Abbildungen der Seite

festation of liberal ideas, and republican opinions. The republic will soon be deitroyed if we continue to tolerate servile ideas and royalitt-opinions."

For once, the author has spoken truth; for a truth it indisputably is, and a truth which cannot be too generally known; nor too Itrongly inculcated, that but for the Press the French monarchy had not been overthrown. The Press was the mighty engine which buried the throne beneath the ruins of the altar; which burst afunder, with gigantic force, the bonds of religion, the ties of morality, and the restraints of law; which murdered a King, brutalized a nation, and brought millions to destruction ! Yet, with this dreadful example, before us, speaking with a voice of thunder in our ears ; fathing, with the brilliancy of a meridian fun, conviction in our eyes; appealing to and appalling, at it were, every sense ;--the immense importance of the Press has not yet been sufficiently appreciated by any individual who has been entriftéd with the reins of power in this country!

In the chapter on Police we are favoured with a Republican's ideas, on the best means of preserving freedom; and here it cannot escape the attention of the most superficial observer, that the very measures which the revolutionists represented as the most tyrannical and odious under the monarchy, and which they laboured, in their speeches and in their pamphlets, to prove were vices inherent in, and peculiar to, that form of government, are the same which are now stated to be necesa sary to the exiftence of the Republic. In short, the fact we believe to be, that the disposition and nature of the French are, (strange as the assestion may appear to the herd of modern philanthropists and reformers) to a certain degree, incompatible with civil or political liberty. Our author's sentiments on reformation and conversion are no lefs extraordinary chan his opinions on other topics.

"At the beginning of the French revolution, the people of France manifested a fincere wish to be converted; they persecuted, without pity, male. factors of every kind ; every citizen made it his duty, for the public good, to enquire into the conduct of his neighbour, and to denounce every in. fraction of the laws, and of morality. Never was the police better man nagel ; it seemed as if the golden age were restored."

But this Civic Police, which is infinitely worse than the old system, which the patriots have so long stigmatized, as a Syfteme d’Espionnage, foon ceased to exilt. The system which has been substituted in its place, which our author disapproves, and the new system which he wishes to introduce, are thus described.

" The companies of thieves, rogues, harpers, coiners, receivers, and so many others who deserve the gallows, which are now to be found in Paris, are indebted for their existence solely to the secret and immoral agents of the police. Most of those wretches have double wages, they are paid by the government, and by the thieves. There is not a fraud or a theft of any im. portance committed in which the agents of the police are not concerned. In the prisons, and at the Bicêtre, their portion is called le porte-mantean dih cavalier. At one period of the revolution, the principal thieves were to be APPENDIX, VOL: VIll.


found among the Judges and Jurymen; and in every cause each judge had his porte-manteau.'

Speaking of his improved plan, he says ;--“ There shall be a hundred Censors, all subject to the orders of the prefect of the police. These hall have a right to call in the armed force, and to arreft, in the name of the law, alt persons who disturb the public peace, all thieves, aitallins, Marpers, and women of the town; to enforce an observ. ance of all the regulations of police, and to fine delinquents. They shall be obliged to learn, by every means which prudence shall fuggest to them, not only all that is done, but all that is said, in every house in Paris."

In short, the system of liberty here recommended is a system of tyranny the most infupportable that the human imagination could devile; inafmuch as its inevitable tendency is to scatter the feeds of sufpicion and distrust among every class of society, and to render the whole community base and miserable. This system had already been establihed in France; the First Consul has renewed it, in a confiderable degree ; and will, no doubt, ere long, restore it to its primitive vigour and efficiency. The obiervations on the Liberty of the Press are consonant with the principles already exposed. A single proposition will suffice to characterize them,

“ No work whatever shall be cried or exposed to sale in the streets, with. out the permission of the government, because the government has- the exclusive right de elamer et de proclanser."

In the chapter on Education the author remarks that at present there exists no regular uniform fyftem of instruction, in the republic; and he contraits this defect with what he calls the National Education in England.

“ See how skilfully the English government have employed this resource in order to cherith a species of fanaticifin among the people, and to persuade them that the English constitution is the chef-d'æuvre of the human mind, Herce arise a national spirit, and an idea of excellence and superiority over ait the other people of the earth. And hence the love of their country and thie happy harmony which sublists between private and public intereft."

