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pables à la sévérité des lois, elles n'ont pu les atteindre, et c'est la terreur même qu'ils avaient répandue qui a assuré leur impunité.
* Ce n'était pas seulement au milieu des campagnes que les lois, et l'humanité plus respectable encore, étaient foulées aux pieds par des hommes indignes de porter l’habit de soldat ; au milieu même de la ville de Lyon, sous les yeux de leurs chefs, ils prodiguaient l'insulte et l'outrage.
• Pendant notre séjour dans cette ville, un soldat, placé en sentinelle près d'une prison, lâche son coup de fusil, à bout portant, sur un malheureux qui, à travers les barreaux de sa fenêtre, leur reprochait les attentats de Saint-Genis-Laval. Au bruit de l'explosion, la garde accourt, et, sans attendre l'ordre de son chef, fait feu sur les infortunés qui s'empressaient autour de leur camarade mourant. Deux sont blessés à ses côtés: l'officier du poste, traduit devant un conseil de guerre avec les soldats, a invoqué pour leur défense l'usage suivi jusqu'alors. Jusqu'à présent, disait-il, on a tiré dans les prisons presque journellement. Et cette horrible justification, qui n'eût dû servir qu'à livrer à la justice d'autres coupables, a suffi pour sauver ceux-ci. En vain les nombreuses irrégularités de ce jugement ont été dénoncées au conseil de révision : on n'en a retiré que la triste certitude que, dans l'état où se trouvaient les choses à Lyon, ce n'était plus la justice impartiale, mais l'aveugle et féroce esprit de parti qui départissait les peines et les absolutions, et nous verrons bientôt si les arrêts de la cour prévõtale étaient faits pour affaiblir cette con. viction.' p. 11, 12.
Such proceedings, we thank heaven, have not yet had any parallel in this country: But let not the interested advocates, or the easy dupes of our false alarms, congratulate themselves too surely upon the lesser degree of persecution which was practised in England upon a late occasion. All was done that the purposes of the deception required;-a clamour was raised; the constitution was suspended; many persons shut up for months in dungeons; some cruelly ironed and carried about the country in that state for selling a supposed libel; and, after all, an act of indemnity passed to screen the agents of the mischief, of whatever rank, from all legal inquiry. As yet, indeed, we have seen no military execution lay waste the country; no domiciliary visits torment its peaceful inhabitants; no new courts of justice supersede the law of the land. But if the violent encroachments already made had not been manfully resisted in Parliament; and if the country at the late elections had not loudly pronounced its disapprobation of them, who shall say that the next danger in which the ministers found themselves of losing their places, would not have been met by those more violent measures? Nay, are the advocates of last year's proVOL. XXX. xo. 59.
ceedings quite sure that they were not themselves prepared to go further? Can they sincerely say that they would then have reccived a proposition for suspending jury trial in cases of seditious and blasphemous libel, with the same abhorrence with which they now regard the institution of Coirs prévótales ? Are they quite certain that they could have had nothing to say in behalf of a more free use of the military, and of measures for disarming the people, and of course searching for arms? Had those measures been adopted, and an indemnity asked, should we have heard nothing of the praiseworthy vigour' of ministers ; their disinterested conduct in undertaking the respon. sibility ;' the ó extraordinary aspect of the times; 'the pain• ful but paramount necessity of putting down so vast a con
spiracy by all means'? But we devoutly trust that such times may never recur; and that the lesson taught the people of the dangers of credulity, will long remain deeply impressed upon their minds. We shall therefore pass on to what remains of the French story, resembling our own all along in many of its most. remarkable features.
Before the movement of the 8th of June, several reports had prevailed of an approaching explosion; and at each time that it was annoui
ounced, some government spy or agent was arrested as concerned. This happened in November and December. • In February,' says Colonel Fabvier, the agitation of • the public mind increased with the distress of the labouring • classes, who were in a state to receive easily the impressions
sought to be given to them. This was the period when seeret « enrolments of men were talked of.'- A person was now arrested as concerned in these enrolments; he did not deny his guilthuet he was found to be an agent of the military police, and as such set at liberty. In the month of May another agent was taken in the act of encouraging revolt; but being claimed by the police, he too escaped; and our author remarks, that each arrest of an emissary was followed by the restoration of perfect calm. At length came the 8th of June, answering exactly to our own 11th June of the same year; for it was described as the grand explosion of a conspiracy which embraced all France in its ramifications, and was to overthrow the government from its foundation.-Lyons was announced as its centre. Yet, certain it is, that nothing whatever happened there, not even the seizure of any one person in arms, except a labourer going out of the gate leading to a quarter never accused of being concerned in the sedition. Of all the communes in the neighbourhood said to be deeply engaged in the plot, only eleven sounded the Tocsin; and of these, four are so situated as to have no possible communication with the other. Not more than 250 men assembled in all; of these, only fifty had any arms, none of them any ammunition, and many of them thought they were called out to extinguish a fire! Even this trifling corps never assembled together, and only a very few from two of the communes, left their own neighbourhood to go to Lyons; in all the others the mob dispersed itself, after making some seditious outeries and some trifling riots, which did not cost a single life. Colonel Fabvier justly charges the local authorities with the blame of this riot, such as it was; for they did nothing to prevent it; and their own agents were among its most active instigators.
