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much talked of and little understood - M. de Chateaubriand. This personage, who at this moment stands in the low position of a baffled intriguer, has in him the elements of a great French Minister; and if he were younger would probably again rise to ministerial power. M. de Chateaubriand repeatedly offered to the Bourbons to render them the most popular and powerful Sovereigns in Europe. His plan was simple. He wished to organise a Royalist mouvement, and revive the days of Louis le Grand. He is the Benjamin Constant of Royalty. The king was betrayed into the invasion of Spain, by the plausible prospect of forming a Royalist army, and gratifying, at once, the military passion of his people and the conservative policy of his allies. There was also, as we have just said, some little hankering after the Spanish Colonies ; — all this was a part of M. de Chateaubriand's system ; but whether by the detection of his schemes of foreign policy by Mr. Canning, or whether by the defeat of his internal intrigues against M. de Villèle, M. de Chateaubriand was driven from power; but not before he had commenced an intrigue in Belgium, of which we have recently seen and felt the results. Under his influence, Religion, not Liberty, was to have been the pretext of revolt, and Flanders was to have been delivered over to France, not by the Sansculottes, but by the Priests.
The King sacrificed M. de Chateaubriand to his love of peace and order, - to his conviction of the necessity of preserving good faith in his own Cabinet, and his due deference to the rights and feelings of his neighbours; and M. de Chateaubriand, (who now, at the request of the lyric and libellous M. de Beranger, can pour forth a sentimental brochure on the disasters that he himself helped to create,) sacrificed in his turn the King to baffled intrigue, and mortified vanity.
I maintain that no government can subsist in France (nor, indeed, I am ready to admit, in any country,) unless it acts in accordance with the genius of the people. This is the conviction of all parties in that country, and is as deeply impressed upon the heart of a Bourbon, as it could be in the core of any little corporal, who could spring from the ranks, and seize the diadem of Charlemagne. One advantage of an age of revolutions is, that Cabinet secrets are sometimes revealed. Proofs, at this moment, exist in this country, that the broken thread of M. de Chateaubriand's Belgian intrigues was caught up, and reconnected even by M. de Polignac, who continued
to maintain emissaries in the Low Countries. • But Europe had great advantages in struggling against the supremacy of France under a Bourbon: a family who possess a legitimate title to the sovereignty of a country are willing to be quiet, if the people will permit them; whereas, a military or popular adventurer has no title to their duty, but the gratification of their vanity by military success: and, again, a legitimate government, although occasionally restless, may, in great measure, be kept in check, not only by foreign armies, but by the discontented domestic party, which must necessarily ever exist in France against any legitimate government; and every government will, in France, be soon branded with the unpopular title of legitimate, the general tenour of whose career shall be a respect for the balance of power, and a conciliatory deference to the rights of its neighbours.
Convinced as I am, that I have here justly described the unchangeable spirit of the French nation; it is with disgust and dismay that I perceive that, from a singular combination of circumstances, England is assisting in her own overthrow; that she has ceased to act for herself; that she has placed herself in an auxiliary and secondary position — auxiliary and secondary to the very power who can only become supreme by her abasement; that she is, in fact, playing the part of Sancho to the revolutionary Quixote. She will have to endure the blows, while her ally reaps the profit and the glory; and if, at last, they condescend to leave her the nominal government of her own little Barataria, she will find that even there she is no longer mistress, but, in fact, the slave of the servants which her great neighbour will place about her.
* The archives of the Foreign Office were plundered during the three glorious days, and the correspondence of Polignac with Belgium has found its way to this country. Such is the rage here for original papers, that a large sum was given by the present proprietor for these documents, which probably might have been obtained during the tumult for a few francs.
A wily politician — the personification of that lame and shuffling policy, which, though it can neither walk upright, nor tread firmly, is admirably fitted for the souterrains of a crooked diplomacy — this wily politician has taken advantage of our internal divisions, and would persuade us, that as the situations of France and England are unhappily become so similar, our interests must be the same.
I deplore these divisions, but I am not appalled by them. I am convinced, that with an able administration, no injurious change could
occur in this country. I have confidence in the genius of the people. I am neither Whig nor
Tory. My politics are described by one word, and that word is ENGLAND.' I am one of the people, and I am all for the people; but the people is not merely the populace. The divisions in England are in some degree occasioned by the personal distress of great masses of the nation ; but the main and most alarming cause is the alliance which party politics have created between the Ministry and the Agitators — between the Government and the enemies of all government. But the mal-aise of France is not occasioned either by distress among the people, or by an alliance between the mob and the Ministers; quite the reverse; but is caused by intrigues which have, for their object, the disturbance and humiliation of all other countries. Never was France more prosperous than at the period of the occurrence of those three glorious and beautiful days, which every actor in them now thinks of with a sneer, or with a sigh.
It is curious to trace the judicious succession of phrases, with which those remarkable achievements have been gradually described by their perpetrators. At first they were never mentioned, but as “ the three glorious days of the 27th, 28th, and 29th of July:" in a short time it figured as