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Chap, bended; and the measure had in a great degree been IX" attended with success. But the military conspiracy of 1820. August 19, and the certain information obtained that a considerable part of the army had been privy to it, proved that the new regulations, recently introduced, regarding promotion in the army, which determined it by certain fixed rules, irrespective of the choice of the sovereign, was fraught with danger, and might, at some future period, prove fatal to the monarchy. M. LatourMaubourg, accordingly, felt the necessity of a chauge of system; aud he presented a - report to the king, stating a variety of considerations, which, however just, were not the real ones,* which determined the alteration he proposed—a return to the old system. According Oct. 27, to his recommendation, a new ordonnance was issued, which re-established the army, very much on the footing on which it had stood prior to the great change introducing departmental legions in 1815. The infantry was divided into eighty regiments, of which sixty were of the line, and twenty light infantry. Each regiment consisted of three battalions, and each battalion of eight • Moniteur, companies; each company of three officers and eighty mo2- Am sub-officers and soldiers. Thus each regiment, including field-officers, consisted of two thousand and ten men, and ordon-' the whole foot-soldiers of a hundred and sixty-one thou27, i82o. sand men.1 Fourteen états-majors, six legions, and between two thousand and three thousand officers, were put
* "Que l'appel sous les drapeaux des jeunes soldats donnait lieu, dans lo système dos légions, à des dépenses considérables, par la nécessité do les diriger sur les légions do leur département, qui en était souvent placé à uno grande distance; or en diminuant la distance à parcourir, ou obtenait avec une réduction dans les dépenses, l'avantage de compter moins do déserteurs. Dons certaines légions lo nombro des sujets capables est si grand, que l'avancement qui leur est dévolu, n'offre pas assez de chances pour les retenir au service, taudis que dans d'autres légions on est totalement dépourvu de bons sous-officiors; et puis, à la guerre, ou dans le cas d'uuo expédition lointaine un événement malheureux pèserait tout entier sur la population militaire de quelques départements, et rendrait imposable, pour longtemps, la réorganisation de leur corps." —Rapport de M. de Gourion St Cyr. C'Ar-EFiGUE, Uittoire de la Restauration,
vii. 115, 116.
on half-pay. No change was made on the guards or Chap.
cavalry, the spirit of which was known to be sufficiently .—
good. The ordonnance experienced no resistance in any l820" quarter; very much in consequence of its gratifying the soldiers, by ordering the resumption of the old blue uniform, associated with so many recollections—a change which induced them to hope, at no distant period, for the restoration of the tricolor cockade.
A change not less important, both in its effects and as indicating the altered disposition of the Government, was ordonnance made by the Minister of the Interior in the important pubiic mmatter of public instruction. An ordonnance of the king 5TM?'°,"' re-established the " Secretaries General" of schools, which mo' had been abolished in 1816. These officers were erected into a royal commission, of which M. Corbiere soon became the head; and their duty was to exercise a superintendence over the system of education pursued, and the works read, in all the schools of the kingdom. As they virtually came in place of the old university of Napoleon, and discharged its functions, so they were divided into its departments, and resumed its costume.1 The object ivideHistof this measure, as that of Napoleon had formerly been, °.f was to bring public opinion into harmony with the exist- 79ing dynasty and system of government by moulding the minds of the rising generation. An academy of medicine was soon after created by the king, aud several stringent Dec. 20. regulations passed, the object of which was to restrain the '.Ann.-,H«'. turbulent and refractory spirit which, in the late tumults, ^oniteur,' had manifested itself in Paris in the students of law and i»20-' physic.2
All these matters, however, though most momentous in their ultimate effects, yielded in importance to the The king's elections, upon the result of which the fate of the Ministry, Seeiecton. in a great measure, depended, and which were this year ^ of the greater importance, that they would indicate, for the first time, the working of the new Electoral Law upon the composition of the Legislature. At a Cabinet
Chap. Council assembled to consider this question, M. Pasquier IX* stated, that the circumstances appeared to be so grave 1820- that a circular should be written by the king to the electors, explaining his views, and the course which he was desirous they should adopt on the occasion. Louis caught up the idea; and, to render the royal intervention still more apparent, he proposed that M. Pasquier should draw up the address, that he should correct it, copy it over with his own hand, and sign it, and that lithographic copies of the royal autograph should be sent to every elector in the kingdom. This was accordingly done, and a hundred thousand copies thrown off and circulated for that purpose.* This is a very curious circumstance, strongly indicative of how little the first elements of constitutional government were understood in France. They were destitute of what must ever be the basis of the fabric —the power of self-direction. Both the Royalists and the Liberals were aware of this, and neither wished to alter it. They regarded the people as a vast army, which would best discharge its duties when it obeyed with docility the voice of its chiefs; they had no conception of the chiefs obeying the voice of the army. Sad and irremediable effect of the destruction of all intermediate
