Imágenes de página
PDF

Exposition of the MINISTER of THE INTERIOR. The President announced, that Count Regnault St. Jean d'Angely requested a hearing, to communicate to the Chamber the exposition of the Minister of the Interior: it was granted. His Majesty the Emperor, said Count Regnault, having charged those of his Miinisters who are Members of the Chamber of Peers to communicate to that Assembly the exposition of our situation, which was announced to you in the discourse from the throne, has confided a similar mission to those of his ministers who have been elected representatives of the people. ToJay, and at the moment when I speak, the Minister of the Interior is reading to the Chamber of Peers the exposition of the state of the Empire. I have been charged to communicate to you a copy thereof, and shall read it, if such is the pleasure of the Chamber. The assembly manifested its assent. Count Regnault resumed.—Among all the objects of the Emperor's solicitude, the first, after his solemn acceptance of the constitution, has been to make known to the nation, through the medium of its representatives, the true situation in which it is placed. Three months have scarcely elapsed since his Majesty quitted the rock to which circumstances had for a moment banished him, in order to deliver France from the enslaving yoke of a worn-out dynasty, which managed the resources of our fine country merely for the profit of foreigners. The enthusiasm which served as an escort to his Majesty from the period of his landing, sufficiently proved on what side lay the national wishes. It proves, that if the deposed family could ever re-enter France with the aid of foreigners, it would soon be expelled anew. Its prejudices, its engagements with the eld privileged castes, are all in opposition to the liberal ideas in which the existing generation has been bred, and which can never retrograde. With the princes of that family, we should have seen, as indeed we are menaced, with the re-appearance of all the cruel absurdities of feudal government, and the degrading slavery of the monastic system. In the mean time, it is to re-establish all these institutions, that they invite the foreigner into our fine eountry: but we will never thus abandon it; we will rally around the Emperor, the

protector of liberal ideas, around a Prince who, educated in the revolution, advances with the age in which he lives, and wishes to extend the dominion of mind instead of circumscribing it. Instructed by misfortunes, he will see the conquerors of Aus

terlitz, of Marengo, and of Jena, march

anew under the colours which so often led them to victory, and the event will not be 'doubtful. However, his Majesty is sincerely desirous of peace; he has done every thing to preserve it, but without inclining to listen for a moment to humiliating conditions, which would compromise the honour and the dearest interests of France. All his efforts, however, have been fruitless; already our frontiers are menaced at all points, already hostilities have been commenced without any preliminary declaration of war, and there seems to remain no other resource for the maintenance of our independence but an appeal to arms. If the Emperor were less fortified by the inherent strength of his character, he might fear two rocks. There has been talk of a royalist party and a republican party, alike enemies of his government. But the former has not know it how to defend the Princes objects of its affection, for whom it pretended a willingness to die; it is far from formidable. As to the republicans, converted from old errors, of which cruel experience made them feel too severely the fatal effects, they see in the Emperor only the protector of the liberal ideas which they have at all times themselves professed, and which excesses alone have prevented them from hitherto seeing realised. The time has been too short to give to the national constitution all the perfection of which it was susceptible; but the Emperor, towards the accomplishment of this essential work, reckons on the intelligence and patriotism of the two Chambers. The preparations for war have prevented him from giving to it himself all the attention which he could have wished; but the French territory was threatened. The national character, which essentially rejects every idea of co-ouest, should have been a sufficient guarantee to all the powers of Purope against the invasion which they seem so much to fear at present; but that fear is only a vain pretext to cover their ambition. That ambition is sufficiently demonstrated by the senseless declarations of the Congress of Vienna, by the assentblages on our frontiers, by hostilities commenced in full peace, by landings effected on our coasts in order to encourage civil war, aud, in fine, by the refusal to listen to any proposal for the maintenance of peace. All these circumstances must give a precise idea of the justice and moderation of our enemies: it is the same as in 1792, when the Duke of Brunswick published the famous manifesto of which the insolent pretentions converted the French into a nation of soldiers. Representatives of the nation, you know the French people, essentially good and generous, and always ready to contribute to the wants of the country, provided the whole extent of these wants be fairly made known to them. You have already assumed that wise and imposing attitude which is the finest guarantee to our liberty and independence; and you have a right to know, without the least disguise, the state of our wants and resources. The former are doubtless great, but sufficient means exist to provide for them without oppressing the people; and with the energy which you share with the people who elected you, we shall be certain of repelling the most unjust aggression against an independent people, of which the political annals of cabinets have ever preserved the recollection. I am charged to present to you the following details on our internal situatien :- -

