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adopted, and had no confidence in his own judgment. Casimir Perier, on the contrary, had decision and tact, and thus completed the character and just reputation of the house. There, as hereafter in public life, he showed that he was made to govern and not to administer.
The Restoration gave peace to France; and great as are always the advantages of peace to every country, they were for France of greater value and importance than to most nations, under even extraordinary circumstances. Peace and liberty-even moderate, rational liberty-were essential to the happiness and prosperity of the country; and, from 1815 to 1825, individual fortunes received an augmentation for which no parallel is to be found in the history of any people. They were ten years of material and physical amelioration, which Casimir Perier admitted to be unrivalled, and always spoke of them as such. The country was wearied of "the drum's discordant sound"—was disgusted with glory and with bloodand sought not for laurels, but for repose. M. Casimir Perier devoted the greatest portion of these ten years to useful labours and to the acquisition of personal wealth. The Bourbons might have secured his affection by consulting him, his confidence by confiding in him, and his devotion by esteeming him. How was it that this did not take place? There were two reasons, and they must be recorded with equal frankness and fidelity. The first was, that M. Casimir Perier was suspicious of the Restoration. And why? He had never known the Bourbons; he was but a young man when they were exiled; he had forgotten, in the horrors of the republic and in the wars of the empire, even the names of his princes. He had been taught to believe that they were an isolated race-that they had no sympathy in common with France that they had never forgiven the murder of the members of their familythat they were surrounded only by pauper peers or by Papist priests, and that they returned to France, not as fathers and brothers, but as conquerors and tyrants. He was also taught to believe that the Bourbons had no affection for the middling classes-took no interest in the progress of trade, commerce, manufactures, the arts and
the sciences-and only felt happy in the society of a chosen few, who were members of the old nobility, and who had remained faithful amidst all the infidelity and distrust of so many former partisans. The consequence of this conviction was, that Casimir Perier and the men of his party, instead of rallying round the throne, stood aloof; and, instead of devoting their talents, influence, and property, all of which they possessed, to the strengthening of the hands of the Government, and to enlightening the throne as to the wants, prejudices, and wishes of men essentially loyal at heart, but who were mistaken as to the characters of their princes, they by degrees got up a parliamentary opposition, and joined themselves to men whose principles and doctrines they have since been compelled not merely to repudiate, but also to repress. So far, then, M. Casimir Perier and his friends were to blame.
But there was a second reason why Casimir Perier and the mercantile and manufacturing party belonged to the Opposition, and that was the fault of the court and of the Popish clergy. The Royal family was made to believe that all who were not violent Romanists were Jacobins or Revolutionists.
Thus they viewed with distrust such men even as Casimir Perier. This exclusiveness was the fault of the Ultra-Papist party. Whenever Louis XVIII. and Charles X. shook off the yoke of these counsellors, and acted as their warm hearts dictated, and their own superior minds suggested, they always acted wisely and well. Then the mercantile and manufacturing classes drew near to them. Then unions were formed between the wealth and rank of the country. Then the throne became solid as well as brilliant, and then France was flourishing and happy. Thus Casimir Perier and his friends were to blame for not separating in their minds and hearts their princes from the Popish priests; and the house of Bourbon was in its turn to be censured for adopting too implicitly the opinions of those who represented all as opposed to the throne who were not Ultra-Romanists.
It is not true that the princes of the House of Bourbon ever sighed, or hoped, or desired, or even dreamt of re-establishing the old and absolute monarchy of France. Louis XVIII.
was attached, nay, devoted to the charter; and if his counsellors on the one hand, and the members of the Opposition on the other, had been equally sincere, his reign would have been more happy, and France more united. But in this, as in almost every other page of modern history, we read this fact, that the Roman Catholic Church is at once an enemy to the rightful stability and true legitimate popularity of the throne, and to the lawful, moderate, and rational liberties of the people.
M. Casimir Perier never proclaimed himself, however, the enemy of the Restoration-never spoke with disrespect or disloyalty of his kings or princesnever encouraged the low ribaldry of the ultra-school of politics, and kept his position as a man distinct from the multitude who then hastened to attack unceasingly the throne and the monarchy.
