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as he said, by a destiny not yet accomplished-you might have seen that mysterious man, whose sword had already decided the fate of empires, meditating, almost in spite of himself, the scheme of a new conquest-of a conquest cast in the gigantic mould of his own genius, and which was to submit the oldest dynasties of Europe to the sway of an empire hardly yet seen rising from its foundations. Lo! he wakes from his stupor. “Vive la France ! vive la grande armée !" sounds in his ear.
And hark to the tramp of soldiers, and the beating of drums! and already, along the road of Germany, behold the triumphal arches—which should have been reserved for his return! And now may you see those stern and martial men, accustomed to the reception of conquerors—the head high, the step firm, the eye determined, the lip compressed. Now may you see those men—men of execution-men who only live in the hazards of adventurous action, brandishing their arms with a ferocious gaiety, and waiting in fixed devotion the commands of a chief, whose star has never yet paled on the field of battle.
Such was the army of France under Napoléon ; but the army of France under Napoléon was not the nation of France. Bonaparte reigned in an immense camp, which was guarded from the approach of the people.
“La France n'est qu'un soldat,” said M. de Chateaubriand, in the first of those eloquent pamphlets, which showed that his genius was not on the decline. Yes, the army of France is now the nation of France ; but the nation of France is more than an army. France is not only a soldier-France is more than a soldier. But do not expect that you can at once sweep away the effects of centuries ! Do not expect that you can make a nation of warriors, by the scratch of a pen, a nation of legislators—rather expect that you will give to legislation the manners of war; that, instead of transporting the city into the camp, you will transport the camp into the city.* The ideas of the one will blend themselves with the institutions of the other, The feelings which Francis carried to Pavia, and which made Bonaparte refuse the peace of Chatillon- the feelings which the grand seigneur carried to Fontenoy, and the Republican
* There is a little book published in France, called " Almanach du Peuple," and intended to make the government popular with the people, and a parallel
soldier to Marengo—these feelings you may expect to find in the cabinet of the poet, the deputy, and the journalist of the present day. The poet will fight for his verses, the grave constitutional senator for his opinions; and the time was when we might have seen B. Constant himself-his long white hair flowing loosely over his benevolent countenance, seated calmly on a chairma crutch in one hand, a pistol in the other, and—an enemy at twelve paces.
Do not laugh at this, reader, because it would be ridiculous in England. France is not England, and never can be. Besides, the threads and cords of society are so mixed and intermingled, that it is almost impossible to trace the mysterious force which each exercises over the play of the other; and perchance it is this very military spirit, which now pervades all classes and professions of French society, and which keeps men perpetually mindful of the regard that they owe to one another-- it is perchance this very military spirit which maintains order in the movement of the civil machine, shocked and deranged as it is, and as it has been ; and allows a universal equality to exist, without engendering universal confusion. Be this as it may, in the various forms of society that France has yet known, that part of society governing for the moment, has always been agitated by the same spirit. Even in the times of the church, we have the old distich
in two columns is drawn between the Government of the Restoration and the
Depuis la Révolution.
So far, so good !--but what follows?
Notre armée était réduite à 250,000 L'armée est aujourd'hui portée à hommes.
400,000 hommes !!! I should like to see the government in England, that, by way of making itself popular, boasted that it had doubled the army.
“ Un archevêque est amiral,
Un gros évéque est caporal ;
The precepts of the church did not alter the character of the people; the character of the people carried war into the peaceful bosom of the church.*
But let us draw a parallel ; it will show the genius of the French, the influences and the manners of two times.
In 1652 the Duc de Beaufort and Duc de Nemours met behind the Hôtel de Vendôme; the Duc de Beaufort, accompanied by the Comte de Barry, the Duc de Nemours by the Duc de Villars. In addition to these noblemen the princes brought each three gentlemen of their suite. They fought five to five, and the Duc de Nemours was killed.
This happened in 1652—now let us turn back to the literary quarrels of last year, and the manner in which they were settled. The Corsaire laughs at the Duchesse de Berri, and the editor of a legitimist paper calls out the editor of the Corsaire. The editor of the Corsaire is wounded; but, though his hand is disabled, the colour of his ink is not altered, and he very fairly says that he will have his joke for his wound. The Duchesse is still laughed at as much as before.