CoMMUNEs.-Under this head, Count Regnault stated, that the communal administrations had been almost totally abandoned under the government of the Bourbons; that the communal funds, so essential to the movement of troops, the equipment of the national guards, &c. had been delapidated by the journies of the Princes, by the restoration of woods to emigrants, and by many other malversations; but that the Emperor

was taking pains to restore order in this important branch of internal administration. Hospitals.-These asylums of suffering hu. manity had at all times excited the solicitude of the Emperor. At the commencement of 1814, these establishments had been exposed to considerable additional expences from the number of sick and wounded soldiers. Under the late goyernment, however, they were on the point of losing one of their principal resources, by the restitution of property of emigrants, with which they had been endowed by solemu laws. The Fmperor had restored it to them. He had also ‘lombled the funds of the Maternal Society which he founded ; which, on this account alone, was neglected, and of which the august protectress is invited back by the wishes of all Frenchmen. The depots of niendicity, created also by the Poeror, were equally abandoned; but these “stablislin cuts were about to resume new acti.

vity. The hospitals in the departments invaded by the enemy had considerably suffered, but they were already re-established. Works.--Under this head Count Regnault enumerated tire great monuments founded or ordered by his Majesty; they should be contiuned, though they were seen suspended even in time of peace; but they should in future be exclusively reserved for France, and if existing circumstances did not permit them to receive that extent which were to be wished, they should soon be accelerated by the arms which would be lio longer necessary for the defence of the country. WoRks AT PAR1s.-The Minister here gave an acceount of the various constructions which have been commenced in the capital, and which should be continued. MINEs.--This head presented mothing remarkable. MANUFACTUREs.-Count Regnault here did justice to the superiority of our manufactures, which all the merchants of Europe could attest from the experience furnished them by the short time during which it had been in their power to trade with us. He saw, like every statesman, that France, at once agricultural and manufacturing, could alone dispense with the assistance of its neighbours, and that a liberal government could not fail to give all possible spring to national industry, formerly compressed by Gothic prejudices.—He aunounced that various new manufactures had been improved, and others introduced ; that the manufacture of sugar from the beet-root, in spite of all the efforts made to destroy it, promised shortly, to render Europe independent of the New World for that article; that the indigo of woad, without having reached the same perfection, already rivalled that of India; and that, in fine, a number of useful discoveries presented new sources of national prosperity. - CoMMERce.—The report expressed nothing but hope upon this article, and by the absurd ambition of sovereigns all the nations of Europe are placed in the same condition. INstruction.—Under this title, the Minister exhibited all the vicissitudes to which the corps of teachers had been subjected. The result of the enquiry skewed that the number both of colleges and scholars had been diminished, but that the university of Paris still numbered under its direction 325,554 pupils, and that the lyceums, stimulated by the new encouragement of the Emperor, displayed the best spirit. PUBLic Worship.—In speaking of the clergy, the Minister did not attempt to disguise the errors they committed under the last government, in giving way, from the lure of a restitution of church property, to the influence of emigrants, in stigmatizing as plunderers, the owners of na; tional property, whose titles had been recognised as legitimate by the Pope himself, and in attempting, in the name of the Almighty, whose servants they are, to light up civil war among men. —The Emperor, however, was always disposed to protect, and even favour the ministers of the cliurch, so long as they confined themselves within the bounds of their duty, and had already conferred on the curates an augmentation of 150 tranks, which had been vainly promised to them by the last government. The Emperor was, besides, the only sovereign who, 'aving uo

further interests to arrange with the Pope, had it in his power to put an end to those interminable negociations, commenced by the last government with the Court of Rome, and to re-establish, upon the basis of the concordat, the liberties of the Gal. lican church. JURIsprunexce.—This article of the report was extremely short. The Minister merely stated, that those civil judges who felt themselves unworthy of their functions, had done justice by abdicating their offices; and that as far as respected the administration of the criminal law, the establishment of the trial by jury every day merited new approbation; but that in the mean time, some organical institutions were necessary to regulate the duties and diminish the labours of those judicial citizens.

