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prince whom we mourn pardoned with his dying breath Chap. his infamous assassin. Let us take care that the ex- IX" "ample of that sublime death is not lost for the nation, 1820the royal family, and the public morality; that posterity may not reproach us with having sacrificed the pubUc liberties on a hecatomb at the funeral of a Bourbon.
"The abyss of a counter-revolution is about to open: S9 a system is announced which will attack successively all Continued, our rights, all the guarantees which the nation sighed for in vain in 1789, and hailed with such gratitude in 1814. The regime of 1788 is to be revived by the three laws which are proposed at the same time, the first reviving lettres de cachet, the second establishing the slavery of the press, the third fettering the organs of freedom whom it sends to the Chamber. Experience has demonstrated in every age, and more especially in the disastrous epoch of the Revolution, that if a government once yields to a party, that party will not fail soon to subjugate it. The present time affords a proof of it. The barrier, feeble and tottering as it was, which the Ministry opposed to the counter-revolution, shakes, and is about to be thrown down. Perhaps the Ministry does not at this moment foresee it; but all the laws which you are called on now to pass, will be turned to the profit of the counter-revolution, and that principle is to be applied to the proposed law, compared to that of 1817. That which in 1817 was, from the pressure of circumstances, merely irregular,, K^ nht will in 1820 be terrible; that which in 1817 was only ^c6[?^L vicious in principle, will in 1820 become terrible in its 398. application."1
On the other hand, it was answered by the Duke de 53 Richelieu and the Duke de Fitz-james, on the part of the Answer by Government: "Is it possible that any one can be so mcnt.ovem blind to existing circumstances, and the dangers which menace the state and the royal family \ Does auy one persist in asserting that the assassination of the 13th February is an isolated act? Have the persons who
Chap. assert tbis been sbut up in their houses for the last six
1X" months? What! are those ferocious songs, repeated
1820- night after night with such perseverance that the indulgent police have at length come to pretend that they do not hear them, nothing ?—those songs which commenced on the very night of the assassination, and which they had the effrontery to repeat under the windows of the Duchess de Berri herself \ What! those placards, those menaces, those anonymous letters—not to us, who are accustomed to, and disregard them, but to her for whom they know we are disposed to sacrifice a thousand times our lives;—those execrable threats against a bereaved father, whose grief would have melted tigers, but has only increased the thirst for blood in our revolutionary tigers. What! those medals, struck with the name of Marie Louise and her sou—their images sent everywhero through the kingdom, and now paraded even in the capital; those clubs, in which they count us on our benches, and have a poniard ready for each of our breasts; the coincidence of what passes in the nations around us with what we witness in our interior—the assassination by Sand, the attempted assassination of Thistlcwood, repetitions abroad of what was going on in our interior— homicide and regicide converted into virtues, and recommended as deeds worthy of eternal glory. What! Spain become the prey of a military faction, and of acts of treason which have dishonoured the name of a soldier. Are these not proofs of a conspiracy extending over all western Europe, which is advancing with rapid strides towards its maturity V So obvious were these dangers, cT 82?' that, notwithstanding a vehement outcry in both houses, ioo-capv^'^e proposed laW was passed by considerable majorities, 3i5,'350-' 'the numbers in the Chamber of Deputies being 134 to 113; in the Peers, 121 to 86 !1
The law re-establishing the censorship of the press excited a still more violent storm in the Chambers. As a prelude to it, the most extraordinary ferment took place in the public journals, -which nearly unanimously assailed Chap. the proposed measure with a degree of vehemence unex- IX' amplcd even in those days of rival governments and 1820desperate party contests. On the one hand, it was said Censorship by M. Manuel, M. Lafayette, and M. Camille-Jourdan: Ai^tm""' "The censorship is essentially partial; it has always been JJ'ihfopso, and it is impossible it should be otherwise, for it is p°sitioDabsolute government in practice. You have already suspended individual liberty, and you are now about to add to the rigour of arbitrary detention by the censure, for you render it impossible for the Ministers to be made aware of their error. You ask for examples of the abuse of the censorship; they are innumerable: the most arbitrary spirit prevailed when it was last established, for they erased even the speeches of your own colleagues, when they were in defence against attacks. To what do you aspire with these ill-timed attempts at repression? To extinguish the volcano 1 Do you not know that the flame is extending beneath your feet, and that, if you do not give it an adequate means of escape, it will occasion an explosion which will destroy you all? While the liberty of Europe is advancing with the steps of a giant, and when France wishes, and ought to be at the head of that great development of the dignity and faculties of man, a government, to whom, indeed, hypocrisy can no longer be objected, is endeavouring to drag you into a backward course, and to widen more and more the breach which already yawns in the nation. Whither are we tending? You accumulate lettres de cachet and censors! I am no panegyrist of the English government, but I do not believe that any minister could be found so bold as to propose, in that country, at the same time, the censorship of the press, and the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act.
