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ful than the Sultan at Constantinople; mure Master at Paris than Louis XIV. at l'ersailles.
• He is accountable only to God and his conscience.
and the fountain of their education and morals.
"He alone rejects or sanctions laws the law resides in him, and emanates from his person--he is, then, the sovereign legislator.
He is even above the law, for be has the attribute of mercy, and the rigour of the law is silent before bim.
· He appoints and dismisses his Ministers of his own mere motionwithout opposition, without control : all authority flows from him.
• The army obeys the orders of the King alone.
• The Chief, thus, of all that constitutes a nation-its religión, morals, politics—be holds in his hands the manners, the laws, the ministry, the police, the army, and the power of peace and war!
• He drops his extended hand--the whole machine stops. • He raises it—all is again in motion.
• He is so completely identified and mixed with every thing, that, take away the King, and there is nothing.
What, then, do you regret? what power, what splendour is wanting? Is it the net of fetters with which the old monarchy was embarrassed? Is it the power which ministers possessed, of clapping you in the Bastille?
* You are mistaken, if you believe that the Crown had formerly a more free and independent authority than it now has. What King of the an: cient time could have raised the enormous revenue of the last budget? what King could have exercised so violent a power as that with which the laws relative to the liberty of the press, individual liberty, and seditious cries, have armed the Crown ?-pp. 25–27.
Our author goes on to show that the next principles which a constitutional monarchy requires is a house of Peers, noble, rich and independent, hereditary advisers and guardians of the throne; and a Chamber of Deputies freely chosen, and armed with powers to vindicate the rights of the people, and to control the ministers of the crown.
The next principle which he requires, and that which this narrow minded and bigoted advocate of arbitrary power says, is above all things indispensable,' p. 38, is the LIBERTY OF THE PRESS.
"Without the liberty of the press there can be no representative govern ment.
A representative government is founded on and enlightened by public opinion ; the Chambers cannot be aware of that opinion if the opinion
In a representative government there are two tribunals--the Cham
has no organ:
bers, where the interests of the people are debated ; the public, in which the conduct of the Chambers is discussed.
• In the differences which may arise between the Ministers and the Chambers, how is the public to know the truth if the journals are under the restraint of the ininisters themselves, an interested party in the dispute ? How shall the ministers and the Chambers ascertain the public opinion, if the press, the tongue of the people, be not free ?-p. 39.?
This is but a small part of the luminous and eloquent argument which he makes for the liberty of the press; but our limits will not permit us to admit it at further length; we however must make room for a note in which M. de Chateaubriand talks of the fate likely to attend his work.
• The work I now publish will, no doubt, afford fresh instances of these kinds of abuse. The journals will be commanded either to abuse or to refuse to advertise it. If any of them should venture to mention it independently, it will be stopped at the Post-Office, according to custoin. I shall, I dare say, see, ay, and feel too, the good old times of Fouché and Savary. Nay, libels against me have been published under the Royal Police, which Savary himself had suppressed as too atrocious. I never complained, because I am sincerely the friend of the freedom of the press, and that according to my principles I could only complain to the laws and there are none. Besides, I am accustomed to insults of this nature, and in truth grown somewhat callous. I individually am but one of little importance, but the principles of my work may be of some ; and for this reason I would entreat the public not to judge of it from the report of the journals. It attacks a powerful party--that party has the exclusive dominion of these journals -literature and politics continue to be made at the old shop in the police office I may then expect every kind of attack; but I may also venture to beg not to be condemned till I shall have been read.'
To this passage the translator has subjoined the following observation, which our readers will perceive is in perfect consistency with the opinion we have always expressed on this subject.
M. de Chateaubriand, with all his foresight, was not prepared for so extravagant an exercise of arbitrary power as he has suffered: two editions of his work have been actually seized as if it were treason, and bis own name has been struck out of the list of Privy Counsellors, as if he was a traitor—and by what hand ?-Alas, for the poor king of France !'-p. 42.
One observation of M. de Chateaubriand's on the liberty of the press deserves to be particularly noticed; it is this : if the press be free, foreign powers have no right to complain of the government for what may appear in the public papers; but if the ministers have the guidance and control of the press they are responsible to foreign powers for all its abuses. This would afford us a large field for observation. We could produce a long catalogue of in
famous calumnies against this country with which the ministerial press of France teems; nay, we have before us a placard printed by L'Imprimeur du Roi within
the last week, and which, for aught we know, covers the walls of Paris, in which it is stated that the same principle which armed all Europe against the tyranny of Bonaparte, ought also to arm it now against the usurpations of Great Britain, and that a general resistance to the arbitrary despotism of England is necessary to preserve the nations of the continent from a worse slavery than that of Bonaparte. The French press is not free, and without the connivance of the ministry such an inflammatory paper could not be published; it is then the ministry alone that we can arraign for this apology for Bonaparte, this malignity against the most faithful ally of their king, and this new tocsin of war and massacre in Europe.
M. de Chateaubriand next proceeds to explain what, in a constitutional monarchy, a ministry should, and what it should not be; and this latter consideration leads him to censure that monstrous deformity in a free government, the ministry of general police, which has played all through the Revolution, and is to this day playing so conspicuous and so dangerous a part in France : unknown,' says M. de Chateaubriand, “under the old régime-incompatible with the new-it is a monster born of anarchy and despotism, and bred in the filth of the Revolution.'
