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evil passions and contending interestssion in the measures of his governof the governed.
“ Send him back to us,” said The sort of enthusiasm with which an Englishman, who had listened imthe Bourbons had been at first wel patiently to a Parisian, as he lamentcomed, soon faded into indifference, ed betwixt pity and scorn the king's and indifference was succeeded by incapacity to mount on horseback, doubt, and suspicion, and dislike. The send the excellent old man back to fabulist, in the apologue of the frogs us, and you shall have a king will suit who demanded a king, has described you better—we will send you young the sensation produced by a tyrant Astley the equestrian, the best horsesucceeding to a mild and over-easy man in Europe.” But however just the monarch. But it was reserved to reproof, it is no less certain that the France to exhibit the counterpart of bodily infirmities of Louis, and the the fable, and to show how the aqua- want of personal activity which necestic nation would have probably de- sarily attended them, were of great meaned themselves had the indulgence prejudice to his affairs at this critical of Jupiter again substituted a mere period. The gifted eye of Burke passive type of monarchy, and banish- had foreseen, when few but himself ed King Stork to some remote islet. anticipated the possibility of the reIn the person of Louis XVIII. himself, storation of the royal family, that perthe French could indeed find nothing sonal activity would be a quality in to censure, por any thing to contemn, the highest degree essential to the excepting those corporeal infirmities, restored monarch. “ A king of which disease inflicts upon some, and France," he said, “ought, speaking age upon all. Even the revolutionists literally, to spend six hours in the day yielded their unwilling assent to his upon horseback.” The necessity of merits :-An excellent temper,-a this proved as true as most of his other sound judgment,-a cultivated un- prophecies ; for the deficiency was derstanding,-a disposition to make most severely felt in the king's affairs. every sacrifice for the welfare of the The constitution which the king people, even honour and good faith had solemnly sanctioned, although it in his engagements, his worst enemies could not be termed perfect, was in „were compelled to allow him. He most respects adapted to France in its possessed also a readiness of good-hu- existing state, and contained not only moured repartee, which uses to weigh the elements of a free and representamuch with the French nation, and that tive government, but the means of graoverflowing and kindly quality of the dual improvement, as circumstances heart, which they express by the word should require and experience should bonhommie, He had one quality, and point out. The charter, as it was callonly one of the original monarch of ed, recognized, in the most formal the frogs, but it was the very quality manper, what Britons consider as their on which the veneration due to King most sacred rights. 1. It establishLog suffered shipwreck,--an inertness ed three branches of the legislature, arising from the bodily infirmity at by king, peers, and a house of reprewhich we have hinted, which pre- sentatives, whose concurrence was revented his dazzling the eyes of his quired in framing laws. 2. It guafrivolous subjects, by assuming the ranteed personal liberty, and toleradress and activity of his warlike pre- tion concerning religious faith. 3. decessor, and something like a corre. It recognized the liberty of the press. sponding want of firmness and deci. 4. The ministers were held respon.
sible and subject to be tried by the that it contained, in an irrevocable Chamber of Peers, on the indictment form, a full ratification of the national of the House of Representatives. 5. liberties. But for the king to have The representatives had the sole right acknowledged himself the creature of of proposing taxes. 6. The judges the senate's election would have been were recognized as holding their offi- at once to recognize every ephemeral ces permanent; new courts and com- tyranny which had started up and missions were declared illegal, and fretted its part on the revolutionary the institution of juries was sanction- stage;
and to have sanctioned all sub. ed. Theoretically, therefore, the prin- sequent attempts at innovation, since ciples of the charter were admitted to they who make kings and authorities be excellent. But a very ill-timed must have the inherent right to dequestion was stirred concerning the thronethem. It should not be forgotten mode in which the constitution had how the British nation acted on the been established.
