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by what it really intends to do, but by what people suspect it of intending to do. But, if you are suspected of intending to overturn the liberties of a state, such will be the spirit prevailing, and the resistance prepared, against you—that if you mean to resist,
, you must resist such violent fears by violent means, and the existence of your power then depends upon the chances of an émeute. If, on the contrary, you mean to concede, how extraordinary must be the concessions that satisfy suspicion ! Besides, in France, to what and to whom will the Government have to concede? To military influence, to literary influence, -to the military men, to the literary men! And where would these men, and these influences, if the Government must concede to their extremes, lead it? To a war with Europe, and then to a republic-or to a republic, and then to a war with Europe.
This is the perilous position of the present Government in France. It took its origin from a course not natural to the character of the people; it remains based upon conditions to whieh the character of the people is opposed. Hence, a long series of agitations--and the dangers attendant upon a long series of agitations—is its policy be moderate. Hence, the chances of revolution on the one side, if it take a violent course to put down resistance—the chances of war on the other, if it take a violent course to obtain popularity—a war and a revolution both leading to the same result.
Time, however, is the great resource of a state placed in this situation; for the effect of time is to blend and to harmonize opposing things, to introduce the character of a nation into the institutions--the institutions of a nation into the character of its people; and for this reason the policy which the present monarchy has to pursue is, and must be, a policy of expedients. A ministry must be formed sufficiently strong to sustain the weakness which exists in the principle of the Government itself. This is the best chance, perhaps the only one, for the stability of existing things.
Oh! it is impossible to stand on the spot where I am now standing, with yon splendid confusion of domes and spires, of palaces and public buildings, stretching out before me-in sight of the altars of Bossuet and Massillon; of the palace of Louis XIV. and Napoléon; of the Quai Voltaire, and the se
nate of Foy, without feeling the wish (where all is great in recollections, as in hopes) to unite the past with the future—and from the monarchy of the fleurs-de-lis, and from the empire of the sword, and from the classic eloquence of the theatre, and from the noble reason of the tribune, to see, in letters, as in government, a new system arise, with the youth and freshness of which may be blended the venerability and majesty of by-gone years.
And yet it is impossible to see so many of this people ridiculing the past without comprehending its poesy or its power; plunging into the future, too ignorant of its depth; discontented with the present, without having any hope that satisfies, to supply the reality they would destroy-yet is it impossible to see the strise between the ideas and the habits—the reason and the imagination, the desires and the capabilities—the fanaticism and the irreligion—the loyalty and the republicanism of this doctrinizing, democratizing, romanticizing, classifizing, religionizing, St. Simonizing race, --without doubting, amidst the confused and the uncertain shadows which float around you,--which are those of the things that have been, which are those of the things that are to be.
In the present monarchy there is neither the love for the new nor for the old; it rests not on the past, it contents not the future. It was taken by all as an indifferent substitute for something which their theory or their imagination taught them to consider worse. It has no hold on the affections, no root in the habits, no power over the passions, of the peopleno magic bridle upon the genius of the time, which it would curb and guide.
Still, let us not forget that the incertitude of ils destiny is in the uncertain character of its origin--the blemish which disfigures it seems to have been inflicted at its birth. There is a scar on the rind of the young tree, which, as it widens every year, becomes at once more visible and more weak.
And so in the monarchy of July, the time which displays, destroys which expands, obliterates its defects.
END OF THE SECOND BOOK.
Est enim admirabilis quædam continuatio seriesque rerum, ut alia ex alia nexa et omnes inter se aptæ, colligatæque videantur.--Cicero, Procem. Lib. I. de Natura Deorum.
Influence of women. Talleyrand, Bonaparte, and Louis XVIII.— Female in
fluence at the time of the Restoration.-Mad. Roland and Mad. de Staël. Share of women in public affairs.—Their importance in French history.Their assumption of the masculine character.-Female Aides-de-camp.-A lady-duellist.--Contrast between French women and English women.-Influence of domestic habits.--Moral phenomenon.—New doctrine of masculine obedience.-Female disputants.—Le Royaume des Femmes.-Policy ofencouraging the development of female intelligence, and the exaltation of female principle.
I have just been speaking of influences, partly created by history, partly by national character---and which, rooted deep into the past, must extend over the future. One of these influences, I said, when I was on the subject of gallantry, that I should again speak of I mean the influence of women. Not even the revolution of 1789—not even those terrible men, who shivered a sceptre of eight centuries to atoms—not even the storm which overthrew the throne of the Capets, and scattered over Europe the priests and the proud nobility of France—not the excesses of the Girondists, the Dantonists, and the triumvirate—not the guillotine, not the dungeon, not the prison, not the scaffold, not the law -not the decrees which cut up the provinces of France into departments, and the estates of France into farms-none of these great changes and instruments of change affected an empire exclusive to no class, which bad spread from the Tuileries to the cottage, and which was not so much in the hearts as in the habits of the French people. Beneath no wave of the great deluge, which in sweeping over old France fertilized new Francebeneath no wave of that great deluge, sank the presiding landmark of ancient manners; and on the first ebbing of the waters, you saw—_--the boudoir of Madame Récamier, and the bal des victimes.
Monsieur de Talleyrand comes from America in want of employment; he finds it in the salon of Madame de Staël. Bonaparte, born for a military career, commenced it under the