THE WAR DEPARTMENT.—It was absolutely

impossible to follow M. le Comte Regnault through all the details which he furnished on this important topic. The result is, that on the 1st of April, 1814, the army consisted of 450,000 men, exclusive of 150,000 prisoners, all veteran soldiers, and of 115,000 conscripts of the levy of 1815, of which 45,000 only, out of 160,000, had been raised. The last government, at once prodigal and avaricious, alarmed at its own strength, and essentially hostile to the army, had taken every possible means of diminishing it.—The orator then described the various oppressions to which the army had been exposed, particularly by the introduction of the emigrants, and which had reduced its number to 175,000 men. Since the 20th of March last, its uumber had been raised to 375 000 combatants of every description ; and before the 1st of August, it would amount to 500,000 independent of the national guards. " The IMPERIAI. GUARD.—This surest bulwark of the throne in times of war, and its finest ornament in time of peace, had a separate article allotted to it in the official report. The Minister condemned the injustice with which it was treated by the last government, and announced that it already amounted to 40,000 men.

ARTILLERY,--The losses in this arm has been in a great measure repaired; they were occasioned chiefly by treachery, and especially the delivering up of all the strong places, by order of the Count d'Artois in his capacity of Lieutemant-General of the kingdom. By this single act France had lost 12,000 pieces of cannon, mostly of brass, the value of which is , estimated at 200,000,000 of francs. This loss, however, had been entirely supplied : the arsenals, magazines of powder, and armories, were in full activity ; and after having armed the national guard and associations, there would remain in the magazines 600,000 muskets in reserve. MILITARY ExPENDITURE.-The administ retive details on this subject were little susceptible of abridgment, The Minister, however, asserted that the necessary funds would be easily provided, and no new taxes be required. NAT on Al GUARD.—This article furnished no information of which the public is not already in possession. THE MARINE presented considerable resonrces, not withstanding the evils produced by treachery, which had not, however, cast any stain upon its honour. o

of the people, to triumph in the interior.

IM Port ANT DocumENTs.

PARIs, JUNE 12.—Yesterday, (Sunday the 11th) the Emperor being on his throne, surrounded by the Princes his brothers, the Grand Dignitaries, Ministers, &c. received at the Thuilleries, before mass, a Deputation of the Chamber of Peers. On this occasion, the Prince Arch-Chancellor, president, presented the following address :

Sire, Your anxiety to submit to constitutional forins and rules, the absolute power with which circumstances and the confidence of the people had invested you, the new guarantees given to the rights of the nation, the devotedness which leads you into the laidst of the dangers the army is about to brave, penetrate all hearts with profonnd gratitude. The Peers of France come to offer your Majesty the homage of this sentiment. You have manifested principles, Sire, which are those of the nation: they must also be ont's. Yes, all power springs from the people, is instituted for the people; the constitutional monarchy is necessary to the French, as the guarantee of its liberty and independence. Sire, while you shall be on the frontiers, at the head ef the sons of the country, the Chamber of Peers will zealously concur in every legislative measure which circumstances require, to compel foreigners to acknowledge the national independence, and to cause the principles, consecrated by the will The interest of France is inseparable from your's. Should fortune fail your efforts, reverses, Sire, shall not weaken our perseverance, and shall redouble our attachment to you. If events correspond to the justice of our cause, and to the hopes we are accustomed to conceive of your genius, and to the bravery of our armies, France desires no other fruits from them but peace. Our institutions guarantee to Europe that the French nation cannot be drawn on by the seductions of victory.

His Majesty replied:—

M. President, and Gentlemen Deputies of the Chamber of Peers.- The contest in which we are engaged is serions. . The seduction of prosperity is not the danger which threatens us now. It is under the Caudine Forks that foreigners wish to make us pass! — The justice of our cause, the public spirit of the nation, and the courage of the army, are powerful reasons for hoping success; but should we have reverses, then especially I shall delight to see called forth all the energy of this great people; then shall I find in the Chamber of Peers, proofs of attachment to the country and me.—It is in difficult times that great mations, like great inen, develope all the energy of their character, and become objects of admiration to posterity. I thank you, gentlemen, for the sentiments you have expressed to me in the name of the Chamber.

