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impressions—the most likely to be conducted by material interests of that class which looks to the enjoyment of the ordinary rights and pursuits of life; and which occupies itself the least with the governmental theories and the state of Europe— of that class which, in the present state of civilisation, forms the bulk of every nation, but rarely the force; given, too much, in every crisis, to cry, like the Italian Marquis when hoisted on the shoulders of the carbonari and proclaimed chief of the Piedmontese revolution, "Faites ce que vous voulez, Messieurs; mais, ne me chiffonnez pas."
It was this feeling which created the first reluctance to fire upon the insurgents of June, and produced, after it was put down, the cry of " Vive l'état de siége!" It was this feeling which, on a late occasion, sanctioned the barbarities of the troops, and permitted an innocent family to be butchered in cold blood, because somebody, in somebody's part of the building they inhabited, had disturbed the order so beloved by the bourgeois of Paris.
Such is the government of Louis Philippe-such, if he remain, must his government remain-a government of order and peace. If a foreign war break out, there is the chance of a military republic; if internal agitation long continue, there is a chance for the Bonapartes-there is even a chance of Henry the Fifth. The sovereign's policy is distinctly traced, nor can he govern by any other party than that which, possessing the ideas conformable to his origin, is alone compatible with his existence. They who exclaim against the policy which is the destiny of Louis Philippe's reign, exclaim against Louis Philippe himself.
Now who are the men by whom the inevitable policy of Louis Philippe can best be supported?
The principles of those who are placed at the head of a government, more especially when that government is a government of principle, and has a peculiar line traced out for it, is no doubt an object of great importance; but neither must we forget that to individuals and to names there is also an importance which it is never wise wholly to despise or to neglect.
The cry of à bas les jésuites! was fatal to the ministry of Polignac. The cry of à bas les doctrinaires! was raised
against the administration of the Duc de Broglie. you mean by doctrinaires ?" is the question that a foreigner is perpetually asking in France, and it is very rare indeed that he gets an answer from which much can be understood.
During the time of the Restoration there was a small party in France, consisting chiefly of young men, affecting to consider the Duc de Broglie as their head, and conducting a paper called the Globe. M. Guizot was their historian, M. Cousin their philosopher. This party was a party of system, which, laying down certain ideas as the general basis of all good government, admitted few exceptions to its peculiar plan, and, allowing little for time and circumstances, measured by a fixed rule the goodness or badness of all that was meditated or proposed. It was not a school that answered to that of our utilitarians, since it supported the intrinsic merit or demerit of actions, and defended virtues, altogether independent of utility. Its metaphysics were German, its politics English. It combated the government of the time by appeals to the reason—and never by appeals to the passions-and from the kind of doctoral tone in which it lectured the public, obtained the name, at that time popular, of doctrinaires.
The great misfortune of this party was, to have accepted power directly after the days of July, when the minds of men were in that state of agitation, which made it necessary to govern them rather through their passions and their imagination than through their judgment—when there was something more than absurd in speaking with book-learned pedantry of a liberty which had been conquered in a moment of drunken enthusiasm and measuring out the refinements of legislation to a mob who had conquered with the barricade and the bayonet. The name which had been given as one of respect became then a by-word of ridicule and reproach; and for having at an unfavourable moment wished to govern the nation by its reason, the doctrinaires lost all their hold upon its sympathies.
The cabinet of M. Laffitte failed through want of administrative skill; and the nation, placed between a bankruptcy and a change of ministers, cheerfully accepted his resignation. The administration of M. C. Périer, unwise and impolitic in many respects, was the administration which, more than any other,
represented the destiny and the genius of the existing government; and this was so generally felt and acknowledged, that the overthrow of the minister and the overthrow of the monarch were considered almost synonymous. The system was a weak one, but it was sustained by a man of energy and force.
At M. Périer's death it was necessary to maintain, and difficult to avoid changing, the policy he had pursued. The three alternatives were:-M. Dupin; the Duc de Broglie; M. Odillon-Barrot. But M. Dupin would only enter on the condition of forming his own cabinet; and the discontent, or retreat, or expulsion of M. Périer's friends, would necessarily be taken, for the time at least, as the sign of that change which was to be avoided. M. Odillon-Barrot could not enter without the real change of which M. Dupin would have been the appearance. The preference then was given, not without some intrigues, to the Duc de Broglie.
But the Duc de Broglie, though a person of great knowledge, and indeed of great ability, was too much of the grand seigneur, and too much of the savant, to conduct an administration which was to be perpetually dealing with the casual views, and the passing passions, which a representative system will be perpetually bringing into play.
