment of the Bourbons in all or perhaps more than the plenitude of their ancient power, and with far less respect for the rights of the people.
The other plans that were thought practicable at the time, were a recurrence to the Bonapartean dynasty, or at once to take the sense of the nation, by means of primary assemblies, as to the nature, form, and personnel of the government which it would please to adopt.
The family of Napoleon had assuredly no claim on France; and though it appears that Joseph Bonaparte did think proper to ask the crown of Lafayette for his nephew, it could never be supposed that the French would be so besotted, as to send to the Emperor of Austria for a de facto German prince to rule over them. The absurdity is treated by Lafayette, in his answer to the ex-king of Spain, with even too much tolerance.
The scheme of solemnly collecting the nation in primary assemblies, and there putting the question of national government to the vote, is quite in harmony with the favourite doctrine of popular sovereignty. It would be happy for mankind if there were any chance of success in such experiments. The task of government will be easy when men are prepared, even after a moment of great excitement, to sit down quietly under an interregnum. Least of all is France calculated to discharge such functious with patience and discernment. The old Revolution, if it taught nothing else, clearly showed the danger and mischievousness of submitting abstract questions to popular arbitration. In the present instance, the immediate consequences of adopting such a plan would have been the suspension of every interest at home and abroad, in many of which suspension amounts to destruction; the whole country would have been thrown into confusion and ultimate distress; while their proceedings would have been regarded with so much suspicion and distrust by foreign powers, as ultimately to have provoked interference on one side or the other, and thus have brought on all the miseries of war, and all the horrors of propagandism. It was another fortunate
circumstance in the state of France at that moment, that the necessity for any such appeal was entirely superseded by the existence of a Chamber of Deputies, composed mainly of the same men who had previously braved the displeasure of their sovereign by reminding him of the indispensable necessity that the policy of his cabinet should be in harmony with the wishes of the people, and that this harmony did not exist; and whose conduct on this occasion had received the full approbation of their constituents, by their almost universal re-election, when the crown was so infatuated as to try the experiment of again appealing to the people. There is, in short, no doubt that the wisest and the happiest arrangement for France, under the circumstances in which she found herself placed at the end of the Three Days, was the imimmediate enthronement of Louis-Philip: and they must have been very fastidious or very interested parties who, at the time, could have been dissatisfied with it. He was known to be a man of moderate ambition and of liberal principles. His sympathies had always been with the people; and though both by habit and conviction probably no enemy to aristocratic, nor yet to monarchical institutions, his sole object seemed likely to be the happiness and prosperity of the nation he was called on to govern. Being accustomed to the enjoyment of great wealth, and to the keeping up of the state of a prince of the blood, he was not likely to be intoxicated with the elevation of a throne, as might have happened to an individual drawn from the ranks of private citizens. On being consulted, it appeared, moreover, that he would lend his cordial aid to the establishment of a better system of government, to the enlargement of the popular privileges, and the security of popular rights. Such institutions, also, as are in harmony with the security of life and property, and calculated to act duly as checks upon the depositories of authority, he was fully prepared to assist in erecting:
Before the termination of the contest, and while the conflict had been but partial, and yet backed by such an expression of public opinion as would have caused the government to retreat from the unconstitutional measures it had proposed, there may exist a very reasonable doubt whether, if victory and its consequences had not been pushed so far, a speedy and a happy settlement might not have been made without a change of dynasty. The charter of Louis XVIII., it must be remembered, was the first constitutional government ever really enjoyed by France: it had its imperfections, no doubt, but they were such as time and patience and inquiry were capable of amending. The complaints that had been made against the government of the elder Bourbons, Louis XVIII, and Charles X., were, not that they did not remedy the deficiencies of the Charter, but that they did not act in its spirit. Too intent upon riveting their dynasty on the throne, these monarchs forgot that the surest basis of a constitutional throne is the punctilious adherence to the compact between the people and the king: that violations of it by the exercise of an undue power tend in fact to undermine the very source of power. This lesson must have been taught to Charles X. by the triumphant opposition of the people in July; and it is not improbable that had his offer of the withdrawal of the ordonnances and the appointment of a ministry out of the liberal party been accepted, he would have ceased his struggle with popular rights, and that without the risks of a further perseverance in the use of force, all that has now been obtained might have been secured. In this case the dangerous precedent of the overturning of an established government by a furious mob would have been avoided, and many other evils caused by the uncertainty and insecurity attendant upon all great changes. The success of one popular insurrection may be, in times to come, (indeed has been already in the case of Poland,) the cause of the spilling of much blood, and the destruction of no little property. Had a change in the constitution, or an enlargement of popular privileges been brought about by such constitutional means as general and urgent representation, or, as in the extreme case of the ordonnances, by the unanimous refusal to pay taxes, the precedent, instead of being full of dangers, would have been highly satisfactory, not only to the lovers of peace and order, but even to the lovers of liberty—by liberty, meaning only one of the elements of the happiness and prosperity of a state. If ever an insurrection was justifiable, it was in the case of the most unjustifiable blow at the very foundation of the Charter-the almost annihilation of the representative part of the constitutioninflicted by the fatal ordonnances of July. But the very iniquity of the proceeding rather heightens our regret that their non-operation should have been brought about by the efforts of a populace, however brave, however elevated in its motives. We would not have opposition to such grave crimes put to the hazard of an insurrection, in the course of which right may be not always the conqueror: we would not have their punishment depend upon the accident whether an insurrection is got up or not.