It is very strange that' as Citizen Le Brun had sufficient penctration to discover the happy effects of the British Constitution, he should recommend to his countrymen the adoption of a system diametrically oppofire. RELIGION is the grand cement of the British Constitution ģ and FEAR GUD, HONOUR THE KING, is the favourite text of Britons. How can atheists and regicides then expect to rival them in greatness or in happiness?

It would naturally occur to a common mind, that such a people as tris were just objects of competition and envy; but our author only thinks them fit subjects for hatred and malice. One effential part of republican education, he states to be this." To inspire them with that hatred which every inhabitant of Europe ought to entertain for those perñdious Islanders, whose only happiness consists in the misery of the Continent.” : Thé Cur which thus thews his teeth but cannot bite is only an object of contempt.


The Chapter on the Education of Women is of a piece with the rest of the book. The author is a strenuous advocate for Polygamy, and on this subject he displays as much logical acuteness as on other points.

“ One grand recommendation of this plan is, that it will greatly con tribute to the consolidation of our extraordinary Republic. The perniilfion to have two lawful wives would deftroy all the ridiculous and chivalrous relics of an absurd feudality. The wives of our citizens, like the Romani matrons, would retain their maiden-names; they would be called Portia; Livia, Octavia, &c. and the feudal name of Lady would soon disappear. The men, relieved from the degrading chains of our insipid gallantry, would thew themselves worthy of rational freedom, and their opinions would no longer be regulated by the circles, and boudoirs.—1 he habit of leading a peaceful and retired life would render the conduct of the women more regular, their fidelity would no longer be fufpected; for they are very clearfighted in this respect; one would not fail to court the good graces of the other by communicating her criminal connections to their common hulband."

He maintains also, that Bigamy would be the best remedy for Proftitution.

Among all the evils ascribed to English gold we never, till now; heard that it had been employed to promote gaming in France, with a view to corrupt the morals of the people. Yet Citizen Le Brun assures us that this was really the case ; and that, out of the fund, supplied by the English for this purpose, the Directory had an allow. ance of from eighty to a hundred thousand livres per month; but then, in return, we drew from Paris ro

more than half a million ; of livres monthly, which served to maintain the troops of the Ema peror!”

According to this enlightened citizen, none but blackguards possess courage. “ In 1792 the Sans-culotisme recruited our armies and performed wonders. The Duke of York must recollect them on the Tands of Dunkirk, where the English grenadiers, dispersed; by our little Carmagnoles, threw themselves on their knees, and humbly begged their lives." If this lying citizen will take the trouble of applying to the few French grenadiers that escaped from Holland, he may learn in what manner they are accustomed to treat the Consul's best troops: We should have thought too that the brilliant exploits of the gallant army of Conde might have exempted the French nobility (who were in all ages renowned for their courage) from the charge of cowardice which he has the impudence to prefer againft them; and that the severe drübbing which many English Lords have given to French Citizens, might have taught the vain-boasting blockhead a lesson of humility and of prudence. But he is writing to a nation of dupes, whose native vanity may very poflibly lead thein to receita as gospel-truths every thing which he advances, however false or prepolterous, against the enemies of the Republic. He charges the partizans of the English opposition with having


M m 2

adopted the beastly mode of cropped heads for the purpose of evading the powder-tax, and the ridicule which he casts upon the whole of their dress is not milplaced. The custom of cropped heads, he tells us, is on the decline in France.

“ Many persons have returned to the use of powder from cleanliness. They found that their ridiculous obftinacy in going without it fubjected them to great inconvenience. There incessantly issues from the head an oily bumour, which is extremely offensive, and which frequent washing will not remove. The Romans corrected this smell with perfumes and eilences; but can any one believe that if powder had been known in those days, they would not have used it? They certainly would, and the more readily, because the constant use of eflence burnt their hair, and rendered them bald at an early age. The debauchee Cæfar, only wore a crown of laurels conItantly, because the perfumes had destroyed all his hair.

