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of industriously doing nothing; whilst those who have no better occupation help him to do it, and draw two francs a day from the national workshops in which nobody works.
The Assembly meets---a republican assembly-but the miracles somehow hang fire. Republicans in office are not half so democratic and social as they "used to was." Lamartine has done little except talk, Ledru has done nothing except fuss and bluster, Louis Blanc has done nothing except disorganise. Everybody is not rich, everybody has not got a place, everybody unfortunately could not be elected to the assembly and twenty-five francs a day. There is a general feeling of discontent. Barbes and Blanqui are at their clubs, very fierce and very much in favour of barricades. Proudhon is great in paradox. He is a portentous logician. He throws up a phrase in the air and catches it backhanded; and balances contradictions on the tip of his nose, to the great edification of his disciples. He knows he is the deepest man in France, and does not care who else knows it. He starts the People's Bank without capital, and, by way of encouraging shareholders, tells people candidly that property is theft. Of course his proposition is joyously received, with the inevitable' corollary that theft must, in consequence, be property. A principle on which many individuals act without ceremony, and with great relief to their consciences. The minds of men are in a ferment. A spark is thrown and a fresh blaze is the result. The revolution of June breaks out, and Cavaignac makes his appearance as dictator!
We now witness the singular phenomenon of one set of men desperately fighting for liberty without knowing what liberty means, and another desperately fighting for order and society-that is, place and power for themselves against the very men to whom they owed their position. The heroes of February are shot down as rebels in June. Paris is in a state of siege. Liberty is sick, she is confined to her room. Her name is still on the walls and in the newspapers, that is all. Cavaignac governs France. A second-rate Algerian general puts la grande nation under martial law. He shows neither talent, republican feeling, nor audacity, and he expects that France will elect him president. Poor man! he is neither admired, respected nor feared. He has done nothing-nothing but crush. Any one can be a brute-force military tyrant. However, Cavaignac paves the way for his master in the liberticide art. The name of Napoleon is uttered, and at the talismanic sound up rises Louis Bonaparte, president of France-elected by universal suffrage!
Cavaignac descends through a trap-door, and, coming up the back stairs behind the scenes, quietly resumes his place as a simple member of the assembly. As he does so, he nods to Lamartine. But nobody takes the trouble to notice the fact. The poet and the general are fossil statesmen already. As for Ledru Rollin, Louis Blanc and Co., with Proudhon, Raspail the chemist, and the rest of them, they are all either in exile or in prison long ago. Ledru and Blanc are of course very much disgusted at not finding themselves dictators, and at the world not taking them for Mirabeaus and Robespierres. They look very small, particularly Louis Blanc.
The gratitude of republics-especially to men who have failed to do anything for them! Lamartine is not even elected to the new Legislative Assembly! He only gets in through an accidental vacancy.
Meanwhile, let us regard the scene which takes place on the election of the President. A man with a narrow forehead, cadaverous, bony countenance, mainly consisting of two cavernous eyes, a large nose and a thick pair of moustachios, ascends the tribune and takes the oath required by the constitution with theatrical solemnity. At the same moment he makes a secret reservation, and that is, to keep the oath as long as it may be convenient, and not one instant longer. Oaths are becoming ridiculous. Perhaps fifty years hence they will be accounted an exploded barbarism. Of course Louis Napoleon Bonaparte immediately commences a war to the knife against the constitution he has sworn to.
It has been well said by Victor Hugo, the poet, ex-peer of France, republican orator and journalist, who now appears upon the stage, that Louis Napoleon had a great talent for silence. In truth, he establishes himself at the Elysee, eats, drinks, and makes merry. Reports go about that he is an imbecile, a drunkard, a contemptibie debauchee. Meanwhile he wants money, and gets it voted by the assembly. Changarnier, commander-in-chief of the army, boasts of his power and defies the president. He is discarded like an ill-behaved lackey. The president is chief of the state-there is no disobeying him without disobeying the constitution. assembly is itself entangled in the same web. With a dire foreboding of its fate, it can do nothing. It struggles in its toils, but escape is impossible. Thiers cabals, Napoleon is silent. Emile Girardin, the hero of journalists, proves, reasons, attacks; he is answered by silence. Victor Hugo makes splendid orations and writes unanswerable pamphlets -without an answer. One night Cavaignac, Thiers, (who
as usual shows the white feather) Changarnier, and a host of other leaders of the quasi republic, which everybody was only anxious to upset in his own particular way, are seized quietly by the police and popped into prison. The 1848 republic is defunct. Requiescat!
La liberté va faire son deuil
Dans son cercueil
Et qui vivra
Et Bonaparte chantera
Behold a coup d'état-freely translated, a political_earthquake. Cabals, generals, journals, able editors, as Carlyle calls them, poet statesmen, philosophers, socialist prophets, fraternal anti-capitalist associations-all disappear amid blue fire at the command of one dexterous stage machinist!
Louis Napoleon, in the name of "my uncle," and by the bayonet of his Pretorians, establishes a new reign of terror. He shoots a few thousand people of all ranks, ages, sexes, and isms; and he has "done the trick." Paris is tranquil-that is, the people are frightened. Louis Napoleon & Co. have jumped into Louis Phillippe's boots. France is theirs, the budget is theirs, eighty millions of francs (besides perquisites) are theirs, and thirty-five millions Frenchmen are their slaves, thralls, villeins, helots, serfs, vassals, "niggers," no matter what you call them, they are the Leibeigenen, the property of the victors vi et armis. The battle is won.
