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ber were Monarchists after some pêche aujourd'hui notre prospérité fashion or other, who at least agreed de se developper et de porter ses in repudiating the doctrine of univer- fruits. Permettez-moi de vous le sal suffrage, and all its consequences. dire c'est que le propre de notre The Assembly had made a dirt epoque est de nous laisser séduire pie, and demurred considerably to par les chimères au lieu de nous eating it.
attacher à la réalité.” Nothing is Meantime Louis Napoleon, never more singular than the cautious and going beyond the logical attributions gradual way with which Louis Napoof his position, managed to encrease leon approaches his subject ; this that his power and popularity. He seems we have quoted is an instance of itto be conscious that his forte lies in it is the germ of complaints, which the expression of opinion, and there afterwards attain form and consisfore he lets no opportunity slip by tency, and which we will trace in the unimproved. He assisted at the open- sequel till they reach maturity. The ing of all the railways that year; he theorists, the ideologues, are his bêtes was fêted by different towns, and noirs, which it becomes ultimately there were numerous public occasions necessary for him to take strong meawhen he presided, and he never seems sures with; as yet he merely hints a to miss the opportunity of making a fault, and hesitates dislike. speech, in which he introduces politi- On the 7th of June, this year, the cal opinions and maxims, calculated President delivered his first message to conciliate public opinion.
to the Legislative Assembly; this, as At Chartres he says that the hopes well as the subsequent ones to which of France rests on 'faith and conci we will allude in their order, is given liation,'-'C'est à la foi, qui nous sou- in extenso. tient et nous permit de supporter He begins by recapitulating the toutes les difficultés du jour; à la pledges he had made in his manifesto, conciliation, qui augmente nos forces and as he abridges them we may as et nous fait esperer un meilleur well reproduce them here : avenir.'
In a visit to the fortress of Ham, “To what, in effect, did I engage myself the scene of his captivity, he says, “I in accepting the suffrages of the nation? do not complain of having expiated
“ To defend society audaciously attacked. here by an imprisonment of ten years,
“To strengthen a Republic wise, great, and my temerity against the laws of my
" To protect family, religion, and procountry." At Angers he says, “he
perty. is no admirer of that savage liberty
To forward all ameliorations, and all which permits everyone to do as he
possible economics. pleases, but of the liberty of civilised
“To protect the press against the tyranny people, permitting each one to do of license. what does not hurt the community.” “ To diminish the abuse of centralizaAnd again, “under all regimes there tion. will be, I know, oppressors and op "To efface the traces of evil discord. pressed, but so long as I am Presi "In fine to adopt in our external relations dent of the Republic, there will be no
a policy without arrogance, and without oppressed party.”
weakness." In his speech at Tours, of 31st July, this year, he mentions for the He then goes into detail as to the first time the apprehensions enter state of France, arranging his obsertained of a Coup d'Etat. He says vations under the heads of Finance, they have no just foundations. “Les Garde Nationale, Armée, Marine, Coups d'Etat n'ont ancun pretexte, les Agriculture, Industrie, et Commerce ; insurrections n'ont ancune chance de Travaux Publics, Instruction Public, succès ; à peine commencés, ils seraient Affairs Etrangeres. But it would be immediatement réprimées." We are of little interest to follow him at inclined to give him credit for sin length into these different subjects, cerity, as a year and a half was yet to which are all discussed in a businessintervene before he had recourse to like and exhaustive manner. that remedy. Still he let it be seen In the resumé of the address, the that he felt embarrassed in his pre- President takes occasion to explain sent position. “ Qui est-ce qui em- some of his peculiar doctrines, “Our
whereas, the very reputation of his opponents kept them from combining in any uniform course of action.
On the 31st October the President delivered another message to the Assembly. He had changed his ministry —an important step, and one obviously in preparation of the struggle which was now inevitable.