This audience being finished, the Emperor proceeded to mass. After mass, having again taken his place on the throne, he received a deputation of the Chamber of Representatives, headed by Count Lanjminais, the president, who pre

sented the following address: sire —The Chamber of Representatives reeeived with profonnd emotion the words which proceeded from the throne at the solemn sitting, when your Majesty, laying down the extraor: dinary power which you exercised, proclaimed the commencement of the Constitutional momarch v. The clief basis of that monarchy, the protectress of liberty, equality, and the hap. ; piness of the people, ilave been recognized by by your Majesty, who, rising above all scruples, as anticipating ali wishes, has decla ed that the care of collecting our scattered constitutions, and of a ranging them, was one of the most im: portant occupations reserved for the legislature. Faithful to its mission, the Chamber of Deputies will perform the task thms devolved npon it; it requests that, to satisfy the public wish, as well as the wishes of your Majesty, national deliberation should rectify, as speedily as possible, any thing defective or imperfect, that the nr. gency of our situation may have produced, or left to exist in our constitutious considered as a whole. but at the same time, Sire, the Chamber of Ikepresentatives will not shew itselfie's auxinus to proclaim its sentiments and its principles as to the terrible contest which threatens to cover Europe with blood. . In the train of disastrous events, France invaded, appeared for a moment listened to as to the establishment of a constitution, only to see herself almost immediately subjected to a royal charter emanating from absointe power, to an ordinance of reform always revocable in its nature, and which, not having the expressed assent of the people, could never be considered as obligatory on the Anation. Resunuing now the exercise of her rights, rallying around the hero whom her confidence anew iuvests with the government of the state, France is astonished and afflicted at seeing some Sovereigns in arms call her to account for an internal change, which is the result of the national will,

and which attacks neither the relations existing

with other governments, nor their security.— France cannot admit the distinctions with the aid of which the coalesced powers endeavour to cloak their agression To attack the monarch of its choice, is to attack the independence of the nation. It is armed as one man to defend that independence, aud to repel, without exception, every family and every prince whom men shall dare to wish to inpose upon it. No ambitrous project enters the thoughts of the French people; the will even of a victorious Prince would be insufficient to draw on the nation be. yond the limits of its own defence: but to guard its territory, to maintain its liberty, its honour, sts diguity, it is ready for any sacrifice. Why are we upt still permitted to hope, Sire, that these warlike preparations, formed perhaps by the i.ritation of pride, and by illusions which every day must weaken, may still disperse before the want of a peace necessary to all the nations of Europe, and which shall restore to your M

jesty a spouse, to the French the heir of a throne * But blood has already flowed, the signal of coinbats, prepared against the independenee and

liberty of France, has been give u in the name of

[ocr errors]

a people who carry to the highest pitch the enthusiasm of liberty and independence. Donbtless, among the communications which your MaJesty promises us, the Chambers will find proofs of the efforts you have made to maintain the peace of the world. If all these efforts must remain nseless, may the calamities of war fall upon those who shall have proveked them.—The Chamber of Representatives only waits for the ducuments announced to it in order to contribute with all its power to the measures which the success of so legitimate a war will require. It delays pronouncing its resolves only till it knows the wants and resources of the state; and while your Majesty, opposing to the most mnjust aggression the valonr of the national armies and the force of your genins, will seek in victory only one means of attaining a durable peace, the Chamber of Representatives will deem that it marches towards the same object, by incessantly labouring on the compact, of which the improvement must cement the union of the people and the throne, and strengthen, in the eyes of Europe, by the amelioration of our institutions, the gurautee of our engagements.

His Majesty replied:

Mr. President, and Gentlemen Deputies of the Chamber of Representatives,—I recognise with satisfaction my own sentiments in those which you express to me. In these weighty circumstances my thoughts are absorded by the imminent war, to the success of which are attached the independence and the honour of France. I will depart this night to place myself at the head of my armies; the movements of the different hostile corps render my presence there indispensible. During my absence I shall see with pleasure a commission appointed by each chamber engaged in deliberating on our constitutions. The constitution is our rallying point; it must be our pole-star in these stormy moments. All public diseussion, tending to diminish directly or indirectly the confidence which should be placed in its enactmeuts, will be a misfortune to the state; we should then find ourselves at sea, without a compass and without a rudder. The crisis in which we are placed is great. Let us not imitate the conduct of the Lower Empire, which, pressed on all sides by barbarians, inade itself the laughing stock of posterity, by occupying itself with abstract discussions, at the moment when the battering ram was skaking the gates of the city. Independently of the Legislative measures required by the circumstances of the interior, you will probably deem it useful to employ yourself on organic laws destined to put the constitution in motion. They may be the object of your public labours without any inconvenience. "the sentiments expressed in your address sufficiently demonstrate to me the attachment of the Chamber to my person, and all the patriotism with which it is animated. In all affairs my march shall be straight forward and firm. Assist me to save the country. First representative of the people, I have contracted the engagement, which I renew, of employing in more tranquil times, all the pre logatives of the Crown, and the little experience I have acquired, in seconding you in ole amelio. ration of our Constitutions.

