« ПредишнаНапред »
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 exeite 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 March 13, His celebrated Ministry of 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 former like the Melbourne Administration, Council ; he deliberated a long time the slave of a faction, and the ally of before he declared bis 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 indis. agitations 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 formel sometimes encouraging and at other and to act, he received from the hand of times discouraging them ; and, in one Louis Philippe 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 Eng. arrived; 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 pobility were emigrating, or enemy of disorder-profoundly attach. selling their properties and funds and ed to all ideas of anthority-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 place; 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 den 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 popu. fered 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 so Propagandist 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 underrating lottes to proceed to the Faubourg St any obstacle or peril-but rather reGermain 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 this 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 inost 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 had 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 cer. well as to the home--and war to all tain that even that policy would suicwho possessed, on the part of those ceed. He was also no theorist. He who 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 Philippe 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, as he was, the only man nister who proclaimed that these 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 resol. which commands confidence. He ved to be a real bona fide Presi. was the first who rallied round the dent 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 saw
resolved that it should be undi. cessary also for him to prove. In
politics a system is not every thing. When Casimir Perier took office, The system should 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 developement 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 Administra. Belgium was so 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 Casi. valiantly 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 bethe new French dynasty ; to satisfy lieving that the Government of NaFrance, without allowing her pas. poleon II. was practicable, attacksions to be gratified; and to bring one ed, in no very measured terms, the party to resign itself to the Revo. President of the Council, in his prilution of 1830, as understood by vate dressing room, to which he was the conservateurs—and to bring the always admitted at an early hour other to be contented with the simple in the morning. “ M. Perier," said change of dypasty, and with the revi. the Bonapartist, “ your system can. sion of a few of the articles of the not stand-all France is opposed to Charta of 1814. Yet Casimir Perier you—you are only supported by the had to fulfil the promises made by the bankers and capitalists of the Bourse Charta of 1830; and deeply did he - your system is selfish, pecuniary, regret one of those promises, viz. the disgraceful to France-and anti-nadestruction of the Hereditary Peerage. tional; France requires the old fracHe had also at once to show to Europe tions of the empire- the destruction that he did not fear war whilst he of- of the treaties of Vienna—the emanfered peace; and that the sword was cipation of the people of Europe, who at his side whilst the olive-branch was are her natural allies--and not the in his hand. And in the midst of all kings of this continent, who can never these difficulties he was surrounded sympathise with the Revolution of every where by distrust-for no mind 1830. Your system cannot last.” was confiding_every where by un. To all this he replied, “ The France certainty-for no one was satisfied. you know is the France of the kennels, He had but one idea, one reply, to of the gutters, of the dregs of society, oppose to all this—and that was of the mob, of the clubs, of the schools; “ Je veur la paix, et je ne veux que la
beardless boys, indolent vagabonds,
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. “ Wise as well as liberty, and peace better dom and pride," said Casimir Perier, than 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 every where 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 alall she proposed by the Revolution of so to devote a portion of each day to July."
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 plans and policy should suc- assistance from the advice of M. Guia ceed, 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 The struggle was desperate between Charles X. His answer to this obser- wisdom and passion, false patriotism vation was truly characteristic. and real love of country; between the
- More liberty than under the Re. love of glory in the French character, storation ! More freedom than under and the rising desire for peace; be. the 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 suyour Imperialists--your Republicans perior and middling 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 Government. the 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 suspicions, all the doubts, and misgivenjoyed as during that portion of her ings of the country, and with all its il. existence. Take you back to the Re- lusions. The old Liberal party was storation ! ah, indeed I should be there with all its exigencies, though it happy, happy beyond expression, if I confided in its own patriotism, and was could ever hope again to see France willing to find a guide and a commanas free, as prosperous, as blessed as der. During the Restoration, the old she was 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 Casimir Pe- Casimir Perier knew--this he felt,rier, and he summed up all by say- and this he deplored. No one proing, “ Je veux la paix, et je ne veux fessed more formally than he did the que la 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 admi. profound contempt that ambiguous nistration. It was conceived and die 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 the 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, Cast. to love 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 statesman had resolved to leave ard of the Republic. They still vow office. That was a moment of proed their attachment to the dynasty of found danger for the new French dynasty. 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 wlien the debate arose on the loud was the laugh of joy and derision " ordre du join motivé." Warsaw when the name of LAFITTE came out had fallen, and its fall had produced of the ballotting 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 ven. Melbourne or Count Molé. 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 sur. ently to them; he acted on the princi. rounded and wished to insult M. Peple which decided the Duke of Wel. rier himself. They spoke of marching lington, when he resigned power be against the Tuileries - 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, notwith. 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, an 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 tives 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 the 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 the 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 frc. ported 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 Boulogue, were discovered. was formidable and numerous. Still There he endeavoured to convince the 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 Talley rand 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, guarantee'd 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, and conviction, day after triumph. Twelve months of existence day of a laborious session. M. Gui. to a Ministry at such an epoch, was in