The celebrated loans of 1817 first brought M. Casimir Perier before the public as a politician and a financier. Three hundred millions of francs of extraordinary resources appeared necessary to balance the budget of that year; a treaty was concluded with foreign capitalists, who engaged to advance about two-thirds of that sum in exchange for nearly double the amount in capital, besides other immediate advantages of a most burdensome and too lucrative a nature. Yet the arrangement, though onerous, was necessary; but it weighed heavy on the heart of Casimir Perier. He published a pamphlet, in which he attacked it," Reflexions sur le projet d'Emprunt,”—and so great was the effect it produced on the public mind, that the Government modified the financial treaty it concluded, and made much better terms. He published, in 1817 and 1818, two other pamphlets on this important question.
On the 25th September, 1817, M. Casimir Perier was, for the first time, elected member of the Chamber of Deputies by the department de la Seine. When he was elected, he was not of the age, (forty,) required by the law, but before the Chambers met he had attained it. If the Government of that day had been disposed to be rigid, it might have opposed his admission; but it contented itself with introducing a law, that in future a Deputy must be
forty years of age when returned by the electors.
The conduct of Casimir Perier from 1817 to 1830, as member of the Chamber of Deputies, is not entitled either to unqualified praise or to indiscrimi nate censure. When he entered the Chamber it was as a Constitutionalist, as a Charterist, and not as a member of the Opposition. When, in 1817, the Government was popular, he supported it, and at the beginning of his parliamentary career he showed a devotedness to the monarchy, and rather a querulous independence than a downright hostility to the Ministry, Though the spirit of the times, his vivacity of character, and a certain portion of distrust in his composition, naturally conducted him towards the Opposition, still his most profound convictions, the traditions of his family, and the habits of his entire life made him detest disorder, and discourage all attempts at overthrow. Even when most severe in his attacks on the Government, he uniformly acknowledged the respect due to the Government itself; and at this first epoch of his parliamentary life his opposition was moderate, and even sometimes benevolent. This was the time to have gained M. Casimir Perier. He was then forty years of age;-his popularity was considerable; his fortune was great ;-his family was respectable ;-he represented the middling classes. Then was the time for the throne to have availed itself of his talents and secured his devotedness.
When, in 1818, the Opposition became more systematic, violent, and personal, M. Casimir Perier did not belong to it. He occupied his attention with subjects of a financial and economical character. He demanded that all financial operations should be conducted as they were then conducted by the Tory Government of England; he demanded that all contracts should be public, and made by tender, and that all reasonable retrenchments should be made in the public expendi ture,-some which were thought reasonable, others excessive; but he asked for what he did ask with moderation and loyalty.
From 1820 to 1823, the contest became of another character; the Opposition had demanded too much, and
Casimir Perier always admitted it. The Government refused too much, and a conflict between two systems brought about such a dissidence as to amount almost to a civil war. The monarchy became too distrustful; the Opposition returned towards the Revolution. The Government granted too readily and retracted too hastily. The Opposition affected a love for the charter, though to it they were really opposed, and pretended that they should be satisfied with the honest fulfilment of its conditions, when, in truth, they were always labouring to extend those conditions and alter its spirit. The charter of 1814 was essentially monarchical; its authors, the circumstances under which it was granted, the epoch when it was made, all proved that it was intended to be, as it was, monarchical. The Opposition wished to give it another charac ter; they pretended that France only submitted to the Bourbons on condition of having a charter. This was false. Louis XVIII. might have reestablished the old monarchy without any charter at all, though its chances of duration would undoubtedly have diminished. It is not true that the French would have made a war against their princes and the Restoration, rather than have submitted, in 1814, to an absolute monarchy. They were much more wearied of the bloodshed and evils of the empire than they were of its despotism.
The Opposition was divided on the question of the Spanish war, as well as on many other questions, from 1820 to 1823, into two parties. Casimir Perier and M. Guizot belonged to the moderate and truly constitutional party. The opposition of others was nothing short of conspiracy; unfortunately the counsellors of the Crown too frequently induced the Throne to view the Opposition en masse, instead of separately, and "all who were not for the Administration were set down as enemies to the dynasty." This was unjust, but it was the fault of the Papist party.