great occasions of the Restoration and · It will be remembered that the se- Revolution ; recognising, at either criDate of Buonaparte, in calling the sis, the right of blood to succeed to the king to enjoy the crown under a con- crown, whether vacant by the murstitution of their own framing, at- der of Charles I., or the abdication of tempted to burthen their invitation by James II. In principle, 'too, it may a sordid and selfish arrangement, by be observed, that in all modern Euro which they were to secure the revenues pean nations, the King is nominally of the senatorial order to them and the source both of law and justice, theirs for ever; in consideration of and that statutes are promulgated, which, and upon condition of his ac- and sentences executed in his name, knowledging certain principles laid without inferring that he has the desdown in their plan, they agreed to potic right either to make the one, call Louis XVIII. to the throne. The or to alter the other. Although, King refused to acknowledge the therefore, the constitution of France right of the senate, either to dictate emanated in the usual form of a royal the terms on which he should ascend charter, the king was no more ema throne, his own by hereditary de- powered to recal or innovate its proscent, and to which he had never for visions, than King John to abrogate feited his claim; or to engross the en- those of the English Magna Charta. dowments provided to their order by Monsieur, the king's brother, had Buonaparte, as their own exclusive promised in his name, upon his soproperty. He therefore assumed the lemin entrance to Paris, that Louis crown as the lineal and true represen- would recognise the basis of the contative of bim by, whom it was last stitution prepared by the senate. This worn; and issued his own constitu- pledge was fully redeemed by the tional charter as a concession which charter, and wise men would have the spirit of the times demanded, and been more anxious to secure the bewhich he had himself no desire to nefits which it promised, than scrupuwithhold. The objections to this lously to cavil on the mode in which mode of proceeding were, practically they had been conferred. In fact, speaking, of no consequence. It sig- Louis had adopted not only the form nified nothing to the people of France, most consonant to ancient usage, but whether the constitution was proposed that which he thought most likely to to the king by the national represen, satisfy both the royalists and the retatives, or by the king to them, so volutionary party. He ascended the throne as his natural right, and há- the congress at Vienna, that his diving done so, he willingly granted to plomatic skill might be employed in the people, in an irrevocable form, the arranging the exterior relations of substantial principles of a free consti- France with the other powers of Eutution. But both parties were rather rope. Dupont was promoted to the displeased at what they considered as situation of minister at war, owing, lost, than gratified at what they gain- perhaps, to the persecution he had ed by this arrangement. The royal- undergone from Buonaparte, in conists considered the constitution with sequence of his surrender at Baylen its concessions, as a voluntary aban- to the Spaniards. Soult was afterdonment of the royal prerogative, wards called to this important office, while the revolutionary party exclaim- how recommended, it would be vain ed, that the receiving the charter to enquire; certainly not by his having, from the king as an act of his will, in the preceding year, fought the bat: was in itself a badge of servitude; and tle of l'houlouse, after he was in posthat the same authority which had session of the fact of Buonaparte's abgranted these privileges, might, if re- dication. This appointment was the cognised, be supposed to reserve the more remarkable, as Soult, like Da, privilege of diminishing or resuming voust, had not, like the other mar. them at pleasure. And thus it is, shals, been promoted to the House of that folly, party-spirit, pride, and pas- peers. The charge of the finances sion, can misrepresent the best mea. was entrusted to Abbé Louis, named sures, and so far poison the public to that office by the provisional gomind, that the very granting the obvernment, and who had held several ject of their desires shall be made the situations of trust under Buonaparte. subject of new complaints.
D'Ambray, a royalist, was made The formation of the ministry gave chancellor of France. Ferrand and rise to more serious grounds of ap- Count Blacas d'Aulps, also royalists, prehension and censure. The various were nominated to the confidential si. offices of administration were, upon tuations of director of the posts, and the restoration, left in possession of minister of the household. Berenger, persons selected from those who had director of the Caisse d'amortissement been named by the provisional go- under Buonaparte, was now constituted vernment.' All the members of the director-general of the indirect taxes. provisional state council were called But the chief trust of the affairs of to be royal ministers of the state. finance was believed to rest upon the Many of these, though possessed of Ex-Abbé Montesquieu, formerly a reputed talents, were men hackneyed member of the constituent assembly, in the changes of the revolution; and now named minister for the interior. were not, and could not be entrusted Beugnot, by the experience which he with the king's confidence beyond the had acquired as minister of finance in bounds of the province which each ad. the Grand Duchy of Berg, became diministered. Talleyrand, minister for rector of police. The other ministeforeign affairs, whose talents and ex- rial posts were filled with persons of a perience might have given him claim similar description ; por had the king, to the situation of prime minister, in his ostensible council, any friend of was unpopular, from his political ver- his exile, excepting Messieurs D'Amsatility; and it was judged, after a bray, Ferrand, and Blacas d'Aulps. The time, most expedient to send him to consequence of this arrangement was,
that each minister's acts and responsi- Wardrobe, the choice of a room being bility were strictly bounded within thus mistaken for a measure of state. the limits of his own department. The But there was more reason than could wheels of the state, if the expression flow from a cause so trivial, for conclu. may be used, moved each independ- ding that he enjoyed, in a peculiar manent of the others, and there was no ap- ner, the ear and confidence of his sovepearance of any presiding or governing reign ; and he paid the usual penalties principle, by which the whole should of censure and calumny for such an be directed and influenced. Each honourable but invidious advantage. minister, feeling himself independent Without doing his master the service of the others, entrenched himself with, of a premier, or holding either the in his own department, and within its power or the responsibility of that precincts made cuch regulations as high situation, De Blacas had the full suited his temper or his interest, inde- share of odium usually attached to it. pendent and often contradictory of The royalists, who pressed on him for the measures which might be adopted grants which were in the departments by his brethren of the cabinet. As of other ministers, resented his declithe king himself, from whom their ning to interfere in their favour, as if, ministerial authority emanated, was having satisfied his own ambition, he declared by the charter incapable of had become indifferent to the interest doing wrong, the public looked in vain of those with whom he had been a either for an individual first minister, joint sufferer during the emigration. or an united and combined body of The opposite party, on the other ministers, to whom should attach the hand, represented Count Blacas as an legal responsibility of the general acts absolute minister, an emigrant him. of administration. And thus, in every self, and the patron of emigrants ; & sense, the political body wanted a royalist of the highest class, and an head, though it had the full proportion enemy of course to all the constituof members.
