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ents. He could 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 run.
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, 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 1834-wishing 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.
* The King himself is no inconsiderable person in his own cabinet.
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 questura 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, 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 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 journalists - Has any one of these epochs sown the seeds for a government of the bour. geoisie?' 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 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 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