All who regard the history of the Three Days with attention and freedom from prejudice, must see, first, that it was a mere chance that a resistance took place at all, and next, that there is reason to believe that had the Polignac administration consisted of men of courage and ability equal to their evil dispositions, the triumph
might have been all the other way; what then, we ask, would have been the prospects of freedom, not only in France, but over the entire of Europe? The contest being engaged, every free country in Europe, and every country preparing to be free, (and all, we hope, will sooner or later be qualified for the enjoyment of freedom,) owes a debt of gratitude to the bravery of the Parisians: we only wish that the debt had been incurred by safer and more dignified means. Order is as much a legitimate object of government as any other: it must not be purchased at the expense of greater elements of happiness; but no country can prosper without itno society worthy of the name can exist in the midst of a constant violation of it. It is to be feared that the glory, for such it may be called, obtained by an insurrectionary population, may make battle a favourite occupation with the more turbulent portion of the people, and that they will endeavour to indulge the propensity at the expense of much mischief to the rest of the community. It may be observed in the ordinary public writings of France, since the revolution of July, that a rising of the people is becoming ennobled: formerly there were no names too black for the disturbers of the public repose ; at present, however, insurrection seems to be held by the journalists as a legitimate expression of popular opinion. This is a great and fatal mistake. No government can be respected by its neighbours, nor effective in the administration of its domestic affairs no people can be prosperous: there can be neither security of life and property, nor the enjoyment of the blessings of true freedom, amidst riotous processions, tumultuous meetings, conflicts between the authorities and detachments of the mob. All this is an approach to anarchy, and ought to be put down. It is true, tyrants and oppressors may use the same arguments, but not under a constitutional government. If a faction is defeated in the Chambers, is it to be permitted to form the nucleus of a mob in the streets? The proper theatre for the expression of public opinion is the Chamber of its representatives ; if there is an original defect in the Constitution, and if the House of Commons, to use a purely English phrase, ceases to be, in fact, the representative of the country, even then, as has been recently proved among ourselves, there are ways and means of repairing dilapidations, without shaking the whole building to its foundation.
The press is, or ought to be, open; public opinion is to be affected in a thousand ways without the violation of public order, The spectacle of a people that ought to be represented is not easy to be faced by a denyer of its rights. Time and chance should be waited for, and no opportunity lost. A nation that knows and
claims its rights steadily and peaceably cannot long be refused. The progress of education is another encouraging feature in the present state of society. Education and violence are ordinarily inconsistent; education is the power of knowledge, far more efficient than the power of mere force. The constant recurrence of what are called émeutes in France since the Revolution, when men, politically speaking, have had less to complain of than they ever had before, is a sequence of the glory of the Three Days. The mob is now a saint in the popular calendar; every artizan out of work is ready to worship at his shrine. The “ reign of the laws," we confess, is a fascinating term to us; the first duty of a citizen is to look to the ordinances of the law as sanctioned by his representatives for the time being. Be this as it may, the
Three Days ended, the royal family en route for Cherbourg, the Duke of Orleans fixed upon and received as lieutenant-general
, and subsequently made king, it only remains to inquire whether his conduct in that capacity has realized the just expectations of his people.
The duties of the new monarch, on his elevation, were various and complicated. Some of them may, however, be briefly enumerated. He had, in the first instance, to procure the sanction of other countries to the Revolution. A true Frenchman would spurn at the notion that the national will of France should require the confirmation of any power whatever. The French had, however, consented to receive a dynasty under a foreign sanction, and this dynasty had just been ejected without ceremony. The neighbours of France have, moreover, a hereditary dread of French revolution, because it has been found that the disorder was infectious, or that the French, when labouring under the disorder, burned to propagate it. Revolution in the interior is often the cause of war in the exterior, and therefore, in spite of the pride of Frenchmen, Europe had something to do with the revolution of July, and the sanction of the principal powers was a most important point to obtain.
The factions into which France was divided were numerous. At the breaking out of the Three Days, nothing was heard of but the charter: at the expiration of that time, the charter was becoming a cry of ridicule. With the progress of success men's expectations had risen. Visions of a republic again arose upon the minds of many; the old adherents, soldiers, and servants of Napoleon, began to cast a wishful gaze upon his dynasty; and the Carlists were a compact and widely ramified body. The new order of things seemed to be embraced by the liberal and rational, the people of property, the quiet, sensible, and industrious classes, who were