"To prevent is not to repress, say the partisans of the censorship. Never was a more deplorable illusion. To Concluded, subject the journals to such fetters is to strike at the
Chap, liberty of the press in its very heart. The liberty of the IX' periodical press is the life-blood of freedom. Vigilant 1820. advanced guards, ever wakeful sentinels, their sheets are to representative governments what language is to man. They serve as the medium of communication between distant places, whose interests are the same; they leave no opinion without defence, no abuse in the shade, no injustice without an avenger. The Government is not less aided by its efforts. The Ministry know beforehand what it has to hope or to fear; the people, who are their friends, and who their enemies; and to them we owe that early communication of intelligence, and that rapid expression of wishes, which is an advantage which nothing else can supply. Attack openly the liberty of the press, or respect that of the public journals; but recollect that the charter has not separated them, and that it has withdrawn both alike from every species of censorship. This is not a question of principle; it is a question of life or death. We have arrived at that point, that if our personal freedom, the liberty of the press, and the liberty of elections, are taken away, the charter has become a mockery, the constitutional monarchy is at an end. Nothing remains for us but anarchy or despotism. Power will rest with the strongest; and if so, woe to the feeble majority in this Chamber which now directs it. Nothing ;.Ann. in«t. can long remain strong which is not national. Do not 72. ' ' denationalise the throne : if you do so, your majority will Boon be broken to pieces."1
On the other hand, it was contended by Baron PasAnswer by quier and Count Simeon: "It is books, and not pamteriaHrtiT phlets, which have enlightened the world. Cast your eyes on the condition to which the unrestricted liberty of the journals has brought society, and everywhere you will see the passions roused to the highest degree, hatreds envenomed, the poniards of vengeauce sharpened—and the horrible catastrophe which we all deplore is a direct consequence of it. Consider the character of that crime: one special character distinguishes it, and that is fanati- Chap.
cism. But what sort of fanaticism? Every age has had .—
its own, and ours is not less clearly defined than that 1820-which, two hundred years ago, sharpened the dagger of Ravaillac. It is not now the pulpit, it is the journals which encourage fanaticism ; it is no longer religious, but political. Where are the organs of that fanaticism which threatens to tear society in pieces to be found? By whom is it cherished, flattered, exalted? Who can deny that it is the journals and periodical publications that do this 1 Men eminent for their talents, respectable for their virtues, influential from their position, have not disdained to descend into this arena, and to employ their great abilities to move the people. Others, borrowing every mask, have learned and employed every art to turn to their advantage the most shameful projects, the most infamous objects which the heart of man can harbour. Such is the government of journals; powerful to destroy, they are powerless to save. They have destroyed theJConstitution of 1791, which gave them liberty; they destroyed that Convention which made the world tremble.
"We are told that the liberty of the press is the soul of representative governments. Doubtless it is so; but it Concluded, is not less true that the licentiousness of the press is its most mortal enemy. I do not hesitate to assert there is no political system sufficiently strong to bear the attacks which it has now come to organise amongst us. Possibly the time may come when, as in England, it may be practicable to establish fully the liberty of the press amongst us; but unquestionably that time has not yet arrived. The event we all deplore, the universal deb&cle of violence which has succeeded it, is a sufficient proof of this. In the mean time, Government, without the aid of extraordinary powers, cannot command a remedy for these evils; it has not, and should not have, any influence over the tribunals; the dependence of magistrates would degrade,