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IX.

1819.

CHAP. defend, by all legal means, the liberty of thought, of

. opinion, and of the press. MM. de Lafayette, d'Ar

genson, Lafitte, Benjamin Constant, Gevaudeau, Mechin, Gassicourt, de Broglie, and others, impressed the course of public action. M. de Lafayette, in his hôtel, held meetings of still more secret and determined committees. Every defensive arm gained by our institutions to public freedom, became, in their hands, an aggressive arm for the purposes of conspiracy. Secret correspondences were established between the persons proscribed at Brussels and the malcontents in Paris. They spoke openly of changing the dynasty. The King of the Netherlands, it was said, secretly favoured their projects, and hoped to elevate his house on the ruins of the Bourbons. Negotiations were attempted between the Prince of Orange, the proscribed persons, and Lafayette. The threads of the conspiracy extended into Germany, Italy, Spain, Piedmont, and Naples. The spirit of freedom which had roused Europe against Napoleon, seeing itself menaced in France, everywhere prepared to defend itself. CARBONARISM was organised in Italy, anti-monarch liberty at Cadiz, and a general union in the universities of Germany. One of the young members of that sect, the

student Sand, assassinated, in cold blood, Kotzebue, who i Lam. vi. 219, 220.formerly enjoyed an extensive popularity, but who was

supposed to be sold to Russia.1

A full account of these important changes in Europe New Elec- has already been given ; but their influence was great toral Law proposed and decided on the measures of Government at Paris. by the Go

It was no longer a question, whether the Electoral Law should be modified—the only point was, to what extent. The Cabinet, in conjunction with M. de Broglie, M. Guizot, M. Vilmain, and the Doctrinaires, drew up a bill, the heads of which were-1st, That the Chamber should be renewed entire every five or seven years, and not a fifth every year as at present; 2d, That the number of its

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members should be considerably augmented; 3d, That the CHAP. colleges of arrondissement as they now stood should be broken into smaller. divisions. The Doctrinaires agreed to 181 support this bill with their whole weight from the centre of the Chamber, and it was hoped it would pass. But great delay took place in adjusting the details, and the Liberals took advantage of the time thus gained to rouse the country against the Government. Petitions against the Ministers were got up in all quarters, and the violence of the press exceeded anything ever witnessed since the days of the Convention. In vain were prosecutions instituted against the delinquents : the juries, in the face of the clearest evidence, constantly acquitted the persons brought before the tribunals. Caulaincourt openly saluted Napoleon as Emperor in his writings, and Béranger lent to bis cause the fascination of genius and the charms of poetry. The intelligence daily received of the progress of the revolution in Spain, and the fermentation in Germany and Italy, added to the general excitement; and the Napoleonists, deeming the realisation of their hopes approaching, everywhere struck the chord which still vibrated so powerfully in the hearts of the French ; and the mighty image of the Emperor, long »Lam.xi. banished from the lips, but treasured in the hearts of Cap. vi. 277,

281; Lac, ii. men, again seemed to arise in gloomy magnificence on 347, 353. the extreme verge of the distant ocean.1 The project ultimately agreed on for the modification

29. of the Electoral Law was one founded in wisdom, and Electoral

Law finally which, by providing a remedy against the great danger of agreed on the existing system—the uniform representation, and con- ve sequent preponderance of one single class in societypromised to establish it in France on the only basis on which it can ever be beneficial or of long duration in an old and mixed community. It obtained the concurrence both of the Royalists and the Doctrinaires. It was agreed that the Chamber of Deputies was to be composed of

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IX.

1819.

rals.

CHAP. 430 members, instead of 260, the present number—258 4._ being returned by the colleges of arrondissements, and

172 by the colleges of departments. The colleges of arrondissements were to appoint the electors of the colleges of departments among those who paid 1000 francs (£40) of annual taxes ; the half of all taxes, to make up the quota, was to be of land-tax; the elections were to be made by inscriptions on a bulletin ; the 172 departmental deputies were to be elected immediately; the Chamber to go on without renewal in any part for seven years. The material thing in this proposed law was,

that a different class of electors was introduced for the i Cap. vi. 290, 292; colleges of departments-viz., persons paying 1000 francs Lam. vi.” 236, 237. of annual taxes, instead of 300, which constituted the

franchise at present.1

The project no sooner got wind than the Liberals 30. Violent op, sounded the alarm. The violence of the press became. position of the Libe- insupportable. Assassination was openly recommend

