« PreviousContinue »
adopted, and had no confidence in his the sciences and only felt happy in own judgment. Casimir Perier, on the society of a chosen few, who were the contrary, had decision and tact, members of the old nobility, and who and thus completed the character had remained faithful amidst all the and just reputation of the house. infidelity and distrust of so many forThere, as hereafter in public life, he mer partisans. The consequence of showed that he was made to govern this conviction was, that Casimir Pe. and not to administer.
rier and the men of his party, instead The Restoration gave peace to of rallying round the throne, stood France; and great as are always the aloof; and, instead of devoting their advantages of peace to every country, talents, influence, and property, all of they were for France of greater value which they possessed, to the strengthand importance than to most nations, ening of the hands of the Government, under even extraordinary circum- and to enlightening the throne as to stances. Peace and liberty-even the wants, prejudices, and wishes of moderate, rational liberty-were es- men essentially loyal at heart, but sential to the happiness and prosperity who were mistaken as to the characters of the country; and, from 1815 to of their princes, they by degrees got 1825, individual fortunes received an up a parliamentary opposition, and augmentation for which no parallel is joined themselves to men whose printo be found in the history of any ciples and doctrines they have since people. They were ten years of ma- been compelled not merely to reputerial and physical amelioration, which diate, but also to repress. So far, Casimir Perier admitted to be unri- then, M. Casimir Perier and his friends valled, and always spoke of them as were to blame. such. The country was wearied of But there was a second reason why “ the drum's discordant sound" — was Casimir Perier and the mercantile and disgusted with glory and with blood— manufacturing party belonged to the and sought not for laurels, but for re- Opposition, and that was the fault of pose. M. Casimir Perier devoted the the court and of the Popish clergy. greatest portion of these ten years to The Royal family was made to believe useful labours and to the acquisition that all who were not violent Roof personal wealth. The Bourbons manists were Jacobins or Revolumight have secured his affection by tionists. Thus they viewed with disconsulting him, his confidence by con- trust such men even as Casimir Perier. fiding in him, and his devotion by es- This exclusiveness was the fault of the teeming him. How was it that this Ultra-Papist party. Whenever Louis did not take place ? There were two XVIII. and Charles X. shook off the reasons, and they must be recorded yoke of these counsellors, and acted as with equal frankness and fidelity. The their warm hearts dictated, and their first was, that M. Casimir Perier was own superior minds suggested, they suspicious of the Restoration. And always acted wisely and well. Then why?
He had never known the the mercantile and manufacturing Bourbons; he was but a young man classes drew near to them. Then when they were exiled ; he had for- unions were formed between the gotten, in the horrors of the republic wealth and rank of the country. Then and in the wars of the empire, even the throne became solid as well as the names of his princes. He had brilliant, and then France was floubeen taught to believe that they were rishing and happy. Thus Casimir an isolated race that they had no Perier and his friends were to blame sympathy in common with France for not separating in their minds and that they had never forgiven the mur hearts their princes from the Popish der of the members of their family- priests; and the house of Bourbon was that they were surrounded only by in its turn to be censured for adoptpauper peers or by Papist priests, and ing too implicitly the opinions of those that they returned to France, not as who represented all as opposed to the fathers and brothers, but as conquerors throne who were not Ultra-Romanists. and tyrants. He was also taught to It is not true that the princes of the believe that the Bourbons had no af- House of Bourbon ever sighed, or fection for the middling classes took hoped, or desired, or even dreamt of no interest in the progress of trade, re-establishing the old and absolute commerce, manufactures, the arts and monarchy of France. Louis XVIII, was attached, nay, devoted to the forty years of age when returned by charter; and if his counsellors on the the electors. one hand, and the members of the The conduct of Casimir Perier from Opposition on the other, had been 1817 to 1830, as member of the Cham, equally sincere, his reign would have ber of Deputies, is not entitled either been more happy, and France more to unqualified praise or to indiscrimi. united. But in this, as in almost every nate çensure. When he entered the other page of modern history, we read Chamber it was as a Constitutionalist, this fact, that the Roman Catḥolic as a Charterist, and not as a member Church is at once an enemy to the of the Opposition. When, in 1817, rightful stability and true legitimate the Government was popular, he sup, popularity of the throne, and to the ported it, and at the beginning of his lawful, moderate, and rational liber, parliamentary career he showed a deties of the people.
