« ПредишнаНапред »
revolutionary epoch in both terminates for good, but for evil. If, then, the in a military dictator - Cromwell in parallel is not yet exhausted, and histhe one case, Napoleon in the other tory has to complete its circle, it is and the two have this in common, that not with unalloyed satisfaction that we they infinitely excel the men of their guess at the character of the times retimes in reach of mind, in resolution, served for our children. and firmness — in every quality which But we have already gone too far in enters into the composition of a ruler. this speculation ; let us return to the Napoleon is Cromwell on a wider stage writings of Louis Napoleon, and note of action, and without religion. But aphoristically some of his thoughts in the military despotisms of Cromwell the “Fragmens Historiques," which and Napoleon were alike succeeded by serve to illustrate the character of the a restoration that worst of revolu- author. tions; and then after an interval, in “ L'armée (says he) est une epeé qui both cases, of inglorious peace under a la gloire pour poigneé. Suggestive inglorious sovereigns, we have revolu- tbis of the policy of Napoleon in the tions resulting from similar causes in present war, and of the unlikelihood each, and issuing in the succession of that he will agree to a dishonourable men combining in their characters both peace; for as he again says — “La a civil and military dictatorship. These lacheté ne profite jamais." There is dictators, William of Orange and Louis profound reflection in the following Napoleon, alike in their characters, remarks:-“Il y a des gouvernements both men of silence and phlegm, of in- frappés de mort dès leur naissance et flexible determination and courage, dont les mesures les plus nationales n' find themselves champions of European inspirent que la defiance et le meconright, marching at the head of an tentement! Quelque puissance maEuropean combination, against the terielle que possede in chef il ne peut overgrown power and exorbitant am
disposer à son gré des destineés d'un bition of one state, whose palpable grand penple, il n'a de veritable force object is to inaugurate a system of qu'en se faisant l'instrument des veúes universal conquest.
de la majorité." We would, however, Now, looking to the closeness of this suggest, as a correction to this last parallel, it seems to us no unwarranta- remark, that really great men, like ble induction to suppose that the coin. Cromwell, William of Orange, and cidence will be continued in the future. Napoleon I., to some degree make We have the same causes in operation, their majority by bringing over the the same position of parties, the same nation to their opinions. Still the personal character; may we not expect maxim is literally true in this sense like effects? For instance, that the war that the success of the statesman cr will be carried on dubiously, like that legislator must run in the channel of between William and Louis XIV., till public opinion. a Marlborough appear; and that the Louis Napoleon, à propos of Revolutimes following will resemble the epoch tions in general, remarks, that when from the reign of Queen Anne to the executed by a chief, they turn entirely beginning of the French Revolution- to the benefit of the masses ; for in only, in harmony with the difference order to succeed, the chief must follow in intensity observed in the prior the national tendency, and must constages, the progress of mankind will tinue faithful to the interest he has be in a vastly accelerated ratio. made to triumph; whilst, on the con
But the vista of the future is not trary, revolutions made by the masses without its clouds. In the English often only profit the chief, for the crisis the motive power was religion, people believe that their work is at an an element altogether excluded in the end on the very morning of their vicRepublic or the Empire of France; tory, and it is their nature to sink and although the different phases in back into a state of quiescence after the development of events were on a the conflict is over. greater scale in the later than in the In concluding these "Fragmens," earlier period, the same fundamental our author thus sums up the lessons to difference was continued. Napoleon be derived from the historical epoch he was an irreligious Cromwell, and the has been studying, and we may take reign of terror was an infidel copy of his summary as a statement of his own the Puritan rule the change was not political creed :
*« Du Sys
“L'exemple des Stuarts prouve que l'appui We only give the titles of some ar. étranger est toujours impuissant à sauver les ticles which follow, as they lack both gouvernements que la nation n'adopte pas. interest and originality:
** Et L'histoire d'Angleterre dit hautement tème Electoral L'Exil, Le Parti aux rois.
Conservateur,” and “De la Liberté " Marchez à la tête des idées de votre
Individuelle en Angleterre." siècle, ces idees vous suivent et vous sontiennent.
