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kingdom, and a great portion of whom certainly do not understand what true constitutional liberty is.”
PROCLAMATION OF THE KING.
“ Charles, by the Grace of God, King of France
66 The late Chamber of Deputies were informed of my intentions; and I had a right to depend on their succour to accomplish that good I intended, but they refused me. As father of my people, and their King, I was displeased, and pronounced the dissolution of the Chambers. Frenchmen, your prosperity and your happiness are my glory. The elections are going to commence at all points in my kingdom. Listen to the voice of your King, and maintain the constitutional charter, and the institutions on which it is founded, which I will preserve with my utmost efforts : but to attain this object, I must freely exercise, and cause to be respected, the sacred rights which belong to my crown, which are the guarantee of public peace and your liberties: as the nature of the government will be altered, if the culpable aim to invade my prerogative succeed, and I shall break my oath if I submit to it.
to it. Under this government France has become flourishing, and she owes to it her
credit and her industry. France does not envy other states, and only aspires to the preservation of the advantages which it enjoys. Remain assured of your rights, which I unite with mine, and I will protect them with equal solicitude. Do not let yourself be deceived by seditious persons, enemies to your repose: and do not yield to unfounded fears, which may excite serious disorders.
“ Electors, hasten to join your colleges; let the same sentiment animate you, and rally under the same standard. It is your King that demands it; it is the call of
father. Fulfil your duties, and I shall fulfil mine.
66 CHARLES.” “Given at the Tuileries.”,
This earnest and affectionate appeal, which was composed by the King himself, excited only fresh clamours from the journalists, and fresh intrigues in the secret societies, who in the mortification of the Royal heart perceived their only road to place and power. By their incessant efforts a still more hostile Chamber was elected, abounding in those demagogues whom the “ Times” so well describes. To meet the Chamber was impossible; and the King had now only to decide, whether he should struggle to preserve his prerogative, or surrender at once the reins of power to the con
spirators, who rendered his government impracticable. He had given up Villèle; he had given up Martignac; he had given up the Censorship; he had given up the Jesuits; he had given up the State Prisoners; and now was he to give up the Crown ? Not without a struggle; and therefore the famous Ordonnances appeared, issued on a report of his Ministers, which asserted their absolute necessity, and which according to them, could alone preserve the country and the King, the happiness of France, and the peace of Europe. Whether the Prince were deceived, or whether he were blinded by his ignorance of military affairs, the fact is, he neglected the most obvious measures to insure success. We should not, however, forget that, at that moment, the Prince had ventured upon duties physically impossible to any individual. He was President of the Council; he was Secretary for Foreign Affairs; he was also Minister of War: an office then doubly onerous by the Algerine and Moreote expeditions. The Prince, however, must take the consequences of his rashness or his devotion. He assured the King and his colleagues, that all necessary precautions had been adopted; and under this persuasion the ordonnances were sent forth.
The following report, which, as I have already said, is little known in England, exhibits the state of society which was deemed to justify this coup d'état. I trust the English reader will forgive the Gallicisms of the translation, which is not by my own hand; but Lord Palmerston has taught the English public to swallow Gallicisms so readily, that I suppose I need hardly have made an apology.
REPORT TO THE KING.
SIRE, Your ministers would be little worthy of the confidence with which your Majesty honours them, if they longer delayed to place before your eyes a view of our internal situation, and to point out to your high wisdom the dangers of the periodical press.
At no time for these fifteen years has this situation presented itself under a more serious and more afflicting aspect. Notwithstanding an actual prosperity, of which our annals afford no example, signs of disorganisation and symptoms of anarchy manifest themselves at almost every point of the kingdom.
The successive causes which have concurred to weaken the springs of the monarchical government, tend now to impair and to change the nature of it. Stripped of its moral force, Authority, lost in the capital and the provinces, no longer contends, but at a disadvantage, with the factious. Pernicious and subversive doctrines, loudly professed, are spread and propagated among all classes of the population. Alarms, too generally credited, agitate people's minds and trouble society. On all sides the present is called upon for pledges of security for the future.
An active, ardent, indefatigable malevolence, labours to ruin all the foundations of order, and to snatch from France the happiness it enjoys under the sceptre