votedness to the monarchy, and rather M. Casimir Perjer never proclaimed a querulous independence than a himself, however, the enemy of the Re, downright hostility to the Ministry, storation-never spoke with disrespect Though the spirit of the times, his or disloyalty of his kings or princes vivacity of character, and a certain never encouraged the low ribaldry of portion of distrust in his composition, the ultra-school of politics, and kept naturally conducted him towards the his position as a man distinct from the Opposition, still his most profound multitude who then hastened to attack convictions, the traditions of his faunceasingly the throne and the mo. mily, and the habits of his entire life narchy.
made him detest disorder, and dis. The celebrated loans of 1817 first courage all attempts at overthrow. brought M. Casimir Perier before the Even when most severe in his attacks public as a politician and a financier. on the Government, he uniformly aoThree hundred millions of francs of knowledged the respect due to the extraordinary resources appeared ne- Government itself; and at this first cessary to balance the budget of that epoch of his parliamentary life his year ; a treaty was concluded with opposition was moderate, and even foreign capitalists, who engaged to sometimes benevolent. This was the advance about two-thirds of that sum time to have gained M. Casimir in exchange for nearly double the Perier. He was then forty years of amount in capital, besides other im- age ;-his popularity was considermediate advantages of a most burden- able ;-his fortune was great ;-his some and too lucrative a nature. Yet family was respectable ;-he reprethe arrangement, though onerous, was sented the middling classes. Then necessary ; but it weighed heavy on was the time for the throne to have the heart of Casimir Perier. He pub- availed itself of his talents and secured lished a pamphlet, in which he attacked his devotedness. it-—" Rejlerions sur le projet d'Em- When, in 1818, the Opposition beprunt,”—and so great was the effect it eame more systematic, violent, and produced on the public mind, that the personal, M. Casimir Perier did not Government modified the financial belong to it. He occupied his attentreaty it concluded, and made much tion with subjects of a financial and better terms. He published, in 1817 economical character. He demanded and 1818, two other pamphlets on this that all financial operations should be important question.
conducted as they were then conducted On the 25th September, 1817, M. by the Tory Government of England; Casimir Perier was, for the first time, he demanded that all contracts should elected member of the Chamber of be public, and made by tender, and Deputies by the department de la that all reasonable retrenchments Seine. When he was elected, he was should be made in the public expendinot of the age, (forty,) required by the ture,—some which were thought realaw, but before the Chambers met he sonable, others excessive ; but he had attained it. If the Government of asked for what he did ask with madethat day had been disposed to be rigid, ration and loyalty. it might have opposed his admission ; From 1820 to 1823, the contest be. but it contented itself with introducing came of another character; the Op; a law, that in future a Deputy must be position had demanded too much, and Casimir Perier always admitted it. the conflict became desperate, and this The Government refused too much, portion of the Restoration was one and a conflict between two systems continued scene of useless and deplobrought about such a dissidence as to rable conflicts. Casimir Perier had no amount almost to a civil war. The idea of changing the laws, but by the monarchy became too distrustful; the laws. He had no notion of revoltOpposition returned towards the Revo ing against an established Charta, lution. The Government granted too dynasty, and laws, He had seen readily and retracted too hastily. The enough of the first Revolution to make Opposition affected a love for the him a sworn foe to any other, and his charter, though to it they were really intentions were Conservative, and his opposed, and pretended that they principles moderate. Yet how passhould be satisfied with the honest ful. sionate, bitter, and sometimes vehefilment of its conditions, when, in ment and satirical were his speeches ! truth, they were always labouring to He did not spare a single fault, he did extend those conditions and alter its not allow to escape him a single error. spirit. The charter of 1814 was essen- He attacked the Government without tially monarchical; its authors, the ceasing and without pity; and annoycircumstances under which it was ed that his motives were misundergranted, the epoch when it was made, stood, and that he was suspected of a all proved that it was intended to be, want of loyalty to his princes, because as it was, monarchical. The Opposi. he opposed their counsellors, he betion wished to give it another charac, came increasingly bitter, and at last ter; they pretended that France only was personal and violent. Yet still submitted to the Bourbons on condihe was opposed to any thing like retion of having a charter. This was volution, and when his parliamentary false. Louis XVIII. might have re- friends counselled “ extra legal meaestablished the old monarchy without sures,” he always replied, “our cure is any charter at all, though its chances in the Charta." of duration would undoubtedly have Casimir Perier was not loved by the diminished. It is not true that the Lafayettes, Lamarques, Lafittes, SalFrench would have made a war against vertes, Manuels, &c. &c. of the Restotheir princes and the Restoration, ra- ration. He was too legal for them. ther than have submitted, in 1814, to Foy was the nearest to him, after Guian absolute monarchy. They were zot. Perier was too honest for the much more wearied of the bloodshed Opposition—too sincere a constitųand evils of the empire than they were tionalist or a charterist for them, of its despotism.
