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when her noble appeal was made to the loyalty of France --no generous hearts gave vent to the words, “Moriamur pro rege nostro, Maria Theresa !” It could no longer be said
“Fair Austria spread her mournful charms,
The Queen, the beauty, roused the world to arms." The infuriated rabble pointed their muskets at the royal heroine, and the few loyal members of the Assembly were glad to purchase her safety by removing her from the disgraceful scene. Not a shot was thereafter fired; not a show even of resistance to the plebeian usurpation was made. An army of four hundred thousand men, five hundred thousand National Guards, thirty-four millions of men, in a moment forgot their loyalty, broke their oaths, and surrendered their country to the worst of tyrannies, the tyranny of a multitude of tyrants. "The unbought grace
says Mr Burke, “the cheap defence of nations, is at an end." What a commentary has, the triumph of the Barricades, the government of Louis Philippe, afforded on these words ! M. Garnier Pages, in his Financial Report, has unfolded the state of the French finances, the confusion and disastrous state of which he is fain to ascribe to the prodigal expenditure and unbounded corruption of Louis Philippe. He tells us--and we doubt not with truth-that during the seventeen years of that monarch's government, the expenditure has been raised from 900,000,000 francs (£36,000,000) to 1,700,000,000 francs, (£68,000,000;) that the debt has been increased during that period by £64,000,000 ; and that the nation was running, under his direction, headlong into the gulf of national bankruptcy. He observes, with a sigh, how moderate in comparison, how cheap in expenditure, and pacific in conduct, was the government of Charles X., which never brought its expenditure up to £40,000,000. It is all true—it is what we predicted eighteen years ago would be the inevitable result of a democratic revolt ; it is the consummation we invariably predicted of the transports following the fall of Charles X. The Republicans, now so loud in reprobation of the expenditure of the Citizen King, forget that his throne was of their own making ; that he was a successful democratic usurper ; that his power was established to the
sound of the shouts of the Republicans in all Europe, amidst the smoke of the Barricades. A usurping government is necessarily and invariably more costly than a legitimate one ; because, having lost the loyalty of the heart, it has no foundation to rest on, but the terrors of the senses, or the seductions of interest. It was for precisely the same reason that William III. in ten years raised the expenditure of Great Britain from £1,800,000 a-year to £6,000,000; and that, in the first twenty years of the English government subsequent to the Revolution, the national debt had increased from £600,000 to £54,000,000. When the moral and cheap bond of loyalty is broken, Government has no resource but an appeal to the passions or interests of the people. The Convention tried an appeal to their republican passions, and they brought on the Reign of Terror. Napoleon tried an appeal to their military passions, and he brought on the subjugation of France by Europe. Louis Philippe, as the only remaining resource, appealed to their selfish interests, and he induced the revolution of 1848. Mankind cannot escape from the gentle influence of moral obligations, but to fall under the reaction of conquest, the debasement of corruption, or the government of force.
But all these governments, say the Republicans, fell, because they departed from the principles of the Revolution, and because they became corrupted by power as soon as they had tasted its sweets. But even supposing this were true,-supposing that Mirabeau, Danton, Robespierre, Napoleon, and Louis Philippe were all overthrown, not because they took the only method left open to them to preserve the support of the senators, but because they departed from the principles of the Revolution ; do the Republicans not see that the very announcement of that fact is the most decisive condemnation of their system of government ? Do they expect to find Liberals more eloquent than Mirabeau, Republicans more energetic than Danton, Socialists more ardent than Robespierre, generals more capable than Napoleon, citizen kings more astute than Louis Philippe ? Republican power must be committed to some
Mankind cannot exist an hour without a government; a ruling committee must ever be named. The first act of the infuriated and victorious rabble in the Chamber of Deputies
was to name a Provisional one. But if experience has proved that intellect the most powerful, patriotism the most ardent, genius the most transcendent, penetration the most piercing, experience the most extensive, are invariably shipwrecked amidst the temptations and the shoals of newly acquired republican power, do they not see that it is not a form of government adapted for the weakness of humanity; and that, if the leaders of revolution are not impelled to destruction by an external and overbearing necessity, they are infallibly seduced into it by the passions which, amidst the novelty of newly acquired power, arise in their own breasts? In either case, a revolution government must terminate in its own destruction,-in private sufferings and public disasters ; and so it will be with the government of M. Lamartine and that of the new National Assembly, as it has been with all those which have preceded it.
