Abbildungen der Seite

and, lastly, but for that very title, Louis-Philippe would never have clambered up the throne of the ancestors whom his father so shamelessly repudiated *, and whom he has so outrageously dishonoured.

The Duke of Orleans informs the Emperor of Russia that his accession was necessary to emancipate France from its provisional existence, and to preserve the Charter. Now, in my opinion, that provisional existence only commenced with his Royal Highness's accession. Since then, we have had a provisional Constitution, a provisional policy, provisional appointments, provisional conquests, provisional invasions, provisional taxes, and even a provisional budget; and, finally, we suppose, may bless our stars for a provisional peace.

The allusion to his Imperial Majesty's brother is dexterous, and deserves a comment. A very profound political idea has been attributed to the late Emperor. It has never been before publicly mentioned, but I have received it from an authority which induces me to believe that the idea is not an after-refinement. When a question arose

* It is well known that Egalité boasted that he was the offspring of an adulterous intercourse between his mother and a groom.

at the restoration, as to the government which it might be expedient to grant to France, the Emperor Alexander appeared, to the surprise of many, to be enlisted on the side of Liberalism. 66 Yes," said his Imperial Majesty ; “I perceive that this restless and ambitious people will never be quiet until they are employed at home. We must give them a bone to pick. This Charter will be that bone, about which all these wild spirits will be busied, and all these daring ambitions engrossed. The government will become difficult: it will lack the energy which war and conquest require; and, above all, there will be no state secrets. In a nation of intriguers we shall always find traitors." His Imperial Majesty the Emperor Nicholas, and his Ministers, recalling these views of their late Sovereign, must have chuckled over the allusion of the citizen King.

So much for 6 the Paris business," as the citizen King styles the “ glorious revolution," with great naïveté and ingratitude. Louis-Philippe need not be alarmed that 6 the Paris business" should not be viewed in its true light. All now recognise the true principle of that glorious revolution. It may be comprised in the homely but just expression of one of the early revolutionists, You get out, and let me get in.

The whole affair was a sanguinary piece of place-hunting. Louis-Philippe has got into the place of Charles X., Casimir Perier into that of Polignac, Soult into that of Bourmont, and so on, to the last step of the political ladder. The French nation alone have gained nothing - except a loss, fruuntur injuriâ. They have gained bloodshed, disorder, poverty, and discontent, and general distrust among all nations.

We had almost forgotten the last observation — the last memorable observation ; — “ It is upon you, Sir, above all, that France has fixed her eyes. She delights to view in Russia her most natural and most powerful ally; and that confidence will not be deceived."

Hilliho! What is all this? We recommend those illustrious Gallomaniacs, my Lord Grey and my Lord Palmerston, instantly to summon into their divan the great dragoman of politics, M. de Talleyrand, and require a version of this passage without delay.

She delights to view in Russia her most natural and most powerful ally ;” that is to

” that is to say, translates the holy Prince of Benevento, “that France is prepared to enter into a commercial treaty with England."

“ Doubtless,” responds my Lord Grey; "the

version is most faithful. Palmerston, give the dragoman a gold box.”

Or, perhaps, the passage is a misprint; and for Russia, we should read England. For, as Lord Grey observed the other night, when he tempered, like a kind critic, the imaginative flights of his friend M. Perier, « translations are not always accurate.”

It is possible that Louis-Philippe, as Regent of France, might have fulfilled an honourable duty, and might have rendered immense service to his country and to Europe. To form an idea of the effect of such a step upon the general politics of Europe, let us take a rapid view of the state of France for the last forty years. France has been successively conducted From l'ancien régime to a constitutional go

From a constitutional government to ideal

From ideal equality to practical anarchy.
From a state of anarchy to a reign of terror.
From a reign of terror to directorial inert-


From directorial inertness to a consular re

From a consular republic to an empire.

From an empire to military despotism.
From military despotism to subjugation and

national disgrace.
From subjugation and national disgrace to

real independence - to a true system of

liberty, and a state of real prosperity. The nomination of Louis-Philippe as Regent might have preserved this latter state: as it is, his accession to the throne threatens the country he affects to govern, with a repetition of all the disorders and misery, from which it has long and so deeply suffered. Again we hear of a republic; again we hear of new constitutions ; again we hear of ideal equality ; again we witness a morbid desire of aggrandisement; again we are threatened with a reign of terror, as the consequence of a state of anarchy; again the dynasty of the old régime, and the dynasty of the new empire, are prepared to assert their claims; and even some unknown Barras, Merlin, or Gohier may be planning a future directory, which some unexpanded Buonaparte may dream of overthrowing. Every where we find doubt, discontent, secret conspiracy, or open insurrection. Such is the state of the most highly civilised of European countries; and such are the consequences of violating the principle of hereditary right, which is the only found

« ZurückWeiter »