Even after the 8th of June, those pestiferous wretches continua ed their incessant activity; yet, to the infinite credit of the loyal and peaceable inhabitants, all their attempts to create insurrection failed. Again we beg the attention of the English reader to the account given of those attempts. He will thus perceive that human nature is everywhere the same, if, indeed, it is not a libel upon our species so to term the nature of those miscreants. "Le moyen • le plus fréquemment employé, et le plus dangereux sans doute, • était d'indiquer des points de ralliement, de répandre le bruit • d'une conspiration générale, de placer à sa tête des généraux • renommés par leur bravoure et par la haine qu'on leur sup• pose contre le gouvernement actuel.' Marshal Marmont happily arrived during the progress of these attempts, on the part of the magistrates, to carve out work for themselves, and to produce movements beneficial to their Ultra-Royalist patrons. He came without any troops ; he never used a single threat of military execution; far less did he ever make the least show of force; and immediately every thing became quiet, and has continued so without interruption to the present day.
Our author gives some curious but melancholy particulars of the judicial proceedings, if the Cours Prévótales can be deemed tribunals of justice, which arose out of the riots on the 8th of June. Two hundred and fitty persons in all had assembled, and sixty only were armed. Yet, of these, above 110 were condemned' to various severe punishments, as the authors or ringleaders of the sedition! Our author points out many instances of the most glaring illegality in these proceedings, and compares them to the condemnations en masse of the reign of terror.
The steps taken by Marshal Marmont for restoring tranquillity close this tract; and they cannot be too highly praised.
Les prémiers soins du maréchal ont été de faire cesser l'arbitraire, et de rendre aux lois la force qu'elles avaient perdue, de faire tous ets efforts pour rapprocher ce qu'on avait affecté d'isoler, calmer les esprits qu'on avait exaspérés, former des réunions faites pour représenter la ville et non une faction, rendre à tous une justice égale, tendre aux malheureux une main secourable.
Il a fallu ensuite inspirer aux persécuteurs une crainte utile, donner quelque satisfaction aux persécutés ; pour cela, huit maires ont été suspendus de leurs fonctions, et six officiers ont été renvoyés. Le gouvernement a sanctionné ces mésures. Les maires ont été définitivement révoqués, et les six officiers renvoyés dans leurs foyers.
• Il n'en a pas coûté davantage pour rétablir le calme ; de nouvelles autorités le maintiennent, et se feront bénir par une population paisible.' p. 28, 29.
It is only doing justice to add, that the King, as soon as he became acquainted with the truth, extended his royal mercy towards all the unfortunate persons whose sentences had not been already executed.
In the course of this article, we have taken occasion to reinind the reader of the similar transactions which, about the same time, afflicted, though in an inferior degree, our own country. It is very painful to reflect upon those disgraceful
Whoever feels for the honour of the nation, must look back upon them with a mingled sentiment of indignation and shame. It seemed as if we were a people so extremely ready to believe whatever was told in a mysterious way; so apt to take fright at the first rumour of danger; and so very careless of the invaluable Constitution which we are always eager enough to hold up as our proudest distinction, that the moment a riot broke out in a county town, and a few magistrates told the Secretary of State there was a plot hatching, we grew sick of law and liberty, and desired to seek for shelter from some uncertain danger, in the certain mischief and degradation of a despotic government. The most unworthy arguments were successfully used to quiet all scruples on this head. We were told that the absolute power entrusted to the ministers would, in all probability, not be abused; and Englishmen were found degenerate enough to consent no longer to hold the liberty which is their birthright, during life or good behaviour, but durante beneplacito of the servants of the Crown. Upon this humiliating picture of national delusion, we shall make no further remarks; for the country has long since completely recovered from it. But its origin deserves always to be held in remembrance, for the sake of example in after times, when similar devices may be resorted to. The ministers found themselves in jeopardy; the aspect of the times was lowering; and their own recorded imbecility had prepared, to all human appearance, their immediate downfal. The plot was invented to stay their ate; and, for • season, the stratagem succeeded. But they know full well that this trick cannot prevail a second time. The people of England are never to be gulled twice with the same story. They might as well attempt to raise again the cry of No-popery, as of Conspiracy. By that they got, and by this they have kept their places; but some new scheme must be invented to maintain them for the future. Let the country, wise by the experience of the past, be on its guard against any such attempt to perpetuate, at the expense of its liberties, the mismanagement of its affairs.
ART. VII. Remarks on the recent State Trials, and the Rise
and Progress of Disaffection in this Country. By WILLIAM
Frith, Esq. Sergeant-at-Law. 8vo. London, 1818. A Bill of Rights and Liberties ; or an Act for a Constitutional
Reform of Parliament. By MAJOR CARTWRIGHT. 8vo. London, 1818.
Many remarkable circumstances concur in rendering the presurvey of the state of political parties in this country. The change from war to peace has naturally altered the relations between certain classes of statesinen, by terminating several most important questions, and removing some of the most serious grounds of party hostility. The same transition has, in other points of view, raised new grounds of political distinction, or strengthened those which already existed. It has also materially varied the course of publick opinion, and either opened the eyes of the people to the delusions under which they laboured, both with respect to their own interests and the views of their political leaders, or new-moulded those interests, and changed those views. Again, the progress of knowledge among all classes of the community has begun to produce its effects upon the aspect of publick affairs. In no period of our history has the good sense of the country been more tried by arbitrary measures on the one hand, and by extravagant violence on the other :-and at no time has a more rational conduct been observed, in spite of all efforts to mislead. Every one may now be satisfied, that popular confidence can only be gained by such a line of conduct as clearly shows that the true interests of the nation are its ruling object. The scrambles for power among a few great families are no longer to be dignified with the title of party differences; whoever would attain prearinence, must take the high ground of publick principle; the