An article, “De l'Organisation Mi“ Marchez à leur suite, elles vous en
litaire en France," has nothing worthy trainent.
of remark, except the observation that “Marchez contre elles, elles vous renver- in a well organised state we ought not sent."
to know where commences the soldier
or where finishes the citizen-a maxim Passing over a letter to Lamartine
which may be regarded as the oppodemurring to that author's criticism on
site rule to the shibboleth of the peace Napoleon I., we come to an article
party. entitled, “Reveries Politiques.” This « Aux Manes de l'Empereur ” we is an attempt at a more poetical style would pronounce nonsense, if we had than generally characterises our au
not committed ourselves already to a thor's writings, and so far it is a high estimate of Louis Napoleon's infailure; a dry, bald style is the natural
tellectual powers. But if he were an channel of his passionless nature, and ordinary author, and amenable to criti. so, it is only when he comes off bis
cism, we would hint to him to repress stilts that we find any observation
any inclination in himself
to poetical or worth quoting in the “Reveries."
rhetorical writing as sedulously as he The following, which we somewhat
represses republican inclinations in abridge, struck us as worthy of remark others. in the original:
There now follow a few sketchy ar
ticles, from which the only remark we "The despots who govern by the sabre,
can find worthy of extract is a saying and who have no law but their own caprice,
of Napoleon I., which we do not recoldo not necessarily degrade; they oppress, but they do not demoralise. But weak go
lect meeting with elsewhere :vernments, who, under the mask of liberty, march towards despotism — who can only
"Dans tout ce qu'on entreprend il faut corrupt what they would crush if they donner les deux tiers à la raison et l'autre could — who are unjust towards the weak,
tiers au hazard. Augmentez la première and humble towards the strong—these go
fraction, vous serez pusillanime ; augmenvernments lead to the very dissolution of tez la seconde, vous serez temeriare." society, for they lull asleep by promises, whilst the governments of the sabre awak
But an article, entitled “ Les Specu. ened by martyrdoms.
alities," deserves more particular no" To secure national independence, it is necessary that government be strong, and to
tice. Louis Napoleon remarks that it be strong it must have the confidence of the
was the vice of the French constitution people; it is only under this condition that
under Louis Philippe that the political a numerous and well disciplined army can opinion of a man was everything; bis be maintained without exciting the reproach intrinsic value, his special acquireof tyranny."
ments went for nothing. The best
organiser of an army, for instance, We cannot, however, approve of the would owe his dismissal to the rejecwisdom of the following remark :"Il tion of a sugar bill, and a statesman faut que la masse qu'on ne peut jamais who had conceived a vast plan for the corrompre, et qui ne flatte ni dissimule amelioration of agriculture or industry, soit la source constante d'où emanent would retire, because the chambers had tous les pouvoirs.” That the masses rejected a project for recruiting the cannot be corrupted is an assertion army. “ Ce systeme est non seulecontradicted by all our electoral expe- ment illogique et absurde, mais il rience; and though it may be true mine profondement la prosperité de la that they do not dissemble, because France." We fear we must admit we that implics reflection, they make ri. suffer under the same system. It is a diculous men popular idols, and the necessary consequence of government intercourse betwixt them and their by party, which again is the invariable demagogues is but the interchange of concomitant of constitutionalism and flattery.
liberty; so that we must console ourselves by putting the good we derive “ On nous repete” (says our author) from our system of government, against “que la paix est un bienfait et la the evil inherent in its principle. guerre un fleau.” We hope our au
An article, “ Vieille Histoire tou- thor is sincere; but we have a lurking jours Nouvelle," opens with a story : suspicion that such an idea is contrary -One morning in summer, as the to the instincts of a race which proEmperor Napoleon, risen earlier than duced Napoleon I., than whom a usual, was passing through the vast truer warrior to the backbone never reception rooms in the Tuilleries, he existed; and we have more than a was astonished to find an immense fire suspicion, that Louis Napoleon aclighted in one of the fireplaces, and a knowledges no other principles in pochild occupied in heaping on it large litics save expediency, and that war fagots of wood. The Emperor stop- may sometimes appear to him as ped and asked the child why he made
useful as peace. so great a fire in the middle of summer Passing over an unimportant page in å ball occupied only on reception or two upon French aristocracy, we days? The child answered simply- come to an article entitled “ Des * Monsieur, I make ashes for my Gouvernements et de Leurs Sontiens," father.” In fact, the ashes were a in which Louis Napoleon still further perquisite, and in order to make them developes his theories on government. the fagots were burned. We quote His appreciations of the time before this story, not so much for its moral the Revolution are always peculiarly as for its pictorial effect. We can just :evoke to our mind's eye the sombre figure of the Emperor pacing the silent
“ L'ancien regime fut inebranlable tant halls of the kings of France, in the ear
que ses deux sontiens, le clergé et la no
blesse, resumèrent en eux tous les éléments liest dawn of a summer morning, raised
vitaux de la nation. Le clergé donnait au from uneasy slumbers by thought,
pouvoir toutes les consciences ; car alors anxiety, and perhaps remorse. We