* " Une liberté forte et légitime, fondée sur des lois émanées de son amour pour les Français, et de son espérance des temps, était assurée à ses peuples: 'Écartez des fonctious de député,' ajoutait-il, 'les fauteurs de troubles, les artisans de discordes, les propagateurs d'injustes défiances contre mon gouvernement. Il dépend do vous d'assurer le repos, la gloire et le bonheur de notre commune patrie; vous en avez la volonté, manifestez-la par vos choix. La France touche au moment de recevoir le prix de tous ses sacrifices, de voir ses impôts diminués, les charges publiques allégées; et ce n'est pas quand tout fleurit et tout prospère, qu'il faut mettre dans les mains des factieux, et livrer à leurs desseins pervers, les arts, l'industrie, la paix des familles, et une félicité que tous les peuples de la terre envient. Vos députés choisis parmi les citoyens, amis sincères et zélés de la charte, dévoués au trône et à la patrie, affermiront aveo moi l'ordre sans lequel nulle société ne peut exister; et j'affermirai avec eux ces libertés que deux fois je vous ai rendues, et qui ont toujours eu pour asile le trône de mes aïeux.' "—Louie X VIII. aux Electeurs, 25 October 1820 ; Annuaires Hittoriques, iii. 231 ; and CAPEFtouB, Histoire delà Restauration, vii. 119,121. The idea of Louis XIV., "L'état, c'est moi," is very apparent in this proclamation of his descendant, notwithstanding all the lessons of the Revolution.
ranks and influence by the Revolution, -which left only Chap.
the executive standing erect, in awful strength, amidst
the level surface of the people. Of the two, however, the im' Royalists were the most likely, if they had been permitted to do so, to prepare the people for the exercise of constitutional rights; because they desired to restore the nobility, hierarchy, and provincial incorporations, by whom a public opinion and rural influence, capable of counterbalancing the executive, might be formed: but it is more than doubtful whether the attempt could have been successful; because, in their insane passion for equality, the i nation would not permit the foundation even of the edi- 119,120.' fice to be laid.1
At length the elections came, and were more favour- fl4 able to the Royalists than their most sanguine hopes Resin'of could have anticipated. They demonstrated not only t'onsfavourtlie magnitude of the change made on the consti- Bi$£? tuency by the late change in the Electoral Law, but the reaction which had taken place in the public mind from the birth of the Duke of Bordeaux, and improved prospects of the Bourbon dynasty. Not merely were the whole new members elected for the departments chosen for the first time by the fourth of the whole who paid thek highest amount of taxes—one hundred and sixty in number—with a few exceptions, on the Royalist side, but even those for the arrondissements, of whom a fifth, according to the existing law, were changed, proved, for the first time since the coup d'etat of 5th September 1816, on the whole favourable to their views. Out of forty-six to be chosen to fill up the fifth, twenty-seven were Royalists and only seventeen Liberal. On the whole, the Royalists had now, for the first time since 1815, obtained a decided preponderance in the popular branch of the legislature. Passionately desirous of victory in civil equally as military contests, the majority of the French in any conflict invariably, irrespective of principle, range themselves on the side of
Chap. success. The principle, so strong in England, of dogged
, — resistance to victorious power, is almost unknown among
lm' them. Louis XVIII. was terrified at the success of the ,, ... friends of the monarchy. "We shall be overwhelmed,
1 Lac. in. J
20/21;cap. M. de Richelieu," said he: "can you possibly restrain i2i; Ann. such a majority V "We have the word of Monsieur," 23i%3& replied the Minister ; and at all events, it was indispensable above all to save the monarchy.1
This great change in the composition of the popular Effect5of deputies proved decisively how much the long-continued inCthe A.-* ascendancy of the Liberals had been owing to the fatal sembiy. effects of a constituency founded on one uniform qualification, which the coup d'6tat of 5th September 181G had introduced. The Royalists and their adherents in the Centre were now fully two-thirds of the Assembly; and this majority was formidable, not only from its number, but from its ardent and uncompromising character. Now was seen how little crime advances any cause: deeply did the Liberals mourn the murder of the Duke de Berri. Among the new deputies were upwards of sixty of the old Chamber of 1815, whom the change in the law had since excluded from the Chamber, and who had nursed in solitude their opinions, and become confirmed in their prejudices. M. de Peyronnet, who had been king's advocate at Bourges, was returned, but he was cautious and reserved at first, and far from presaging the eminence which as Minister he afterwards attained. M. Dudon, who had commenced his official career rather unfortunately, soon rose to emiuence, chiefly from the great facility of speaking which he possessed, and the energy with which he defended any cause which he espoused. General Donuadieu, who had become known by the prompt suppression of the insurrection at Grenoble, and the exaggeration and violence with which it was followed, acquired distinction also, from the intrepidity of his thoughts and the fearlessness of his language. He was able and energetic in his ideas, but impetuous and