“ Deus patiens,” says St Augustin, “ quia æternus. What an awful commentary on this magnificent text have recent events afforded! Eighteen years ago Louis Philippe forgot his loyalty and broke his oath ; the first prince of the blood elevated himself to power by successful treason ; he adopted, if he did not make, a revolution. He sent his lawful monarch into exile ; he prevented the placing the crown on the head of his grandson ; he for ever severed France from its lawful sovereigns. What has been the result of this usurpation? Where are now his enduring projects, his family alliances, his vast army, his consolidated power ? During seventeen years he laboured with indefatigable industry and great ability to establish his newly acquired authority, and secure, by the confirmation of his own power, the perpetual exile of the lawful sovereign of France. Loud and long was the applause at first bestowed by the Liberal party in Europe on the usurpation; great was the triumph of the bourgeoisie in every state at seeing a lawful monarch overturned by a well-concerted urban revolt, and the National converted into a Prætorian Guard, which could dispose of crowns at pleasure. But meanwhile the justice of Heaven neither slumbered nor slept. The means taken by Louis Philippe to consolidate his power, and which were in truth the only ones that remained at his disposal,
*“God is patient because eternal."
consummated his ruin. His steady adherence to peace dissatisfied the ardent spirits which sought for war; his firm internal government disconcerted the Republicans ; his vast internal expenditure drew after it a serious embarrassment of finance. He could not appeal to the loyal feelings of the generous, for he was a usurper; he could not rest on the support of the multitude, for they would have driven the state to ruin ; he could not rally the army round his throne, for they would have impelled him into war. Thus he could rest only on the selfish interests; and great was the skill with which he worked on that powerful principle in human affairs. But a government which stands ou selfish feelings alone is a castle built on sand; the first wind of adversity levels it with the dust. Napoleon's throne was founded on this principle, for he sacrificed to warlike selfishness ; Louis Philippe on the same, for he sacrificed to pacific selfishness. Both have undergone the stern but just law of retribution. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, has been meted out to both. To Napoleon, who had sent so many foreign princes into banishment, and subverted so many gallant states, defeat in the field, a melancholy exile, and unbefriended death in a foreign land ; to Louis Philippe, who had dethroned his lawful sovereign, and carried the standard of treason into the halls of the Tuileries, the fate which he allotted to Charles X.—that of being expelled with still greater ignoming from the same halls, being compelled to eat the bread of the stranger, and see his dynasty driven from their usurped throne amidst the derision and contempt of mankind.
“If absolute power," says M. De Tocqueville, “shall re-establish itself in whatever hands, in any of the democratic states of Europe, I have no doubt it will assume a form unknown to our fathers. When the great families and the spirit of clanship prevailed, the individual who had to contend with tyranny never found himself alone-he was supported by his clients, his relations, his friends. But when the estates are divided, and races confounded, where shall we find the spirit of family? What form will remain in the influences of habit among a people changing perpetually, where every act of tyranny will find a precedent in previous disorders; where every crime can be justified by
an example ; where nothing exists of sufficient antiquity to render its destruction an object of dread, and nothing can be figured so new that men are afraid to engage in it? What resistance would manners afford which have already received so many shocks ? What would public opinion do, when twenty persons do not exist bound together by any common tie; when you can no more meet with a man, a family, a body corporate, or a class of society, which could represent or act upon that opinion ; where each citizen is equally poor, equally impotent, equally isolated, and can only oppose his individual weakness to the organised strength of the Central Government? To figure anything equal to THE DESPOTISM which would then be established amongst us, we would require to recur not to our own annals; we would be forced to go back to those frightful periods of tyranny, when, manners being corrupted, old recollections effaced, habits destroyed, opinions wavering, liberty deprived of its asylum under the laws, men made a sport of the people, and princes wore out the clemency of heaven rather than the patience of their subjects. They are blind indeed who look for democratic equality in the monarchy of Henry IV. and Louis XIV."*
What a commentary on this terrible prophecy have recent events supplied ! The revolutionists say that France is entering the last phase of the revolution.It is true, it is entering it; but it is the last phase of punishment to which it is blindly hurrying. The sins of the fathers are about to be visited on the third generation. To talk of real freedom, stable institutions, protected industry, social happiness, in such a country, is out of the question. With their own hands, in the first great convulsion, they destroyed all the bulwarks of freedom in the land, and nothing remains to them, after the madness of Socialism has run its course, but the equality of despotism. They have thrown off the laws of God and man, and Providence will leave their punishment to their own hands.“ The Romans,' says Gibbon, “ aspired to be equal : they were levelled by the equality of Asiatic bondage.
Amidst so many mournful subjects of contemplation, there is one consideration which forces itself upon the view, of great importance in the present condition of this country.
* De Tocqueville, Democratie en Amérique, ii. 266.