Chap, there was no end to the violence with which Ministers

. were assailed by the democratic party. All that they had

19TM' done was forgotten; what it was feared they would do increasing alone was considered. The coup d'dtat, which had changed exaspcra- the Electoral Law, and promised soon to give them the press?'018 command of the Chambers—the creation of peers, which had already given them a majority in the upper chamber—were never once mentioned: the word "jamais" alone resounded in every ear. The most unbounded benefits conferred on their country aud themselves were forgotten in the denial of an amnesty to a few hoary Jacobins, stained with every atrocity which could disgrace humanity. Three-fourths of the public press was leagued together against the Government, and poured forth its venom daily with a vigour and talent which bore down all opposition. The Courrier, which was supported by the Doctrinaire party, and adorned by the talents of M. Guizot, Royer-Collard, and Kerratry, proved in this strife no match for the Constitutionnel, which then first attained its immense circulation, and in which M. Thiers was beginning his eventful career. The Royalist journals, in which M. Chateaubriand and Hyde Neuville exerted their talents, were supported with greater genius and eloquence than the Liberal, and strongly confirmed the minority, which agreed with them in their opinion of the present downward progress of things; but their voices were those of a minority only of the entire population. The majority, upon the whole, was decidedly with the Liberals, and they were more vehement in their attacks on the Government than they i Lac. is. been on the Royalist administration. A popular

33o, ;Mi; party which is suspected of an intention of stopping Im; in the career of concession, soon becomes the object of 2i3,''2ii. more inveterate hostility than that which had always opposed it.1

As these ulcerated feelings arose from disappointed ambition rather than patriotic feeling, they were in no degree abated by the general prosperity which prevailed, Chap. and which proved how much, as a whole, the Government 'x'

[ocr errors]

of the Restoration had deserved the support and affec- y tions of the country. The budget of 1819 presented a Bodpt of striking and most gratifying contrast to those which had preceded it, and proved the immensity of the relief which the CoDgress of Aix-la-ChapclIe, and the evacuation of the territory, had procured for the French nation.* The estimated expenses of the year were only 889,200,000 francs, being a reduction of nearly 300,000,000 francs from those of the preceding year, which had amounted to 1,154,000,000 francs. In the expense of the year, independent of the cessation of the payments to the Allies, there was a reduction of 15,000,000 francs. The Government had good reason to congratulate itself upon the exposition of its financial situation: nothing nearly so favourable had been presented since the Revolution; for here was a reduction of £12,000,000 a-year, effected, not by contributions exacted from other countries, or any reduction in the national armaments, but simply by sue-.. _.

<• • • i o . i 'Ann.Hist.

cessful diplomatic arrangements with foreign states, and «. in, m-, the moderation on the part of their rulers which the i9§:'' policy of the French Government had inspired.1

All eyes, in the autumn of this year, were fixed on the annual election for filling up the fifth of the Chamber, Preparawhich by law was vacated and renewed every season, ei^tion'of0 Already the evils of these annual elections had come to 1819be severely felt; and the expression of the approach of

* The budget of 1819 stood thus :—


Interest of public debt, ". . . 232,000,000
Civil list and royal family,
Foreign Affairs,

— Justice,

— Interior,

— War, .

— Marine,

— Miscellaneous,

34,000,000 8,000,000 17,460,000 102,700,000 192,750,000 45,200,000 257,000,000

Annnairc Historique, ii. 161.

889,210,000, or £35,450,000

Chap, the " Electoral Fever" had become as common as, in IX- after days, that of the approach of the cholera was to 1819, be. Ministers felt strongly the importance of the ensuing election, and exerted themselves to the utmost to gain popularity before it came on. The king visited frequently the magnificent exhibition of the productions of native industry, which was held in the Louvre, and was prodigal of those flattering expressions of which he was so accomplished a master: not a manufacturer withdrew without believing that he had captivated the royal taste. Crosses of the Legion of Honour were profusely bestowed, but yet with discernment, and without regard to party; and the circulars to the prefects earnestly inculcated the utmost lenity in prosecution of offenders, and dibgence in encouraging every object of social improvement. The prosecution of the assassins of Marshal Brune was authorised, if they could be discovered; the proscribed returned in crowds from Belgium; while, to conciliate the Royalists, the concordat with the court of Rome was modified; bulls were given to the new French bishops; and the sacred ceremonies frequently announced the installation of a new bishop in his diocese. A million of francs (£40,000) was devoted to the establishment of new parish priests; while, to evince their impartiality, three new Protestant ministers were endowed at the same time with the Catholic bishops; and the presidents of the electoral colleges were all chosen from the Centre of the 216,^18." Assembly, and taken from men of moderation and respectability.1