“That will not do,” says the legitimist, and he calls out the satirist again; but the latter shakes his head this time, and shows his arm in a sling. “ He can't always be fighting.”—“ Ho! ho!” says M. Carrel, the warlike editor of the National, whose semicolons almost look like inverted swords ; “ does any body want to fight ?”_“We! we!" the National, and the editors of the National, “ we will fight as much as you please.” A challenge is immediately sent by a gentleman, and a journalist, whose name I forget; but, in the mean time, the editors of the liberal papers had had a consultation together, and agreed that
One day the Abbé Maury was followed and insulted by the mob on coming out of the Assembly. One man came up to him and said“Maury, veux-tu que j'aille te servir la messe ?”—“Oui,” replied Maury, showing two pocket-pistols—"Viens, voilà mes burettes."
if one fought all should fight, and that there should be a pitched battle of five on a side.*
Well, what is the difference between the two combats—the journalists five on a side, and the great noblemen five on a side -except that the one were journalists and the others great noblemen ? But the journal to-day answers to the great nobleman of ancient time. We'll take the National for the Duc de Beaufort, for instance. The National has its three gentlemen attached to it now, as the Duc de Beaufort had his three gentlemen formerly attached to him.
The gentlemen who write for these papers answer-do not they P-to the gentlemen who were attached to the houses of these grand seigneurs !—the great families of France—its great fortunes—are gone. The whole power of the government and of society is changed; but the feelings formerly represented by one class have found their way into another. How do you account for this ? The equality which existed among the French nobility has descended and exists now among all classes —the military spirit and the military manners of France have done the same--for the character of a nation will penetrate all its institutions—will give its air and physiognomy to every form of government which that nation essays, and even to which the character of that nation seems opposed. +
But it is not only that we find the soldier's character stamped on the citizen; we also find the soldier prominent in the different pursuits of the city.
What man more known to succeed in that society where a certain air of gaiety and gallantry captivates the women, whose reign of coquetry is drawing to a close, and excites the admi
"When the gentleman commissioned to carry a hostile message to M. Carrel made his appearance, he was informed of this resolution; “ But,” said M. C. “ there is no rule without its exception. I will be the exception, and fight your friend, sir, as a particular favour, to-morrow morning.” They fought, and wounded one another severely. But the great battle was still to have taken place, and it was by an accident that we lost the spectacle of ten gentlemen of the press stripped to their shirts, and, sword in hand, thrusting quart and tierce up to their knees in snow, in a quarrel respecting the virtue of the Duchesse de Berri.
+ I say nothing of the army, and its spirit, and its discipline here, since I hope, at a future time, to go more fully into that subject.
ration of the young men who are just beginning to be à-la-mode, than Col. ?
A lively and agreeable countenance, over which an eye that flashes fire, and a slight but dark moustache throw a martial air of energy and determination; that sort of wit which is always delivered à-propos, and which rather consists in having something on all occasions ready to say, than in the precise excellence of what is said; a peculiar turn of phrase, which somehow or other gives you an idea, but an agreeable idea, of his profession; and a manner of speaking, soft but short, and full of a slight emphasis, which as he pronounces his words gives a value to them above their meaning: these are the qualities, assisted by an imperturbable impudence, and an excellent education, which have given to this hero of the drawing-room the notoriety he possesses. Magnificent, prodigal, studying effect in his expenses, and desirous to give to his premeditated follies the air of a careless extravagance-famous for the bills he owes for bonbons, and the money he has spent in canes--famous also for his intrigues behind the scenes of the Français, in the foyers of the Opera, and in the salons of the Faubourg St. Germain-perfect in the art of ripening one intrigue before he passes from the other, and deriving much of his pleasure from the pain he inflicts—ready to give offence, to take offence -great gambler, great duellist, and fortunate as both-this gentleman is the idol of a circle whose praise one courts at twenty, and despises ten years afterwards.
Col. -- is another character, entirely different from the one I have just been describing; for he is the model of a soldier, such as we figure a soldier in the times of sensibility, chivalry, and parfait amour. Passionate, nervous, incapable of rest, he has had but two idols,-peril and the woman he loved. Has he no softer object to transport, torment, irritate, and occupy him?-malheur à l'état!-he conspires. But do not imagine that his character changes in his new part; that he is less frank, less open; that he does not say all that he thinks, all that he does. Listen to him ! he will tell you that the scheme is almost organized, that so many men are ready in such a province, that so many barrels of powder are concealed in such a cellar in Paris; that the day is fixed; that