ed; Brutus and Cassius, Sand and Carlisle, Riego and Quiroga the leaders of the Spanish revolution, were lauded to the skies as the first of patriots. In a pamphlet by Saint Simon it was asserted that the murder of the king, of the Duke d’Angoulême, and the Duke de Berri, would be less to be deplored than that of the humblest mechanic, because persons could more easily be found to act the part of princes than of common workmen. But, dangerous as these publications were, all attempts to check them proved entirely nugatory ; for neither weight of evidence nor magnitude of delinquence had the slightest effect in inducing the juries to convict. The contest ere long assumed the most virulent aspect; the Government and Royalists felt that they had no chance of saving the monarchy but by a

change in the Electoral Law; and the Liberals and revoLam. vi. lutionists were resolute to prevent, at all hazards, any 237, 238; Lac. ii. 353. change in the present law, which promised so soon to

subvert it.2

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IX,

• Berri.

These open incitements to assassination were not long CHAP. of leading to the desired result; and a deplorable event_1X. plunged the royal family and Royalists in grief, and caused $20.

31. such consternation in the general mind as for a time made The Duke the balance incline in favour of conservative principles. The DUKE DE BERRI, second son of the Count d'Artois, had now become the chief hope of the royal family, because it was from him alone that a continuance of the direct line of succession could be looked for. This circumstance had given an importance to his position and an interest in his fate which could not otherwise have belonged to it. He was more gifted in heart and disposition than in external advantages. His figure was short, his shoulders broad, bis lips thick, his nose retroussé; everything in his appearance indicated a gay and sensual, rather than an intellectual and magnanimous disposition. But the sweetness of his smile, and the cordiality of his manner, revealed the native benevolence of his disposition, and speedily won every heart among those who approached him. He had all the hereditary courage of his race, and had sighed all his life for a share of the military fame which surrounded his country in a halo of glory, but from which his unfortunate position as a prince of the exiled family, and in arms against his compatriots, necessarily excluded him. He was not free from the foibles usual in princes in whom luxury has enhanced and idleness has afforded room for the gratification of the passions; but he caused them to be forgotten by the generous qualities with which they were accompanied. Constant in love, faithful in friendship, eager for renown, thirsting for arms, if he had not acquired military fame, it was not owing to any lack of ambition to prove himself the worthy de- 239, 241;

Biog. Univ. scendant of Henry IV., but to the circumstances of his lviii. 82. destiny, which had condemned him to inaction.1

Being the youngest of the princes of the blood, he came to play a more important part on the Restoration. He was the bridge of communication between the pacific

VOL. II.

vi.

IX.

CHAP. family of the Bourbons and the army; and being himself

passionately attached to the career of arms, he took to the 1820. soldiers as his natural element. He anxiously cultivated

32. His biogra- the friendship of the marshals, the generals, the officersphy.

even the private soldiers attracted a large share of his attention; and before his career was cut short by the hand of an assassin, he had already made great progress in their affections. On the return of Napoleon from Elba, he was invested with the command of the army which was assembled round Paris; and when the retreat to Flanders was resolved on, he commanded the rear-guard, and by his personal courage and good conduct succeeded in escorting his precious charge in safety to the frontier, without having shed the blood of a Frenchman. At Bethune he advanced alone against a regiment of cavalry, and by his intrepid bearing imposed upon them submission. On the return to Paris after Waterloo, he continued his military habits, and many happy expressions are recorded of his, which strongly moved the hearts of the soldiers. He had been very kindly received by the inhabitants of Lisle, on the retreat to Ghent; and having been sent there after the second Restoration, the mutual transports were such, that on leaving them he said, “ Henceforth it is between us for life and death.” At the barracks in Paris, having one day fallen into conversation with a veteran of the Imperial army, he asked him why the soldiers loved Napoleon so much? “Because he always led us to victory," was the reply. “ It was not very difficult to do so with men such as you,” was the happy rejoinder of the prince, which proved that, besides the spirit, he had in some degree the felicity of expression of Henry IV. On the 28th March 1816, a message from the king to both Chambers announced that the Duke de Berri was about to espouse CAROLINE MARY, eldest daughter of the heir to the crown of Naples—an event which was hailed with every demonstration of joy both by the Legislature and the people of France. The Chambers spontaneously

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