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which in any case must be achieved, has its advan. tages, though it is difficult to appreciate the gain of what is not patent and tangible. And whether Europe shall become much the wiser or happier for the great organic modifications which are impending over her society, must in the end depend upon the character of those few leading minds who rise to influence under a new form of government. That some men worthy of their sublime mission will come out of the mêlée, can hardly be doubted; when they must take heed lest they lose the fruit of sacrifices, always serious, often ruinous to a nation in revolt, by the fatal process of conciliation of enemies: a process which infallibly leads to the necessity of beginning the work anew. In conclusion, the sad truth must out, that England and France never can “row in the same boat:” we may be thankful if neither nation launch their “boat” at all upon the ocean of strife, for the chances are that they would be found on opposite sides of the dispute. This reflection, however, need not prevent our remaining on friendly terms with our great neighbour during the prevalence of peace in Europe: for which let us heartily offer up our prayers to Heaven.
Paris, Nov. 1851.
A FRIEND now in Paris has given us the aid of a graphic pen to realize the “scene” in the French Assembly, on the proposition of the Questors to place an independent army under the command of President Dupin or his nominees; and has added some speculations on the position of political parties in Paris. As a description, the letter speaks for itself: as an observer, we know that our correspondent's opportunities and faculties of interpreting the true political aspect are equally of the best—(Spectator.)
“You will have seen the accounts given by the journals of the agitated séance of the 17th instant, which is acknowledged to have been one of the most exciting performances of the year. I was fortunate in obtaining an excellent seat, where I could hear almost every word, at least when the orator's voice was not drowned in clamour or laughter. The Chamber was excessively full; seven hundred or more Deputies being present, besides numerous clerks, officers, and attendants: the tribunes crowded to inconvenience, and the interest taken in the debate unusually keen. After General Leflo's speech, which was listened to with great attention, a hubbub arose, the like of which is seldom witnessed even in the National Assembly. I noted the duration of this disorderly tumult (for such one may term it), and it was precisely half an hour. The President, M. Dupin, sat passively in his curule chair, gazing on the Surg. ing waves below, ever and anon giving a shake of the piercing but ineffective brass bell at his elbow; the ushers shouting, so as to be heard above the storm, “A vos places, Messieurs!’ “Silence!’ ‘En place!' &c.; but the eager and confused masses engaged in talk, chiefly in the middle of the salle, and round the President's seat and tribune, heeding nothing thereof; almost every member of the Gauche quitted his seat and rushed down to the floor. The Faucher section, as I may call it, or those of the Majority who were resolved to resist the proposition of the Questors as leading infallibly to some overt rupture between the powers of the state, remained mostly in their seats, awaiting the subsidence of the uproar. The noise was so great that you could hardly make yourself heard by your next neighbour in the tribune. You need not to be told that the appearance of M. Thiers at the rostrum was productive of fresh clamour and furious demonstrations of party feeling. Thiers himself seemed choking with rage, as he bandied sarcasms with his skilful opponent Jules Favre; who dexte: rously turned upon him the ridicule of the Mountain and the contempt of the Faucher party, feebly redeemed by a few straggling cries of ‘Très bien!' “The words ‘Comédie de la peur,” and “Réunion nocturne,’ were used in an allusion to the farce played off by M. Thiers and a few of his adherents on Thursday night the 13th instant. They affected to believe that a violent attack on the independence of the Assembly was in contemplation, and accordingly thought proper to bivouac there all night; sending messengers to members of the Gauche in all directions, to urge them to repair to the Assembly to aid Thiers and his party in defending their sacred rights, &c. Some of the Gauche complied, and have since laughed at their own credulity.
“This move of the Questors, you must know, is universally believed to have been the work of M. Thiers; who, being now the bitter foe of the Elysée, wanted to force on a conflict, which would either put the President of the Republic in the wrong, or, in case of his compliance, enable him, Thiers, and his party, to nominate to the command of the guard at the Chamber a man understood to be favourable to their political purposes. General Changarnier, if so nominated, would not scruple, it is thought, to use his authority to repress the pure Republican party, and possibly to exalt that of the Royalists.
“The Montagne, on their side, discerning pretty clearly the drift of this scheme, have taken part with the Executive, and, with a few exceptions, resisted a proposition which, if followed out, might possibly throw up unforeseen difficulties in the way of the repeal of the law of May 31, the favourite object of this section of politicians. Again, the Moderate party, laying aside their enmities and wounded amour-propre (the effect of the President's offensive message), took counsel together on Saturday evening last, and determined on a combined opposition to the proposition, as reported by M. Witet, Vice-President of the Chamber; and this for the sake of maintaining, as long as it should be feasible, a decent accord, or semblance of accord, between Louis Napoleon and the Assembly, in the obvious interest of the country in general.
“Now the upshot of this cross action among the sections of the Assembly is somewhat curious to contemplate. The picture is placed in a very different light since last August. Then, the President had managed, through the address and unwearied zeal of M. Léon Faucher and his colleagues, to make up his quarrel with the Majority, and to keep the Montagne at least in check. The actual position of affairs throws Louis Napoleon upon the Montagne for support, and arrays the two sections of the Majority against each other; thus, practically, annulling the formidable combination which lately threatened to close the door against his re-election. “But, whilst it is undeniable that, pro tanto, he has gained by the dislocation of parties till now concurring in enmity towards himself, yet his new allies can be viewed as no better than casual supporters, who will desert him so soon as he has served their immediate turn. The President, therefore, must be considered in the light of a desperate gamester, who accepts any sort of chance of bettering his fortune, come from what source it may. On the other hand, the Chamber may be said to have lost ground by the late exhibition, and to have furnished another proof of their entire inability to pursue any course of combined action. So far, indeed, Louis Napoleon may be considered as benefited by the passage in question: his opponents are discredited, and are more disunited than before; whilst the Montagne, which on most questions votes as one man, will bear him through the impending struggle for the repeal of the unpopular law. “The President seems to have sunk extremely low