Casimir Perier in 1823, as in 1831, wished for the Charta, and for nothing more than the Charta. The Bourbons held the same sentiments, but the Ministers of the Crown, on the one side, wished for less than the Charta; and the ultra-Opposition, on the other side, desired more than the Charta. Thus
the conflict became desperate, and this portion of the Restoration was one continued scene of useless and deplorable conflicts. Casimir Perier had no idea of changing the laws, but by the laws. He had no notion of revolting against an established Charta, dynasty, and laws. He had seen enough of the first Revolution to make him a sworn foe to any other, and his intentions were Conservative, and his principles moderate. Yet how passionate, bitter, and sometimes vehement and satirical were his speeches! He did not spare a single fault, he did not allow to escape him a single error. He attacked the Government without ceasing and without pity; and annoyed that his motives were misunderstood, and that he was suspected of a want of loyalty to his princes, because he opposed their counsellors, he became increasingly bitter, and at last was personal and violent. Yet still he was opposed to any thing like revolution, and when his parliamentary friends counselled "extra legal measures," he always replied, " our cure is in the Charta."
Casimir Perier was not loved by the Lafayettes, Lamarques, Lafittes, Salvertes, Manuels, &c. &c. of the Restoration. He was too legal for them. Foy was the nearest to him, after Guizot. Perier was too honest for the Opposition-too sincere a constitutionalist or a charterist for them.
In 1824 the new elections were made, after the war in Spain. The elections were Royalist-Liberalism was laid low; but Casimir Perier was one of the very few who was returned to the new Chamber. The absence of the ultra-Liberal party delighted him. He had more force, more scope, more influence. He was the opponent of De Villele, and he conducted his opposition with talent, firmness, and loyalty. But M. De Villele was too powerful an adversary to be easily overthrown. He was supported by the most compact and homogeneous majority ever yet seen in any country. He was indifferent to the seductions of the imagination-inaccessible to those of passion-always present, always calm-his personal prudence was universally admitted-his mind was flexible, and fertile in resources-he had a fine talent and a great characterand he exercised an influence over the Chambers and France, which Casimir
Perier always acknowledged with respect, and spoke of in terms of sincere admiration.
From 1824 to 1827, the whole burden of the Opposition rested on Casimir Perier. He made many mistakes and adopted many errors, but he was no conspirator, no revolutionist, no enemy to his King, and no rebel. He read the Charta differently from the counsellor of the crown, but he believed the throne to be as essential to France as was France to the throne.
The elections of 1827 changed the system of the Government. A new Ministry was formed, and the Crown, of its own accord, appointed an Administration in harmony with the sane and moderate portion of public opinion. The Viscount de Martignac was a man of a million. His eloquence, his good faith, his virtue, his sincerity, his attachment to his princes, and yet his love of rational liberty, pointed him out as "the" man of the epoch. But the Opposition dealt unfairly with him. Instead of rallying round him, they deserted him; instead of seconding, they attacked him. Casimir Perier said, that it appeared to him "impossible de faire vivre la dynastie avec toute la Charte-et sans toute la Charte de defendre la dynastie." This was a remarkable truth, as it was afterwards reduced to practice. In rendering justice to the conciliatory in tentions, and to the moderate efforts of the Martignac Ministry, he doubted its force and its duration. He would not attack nor oppose it, because he considered its nomination a concession made by the throne to the opinions of the electoral body; but he was one of those who believed that a conflict between the Bourbons and the Opposition of the Ultra party would, some day, sooner or later, be almost a necessity; and it was his opinion that it would end either in the re-establishment of the old monarchy or in the total overthrow of the Papist party.
The appointment of the Polignac Administration led to the conflict he anticipated, but not to the result he had expected. He never would hear of a change of dynasty; he never wrote diatribes or treason against the drapeau blanc. He thought that the priest party would be overthrown, and that the King and royal family would thenceforth be compelled to address itself to the Conservative portion of
the Whig party. He never went further than Earl Grey, and would have been delighted to see England governed by Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, and Sir James Graham.
Before we turn to the Revolution of 1830, and the subsequent life of M. Casimir Perier, we must be allowed to say a word on the ordinance of July, 1830, and on the labours, parliamentary and otherwise, of the subject of this sketch during the Restoration.
