« ZurückWeiter »
“ la grande semaine.” Then it was “ the glorious Revolution;" and in another month, “ the last Revolution.” In a short time, the Revolutionists found out it was no revolution at all; but unwilling, at once, to confess they had been duped, they talked of “ the glorious event.” Of late even this miserable mask has fallen off, and now all shrug their shoulders over 66 les évènemens de Juillet.”
I wish that whatever changes are to take place in this country should be made from our own judgment, and not in imitation of foreign action, and from the suggestion of foreign actors. It is unbecoming a nation, whose proud destiny it has ever been to be a model, to become a copyist. Let no change be made that is not demanded by urgent and inevitable necessity : let whatever is done be in unison with the ancient genius of the people - with those national characteristics which are entirely overlooked in the vapid generalisations of la clique Doctrinaire, - and let us not barter our golden liberty for the tinsel of Equality.
CAUSES OF THE PRESENT UNNATURAL CONNECTION BETWEEN ENGLAND AND FRANCE.
An hereditary enmity between two nations ! it is a barbarous idea, it is cruel, it is anti-Christian. No doubt -- but is it true? That is the only consideration for the statesman. The philanthropist may deplore it, and may anticipate a more Utopian æra; the politician is only to ascertain the exact situation of circumstances, and to regulate his conduct accordingly.
No one who has studied the character of the French people with the unimpassioned sagacity that becomes one who pretends to the reputation of a statesman, can doubt that the resolution to humble the situation of England is rooted in the heart of our neighbours. To simplify the discussion, and to do justice to our own countrymen, I will willingly admit that this inimical feeling is not mutual. It is enough for my argument if it only exist on one side. In expressing my conviction of the unhappy truth of this assertion, I express a conviction founded on extended per
sonal observation, and an enlarged experience of the sentiments of all parties in France, to which, by various accidents, I happened to have the means of intimate access; but I wish not to stand on the narrow ground of personal assertion. I will proceed, therefore, to the proof of what I have thus ventured to state.
There is no one I presume at the present day sufficiently bold to maintain, that we possess any more efficient, or more certain, method of ascertaining public opinion in France, than by its organs in the public press.
I will not quote from the journals of the Moudement, nor copy the passionate tirades of the impetuous Mauguin, or the delenda-Carthago perorations of the fiery Lamarque; but I will take the Gazette de France : the organ of the Royalist party. It is a journal of immense circulation and influence. It possesses 15,000 subscribers in Paris, and has organised a variety of branch gazettes in the provinces; the aggregate of whose subscriptions is nearly double those of the capital. Since the events of July, the Gazette de France has vigorously affected a national character, and seizes every opportunity of enlisting the passions of the people under the colours of its party. We should be aware, therefore, that to
achieve its purpose, the very able conductors of this journal promulgate those opinions which they know are most calculated to attract the nation. At the commencement of the present year,
the Gazette de France, as the trumpet of the party styling themselves L'Ecole Française, published a kind of manifesto on the domestic and foreign policy and prospects of the country; a highly important paper, which, from that singular system of mystification which at present prevails in our own journals on the subject of French politics, has never been noticed.* It is, I repeat, a most important and remarkable document; an eloquent exposition of profound views.
I shall give an extract from it, which, as an exposition of the sentiments of that party which is considered the least hostile to England, deserves the attention of every Englishman.
66 The peace of the European Continent has been disturbed by a series of unnatural treaties
* We are surprised that all our newspapers, and particularly the Times, whose sources of information are so good, and whose articles on foreign politics are generally so just, should invariably curtail or suppress the speeches of M. Mauguin. Of all men in France, Mauguin should be most narrowly watched. I am very much deceived if the time do not arrive when his name and influence will no longer require this passing hint.
(meaning the treaties of Vienna in 1815), which, instead of repose, have only produced irritation, revolution, and disorder; because they have overturned every basis, contemned all interests, and confounded all principles. They have been but brands of discord in the hands of a power, which has found no other security for her absolute empire of the ocean but in the convulsions of the Continent. England has profited too well by the Revolution, and the awful disasters which were the consequence: she has acquired India, the Mediterranean, the Cape, and the best possessions of America ; she has appropriated to herself a fifth Continent; everywhere she has plundered France, and the secondary states who have been her allies, in spite of themselves.*
“But this new Colossus, which has been erected in the midst of smoking ruins, stands on feet of clay. See, even now, it trembles on its factitious base, and is about to expiate its iniquitous pros: perity by domestic convulsions, and the ruin of its own constitution. The Continent of Europe is
* It is hardly necessary to observe, that the anti-Anglican zeal of this French Royalist makes him here commit several errors, of geography, of chronology, and of fact relative to our Colonial acquisitions : but such was the cant of Buonaparte, and such is the cant of Chateaubriand; and such must be the cant of every candidate for French popularity.