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Louis Philippe was the first person proposed, when everybody was uncertain. "Take the Duke of Orléans for your king," said M. Lafitte. Liberty will be satisfied with the sacrifice of legitimacy! Order will thank you for saving it from Robespierre! England, in your revolution, will recognise her own!"
All declared against Charles X. None spoke of young Napoleon; none of Henry V.; and yet, if circumstances had favoured, a government might perhaps have been formed under the sanction of either of these names, more popular and more strong than the one which was adopted. The Legitimate Monarchy and Henry V.; the Republic and young Napoleon; these (I venture the opinion as an historical speculation) would have been the two great and most reasonable alternatives.
For the legitimate monarchy there was the past; for a republic the future. The claims of the one were in the tombs of St. Denys; it was sanctioned by time, and it promised repose. A desire for new things could alone justify the pretensions of the other; and its existence could only have been an existence of action and glory, invasion, defence, conquest. As for a republic, with Lafayette it would have been the vision of an hour-for the title of a republic would have been a declaration of war; and if war were to ensue, what name but that of "Napoleon" had a military prestige?
Nor had young Bonaparte without a republic any chance of success. The soldier of France would have rallied round his cause-the citizen of France would have shrunk from it. A name possessed by one, a boy in the Austrian capital, was not alone a sufficient basis for a government. If France were desirous of throwing herself at once into a new position, of bravin Europe, and defying the propagande in hand, the legions of the Holy Alliance-the young Napoleon, first consul of a military republic, would, I say, have aroused and united all the energies demanded for this daring career. If, on the other hand, the revolution
was a combat for what had been obtained by the Charta, and not for a new system that was to succeed the Restoration ;--if the internal policy of France was to be conservation, the external policy peace; if monarchy was to be preserved and royalty respected, it was better to keep a crown that nine centuries had hallowed, and to preserve to majesty its history and its decorations. Tranquillity and the past with Henry V.--agitation and the future with young Napoleon-these, I repeat, vere the two great and complete ideas between which the people, if they could then have reasoned with the cool philosophy with which we reason now, would have chosen after the combat of July. But in times of trouble and intrigue, it is not one great idea that strikes us with force; we bend beneath a thousand little circumstances and considerations. Besides, though I have conjecturally united the young Bonaparte with a republic, as the best combination, we must not forget that at the time of the revolution, those who thought of Napoleon thought of the empire; those who thought of a republic thought of Lafayette. The people, moreover, still saw in Henry V. the shadow of the old "régime." A long array of peers and pensions, of guards and tabourets, stood between him and them. They had been fighting to the cry of "à bas les Bourbons," and the blood was yet dripping from their clothes which had been shed by the soldiers of legitimacy.
But might not a liberal regency have been named? Was not Louis Philippe himself a Bourbon? And is it not just possible that the same people who bound up the wounds of the Swiss would have felt pity for the innocence of a child? Charles X. at the head of his guards, the Duchesse de Berri with the Duc de Bordeaux in her arms, might at two different moments have changed the destinies of France. But the blood of the grand constable was frozen in the veins of his descendant; the heroine of La Vendée was guarded in her chamber; the religion of legitimacy passed away when he who wore the crown of Henry IV. had neither
his heart nor his sword; and an army of omnibuses dispersed the heroes who had gathered round the oriflamme of St. Louis.
But whatever might have been best under possible circumstances, I am by no means surprised at what took place under existing ones. Nay, more; whatever government it might have been advisable to form for France in 1830, as a liberal and rational Frenchman, I should be anxious, in 1834, to maintain the govern ment that is ;--liberty cannot exist without stabilityit cannot exist under perpetual and violent changes; and there are some cases where it is wise for a people to preserve even many evils in order to acquire the habit so necessary for all social purposes, of preserving something. They, I say, who, when every thing was to form four years ago, might wisely have been repub licans or legitimists--cannot wisely be so now-when a government is constituted, and can only be upset by a new and more terrible revolution, of which they could neither direct the course nor predict the consequences. Moreover, the government of Louis Philippe was, if not the strongest, perhaps the easiest and safest that could have been adopted; and I own that what most surprises me is, not that the French should have chosen the government, but that, now they have chosen it, they should be so hostile to their choice. They seem to have thought that because the present king would owe his situation to the popular voice, he would always concede to popular opinion. If this was their theory, was it a wise one? Do not we know that every man is under the influence, not of the circumstances which placed him in a particular station, but of the circumstances resulting from the situation in which he is placed. Give a man rank and power, he will endeavour to preserve that rank and power, it matters not how he obtained it. If there be in his origin difficulties to overcome, it is to his origin that he will be perpetually opposed. The veriest schoolboy in politics and in history might see at once, that the life of a prince sprung from a popular convulsion, would be
passed in struggling against popular concessions. Here he may do well to yield, there to resist; but to resist he will somewhere be obliged, to yield he will always be required. The nation will be unruly under him, and you must govern an unruly nation as, if you are a skilful rider, you will govern an unruly horse; you will not dare to lay the reins upon his neck, but as you pat his crest you will play with his bridle; if you give him his head, or if you pull at his mouth, it is neither force nor fear that will restrain him; he will run away with you.
The system of the present king of the French must be a system of repression, for the expectations which he excited are extravagant: but it may be a system of granting much, in order to obtain the power of refusing more if he refuse every thing, if he pull too hard— but I am about to recur to my simile of the unruly horse.
It now only remains to me to say-that in the two questions which arose respecting the throne, first, whether it should be declared vacant on account of the absence of the family of Charles the Tenth; secondlly, whether Louis Philippe should fill it as Philip Fifth (thus connecting the old monarchy with the new) or as Philippe the First-a negative was given to the more moderate party, and so far the commencement of another era was undoubtedly proclaimed. A reference to the charta as it was* and as it is, forms the best conclusion to this part of my work.
* See Appendix.
THE STATE OF PARTIES SINCE THE
Two parties during the Three Days-A third party-Natural consequences of their union-In order to understand the policy of the present government, we must perpetually refer to the policy which presided over its creation--In creating the government, the French should have considered that its course was prescribed for at least ten years-What the present King's government was likely to do, what it was not likely to do-Its policy-The persons who can best maintain it on that policy-The Doctrinaires-Ministry of Lafitte, of M. Périer, of Duc de Broglie-Of Soult, of GerardM. Thiers-His character-He the best person to maintain the present government-What are the difficulties in maintaining it?. -Its necessary unpopularity-The dangers of that unpopularity— Its safety in its gaining time.
HAVING carried the political events of France down from the first to the second revolution, I would now take a brief view of the condition of the new monarchy, and of the state of the parties which have existed under it; reserving to myself the opportunity of returning to the subject, when, having made more familiar to the reader the manners, the character, the influences, the institutions, and the men of this country, I may take a broader, a bolder, and a more satisfactory view of its future destiny.
It is evident from what I have already said, that the revolution from the first of the three days contained two parties-those who felt strongly, and those who reasoned calmly. The first joined it with the desire to overthrow a tyrannical government, the second with the hope to prevent present confusion. The first, while the conflict was still uncertain, was for declaring the ordonnances illegal, and placing themselves at the head of the people; while the second were for renouncing a resistance by force, and for treating with Charles X. So, after the treaty of Rambouillet, the VOL. II.--D