The Polignac Administration was not an isolated event. After three years of concession, the Opposition had become audaciously anti-monarchical and impudently revolutionary. We do not mean to comprise Casimir Perier in this censure. But, as to the Opposition generally, the fact cannot be doubted. The cry for "the Charta, the whole Charta, and nothing but the Charta," was Jesuitical and false. The chiefs of the Opposition have since admitted it. This cry was raised in order that France might not be alarmed. If France had had an idea that a revolution and change of dynasty had been intended, the Opposition would not have had a single representative in the Chamber, even in 1827. The Chamber of 1828 acted most unworthily. The Opposition acted most dishonestly. The commercial and departmental laws of 1828, which the Chamber of Deputies would not pass, as proposed by the Government, were the greatest concessions ever made by any monarchical Government to any people; and the very men who asked more in 1829 would, in 1831, have been delighted to have granted less. The opposition of the Opposition to the Martignac Ministry we call disgraceful. It was senseless, unprincipled, and anarchical. It alarmed the throne, disturbed the country, and agitated the whole of Europe. Well might M. Martignac exclaim, "We march in the midst of anarchy." What was to be done? To make further concessions was impossible. Towithdraw those which were made would be imprudent. Yet something must be done. The Government could not remain stationary. The priest party was then called on for its counsels. They were listened to. A return to a counter-revolution was advised, and the Polignac Administration was named. The opposition, even to the creation of that Cabinet, was mad,
monstrous, revolutionary; no professions were attended to-no assurances were regarded—no measures were examined-no proclamations were even read; but one deep tremendous howl was set up by the press, the clubs, the schools, and the Opposition Deputies; and Down with the Polignac Administration!" was the order of the day. What was to be done? The Throne said, "I have the right to name my own Ministers." The Ministers said, "Wait and examine our acts." The Opposition said, "N'importe, n'importe, à bas le Ministère !" and Charles X. dissolved the Chamber and appealed to the Electoral Colleges. The Chamber met. A majority of forty voted an insolent address to the King. It was an infringement on the royal prerogative, a direct and palpable infringement. The Chamber was dissolved again. The same men were returned. Associations had been formed by the Opposition of an illegal character some to control the elections, and others to refuse the payment of taxes; but Casimir Perier stood aloof from all. He looked with sorrow and sadness to the approaching conflict. But still the question returned, What was to be done? The Charta of 1814 contained a special article, which provided that, in special cases, and to meet special difficulties, the Charta might be suspended by the Throne. No article proved more clearly than this that the Charta of 1814 was essentially monarchical. The King now felt that a temporary suspension must take place; but we know that we assert a historical truth when we declare that Charles X. had no intention of permanently suspending it, but only of meeting pressing evils by a special and pressing remedy. He might, indeed, have allowed the new Chamber to meet, proposed the budget, and have dared it to refuse the ways and means to the Government. Though Casimir Perier was a member of the 221 who voted the address to Charles X., he always declared that he for one would not refuse the bud get. So the ordinances of July 1830 were made, but how they were enforced we shall see in another portion of this history. They were made in virtue of a direct, special, and positive clause of the Charta of 1814, and they were made with no other intention than that of meeting a pressing and growing
VOL. XLIV. NO, CCLXXIII.
evil, which threatened the total overthrow of the French monarchy. When the evil had been met and remedied, it was always intended by Charles X. to restore the Charta unchanged to the French people.
Let us now return to Casimir Perier.
In the Session of 1817 M. Perier made eight speeches, but the most remarkable were two which he delivered -one against the bill for the repression of the abuses of the press, and the other in favour of an amendment, tending to establish the necessity for the contracting of public loans by public tenders, and, as in England, openly, and in the face of the world, and to the best bidders.
In 1818 he pronounced ten speeches, nearly all of a financial character; but those which attracted most attention were his speeches relative to the floating debts, and as to the caution money to be supplied by journals, as a security for the payment of the fines which might be imposed upon them for breaches of the law.
In the Session of 1819 he made twenty speeches. He attacked the censorship; opposed the coal-tax; opposed the electoral law; opposed the double vote; opposed the gamblinghouses; and defended the rights of French shipping in American ports.
In the Session of 1820 he made
fifty-six speeches, and addressed the Chamber, in the course of that year, on the subject of the Naples Revolution; the charges made against the Côté Gauche by M. de Serre; the right of the Chamber of Deputies to amend laws; the question of dotations and majorats in favour of persons who had rendered essential service to the State or the King ; on the accusation brought against the Gauche of making anarchical speeches; on criminal justice; on the commercial difficulties between France and America; on the functions of the director of the police of the kingdom; on a new censorship; on the budget; on the beer laws; and on other questions of a financial character.
In the Session of 1821 he spoke forty-two times. Sometimes on the necessity of adopting a permanent financial position; at another time on the position of the colonists of St Domingo; on the legislation of the press; on the censorship; on the Ministerial responsibility resulting from the frauds