« VorigeDoorgaan »
down the liberty of the press,* and altered the system of election in a manner favourable to the aristocratical interests of the country.
Their violence has been reproached, and in some degree exaggerated : I have no hesitation in saying they were not sufficiently violent for the object they had in view. Such was the state of feeling, that I deem it more than doubtful whether a Chamber elected according to the new prescription would not have returned a majority against the ministry of Polignac. And this was the folly of the proceeding: for if the Government had met with no immediate resistance, its difficulties would only have been in their commencement. Charles X. most as suredly would have done a wiser thing had he declared that, “ finding by experience that his subjects were unfit for the Charta which had been given to them, he withdrew it, and threw himself entirely upon the army for support”he would have done a wiser thing for himself had he done this, for he might have rallied his partisans around him by an appearance of force; it is just possible too, that he might have pleased the soldiery by a plausible address; while it is certain that he could not have made more enemies, or separated himself more entirely from the great body of his subjects, than he really did.
* The press is put down because it points out certain members as unpopular, and advises, contrary to the royal wish, the re-election of the two hundred and twenty-one liberal deputies.
People looked not to the mere act itself -they looked to the object the sovereign had in view who resorted to it. They saw that his object was to govern as he pleased—that he altered the form of government in order to effect that object; and that it was quite clear, if the present experiment were unsuccessful, he would be perfectly willing, and was perfectly ready, to try any other.
REVOLUTION OF 1830.
The conduct of the Newspapers and the Journalists
27th, Struggle commenced in Palais Royal - 28th, Troops concentred and the People's courage rose — The Duc de Raguse's plans - How far successful — Night of 28th - The great charge of the Parisian populace-Retreat of the troops from the Tuileries to the Champs Elysées — Command taken from Duc de Raguse and given to Duc d'Angoulême — Order to. march to St. Cloud.
It was the energetic conduct of the press, which had at once to choose between ruin and resistance, that first aroused the Parisians from the boding stillness by which the royal decree had been succeeded.
The editors of the liberal newspapers, fortified by the opinion of M. Dupin, and the ordonnance of M. Debelleyme,* published their pro
* M. Debelleyme, nt of the Tribunal of Première Instance, declaring that the ordonnance relative to the press was illegal in its form, and unjust in its immediate provisions, recognised the right of the journalists to continue their publications.
testation. Believing that the Government would have a temporary triumph—for it was impossible to imagine, that a Government which deliberately invited insurrection was not prepared to resist it,- M. Thiers, M. Carrel, and their colleagues, displayed a spirit worthy of their position. The proper guardians of public liberty, they placed themselves in the van as its defenders, for they knew that the freedom of a state is only momentarily in peril as long as it possesses citizens ready to give the example of suffering for freedom's sake. “Le régime légal,” said they, “est interrompu, celui de la force est commencé ;" words which should be remembered now, for they would have been remembered, if the revolt to which they invited had not proved a revolution. It was on the 27th that the struggle commenced. “ Aux armes, aux armes !” shouted the students, jumping on the chairs of the Palais Royal.
The cavalry cleared the square, the gendarmerie charged in the streets; a man was killed in the “ Rue du Lycée.”—“ Vive la Charte !" cried the mob, as, careless of the danger, furious at the fire, they attacked the troops on every side with sticks, with stones. And now the barricades began in the Rue St. Honoré; the bourgeoisie' shut their shops; the soldiers
(5th of the line) refused to fire, and the consciousness of a cause that was invincible breathed an iron energy into the insurrection.
On the 28th, the troops concentrated in large bands at the more important places, left many of the streets free which they had occupied the day before, and flattered the people with the idea that their resistance had been hitherto successful. The popular courage rose.
The views of the people expanded. The cry of “ Vive la Charte!" was dropped — the cry of “A bas les Bourbons !" was raised. The Duc de Raguse urged concessions.* The Ministers declared Paris to be 'en état de siége,' and amidst conflicting counsels and useless edicts, high above the voice of authority swelled the popular tempest, sweeping at every instant with a more terrible wrath over the minds of men, and scattering far and wide the feelings which shook the foundations of the throne. The Commandant hesitated. Should he take a position and be counselled by events ? Should he evacuate Paris and establish himself without the walls ? Should he march forward at once into the heart of the city against the insurgents ?
* “ The honour of the Crown,” said he to Charles the Tenth, “may yet be saved. To-morrow, perhaps, this will be impossible."