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I could my Lord, proceed much further, were it necessary; but, from what we have seen, I think, it is plain, that there is no likeness whatever in the two governments. As to that of France, as it is now new-modled, it appears to me to resemble the American rather than ours. People in France vote for Members of the Legislature upon the principle of representation and taxation going hand in hand. There are no feudal titles or rights in France. The Peers are, in fact, no more than eminent citizens, having no great estates attached to their titles and seats. There is, and there is to be, no established religion. The two Chambers in France, like the Congress in America, are forbidden to pass any law respecting
a predominant Church. Religious opinions are to be free. There are to be no books, which may not be freely commented on and examined into. There is to be nothing so sacred that reason may not approach it. There are to be no tythes in France, consequently no benefices to bestow. This is a government certainly very much like that of America. Mr. Grattan observed that the French people had exchanged the paradise of the Bourbons for the “eternal damnation of “a military despotism.” May be so; but, they seem resolved not to have feudal titles and courts; monastries and tythes; gabelles, corvées and game-laws. May be so; but, it has not been proved. In conclusion, my Lord, give me leave
to suggest, that it woul.. e as wise in us Hot to cry up our sort of government so much. If it be better than that of France, why want them to have one like it Moss of my neighbours are well enough content if they are but able to get good cropt themselves, without thinking much about those of other people. We are always calling the French our enemy, and representing their power as so dangerous to Europe; and, why should we, then, fret ourselves because they will not be happier than they are : It would certainly be wise to let them alone; for, by evincing such an everlasting anxiety about their Jorm of government, I am afraid that we shall give rise to a suspicion, that it is their form of government, and not the ambition of their Chief, that we dread, and against which we are about to make war
His Royal Highness the Prince Regent called the commencement of his reign a New Era. I think I may apply that term to the present crisis. The Emperor Nai. it is said, has taken the field; he as placed himself at the head of all those “ perjured villains,” who so “basely deserted ” the Royal Bourbons for that “vile monster," their present chief. He has left the good city of Paris to protect itself, and has withdrawn the whole of the regular force, leaving the volunteers, or the national guard, as the French call them, to defend the metropolis of the empire; that very metropolis which the hireling press of this country declared NapoHeon was afraid to enter in the day time, and which was defended against the Royal Aegitimate Monarch, by the “perjured ** horde who had united their crimes to those of the Usurper.” I do not think our Ministers would choose to leave the good city of London to defend itself. I remember when that most obnoxious measure the Corn Bill was in progress through the Legislature, that it was the boast of the ministerial papers, how many thousands and tens of thousands of troops, of all sorts, were quartered in the immediate 'neighbourhood of our metropolis, to defend it against itself. The Times recorded the names of the regiments, with a sort of savage joy, as if it calculated on something which it had not ferocity sufficient
to express; and yet we boast of the loyalty of the whole nation, the love of the people for their present glorious government, and the universal satisfaction which prevails in all quarters. One would think that forty-two millions of pounds sterling, borrowed on one day, was something of a damper to this “general content.” But mind, reader, this nominal forty-two millions is, in fact, a much larger sum, for which the country will next year be called on to provide. It arises thus:—the subsidies, which the generous Lord Castlereagh has ageeed we should pay to the Allied Kings, for the purpose of preserving “social order,” and the “ legitimate rights of princes,” are to be sent, at our expence, to their respective head quarters, and to be there paid in hard cash, good sterling guineas ; not the paper money, which alone is to be seen in this country, but geod gold coin.—Now, in order to obtain this, the government agents are at work, in all directions, to buy up whatever coin they can meet with. The Market Price is, this day, Thursday the 15th of June, one pound eleven shillings and eight pence, in paper, for one pound one shilling in coin. Therefore, for every hundred pounds in coin, which we deliver to our glorious disinterested Allies, we pay the sum of one hundred and fifty eight pounds six shillings and eight pence in paper. Judge, then, reader, what is the real amount of the subsidies we grant to the Potentates of Europe, for fighting in defence of the rights of the privileged race : This is no joke: it is real serious earnest. But we . have only began : our subsidies are not half granted yet. The King of Denmark says, that his troops cannot march one yard, until he receives a subsidy. The Crown Prince of Sweden says, that he must have an equivalent in money for the cession of Guadaloupe to the Bourbons. And, be it remembered, that the Bourbon soldiers, sent to take possession of that