It was all in vain; and the elections of 1819, which


TheUrisuit: had an important effect on the destinies of the monarchy, th* AbU afford another example of the truth exemplified by so Gregoire. manj passages of contemporary history—that in periods of excitement, when the passions are violently roused, moderate men are assailed on both sides, and it is the extremes on either who alone prove successful. All that the king and the ministers had done for the Liberal party Chap. —and it was not a little—went for nothing; or rather, Ix' they only encouraged them to rise in their demands, and 1819return representatives who would extort what they wished from the Government. The Royalists in many places coalesced with them to throw out the ministerial candidates: their journals openly advised them to do so, inculcating the doctrine, "Better the Jacobins than the Ministerialists; for the Jacobins will bring matters to a crisis." In truth, however, the crisis was nearer than they imagined, and it was brought on very much by their policy. Five-and-thirty extreme Liberals were returned, fifteen Ministerialists, and only four Royalists. Among those whom the Liberals returned were General Foy, the most distinguished popular orator of the Restoration, and two extreme Jacobins, whose appearance in the returned lists excited universal consternation — M. 21?'as". Lambrecht, and the Abbe" Gregoire, the Jacobin and Jff-»• 330,

7 060; Lam.

constitutional bishop of Blois, whose name was identified vi. 221,223. with several of the worst acts of the Convention.1

The Abbe Gregoire, who had left the Church of Rome J8 during the Revolution, and received in return from the ^"jj^ civil authorities the bishopric of Blois, had not actually Gregoire. voted for the death of Louis XVI., having been absent on a mission at the time; but he had given several subsequent votes, which evinced his approval of that great legislative murder. His language had always been violent and immeasured against royalty and the Bourbons; and no one had spread brief sarcastic sayings against them more widely, or done more to injure their cause with the great body of the people, with whom stinging epithets or bold assertions often prevail more than sound argument or truth in the statement of facts. A mute senator under the Empire, he had possessed good sense enough to abstain from joining in the movement which followed the return of Napoleon from Elba, which prevented his being in

Chap. eluded in the sentence of banishment pronounced against

those concerned in that event, and paved the way for his

1819, return as a member of the Chamber of Deputies. He had never been wholly faithless to the cause of Christianity, though he had to that of the court of Rome, in whose service he had been; and there were many worse .. men in the Convention. But it was impossible to find

1 Lam. vi. *

222,223; one more personally obnoxious to the Bourbons, or whose m" 'return was considered a more decided triumph by the party which aimed at their overthrow.1

General Foy, a far nobler and superior character, General though not so much dreaded at the time, proved a much iio^ra|%. more formidable enemy in the end to the Government of . the Restoration. Born at Havre in 1775, he had early served under Dumourier, Pichegru, and Dampierre in the legions of the Revolution. Subsequently he was wounded by the side of Desaix, in one of the campaigns in Germany; and he served under Massena in the campaign of Zurich in 1799. He early evinced, however, an independent spirit, and devoted his leisure hours, in the intervals of his campaign, to the study of law and social questions. He refused to sign the servile addresses which were sent by the troops with whom he acted to Napoleon, fell, in consequence, under the imperial displeasure, and was sent to Spain to expiate his offence in the dreadful campaigns in that country. To this circumstance we owe his very interesting account of the early campaigns in that memorable war. He joined the Bourbons in 1814; but, without being implicated, like so many others, in the revolt of 1815, he hastened to the scene of danger when the independence of France was menaced; and none '2i?TM"?'' com^ated W1tn more gallantry both at Quatrc-Bras and Biog. Univ. Waterloo. In 1815, he returned to private life, on the 2£>Z' ' disbanding of the army, and employed his leisure hours in writing the annals of his campaigns.2

The only man in the Chamber who, on the Ministerial

« ForrigeFortsett »