tional stipulations in favour of liberty. To add still farther to the inconve. Count Biacas has complained, that niences of this state of administration, while his unpopularity was universal Louis XVIII. had a favourite, als with all classes, and while the public though he had no prime minister. voice heaped upon him all the blame Count Blacas D'Aulps, minister of arising from the various errors and the household, an ancient and confi- miscarriages in every department of dential attendant on the king's per. the state, the accusations of his ene. son during his exile, was understood mies never assumed so distinct and to be the channel through which the determined a shape as to admit of deking's wishes were communicated to cided refutation. There was, how. the other ministers; and his protec. ever, one charge of a grievous na. tion was supposed to afford the surest ture, unnoticed in his published exaccess to the favours of the crown. culpation, perhaps, because it had neAccording to the vindication which ver reached his ears. It was generally Count Blacas thought it necessary to said that the Count de Blacas did not publish, these ideas of his influence hesitate to convert the king's favour and ministerial primacy arose chiefly to his own personal advantage; and from the casual circumstance of the that by such indirect modes he acministers holding their cabinet-coun- qu a considerable fortune during cils in the apartment which belonged the few months that he held his official to his office of Grand Master of the situation, and enjoyed the royal con.
fidence. Thus far it is certain, that wards, the ancient nobles of France the unpopularity of Monsieur de Bla- supplied only thirty. The rest were cas, with all ranks and parties in the the fortunate marshals and generals state, had the worst possible influence whom the wars of the revolution had on the King's affairs; and as bis cre- raised to rank and wealth; and the dit was ascribed to a blind as well as
statesmen, many of whom had risen to an obstinate attachment on the part the same station, by less honourable of Louis, the monarch was of course means of elevation. The old noblesse, involved in the unpopularity of the after their youth had been exhausted, minister of the household.
their fortunes destroyed, and their spiThus France was governed rather by rits broken, while following through a set of independent ministers than by foreign countries the adverse fortunes a combined administration, and the of the exiled Bourbons, beheld the reonly channel through which something storation, indeed, of the monarchy, but like a general impulse was given by were themselves recalled to France the crown, was considered as partial, only to see their estates occupied, and suspicious, and corrupt.
their hereditary offices around the What rendered this disconnected, person of the monarch filled, by the wavering, and weak administration fortunate children of the revolution., yet more prejudicial, was the conflict Like the disappointed English cavaing state of parties, which demanded lier, they might well complain that a government, watchful, firm, mild, though none had wished more ear. united in itself, decisive in its views, nestly for the return of the legitimate cautious, secret, and prudent in re- prince, yet none had shared so little solving; but firm and prompt in ex- in the benefits attending it. By a ecution. To understand the dise natural, and yet a perverse mode of sentions by which the country was reasoning, the very injuries which divided, it is necessary to consider the the nobility had sustained rendered parties as drawn up under the politi them the objects of suspicion to the cal standards to which they respec. other ranks and parties of the state. tively adhered. The French of this They had been the companions of periód might be divided into four par- the king's exile, were connected with ties, Royalists, Republicans, Buona- him by the ties of friendship, and tists, and constitutionalists.
had near access to his person by the The ROYALISTS, while they added right of blood. Could it be in nalittle real strength to the king by their ture, it was asked, that Louis could numbers, attracted much jealous ob- see their sufferings without attempt servation from their high birth and ing to relieve them; and how could equally high pretensions ; embroiled he do so in the present state of France, his affairs by their imprudent zeal; unless at the expense of those who embittered his peace by their just and occupied or aspired to civil and milinatural complaints ; and drew suspi- tary preferment, or of those who had cion on his government at every ef- acquired during the revolution the fort which he made to serve and relieve national domains which those nobles them. They consisted chiefly of the once possessed? Yet the alarm was emigrant nobles and clergy. The for- founded rather on suspicion than in mer class were greatly reduced in fact. Of the preferments of emigrants number by war and exile; in so much, in the army we will speak hereafter; that of the House of Peers, consisting but in the civil departments of the of one hundred and seventy and up- state few obtained office. To take a