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more decided towards the left. The members of the former government, Chabrol and Frayssinous, who, at first remaining, formed a kind of link between the old government and the new, are dismissed. The liberty of the press is to a certain degree accorded. A law to regulate and preserve the purity of elections, scandalously vi. olated by M. de Villèle, is brought forward. The deficit left by that minister is acknowledged. But all these recognitions of public opinion are insufficient to satisfy it.-Why is this ?
When a system of concession is adopted because a system of repression is found unavailing
- when such is the case when a government conciliates because it cannot coerce, it should not merely yield to what is demanded, it should go beyond what is expected; the applause which it thus surprizes from the people becomes a barrier against future opposition ; it obtains the credit, not of submitting from weakness, but of acting from opinion ; it environs itself with the double charm of power and popularity, and by appearing to do more than concede, it acquires strength to resist.
And now one word as to the folly of an intempestive course of repression. In what direction did the nation march during the reign of M. de Villèle ? Mark! Men the most mo
derate - men who, like M. Villemain, had formerly supported - men who, like M. Decazes, had formerly proposed the censure far in advance, not of the administration that had gone by, not of the administration of M. dė Villèle, but of the liberal administration that had succeeded- of the administration of M. de Martignac; nor could the King or his administration
themselves to the una. nimous cry which demanded the ordonnances of June against the Jesuits.*
The new Minister, embarrassed by the nation on one side, by the court and a strong party in the two Houses on the other-alive to his difficulties, uncertain perhaps in his coursewas still not insensible to the feelings that were abroad, nor to the only career which the monarchy had to run. Prevented by the circumstances that surrounded him from being more liberal than he was, he was fully aware of the peril of being less so; and one of the most
* The principal part of these ordonnances was that which declared that no person thenceforward could remain charged with any office of instruction in any of the places of education dependent on the university, or in any of the secondary ecclesiastical schools, if he did not affirm in writing that he did not belong to any religious congregation not legally established in France.
remarkable acts of his administration was, the ' mémoire presented to the King in 1828, and concluding with these singularly prophetic words:
“ Insensate must they be who would advise your majesty to a dissolution of the Chamber. The electoral colleges would only return a more powerful and compact majority, who, as their first act, would declare the sovereignty of
parliament. Then there would remain to your majesty but one of these two alternatives : either that of bowing your august head before the Chamber, or of recurring to the unconstitutional power for ever alienated by the Charta ; a power which, if evoked, could only be evoked once, for the purpose of plunging France into new revolutions, amidst which would disappear the crown of St. Louis."
Everything which occurred in the two administrations that succeeded M. de Villèle's, is to be accounted for by the condition in which, as I have stated, that minister left the crown. Legal severity had then been tried to the utmost ; a feebleness beneath the law, or a violence beyond it, were the two alternatives that remained. The Ministry of M. de Martignac represented the one, as the Ministry of M. de Polignac represented the other.
The King and the people alike looked upon the Martignac Ministry as a transition. They each saw that that ministry could not stand, and that something must follow which would decide the long struggle of sixteen years, either by destroying the Charta, or by proclaiming that it was the right of the nation, and not the gift of the King.
It is difficult to say whether the state of the country and of parties was such, that there could at this time have been made any concessions that would have kept the dynasty and the constitution the same. A feeling of hatred to the elder race of the Bourbon family had grown up among all classes and provinces of the kingdom. There was not perhaps a wide-extended conspiracy against them, but there was a firm belief and conviction that they could not endure. I remember a conversation that I had, in the year 1828, with one of the most intelligent. Doctrinaires' of the present Chamber. I remember that conversation forming the subject of a letter to Sir Brook Taylor, then at Berlin ; and if he recollects, or has ever referred to that letter, he will remember that almost everything was then predicted that since arrived, with this difference, that ten years were given to the development of events which two years decided. When a revolution has commenced its march, its steps are not to be numbered.
Monsieur de Martignac himself shared the general conviction, and thus expressed himself to a friend, who repeated the remark to me:
66 We do all that we can; but all that we can do is — to conduct the monarchy down stairs, whereas it would otherwise be thrown out of the window."
However this might be, the only chance which the monarchy then had was by conceding to the popular voice in names, and thus to avoid or diminish the necessity of doing so too violently in things. A country, when it knows and approves of the general principles and opinions of a minister, will allow him a certain latitude in following those opinions out. The mere appointment of Lord Chatham appeased, in his time, the popular discontent ; the mere appointment of Mr. Canning quieted, in his time, the agitation of the Catholic claims.
Change in the form of a government ceases very frequently to be demanded when we feel sure that the spirit animating the government is good. The nomination of the popular man lulls suspicion, as the nomination of the unpopular one awakens it. A change of men--from unpopular to popular ones-is, in fact, the only, the ordinary, and the reasonable resource which a representative government affords for its