On the 3rd November the President delivered a discourse at the ceremony of the institution of the magistracy in the Palais de Justice. After remarking that spite of all political tempests the magistracy, as instituted by Napoleon, had endured, he says:
duty is to take a part between the false and the true ideas which spring up from a revolution ; the separation once made, it is necessary to put ourselves at the head of the one, and to combat courageously the others," “Truth will be found by making appeal to all intelligences, by repelling nothing till we have profoundly investigated it, by adopting every thing which will have been submitted to the examination of competent men, and has undergone the proof of discussion.” These doctrines no doubt are subject to qualification; the first proposition would justify any degree of persecution, and their author subsequently proved this by the banishment to Cayenne of some thousands of citizens, who unfortunately had made a different selection from him of the ideas which spring up in a revolution ; and as to the second proposition, 'competent men are often mistaken on political questions, and the proof of discussion is rather an imperfect test.
Some of the representatives don't seem to have relished these doctrines, for on the 12th of June we are told, " that a factious minority in the very bosom of the Assembly makes an appeal to insurrection. to civil war" rhe president answers by a procla mation to the people :
“Let us honor then that which is inmovable; but let us also honor what is good in the changes introduced. To-day, for exainple, that, assembled from all the points of France, you come before the first Magistrate of the Republic to take an oath; it is not to man that you swear fidelity, but to the l:w. You come here in the presence of God, and of the great powers of the State, to swear to . fulfil religiously a mandate, the austere ac
complishment of which has always distinguished the French magistracy. It is consoling to think that, beyond the political passions and the agitations of society, there exists a body of men having no other guide than their conscience; no other passion than the public weal; no other end than to make justice reign."
" Somc factious men," says lie, “dare still to raise the standard of revolt against a Government, legitimate, since it is the off. spring of univeral suffrage. They accuse me of having violated the constitution-me, who hare supported for six months, without being moved, their injuries, their calumnies, their j rovocations
“ Elected by the nation, the cause which I defend is yours, it is that of your families and of your property; that of the poor as well as the rich ; that of entire civilization; I will be deterred by nothing in my attempts to inake it triumphant."
There is another body in France even more permanent than the Magistracy, and which has as devotedly adhered to its peculiar functions. We mean the Political Police. In all the revolutions it has passed over nearly intact to the service of the victor for the time being. Fouché carried over his whole staff from Napoleon to Louis XVIII ; and at the Revolution of 1830, Louis Philippe found the same perfect instrument for watching conspiracy, but most imperfect one for repressing it, ready to his hand. At the Revolution of 1848, the Police passed over to the service of the members of the Provisional Government, to watch whom had for some years been the most iinportant of its duties. Cavaignac used the police to hinder the election of Louis Napoleon, who now wields it to repress all republican ideas. But in fact the French Political Police has a more remote pedigree than that which dates from Napoleon I.; the Police of Richelieu and of Louis XV.
It was now sufficiently obvious that the Assembly and the President could not go on long together, and the former must by this time have attained some idea of their opponent. Very able men there were too in that Assembly- Thiers, Changarnier, La moriciére. Statesmanship, literature, and war were all represented by first-class illustrations; but the Prince President had one advantage, he was alone and he could rely on himself;
and XVI. differed little in organiza tion or efficiency from that of Napoleon ; originally it was an engine expressly invented for the maintenance of tyranny, and as centralised France is always tyrannical in its executive, there has always remained a need for its services.
On the 11th November the President presided at the distribution of prizes decreed to national industry. We believe this is an annual matter in France, and an institution which might be copied in our own country to advantage.
On this occasion the President thus indicates his ideas on an important question of political economy :
imposing on it any burdens or taxes which, inasmuch as they diminish the net return, will prevent the inferior descriptions of land being taken into cultivation. But, lastly, if land is not to be taxed, either directly or in its productions, the revenue of the state must be derived from a tax on the consumers, " d'affranchir la production et de n'imposer que la consommation."