"ituted and Published by G. Houston, No. 192, Strand; where all communications Josed to the Editor, are requested to be forwarded.

and in the following manner. 3 out very early in the morning, and, in returning home to breakfast, I met a po

i i

:

Vol. XXVII. No. 26.] LONDON, SATURDAY, JULY 1, 1815. [Price 1s.

801] . . LETTER WI. . . To Lord CAstleREAgh. On the Overthrow of the Emperor Napoleon.

My Lord-The intelligence of this grand event reached me on Saturday last, I had been

pulous gang of gypsies. At the first view of them, I thought of nothing but the robberies which they constantly commit upon us, and I began to plan my measures of defence; but, upon a nearer approach to them, I perceived the whole caravan decorated with laurel. The blackguard rushans of men had laurel boughs in their hats; the nasty ferocious looking women, with pipes in their jaws, and straddling along like German trulls, had laurel leaves pinned against their sides. The poor asses, that went bending along beneath the bur. dens laid on them by their merciless masters, and that were quivering their skins to get the swarm of flies from those parts of their bodies which the wretched drivers had beaten raw, had their bridles and halters and pads stuck over with laurel. Somewhat staggered by this symbol of victory, I, hesitating what to do, passed the gang in silence, until I met an extraordinarily ill-looking fellow, who, "with two half-starved dogs, performed the of. fice of rear-guard. I asked him the meaning of the laurel boughs, and he informed me, that they were hoisted on account of the “glorious victory obtained by the Duke of Wellington over Bony;” that

they were furnished them by a good gen

tleman, in a black coat and big white wig,

whose house they had passed the day be-,

fore, between Andover and Botley, and who had given them several pots of ale, ..wherein to drink the Duke's health.-“And, to be sure,” added he, “it is glo“rious news, and we may now hope to “ see the gallon loaf at a grate again, as “’twas in my old father's time.” Leaving this political ceconomist, this “loyal man and friend of social order,” to

[ocr errors]

overtake his companions, I went homeward with a mind far from being so completely made up as that of the Gipsey and fis black-coated and white-wig'd benefactor. I had, when I came to see the news-papers; when I came to read the insolent language of the TIMEs and the Courser, no doubt of what would follow ; and, there appears now very little room for doubting, that “ the paternal authority” will very soon be restored in France by the force of the . bayonet and the cannon ball. There is a talk of making a stand for the independence of France; but, there does not appear the stuff for making such stand. The attempt at a mixty marty government deprived the state of all zeal. If, indeed, we were yet, even yet, to see a Directory, or a Consulate, or a Convention, or a Committée de Salut Public, the Duke and his victory would prove of little avail. But, to defend France now requires all the energy of 1792, 3, and 4; and, that energy appears to be fled for ever; or, at least, till time and opportubity shall again call it forth. It is very evident, that Napoleon, from the hour of his return to Paris, perceived, that it would not do merely to reassume his title and authority; that he would, in that case, have no friends in the republicans, and all enemies in the royalists. But, besides, there is no reason to believe, that he was not perfectly sincere in his professions relative to the liberties of France. Still, the Empress / “The august spouse.” . The “, august son.” These hung about him; and he could not bring himself to say: “Up again with the “Républic, and I will again be her Ge“neral Bonaparte.” He could not screw himself up to this; and hence, doubtless, his want of enthusiastic support from many of the republicans, who, if they must have a king, claiming an hereditary right to rule over them, did not think it worth their while to commit themselves in the quarrel: while, on the other hand, he had all the kings, all the nobles, and all the priests of the whole of Europe against him; together with an army of a moi n and cleven thousand of regular troops ' c) ('

« AnteriorContinuar »