A man of views, he was not a man of expedients. plan his voyage, but he could not set his sails quick enough to catch the favouring shifts of every breeze. He could see the port he was to arrive at, but he could not steer with sufficient adroitness through the creeks, and by the rocks, near which the course of the French government is destined for many years to
He was succeeded nominally by Marshal Soult, and Marshal Soult is succeeded nominally by Marshal Gérard; but M. Thiers is the person who, as well for his ability as his influence, is really to be considered the chief of the present ministry. If any man can maintain the existing monarchy, and the system of the existing monarchy, it is M. Thiers. Sprung from the revolution of July, he knows its men; he understands its passions; he has no prejudices separate from it. With an intelligence which must give him a general plan for his career,
*The King himself is no inconsiderable person in his own cabinet.
he has a peculiar quickness for seeing, a peculiar facility for adopting, and adapting himself to, the events of the day. He looks around him with at once the eyes of the journalist and the statesman; he projects for distant times; he acts for the present; and, instead of despising, profits by the daily prejudice and opinion. Ready, bold, adventurous-revolving great schemes, and possessing an extraordinary facility in elucidating and arranging intricate details-carrying to the tribune what is remarkable in his character-never hesitating for an argument or a word, but seizing the first that occurs, and caring less for its accuracy than its force-supporting his party or his principle with a popular on dit-attacked on all sides, and not troubling himself with a defence, but carelessly attacking—an excellent parliamentary leader, for the courage he gives-in spite of the animosities he excites-sound, I believe, in his views-not so scrupulous, it is said, as to his means-talking of the English revolution of 1688, but knowing, and studying, and calculating upon the dispositions of the French in 1834wishing to improve their history, but remembering that he cannot alter their character-an advocate of education, but a strong upholder of the executive power-if the present Government is to be maintained, M. Thiers, I repeat, is the best man to maintain it.
Yes; you, M. Thiers, are the man of the present monarchy -and to you I address myself—Nam quid ordinatione civilius? Quid libertate pretiosius? Porro quàm turpe si ordinatio eversione, libertas servitute mutetur? Accedit, quod tibi certamen est tecum: onerat te questuræ tuæ fama.
But, what are the difficulties you will have to contend against?
The present Government of France is, as I have said, a government of peace, a government, without pretension abroad, a government that is to please the bourgeois at home; it is a government essentially based on the bourgeoisie and on the character of the bourgeoisie. In England this foundation for a government would be solid, because it is just the qualities which distinguish the bourgeoisie as a class, which distinguish England as a nation. It is the bourgeoisie which in England is the class most national, in its seriousness and thoughtfulness,
in its industry, in its morality, in its love of order. These qualities, the characteristics of the bourgeoisie of every country, are, reader, the peculiar characteristics of our country. But what is the case in France ? Are seriousness, and thoughtfulness, and industry, and morality, and a love of order -are these the characteristics of the French people? As in England the bourgeoisie represents the character of the English, so in France the character of the bourgeoisie is most antipathetic to the character of the French.
The French are gay, are gallant, are witty, are vain. This is what the French are most especially-and this is what the bourgeoisie is less than any other part of the French nation. So much for the character of France-then for the history -What does the history of France show us? The reign of a court the reign of philosophers-the reign of a mob-the reign of an army-the reign of priests, and a provincial gentry -a revolution effected at once by the populace, by the soldiery, and by the journalist-have any one of these epochs sown the seeds for a government of the bourgeoisie? Then there are influences arising out of the combination of the character and the history of a nation. What are these in France ?-female influence-military influence-literary influence-are any of these influences favourable to a government of the bourgeoisie ?
We may regret it, but I think we must own that a government of the shopkeepers, incorporating the feelings, the wishes, the prepossessions, and the prejudices of the shopkeepers, cannot be popular in France. It may be a good government- I think, upon the whole, it would, in time, become a good government, for France-but for many years it cannot be a popular one. For many years it must have the wit, and the vanity, and the gallantry of the French-the influence of the women, who are universally fond of letters, and arms, and of the military men, and of the literary men, opposed to it. It cannot be a popular Government--but what are the dangers of an unpopular government?
One great danger of an unpopular government is, that it never knows what unpopular act it may be obliged to have recourse to, on the one hand, nor by what extent of concession it may be obliged to purchase popularity on the other. It cannot pursue a certain course, because it must be regulated, not