But, however English politicians may differ on this question, all parties will agree with the Emperor when in another part of this address he says:
“The greatest danger perhaps of modern times comes from that false opinion that a government can do every thing, and that it is of the essence of every possible system to answer to all exigencies, to remedy all evils. Ameliorations are not improrised, they grow from those which precede them, like the human species; they have a filiation which permits us to measure the extent of progress possible, and to separate it from Utopias."
“ Therefore, the principal care of an enlightened administration, occupied chiefly with general interests, is to diminish as much as possible the burdens which press upon the land. In spite of the sophisms daily spread abroad to deceive the people, it is an incontestable principle, which in Switzerland, America, and England has produced the most advantageous results, that we ought to free production and to burden only consumption. The riches of a country is like a river ; if we take the waters at the source we dry it up; if we take them on the contrary when the river has increased, we may turn aside a large body of it without altering its course."
Nor will we quarrel with the practical application :
“Let us not, then, be seduced into vain expectations; but let us all try to accomplish all that is reasonable."
This philosophy numbers the conservative party of England among its adherents. It formed the principle on which was based the budget of D'Israeli.
We think the Emperor has stated the grounds on which it rests correct. ly, but with somewhat more than his usual conciseness. He seems to hold first that an increase of population is the only test of national progress, since it is the natural consequence of increased well-being ; but, secondly, that the additional number of inhabitants must be dependent on, and resulting primarily from, an increased agriculture; for, if the population increase from any other cause, it has nothing in the country itself to fall back upon, but being at the mercy of taste and fashion, and foreign trade, may be an element of weakness instead of power: and third, that it becomes, therefore, the duty of an enlightened statesman to facilitate as much as possible the development of agriculture, by abstaining from
The last speech made by Louis Napoleon in 1849 was on the 10th of December, at the fête de l'Hotel de Ville. It is characterized by a calm consciousness of power, and trust in the future. He had evidently bettered his position; and though politicians still thought he was merely a stopgap to the revolution, and that his power would come to a close whenever the Legitimists and Orleanists had effected their fusion, they might at least have seen that he was a man not to be put aside quietly or easily, and that he was fully determined to defend his position by every means in his power. One passage in this address, if they had reflected on its quiet power, and believed that there was something in it besides rhetoric, might have helped to dissipate some of their illusions; “ ce qui donne une force irresistible même au mortel le plus humble, c'est d'avoir devant lui un grand but à atteindre, et derriere une grande cause a defendre."
The year 1850 was passed by Louis Napoleon very much like that which
regret never having been a simple citizen of my country."
preceded it; but the indications of his ultimate designs are more clearly hinted at, and his denunciations of the unfortunate Ideologues become more decided; though it never seems to enter into his head that he and his uncle were the most pronounced of all Ideologues, if by that epithet we mean men who wish to govern by new ideas. His actions, as we will find, keep pace with the loftier and more defiant tone of his speeches.
On the 7th of April, 1850, the President opened the session of the (buncil General of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures. An interval of four years had elapsed since their last meeting, and the President tells them that then they enjoyed a complete security, which gave them time to study at leisure the ameliorations best suited to the material interests of France, but that now the task was
the task was different; "un bouleversement imprevu a fait trembler le sol sous vos
We can easily imagine the effect of such language, addressed to the people of the provinces who already worshipped the inheritor of the name of the Emperor ; it served also another purpose, by indicating, or to use a French phrase, “faisant entrevoir," his dissatisfaction with the Burgraves of Paris.
In this oration he defines his idea of“ ordre," which is not with him merely an empty word which every one may interpret as he pleases, but “it is the maintenance of that which has been freely elected and consented to by the people; it is the national will triumphant over all factions."
But as if to cool down all unreasonable enthusiasm, he says shortly afterwards at Dijon :
“ Governments which succeed revolutions have an ungrateful task : that of repressing in the first instance, in order afterwards to ameliorate ; that of dissipating illusions, and of replacing by the language of cold reason the disorderly accents of passion."
