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ernment of peace-of peace to be obtained by an unpretending posture abroad, by a sober, quiet position at home. It was the government of the "juste milieu,” as Louis Philippe himself was the "juste milieu” between a variety of thoughts and things. It was a government of the "bourgeoisie," in which we were neither to look for the chivalry of ancient France, nor the turbulent energy of the Republic, nor the military greatness of the empire, nor the hereditary majesty of the Restoration.
It was a government of the "bourgeoisie" in action as in ideas, of that order which is least susceptible to imaginative 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 civilization, 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 chiffonez 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 siège!" 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 V. 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 le doctrinaires" was raised against the administration of the
Duc de Broglie. "What do you mean by doctrinaries?" 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. Lafitte 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 Monsieur Périer's death it was necessary to maintain, and difficult to avoid changing, the policy he had pursued. The three alternatives were :— :-M. Du-. pin; the Duc de Broglie; M. Odilon 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. Odilon 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 " sçavant," 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. 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 Maréchal Soult, and Maréchal Soult is succeeded nominally by Maréchal 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
* The king himself is no inconsiderable person in his own cabinet.
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.
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 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,