conscience était synonyme d'opinion, et la can fix the date as that of the zenith noblesse ordre civile et militaire, lui donnait of his power, and may imagine that in tous les bras. Mais aujourdhui que la nothis solitary ramble mighty combina- blesse n'existe plus et que la foi politique est tions passed through his mind, mingled complétement indépendant de la foi reliewith sad poetical reflections on the gieuse, s'appuyer sur ces deux ordre serait vanity of power and of the future
bâtir sur le sable." which awaited him. Occupied with such meditations and in such a scene,
But what alternative remains ?he meets the child engaged in his incomprehensible employment. Did Na
“ Dire que le gouvernement doit obéir à
l'esprit des masses et favoriser les intérêts, poleon believe in ghosts? If so, he might think, this was a child of the old
generaux, est une maxime vraie may trop
vague. Quelle est l'opinion de la masse. race, occupying the palace of his an
Quels sont les interets generaux ? Chacun cestors when the living owners were suivant son opinion, répondra différenment à asleep - some infant Bourbon, some ces questions." child of Henry Quatre, trying to instil warmth into his frame, icy cold from We are also completely at a loss, and lying the livelong day in the vaults; or really do not see our way out of the for a moment the great usurper might dilemma. Louis Napoleon's practical fancy, that the dead dynasty held high answer has been a military despotism revel all night in these halls, and that -a remedy which, like death, cures this stray ghost of the family had lin- all diseases, but which is fully as bad gered after the rest. But the super- as the diseases themselves. His theonatural is unnecessary to the pic- retical answer is sufficiently vague :turesque : enough that we have in “ Nous dirons donc qu'un gouvernejuxtaposition the mightiest intellect ment doit aujourdhui, puiser sa which ever appeared on earth and a force morale dans un principe, et sa simple child: the terrible power of the force physique dans une organisation.” Empire incarnate in its master, con- We are inclined to admit this genetrasted with the utter weakness of rally; and, indeed, the only difficulty infancy.
is to find out the principle. Louis A page or two of striking reflec- Napoleon suggests one :-"Supposons tions upon “ La Paix” now follows:- par exemple, qu'un gouvernement accepte franchement le principe de la scheme into practical effect. He has souveraineté du peuple, c'est-à-dire de always shown an inclination s'apl'élection, il aura pour lui tons les puyer as he would call it, on the class esprits." This is rather a startling of ouvriers, and such a scheme as thiş proposition. One would think that, would make them his, body and soul ; let a government accept universal suf- and as the French are little solicitous frage as frankly as it may, this would about the interests of their grandnot please many of the middle classes, sons, the temporary prosperity which and very few of the higher. Louis would result from such a bold med Napoleon, indeed, argues" Quel est sure, carried out as it would be by the l'individu, la caste, le parti qui oserait most perfect organisation, would seattaquer le droit, produit legal, de la cure him the popularity of all the rest volonté de tout peuple ;" so that, after of the nation, with the exception of all, the accord des esprits he requires is the proprietors of the waste lands, to be the offspring of fear ; and, for our who might think they had as good å part, we are not disposed to dispute title as the pauper owners, to make the but that this “lien" might exist in a most of their property. very high degree. But he might have said as well. " Qui oserait attaquer The subject which follows, entitled le droit, produit legal de la volonté de “L'Analyse de la Question des Sacres," l'Empereur et de son armée.” The is of so special a character, that it can alternative seems to be, between a interest very few of our readers. We bonnet-rouge reign of terror, or a have glanced over it, as in duty bound, reign à la bayonette.
and although we had little prior know
ledge on the subject, there are intrinThe next article of any consequence sic proofs that Louis Napoleon has has for its title “ L'Extinction de Pag- mastered it in all its details
a result perisme.” The scheme is simple which implies no little inquiry and paenough. There are, it seems, nine
tience. million hectares of uncultivated land Our author was no free-trader when in France, yielding, on an average, he wrote this article, since he is clear eight francs per hectare. Louis Na- for protecting the beetroot growers. poleon proposes to seize these lands, His principal reason is the expediency and colonise them with paupers, pay- of letting well alone. He states fairly ing the proprietors their eight francs enough the stock arguments for free of yearly rent. This scheme he de- trade; but he remarks, that it is a dunvelopes in great detail, and, we may gerous thing to change established in grant, makes out his case - namely, terests on theoretical anticipations of that the pauper colonisation will extir. compensation, for human affairs are pate pauperism, as all the paupers singular things, and occasionally rewill become proprietors; but he does fuse to follow the correctest theory. not inform us what is to become of the paupers of the next generation; or, if We now pass over two articles there be still land enough for them, the one entitled “ Projet de loi sur le what of the generation after? for, as- Recrutement de l'Armée," and the suredly, the existing generation will other, “Considerations Politiques et breed a population which, if there be Militaires sur la Suisse" - and come not some such violent measure as this to an article, entitled “Quelques mots to prevent it, will throw off a goodly sur Joseph Bonaparte," which we only swarm of paupers: therefore, at the allude to, as it contains a short narrabest, our author's seheme merely, tive of Joseph's life, after the fall of staves off the evil, allowing a state of his brother. The ex-King of Holland things meantime to grow up, which will ånd of Spain, after that event, remake the mischief eventually ten times sided mostly in Philadelphia, in Amegreater.