rope, and even this very same Crown Prince of Sweden amongst the rest. Ferdinand the Fourth of the Two Sicilies, has been kept by us so long that it is an old story to talk of him. But now he will be rather more expensive, for we shall have to keep up a large British Army to support him in possession, besides paying his own army, and giving him a good round sum to set up royalty, as we gave our own Prince Regent at the commencement of his “ new aera.” By the by, this sum, Us?100,000) it appears by some very impertinent questions lately asked in Pariiament, was not applied for the purpose for which it was granted; and his Royal Highness has again had occasion to apply to his faithful Commons for assistance, by whom no doubt it will be most cheerfully relieved. Besides Ferdinand the Fourth, we have the other Ferdinand the Seventh, of the same Royal stock. His army too, it seems cannot march till we find money. Indeed it is shrewdly suspected, that a sum of £800,000 was advanced by us to that beloved monarch, to enable him to fit out his late Cadiz expedition to South-America ; and, as usual, a sort of fatality attends all that we interfere with. The Times, states “that by the ship “Sarah Jane, arrived in 92 days, from “Buenos Ayres, we learn that the revolu“tionists have got possession of almost the “whole of Spanish America; that General “Orr has 40,000 troops well armed and “equipped; that Admiral Brown has 8 “ sail of large frigates ; and that the ut“ most anxiety prevailed for the arrival of “ the expedition from old Spain, which, “ as it would of course fall immediately “ into the hands of the revolutionists, “would afford them an ample supply of “military stores of all sorts. The British “ had embarked their property,” &c. &c. But the most extraordinary passage in this piece of information is, that “the King “ Ferdinand has expressed the utmost in“ dignation against the province of Vene“zuela, for having afforded such facili“ ties to English commerce l’’ Here is Royal gratitude with a vengence. So we advance Ferdinand, the beloved, £800,000 to enable him to punish those of our friends in America, who are disposed to receive our merchandize 1 The newspapers of to-day state, that the two Chiefs of La Vendee, who have been equipped by England at an enormous ex
pence, have been both killed, all their stores and arms (which loaded two frigates and three sloops of war) taken, and their whole rebel party dispersed in all directions!—The subsidies being duly received, and the preparations being made, it is now said that the march to Paris will take place immediately.—To be sure, it is allowed that there are upwards of 600,000 “Perjured Willians” on the frontiers, with the “Hellish Monster” at their . head. But what can such a Legion of Devils do against the Holy Louis, surrounded as he is by Priests; with the good Cause of Legitimate Right on his side ; all the population of France ready to rise and tear the “ Perjured Villains” to pieces, and with 1,011,000 men to support him. What can the “ Infamous Usurper” do against such a mighty army as this. He must of course be put down immediately, and the Royal Louis will be
received with a delirium of joy by all his
Liege Subjects. In order to ensure success, the Times declares “from a source “ of undoubted Authority,” that the Emperor of Austria is about to bestow one of his Daughters, the sister of the “unfortunate Maria Louisa, on the Duke de Berri, nephew of the “Desired” Louis. One would have thought that the Times would have been rather cautious of adducing this as a proof of fidelity. If so, how does it happen that Napoleon is deserted. And if the Emperor Francis can desert one of his Sons in Law, what proof is there that he will not desert another. A short time will now shew us the result of all this. If it should happen that Napoleon should succeed in defending his kingdom against the prodigious force assembled to destroy him, the effects will be incalculable : Our glorious Ministors have raised the genius of the storm. It is impossible to tell how he is to be appeased. Peace and tranquility were in their reach ; they prefered war with all its horrors. But the ieisure of peace would have brought about reform, and that would not suit the present system. War and its enormous expenditure, is better suited to the way of thinking of the Prince Regent's Ministers. But it is a very fearful experiment, and may end fatally. If Napoleon can but resist the first onset; if he can only “hold his own,” as the phrase is, he will stagger the Allies. But if he should gain any,
even the smallest advantage; if he should
be able to recover the late territory of France, to the Rhine, and re-occupy Belgium, the mighty confederacy of Legittimate Monarchs will at once dissolve, fall to pieces, and, each one shifting for himself, the Emperor Napoleon, recovering his former preponderance, will put an end in a short time to the whole Grand Alliance, and “ leave not a wreck behind ''”
as she was in 1793, and the obvious resemblance at the two periods, of the designs of her threatened invaders, are not more striking than the enthusiasm which now animates, as it then animated, the bosom of every Frenchman. All the world has heard of the wonderful effects which this spirit produced. History will tell it to posterity, that it effected the discomfiture of the enemies of France, who had dared to invade her territory, and secured to her the unalienable right of choosing her own form of government. We live at a period not far distant from those great events, which ought to give us correct ideas respecting them. But as we are apt to lose the recollection of particular acts of heroism, it may be useful, at this important and interesting moment, to bring a few of them under review. they should fail in opening the eyes of sovereigns, or their ministers, to the folly ef waging war against opinions, they may have the effect, at least, of reviving our feelings of admiration and respect for a people who so patriotically combated for liberty; they may encourage us to hope that, although tyrants may unite to subjugate nations, and although the struggle may be long, reason and truth will ultimately triumph. When the Duke of Brunswick advanced from Longway to Verdun, after issuing his famous proclamation, he expected that the soldiers of the latter Plot would surrender on his summons. “The garrison answered that they were ready to die at their posts. The enemy, however, appearing in great force, the magistrates determined to capitulate. Beaurepaire, the commandant, hastened from the ramparts, where he had been encouraging the soldiers, and endeavoured to persuade them to defend the town. Find