In 1824 the new elections were The Opposition was divided on the made, after the war in Spain. The question of the Spanish war, as well as elections were Royalist — Liberalism on many other questions, from 1820 to was laid low ; but Casimir Perier was 1823, into two parties. Casimir Pe- one of the very few who was returned rier and M. Guizot belonged to the to the new Chamber. The absence moderate and truly constitutional par- of the ultra-Liberal party delighted ty. The opposition of others was
him. He had more force, more scope, nothing short of conspiracy ; unfor
more influence. He was the opponent tunately the counsellors of the Crown of De Villele, and he conducted his too frequently induced the Throne to opposition with talent, firmness, and view the Opposition en masse, in- loyalty. But M. De Villele was too stead of separately, and all who were powerful an adversary to be easily not for the Administration were set overthrown. He was supported by down as enemies to the dynasty." the most compact and homogeneous This was unjust, but it was the fault majority ever yet seen in any country. of the Papist party.
He was indifferent to the seductions of Casimir Perier in 1823, as in 1831, the imagination-inaccessible to those wished for the Charta, and for nothing of passion—always present, always more than the Charta. The Bourbons calm_his personal prudence was unibeld the same sentiments, but the Min- versally admitted_his mind was flexisters of the Crown, on the one side, ible, and fertile in resources-- he had wished for less than the Charta ; and a fine talent and a great characterthe ultra-Opposition, on the other side, and he exercised an influence over the desired more than the Charta. Thus Chambers and France, which Casimir
Perier always acknowledged with re- the Whig party. He never went furspect, and spoke of in terms of sincere ther than Earl Grey, and would have admiration.
been delighted to see England governFrom 1824 to 1827, the whole bur- ed by Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, den of the Opposition rested on Casimir and Sir James Graham. Perier. He made many mistakes and Before we turn to the Revolution of adopted many errors, but he was no 1830, and the subsequent life of M. conspirator, no revolutionist, no ene- Casimir Perier, we must be allowed to my to his King, and no rebel. He say a word on the ordinance of July, read the Charta differently from the 1830, and on the labours, parliamentcounsellor of the crown, but he be- ary and otherwise, of the subject of lieved the throne to be as essential to this sketch during the Restoration. France as was France to the throne. The Polignac Administration was
The elections of 1827 changed the not an isolated event. After three system of the Government.
years of concession, the Opposition Ministry was formed, and the Crown, had become audaciously anti-monarof its own accord, appointed an Admi- chical and impudently revolutionary. nistration in harmony with the sane We do not mean to comprise Casimir and moderate portion of public opi. Perier in this censure. But, as to the nion. The Viscount de Martignac Opposition generally, the fact cannot was a man of a million. His eloquence, be doubted. The cry for “the Charhis good faith, his virtue, his sincerity, ta, the whole Charta, and nothing but his attachment to his princes, and yet the Charta,” was Jesuitical and false. his love of rational liberty, pointed The chiefs of the Opposition have since him out as “the” man of the epoch. admitted it. This cry was raised in But the Opposition dealt unfairly with order that France might not be alarmhim. Instead of rallying round him, ed. If France had had an idea that a they deserted him ; instead of second- revolution and change of dynasty had ing, they attacked him. Casimir Pe- been intended, the Opposition would rier said, that it appeared to him “ im- not have had a single representative possible de faire vivre la dynastie avec in the Chamber, even in 1827. The toute la Charte et sans toute la Charte Chamber of 1828 acted most unde defendre la dynastie.” This was worthily. The Opposition acted most a remarkal
truth, as it was after- dishonestly. The commercial and dewards reduced to practice. In ren- partmental laws of 1828, which the dering justice to the conciliatory in. Chamber of Deputies would not pass, tentions, and to the moderate efforts as proposed by the Government, were of the Martignac Ministry, he doubted the greatest concessions ever made by its force and its duration. He would any monarchical Government to any not attack nor oppose it, because he people ; and the very men who asked considered its nomination a concession more in 1829 would, in 1831, have made by the throne to the opinions of been delighted to have granted less. the electoral body ; but he was one of The opposition of the Opposition to those who believed that a conflict be- the Martignac Ministry we call distween the Bourbons and the Opposi- graceful. It was senseless, unprintion of the Ultra party would, some cipled, and anarchical. It alarmed the day, sooner or later, be almost a ne- throne, disturbed the country, and agi. cessity ; and it was his opinion that it tated the whole of Europe. Well would end either in the re-establish- might M. Martignac exclaim, “We ment of the old monarchy or in the march in the midst of anarchy." What total overthrow of the Papist party, was to be done? To make further
The appointment of the Polignac concessions was impossible. TowithAdministration led to the conflict he draw those which were made would be anticipated, but not to the result be imprudent. Yet something must be had expected. He never would hear done. The Government could not reof a change of dynasty ; he never main stationary.