The conqueror carouses in private with his henchmen. There is prime-minister Persigny, the familiar demon, whose original name was Snooks, or its French equivalent. There is Maupas, the valet, now minister of police, there is D'Arnaud, the ruffian, there are several other desperate adventurers, men with waxed moustachios and unpaid tailor's bills, fellows of pluck, and some talent for diplomacy, quite as good, though not quite so respectable as Thiers & Co. Above all, there is De Morny, brother of the President by the mother's, and in all probability by the father's, side also, now Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor (?) and anything else he likes to call himself-except Emperor.
The victorious clique laugh over their wine. The way in
*The Count de Montalembert made grand beadle by the Pope.
which some fifty subordinate agents of police, who were sent to raise a sham barricade got shot by the tipsy soldiers in mistake, is a first-rate joke. The election by universal suffrage is still better. The apochryphal seven million majority is at least as funny as the lottery of the ingots d'or. It is better fun than betting on English race-courses, by a long score. Louis Napoleon is Prince President for ten years. He is absolute master of the lives and finances of his country. It is really considerate of him to let them down by degrees. But he cannot wait long; the old corps of the Dix-Decembrists is troublesome, the army and its bribes are expensive, a tour in the provinces, a systematic police arrangement, and-the empire is proclaimed. Another election at which nobody takes the trouble to vote, gives another phantasmal majority of eight millions in a country where there are not eight millions of men capable of walking to the polls! and not six millions who possess the requisite legal qualifications for voting! and the first act of the farce is concluded. Long live Napoleon III! Never mind about Napoleon II.-ask no questions, the press is silent, literature is paralysed, genius is banished, France is electro-biologised. A man of brass is on the throne. Europe is tranquil. America vociferates her indignation and withering contempt. But France is gagged. Of all the "solutions" offered, she has chosen none. The French Eagle is but a dunghill cock after all!
And has France really lost anything? Perhaps not. She does not understand liberty. She is the prey not of one, but of half a million tyrants. Her energies are utterly crushed, and her finances crippled by a centralised system of Bureaucracy which remains the same under all governments. To show what French Republicanism is, the last republic did not even abolish passports, one of the greatest engines of despotism, and at the same time one of the most annoying interferences with individual liberty. The Frenchman of to-day is a twolegged animal, under the surveillance of the police. There are one hundred thousand persons, more or less, in the pay of the police at Paris alone. When they have nothing bet ter to do, they spy and report upon one-another. Perhaps the reason Louis Napoleon rules them is precisely because he is not a Frenchman. And be it remembered, the old Napoleon was a Corsican, and Louis Phillippe an Italian. Louis Phillippe brought corruption, as he imagined, to perfection. In a country where there were more placemen than electors, he considered himself secure of a majority. Louis Napoleon having reduced corruption to an absolute system
under a nominal régime of universal suffrage, dispenses with electors altogether. He not only governs, but votes. I am the State, said Louis XIV. The State is mine, says Louis Napoleon.
And now since public opinion is absolutely silenced in France, it is asked whether the nation is satisfied? It is replied that they detest their tyrant and loathe their bondage, but they are impoverished and exhausted. They cannot afford another revolution at the moment. They wait their opportunity. Perhaps there will be war. War will produce powerful Generals, one of whose popularity may reach its culmination, just as Emperor Louis has exhausted the last relics of the old Napoleon tradition. In St. Domingo, in Sonora, already has the hostility of this pseudo-Napoleon begun to show itself. Woe to him should he tempt the wrath of the free eagle of the West! Woe to him should he invade England! A sub-marine telegraph unites the two countries. Almost every Englishman knows the current state of French affairs. To the French inhabitants of Paris, where nearly 100,000 English are domiciled, England is almost as great a mystery as America. French vanity and egotism preserve the race in happy ignorance of all things out of France. What was said of the emigrés who returned after the fall of Napoleon le grand, may fairly be said of the whole nation since the first revolution: "They have neither learned nor forgotten anything." Therefore Napoleon le petit is Emperor. Therefore an invasion of England is the Frenchmen's cherished monomania.
Happy are the Cabetian philosophers who, escaping from all these horrors, have doubtless found in that Texan Icaria an earthly paradise of social perfection far from the corruption of Europe, far from the bayonets of Napoleon!
And now the ex-captain of Swiss artillery, the ex-prisoner of Ham, the ex-socialist writer of the "Extinction of Pauperism," having practically illustrated the adage that charity begins at home (and usually stops there), clothed in "purple and fine linen," astonishes the weak mind of Europe by spectacles of imperial luxury of more than regal splendor.
Titles, orders, pensions, dignities and monopolies are flying in all directions. All France is on its hands and knees, eager to participate in the munificent scramble, not perceiving that, as it grovels on all fours to pick up the royal largess, the Imperial Juggler is quietly standing behind and picking the pocket of his victim.
The empire is peace. So says Napoleon III., and so says Rothschild the great; the Grand Llama of European political