ing his remonstrances ineffectual, he pulled a pistol from his pocket and shot himself. The volunteers would not suffor his body to be buried at Verdun, of which the Prussians were about to take possession, but carried it to St. Menehoud. The National Assembly decreed him the honours of the pantheon, and ordered the following inscription to be engraved on his tomb: He chose to put himself to death, rather than capitulate with tyrants ''' “A young man who had joined the army of the North, met with some disappointments, which induced him to quit the service without leave of absence. Upon his return home, the people flocked about his aged parent, to sympathise with him in the , grief which he was supposed to feel for having given birth to a son who had basely deserted the standard of liberty. His father refused to see him, although he was an only son, and had been the pride of his old age. The children pointed at him in the streets, and his former companions avoided his company. His father at length disinherited him; and divided his property amongst the defenders of his country, set out for the army to supply his place. This veteran made the campaign of Flanders, and displayed the greatest heroism in a variety of engagements l’” “It is impossible to conceive the hard. ships to which the French were exposed: to use the language of Custine, “they were without coats, without blankets, without shoes, and without breeches. In the name of humanity,” says he, in a letter to the minister of war, “I conjure you to relieve them from their present painful state. It freezes wery hard, and they have been seven nights under arms.” Notwithstanding this lamentable situation, not a murmur was to be heard. The army was composed of volunteers of all ranks and all ages. Male and female were equally proud to suffer in defence of liberty. Among the prisoners taken by the Prussians at Hockheim, was a French officer, who was next day delivered of a fine boy!” “ The heroism of one of the national guards deserves particular notice:–early in the engagement he lostone of his limbs, yet he refused to quit his post; and when told by the surgeon, on dressing his wound, that he would be maintained by the nation, he seemed insensible of his sufferings, and replied, with a firm tone of voice, “I hays
still another arm to serve my country, and am perfectly contented, provided France obtains her liberty.” “On an alarm that the rebels of the Vendée were about to make an attack upon St. Malo, and that an English fleet was expected in Concale bay, to second their efforts, twelve battalions were raised in haste from the sections of Paris, and dispatched to the menaced spot. The inhabitants of the communes in Normandy contiguous to the rebels, rose in a mass; and that step, together with the gallant behaviour of the people of Granville, repelled the assailants, without the assistance of those new levies. There were in them a number of young men, who had led idle, dissipated lives; and being insensible to the claims their country had on them in danger, refused to march; and two battalions, one of the section of the Thuilleries, the other of the champs Elysees, broke out in open rebellion, singing, 0, Richard, 0, mon roi. When hitelli. gence was brought to the fathers of families in those sections, of the disgraceful conduct of their children, they ran to the bar of the convention, desiring a strict exami
nation might be made into it; and if found
to be such as was reported, they swore to go themselves, and expiate the crimes of
their guilty offspring, by shedding their ||
own blood, and resigning the offenders up to the vengeance of the law, and their insulted country.” The writer to whom I am indebted for the above instances of heroism, remarks:– “What is worthy of observation on this occasion is, the French, when expiring from loss of blood, consoled one another with the happy prospects the revolution held out to posterity, and expressed a satisfaction in losing their lives in so glorious a cause. Such of the wounded French as were taken proper care of, recovered in a very short time, whilst the wounds of the Austrians, under similar circumstances, were always difficult to be cured, and often proved fatal. The state of the mind had the greatest influence upon the body; the Austrians were goaded on to fight in a cause which they did not approve; the French, on the other hand, were enthusiasts for liberty. The former went at the remembrance of their homes and families; the latter were proud to suffer in the cause of humanity, and enjoyed happiness even in death.”
In 1792, France had ten kings coalesced against her; intestine divisions, and civil war lacerated her bosom ; her Generals were traitors—her troops disorganized. In 1815, the league is equally formadable, and it may be admitted, to a certain extent, that France is disturbed by the royalists; but no political faction exists sufficiently powerful to disturb the government; the treason of his Generals by which the Emperor was exiled, is destroyed; and, the army, animated with the recollection of its former victories, and burning with ardour to wipe off the stain imprinted by the recent occupation of Paris, is much more formidable, and in a higher state of discipline than it was at any former period. If France in 1792, gave such signal proofs of patriotism, and, under so many disadvantages, successfully resisted all attempts to debase her, why may she not in 1815, influenced as she is by the principles of liberty, and so fortunately situated as to her means of attack and defence, be able to bring the present contest to the same glorious result 3 Yours, &c. *AR1stipes.
OPENING of THE LEGISLATIVE SEssion. CHAMBER 9F REPRESENTATIves.
Sitting of June 5–At this sitting, nothing very interesting took place. On the 6th, the discussions were particularly animated.
M. DUPIN.—I have a proposal relative to the form of the oath. The French people have voted the acceptance of the additional act—let us obey that act which does not prejudice your right of ameliorating it in the forms and under the conditions that shall be prescribed. There is another reflection of a nature to assure the welldisposed, and to do way before hand all malignant interpretations. There is no question about the substance of the oath— no difficulty—obedience to the Constitution of the Empire, fidelity to the Chief —intimate and indissolable union of the people with the Government—but in the proper and well understood interest of the Government itself, let us recognise that the oath to be good, binding, and in a word constitutional, ought to be taken, not in virtue of a decree, which should contain nothing but the unaiterable will of
the nation constitutionally expressed.