He goes on to state, that the minister of Police levies taxes to the amount of near 400,000l. per annum of his own authority; that he is the official protector of gaming-houses and brothels, and that he has an unlimited and summary power over the liberty of the subject; and further, that he is the complete despot of the press, and even over public justice, in direct violation of the law. The following is an instance of this abuse.
. But if one of the agents of the police happens to be involved in a criminal affair, as having been a voluntary accomplice with the intention of becoming an informer-if in the course of the trial the accused should adduce in tbeir defence this fact, which tends to their exculpation by diminishing the credit due to a character thus doubly infamous the police forbids the newspapers to report these parts of the evidence !*
Upon this the translator very properly observes, that the circumstances which have just occurred in London afford a strong illustration of the soundness of M. de Chateaubriand's objection : for if the London police could have suppressed all the reports of Vaughan's case, that wretch and his associates might have escaped with impunity, and the victims of their villany would have suffered the extreme punishment of the law.
It has, however, been generally thought, in this country at least,
that however oppressive and unconstitutional the French General Police might be, it was at least a more effective, and for its purposes, a useful department,–M. de Chateaubriand gives quite another character, and supports, to a certain extent, his opinion by facts.
"The General Police ought to have great advantages to redeem its illegality and danger: and yet the evidence of experience proves it to be wholly useless.
• What important conspiracy has it ever detected or prevented, even under the lynx-eyed and jealous despotism of Bonaparte ? this Police could not prevent, on the 3d Nivose, General Mallet from sending Pasquier and Savary (the Police itself personified) to their own jails.
• Under the King it permitted a tremendous conspiracy to wind itsel£ round the Throne-it saw nothing-it knew nothing. Napoleon's despatches travelled regularly through the post offices--the couriers who wore the King's livery were in the usurper's service-the two L'Allemands marched about with troops and baggage: the Nain Jaune talked boldly of “Plumes de Cannes." Bonaparte had already alighted at that place, and still his sagacious Police knew nothing about it. Since the second restoration, a whole department was in arms
-the peasants formed themselves into organized bodies—they marched to attack a great town : but the General Police saw nothing---foresaw nothing -prevented nothing--discovered nothing.
The only important discoveries made, were by the extraordinary Police-by chance and by the exertions of some public-spirited individuals. The General Police affects to complain of this extraordinary police, and for once it is right--but its own inutility, and the terror it inspires, have created this establishment. The General Police cannot serve nor save the state--but without good looking after, it has the means of destroying it.'--pp. 72, 73.
After insisting on this last point, and adducing some striking instances of its justice, he breaks out into the following warm, 'but at the same time judicious exclamations.
• Good Heavens! how can we suffer to exist, in the heart of a constitutional monarchy, such a seraglio of despotism, such a sink of public corruption! why, in a country, which pretends to be governed by laws, do we tolerate a department, whose nature is lo overleap or violate all laws?
! Why intrust such monstrous powers to a minister, whose communications with all that is vile and depraved in society tend to blunt every good feeling, and inflame every bad- to profit by corruption and thrive by abuses ?
What is a good police ? A good police is that which bribes the servant to accuse his master-which seduces the son to bétray his father which lays snares for friendship, and man-traps for innocence.
* A good minister of Police will persecute if he cannot corrupt fidelity, lest it should reveal the turpitude of the offers which it has resisted
VOL. XV. NO, XXX,
To reward crime, to entrap innocence this is the whole secret of the Police!
• The master of this formidable engine is the more terrible because his power mixes itself with all the other departments: in fact, he is the prime, if not the sole, minister. Nay, He may be said to be King, wbó commands the whole gendarmerie of France, and annually levies, without check, or account to the people, seven or eight millions (from 350,000 to 400,0001. sterling).
Thus, whatever escapes the enares of the Police may be bought by its gold, and secured by its pensions. If it should meditate treason, but its preparations be as yet incomplete-if it fear a premature discovery; -to dissipate suspicion, to give an earnest of its frightful fidelity-it invents a conspiracy, and sacrifices, to its credit and its treason, some wretches, under whose feet it has dug the pit-fall.'--pp. 75, 76.
M. de Chateaubriand proceeds to state some general principles, upon the duties of ministers, which as they are familiar to our constitution, it is the less necessary that we should repeat; this leads him to a rapid but striking sketch of the different administrations which have succeeded each other in France, since the Restoration. The first cabinet he describes in the following words.
• When in 1814 the minister for foreign affairs (M. de Talleyrand) set out for Vienna, he left behind him a very well bred and even pleasant cabinet, but totally unfit for business: and bringing to it that sort of pettishness which one feels at finding bis reputation slipping from under him.
· When a minister is in this situation, he is ready for any change of system--terrified at the responsibility-soured by that sort of opposition, which, in such circumstances, meets him at every turn-destitute of the means of controlling events and measures--and feeling that he is carried off by a torrent, he becomes disgusted with the trouble of governinglays the blame every where but at home-attributes bis own failure to the nature of our institutions, to public bodies, to private individuals ; in short, to any body but himself; and full of criticism and imbecility, ruins France in the name of the Charter.'-p. 89.
Of the second cabinet, the most prominent man was Citizen Fouché, Duke of Otranto. The following account of the causes which led to his most extraordinary appointment, an appointment which has done, we think, more injury to the royal cause in France than all other circumstances combined, will interest our readers, and excuse the length of the extracts.
These false systems received a strange reinforcement by the ap. pointment to the ministry of a
the ministry of a man who had ventured to remain in Paris.
• This famous person had at first avoided committing bimself-he