rica, where he seems to bave been held Such schemes in England would ex- in the highest estimation, and had the cite indignation, if they were not re- questionable honour of being offered garded as absolutely chimerical; but the throne of Mexico, which he reFrance is such a peculiar country, fused. Subsequently he was visited that it is not at all improbable but by that traitor, or French patriot that the Emperor will, some fine the epithets are equivalent - Fayette, morning, issue a decree carrying this who certified bim of the approaching fall of the legitimate dynasty, and of. litarian spirit that the schemes for the fered to bring about the restoration of reformation of society he propounds the Bonapartes, if he would place at are all of a material kind. He has no his disposal two millions of francs. idea of ennobling human nature; his But Joseph had resided too long in millennium is to be brought about by the land of the almighty dollar, to part new territorial adjustments of the with his money; and, accordingly, the world, and a regimenting of its inhaRevolution of 1830 took place, to the bitants; so that at the best the Napoadvantage of a more daring specu- leonic idea, when carried out in its full lator.
development, is merely a new arrangeJoseph thereupon writes a long let- ment of existing interests, kept in ter to the Chamber of Deputies, in order by an organisation the highest which, undoubtedly, he has the best type of which is a perfect police. of the logic. He argues that the le- Such are the faults and short-com. gitimate dynasty being repudiated, ings of the works before us - let us there only remained the right of the now consider their excellencies. Clear. people to elect their ruler; and he of- ness and precision are the characterisfered to back the Duc de Reichstadt tics of his style, indicating a mind to against Louis Philippe in an appeal to which anything approaching, to obpopular election. In this letier he scurity is disagreeable, and which can bitterly says of Louis Philippe, that only be satisfied with the clearest noin vain he abjured his house; for he tions on all subjects. This tendency, had entered France with the rest of the allied to strong sagacity, bas led him family sword in hand, and it made no to maxims and conclusions of a defi. difference that his father had voted for nite and practical nature. Louis N:the death of the King, his cousin, in poleon is the most practical of living order to put himself in his place.
Even when he theorises, be Our readers will perhaps excuse us does not speculate, but keeps close to declining to enter into the discussion facts. He takes men and things pre. of the practicability of the canal of cisely as they are; and regarding both Nicaragua, which is the subject of the as equally fixed quantities, his plans next and concluding article. We would only go to alter relations.
He seems rather employ the little space which never to suppose the possibility of new remains in a few general observations conditions. From the same mental on the works which we have passed constitution might perhaps be traced under review,
another peculiarity, largely observable
both in his writings and his life. He In the first place, we are sorry to be arrives at his conclusions not by logical compelled to admit that there is no steps of reasoning, but as it were intui. Linge of Christianity to be found tively. They seem to him to fit the throughout the wide range of topics ; existing system of things—how or why nor is the moral colouring more dis- is to him of little importance. They tinguishable. The whole might be seem to him axioms, and he states written by a man who believed in no them as such, while other men would religion whatever, who denied God arrive at them by inferences, or supand providence, and who recognised port them by proof and illustration. no moral sanction but expediency. It His political creed, all things consimay be answered, that his topics do dered, is not, we think, a dangerous not necessarily involve the discussion His opinions are new, but they of religious or moral questions ; but if are not revolutionary. A profound it be considered that these are mainly conviction of the necessity of adapting inquiries into the foundation and na. himself to the course of events, prevents ture of government, questions most him adopting any absolute notions. intimately bearing on the destiny of His mind instinctively coalesces with man, it is difficult to account for the the tendencies in existence. He is absence of any recognition of Provi- anxious to keep in front of the movedence, or of the general principles of ment, but he never attempts to go in right and wrong, except on the theory a contrary direction. If, then, we may that the author exaggerates the prin- not expect in Louis Napoleon a reyeciple of expediency into a preponde. nerator, neither need we apprehend rating rule of action.
a disturber of the existing order of It is a consequence of the same uti. things. His political conduct since