Painters may say what they will as to the injury which powder, does to the beauties of nature; there is nothing unpatural in Itarch ; and it is easy to be seen at all times whether a head is black, brown, or fair.

Must we tell our Thirts, because the ancients did not wear any?"

This is the most rational passage in the book. In another place, after inveighing against riches in general, he excepts from his censures the agents of government, who he lays should always display a superior degree of opulence and magnificence, because « the time is not yet come when a frivolous multitude, restored to reason, will be in a situation to judge of men by their merit rather than by their Itation.”

His reflections on the sovereignty of the people are not amiss; but they strike at the very root of all his principles; and are utterly incompatible with the fundamental basis of the existing constitution in France. Probably he was aware of this, when, after ridiculing the folly of the constituent assembly, in flattering the people, and in pretending to consult their will in the forination of laws, he says, that “ by dint of willing (à force de vouloir) they willed so many fine things, that it has been necessary to du every thing anew four times, and that it will soon be indispensibly requifite to begin again for the fifth time,

In contrasting the conduct of the existing tribunals with that of the ancient parliaments of France, the author is compelled, in spite of his prejudices, and in spite of himself, to pay a tribute of justice to the latter.

• In regard to business, attend, I entreat you, to the business whick the Presidents and Judges of the parliament of Paris had to transact. They took their share in the registration of ediets, which, frequently gave rise to very long discussions. During a considerable part of the year, they remained on their seats from four in the morning to two in the afternoon, and further held what you senators call evening fittings, which often took up a great part of the night. And they did not gain twenty-five thousand livres a year, by holding a station which cost some of them three hundred


thousand, and others eight hundred thousand livres; moft of them did not gain more than sufficient to pay their poll-tax.”

The political reveries of Citizen Le Brun tend to prove the absurdity of a Legislative Body and the necessity of a Military Chief for a republican government; in other words, to pave the way for the destruction of the present senate and tribunes of the republic, and to concentrate the whole power, executive and legislative, without modification or controul, in the hands of his Consular Majesty, King Buonaparte, who, already indeed enjoys it, in point of fact.

The chapter on Diplomacy is intended to prove that the French understand this science better than the English; and the reason assigned for this alledged superiority is, that the means employed by the former are women, and those of the latter gold.--Though we have already extended the usual limits of our work, we shall give the whole of the last chapter of this book, both because it proves the justice of the author's claim to the virtue of moderation ; of which he boasts in his motto ; and because it tends to shew the real de. signs of the Consul, not only upon this country, but upon the Continent of Europe.

“Every nation, as I have before observed, is a burden to its neighbours and seeks to encrease its own enjoyments at their expence; but there is one nation which labours to cruth all others; which multiplies, by its artifices, the motives, the occasions for war, and will not suffer the world to enjoy either peace or truce. The favourite maxim is, that being master of the sea the land also should be its property.

“ The Jeluits held nearly the same language; they pretended, that, as they directed the consciences of kings, subjects ought to be their Naves. It was when the power of these political monks was at the highest, and when they were on the eve of realizing their plans, that the diplomatic corps of Europe annihilated them for ever. They caused them to be expelled from their houses, and they abolished tñeir order, either with the bayonet, or parliamentary decrees.

“ Let the English be treated by that corps with still greater rigour;"greater rigour than anribilation ; well done Citizen Le Brun, that was spoken in the true spirit of a French Republican !-" let all the ports of Europe, by its means, be shut against them.”—It is ealy to be seen that Buonaparte dictated this chapter ;-he has since nearly realized the notable plan which his minion here recommends." They are masters of the sea; well, then, let them fail upon it; let them combat the waves, and wben tbey shall approach fome ]bore, or be cast upon it by a storm, let them be pursued, witbout pity, like wild beasts, to wbom fire and water ought to be refused.

“ Let vs reduce them to play the part of buccaneers; and, while they skim the seas, let us force Germany to make a peace, or dismember it in concert with the King of Pruffia. In vain will the Emperor re-conquer bis dominions, tbere will ever remain in then a germ of division, whicb will be ready to push fortb on the first symptom of discontent, and which will afford bim occupation until the extinction of his race. " Let us follow the councils of wisdom, by rendering bomogeneous the Mm3


« ZurückWeiter »