The priest party wrote diatribes or treason against the was then called on for its counsels. drapeau blanc.
He thought that the They were listened to. A return to priest party would be overthrown, and a counter-revolution was advised, and that the King and royal family would the Polignac Administration thenceforth be compelled to address named. The opposition, even to the itself to the Conservative portion of creation of that Cabinet, was mad,
monstrous, revolutionary; no profes- evil, which threatened the total oversions were attended to no assurances throw of the French monarchy. When were regarded—no measures were ex- the evil had been met and remedied, it amined—no proclamations were even was always intended by Charles X. to read; but one deep tremendous howl restore the Charta unchanged to the was set up by the press, the clubs, the French people. schools, and the Opposition Deputies; Let us now return to Casimir Perier. and “ Down with the Polignac Admi. In the Session of 1817 M. Perier nistration!” was the order of the day. made eight speeches, but the most re
What was to be done? The Throne markable were two which he delivered said, “ I have the right to name my -one against the bill for the represown Ministers." The Ministers said, sion of the abuses of the press, and " Wait and examine our acts." The the other in favour of an amendment, Opposition said, “ N'importe, n'im- tending to establish the necessity for porte, à bas le Ministère !” and Charles the contracting of public loans by pubX. dissolved the Chamber and appeal- lic tenders, and, as in England, openly, ed to the Electoral Colleges. The and in the face of the world, and to Chamber met. A majority of forty the best bidders. voted an insolent address to the King. In 1818 he pronounced ten speeches, It was an infringement on the royal nearly all of a financial character ; but prerogative, a direct and palpable in those which attracted most attention fringement. The Chamber was dis- were his speeches relative to the floatsolved again. The same men were ing debts, and as to the caution
money returned. Associations had been form- to be supplied by journals, as a secued by the Opposition of an illegal rity for the payment of the fines which character : some to control the elec- might be imposed upon them for tions, and others to refuse the payment breaches of the law. of taxes; but Casimir Perierstood aloof In the Session of 1819 he made from all. He looked with sorrow and twenty speeches. He attacked the sadness to the approaching conflict. censorship; opposed the coal-tax; opBut still the question returned, What posed the electoral law ; opposed the was to be done? The Charta of 1814 double vote ; opposed the gamblingcontained a special article, which pro- houses ; and defended the rights of vided that, in special cases, and to French shipping in American ports. meet special difficulties, the Charta In the Session of 1820 he made might be suspended by the Throne. fifty-six speeches, and addressed the No article proved more clearly than Chamber, in the course of that year, on this that the Charta of 1814 was es- the subject of the Naples Revolution ; sentially monarchical. The King the charges made against the Côté now felt that a temporary suspension Gauche by M. de Serre ; the right of must take place ; but we know that the Chamber of Deputies to amend we assert a historical truth when we laws; the question of dotations and declare that Charles X. had no inten- majorats in favour of persons who had tion of permanently suspending it, but rendered essential service to the State only of meeting pressing evils by a or the King ; on the accusation special and pressing remedy. He brought against the Gauche of making might, indeed, have allowed the new anarchical speeches; on criminal jusChamber to meet, proposed the budget, tice; on the commercial difficulties beand have dared it to refuse the ways tween France and America; on the and means
to the Government. functions of the director of the police Though Casimir Perier was a member of the kingdom; on a new censorship; of the 221 who voted the address to on the budget; on the beer laws; and Charles X., he always declared that on other questions of a financial chahe for one would not refuse the bud. racter. get. So the ordinances of July 1830 In the Session of 1821 he spoke were made, but how they were enforced forty-two times. Sometimes on the we shall see in another portion of this necessity of adopting a permanent history. They were made in virtue of financial position ; at another time on a direct, special, and positive clause of the position of the colonists of St Dothe Charta of 1814, and they were mingo; on the legislation of the press; made with no other intention than that on the censorship ; on the Ministerial of meeting a pressing and growing responsibility resulting from the frands
VOL. XLIV. NO, CCLXXII.