Visions of the Coup d'Etat are no doubt by this time revolving in his mind; and in most of his speeches wind. this year he throws out feelers on the subject. At Lyons he says :
This allusion is judicious. It pointed out clearly, but at the same time without giving offence to the Republican party, that Louis Napoleon had no complicity in the revolution ; and that he rather deplored it than considered it a subject of gratulation: an opinion calculated at one and the same time to quell the sensitive disa trust of the men of order, who could not yet put confidence in a Bonaparte; and to disarm to some extent the animosity of the Orleanists, by the tacit preference it implied of the rule of Louis Philippe over the Republican regime which had displaced it.
On the 9th and 10th of June he is at St. Quintin. In his speech at an Exposition of Industry in the town, he says :
“Rumours of Coups d'Etat have, perhaps, come even to you, gentlemen, but you have not credited them, and I thank you for it. Surprises and usurpations may be the dream of parties who have not the support of the nation, but the elect of six millions of suffrages executes the will of the people ; he does not betray them. Patriotism inay consist in abnegation as well as in perseverance."
“I am happy to find myself among you, and I welcome with pleasuro all opportunities of coming into contact with that great and generous people which has elected me ; for every day proves to me that my most sincere and devoted friends are not in the palace but under the thatch; they are not under the gilded roofs, they are in the work-shops and in the country. If I was always free to accomplish my wish. I would coine among you without pomp, without ceremony. I would like, unknown, to mingle in your labours as well as your fêtes, in order better to judge myself of your desires and your sentiments. But it seems that fate puts unceasinly a barrier betwixt you and me, and I have to
No doubt this was well considered. Indeed all the President's speeches bear traces of long and weighty preparation. Here he dexterously turns the artillery of his enemies against themselves. He, the elect of six millions, has no necessity for a Coup d'Etat ; but the opposite party may attempt to compensate by violence and surprise their want of authority with the country. Nor, if well-considered, do these expressions absolutely foreclose him from attempting a Coup d'Etat, for the elect of the people may thus execute their will.
Lyons was the next stage on the
“On the point of making you my adieus, allow me to recal to you the celebrated words -10; I pause. There would be too much pride in me to say, like the Emperor, ‘Lyonnese, I love yon. But perinit me to say to you from the bottom of my heart, . Lyonnese, love me.'"
Alsace was another district which the timid friends of the President would rather have avoided, but there his reception was enthusiastic. In his address he alludes feelingly to this:
As first magistrate of the Republic it was his duty, he said, to put himself into communication with all interests, and personally to visit the provinces ; and “if my name has had an effect in strengthening the spirit of the army, of which alone I dispose in terms of the constitution, this-I dare to say it—is a service I have rendered to my country.”
Having thus indicated his opinion of the constitution, and significantly alluded to his influence with the army, he directs attention in brief and pregnant terms to an important matter :
“Why, gentlemen, should I have been ill-received ? In what respect have I failed to merit your confidence ? Placed by the almost unanimous vote of France at the liead of a power legally restrained, but immense by the inoral influence of its origin, have I been seduced by the thought, by the advices I have received to attack a constitution, although nobody is ignorant that it was made in great part against me?”
“ It is now permitted to all the world excepting to me to wish to hasten the revision of our fundamental law. If the constitation contains in itself vices and dangers, you are free to expose them to the country. I alone am bound by my oath to confine myself within the strict limits which it has traced."
And somewhat farther on :
It is pretty evident the time is coming when he will get rid of this constitution, “made in great part against him."
The President's message this year was delivered on the 12th November. The exordium could not be very agreeable to the Assembly. He informs them that he had dismissed four hundred and twenty-one måyors, and one hundred and ninety-three adjuncts; “and if all those who have exceeded their functions have not been dismissed, it is because the im
" The uncertainty of the future produces, I know, many apprehensions by awaking many hopes. Let us all learn to sacrifice these hopes to the country, and to occupy ourselves only with her interests. If in this session you vote the revision of the constitu. tion, a constitutional assembly will remodel our fundamental laws and regulate the lot of the executive power. If you do not so vote, the people in 1852 will solemnly manisest the expression of its new will.”