Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

once

from the mere abuse of the liberty great indulgence for the errors of of the press itself. This would the “chartered libertine,” that the certainly seem to be the more reporter to the journal should, in rational and fair interpretation. A futuré, be excluded from the sitseditious mob in every large town, tings of the Chamber: but it came with seditious publications issuing to no practical result. from an hundred presses to excite In the internal state of France and justify their excesses, such as there was scarcely any thing to have been witnessed in England occupy public attention, except ocmore than once, would form a crisis currences arising from the conflictrequiring and excusing much ing efforts of different sects of restronger measures than an unusual ligionists. Some ecclesiasticalorders, quantity of abuse, or an universal particularly the Jesuits, had been expression of dislike, against the gradually courting favour, and inJesuits, or the ministry: yet, to the creasing in influence, and enking's confessor, or to a tottering deavouring to recover a portion of minister, the latter might appear that authority which was equally alarming with the former, theirs. Ecclesiastics of a different and the law permits the applica- description were devoting themtion of the power of imposing selves to the task of awakening silence in the one as in the other. among the people a spirit of fanatiThe law, however, was allowed to cal piety; and men of considerable remain as it was, the minister of authority in the church availed the interior assuring the Chamber themselves of their station, to try that no cabinet had ever borne the lo enforce a more rigorous disattacks of the press with more cipline, and to restore to superstipatience and forbearance than that tious rites the credit which they of which he was a member, and had long since lost. The party that, when they used the power calling itself liberal, again, was opwhich they possessed, it would not posed to these religionists: they be to defend themselves, but to dreaded the approaches of the prevent, instead of punishing, Jesuits to power, because expericrimes which might endanger pub- ence had taught too clearly how

The editor of the jour- exclusive and despotic that power nal du Commerce was called to the would be; and they disliked the bar, for a libel on the Chamber; rigorous austerity and debarring and, after he had been heard by superstition of the others, because his counsel, was punished with a its direct tendency, and its great month's imprisonment, and a fine object, was, to enthrone ecclesiastiof an hundred francs--the mini- cal authority by absorbing the mum of penalty allowed by the mind in theological dogmas and delaw. Another member complained votional rites. The religionists to the Chamber, of the editor of the were the enemies of all popular Drapeau Blanc, on account of a rights; and the imprudence of mis-report, not of his own speech, some individuals among them perbut of that of the minister of war, mitted doctrines to be seen which who was represented to have said appeared to be equally hostile to something insulting to him.' An the Crown. At the end of the angry discussion followed, the preceding year, the editors of two liberal party insisting, with no liberal journals had been tried for of the order of

Over

political libels, and acquitted. The the king, arising from his birth, acquittal was very displeasing to and assailed the order of succession the Jesuits and their coadjutors; to the throne. Of this latter and the Abbé de la Mennais, in a charge he was acquitted; the court pamphlet which he published upon holding that the passages of his the occasion indulged himself in publications on which it was foundopinions which went to subvert the ed, were rather a discussion of the fundamental rights of all govern- first proposition of the Declaration, ments except that of the Pope, and than a direct and positive attack to raise the altar above the throne. against the dignity and birth-right A Declaration of the French clergy of the monarch, or made and registered in the par- succession, and that the known reliament of Paris, in 1682 forms ligious and monarchical' opinions of the basis of the law of France re- the Abbé were against any pregarding the power of the popesumption of his having intended to within the kingdom, and consti- commit such tuted in record of the liberties of first count, however, he was found

an offence. On the the Gallican church. The first guilty of having written several proposition of this Declaration chapters directly and formally imstates, that St. Peter, his successors, pugning the declaration of 1682, and the church itself, have received and violating the edict which had no authority from God, except made that Declaration

part of the things spiritual, and not over constitutional law of the land. He things temporal and civil ; that was condemned to pay a fine of kings are not subject, in things thirty francs, and his work "On which concern temporal matters, Religion, considered in its Relations to any ecclesiastical power; that with Political and Civil Order,” was they cannot be deposed directly or ordered to be seized and destroyed indirectly by the authority of the wherever it might be found. The head of the church; and that their court justified the smallness of the subjects cannot by him be exempted fine on the ground that the blameafrom the submission and obedience ble passages formed only a small which they owe them, or dispensed part of the work that the refrom their oath of allegiance : and mainder consisted of theological by a subsequent royal edict all the discussion with which they could king's subjects are prohibited from not interfere--that the book was maintaining, writing, or printing, one which would be read and

apany thing contrary to the principles preciated only by the well-inof this Declaration, or tending to formed--and that the abbé himrenew disputes, or give rise to a self was a person of most respectadifference of opinion on the subject. ble character. It is worthy of reMennais was brought to trial for mark, as a historical coincidence, having, in the plenitude of his zeal that while, in the discussions of the on behalf of his order, attacked the British parliament on the Catholic doctrines of the Declaration, and question, the friends of Emancipaviolated the edict, by asserting the tion maintained that the older subjection of the kingly power to doctrines of the Romish church rethe supreme" authority of the garding her supremacy over kings church. A second count accused had been fully and finally rehim of having denied the rights of nounced, there was in Paris a

[ocr errors]

t of the so

SO

member of that church, and an 1760, the edict of Louis XV, in adherent of its most learned, most 1764, the edict of Louis XVI. in politic, and once most powerful, 1777, the law of May 1792, and the order, convicted and punished for republican decree of the 3rdMessidor openly maintaining from the press in the year 12, the legislature of the very doctrines, which it was France had formally opposed itself said to have abandoned.

to the re-establishment of Another measure directed against ciety called “The Society of Jesus," the ecclesiastical orders was the under whatever denomination it publication by a count Montlosier might present itself; that these of a work entitled * A Denuncia- edicts and decrees were founded on tion" of the Jesuits, and their con- the acknowledged incompatibility gregations, and addressed to the between the principles professed Cour Royale in which he declaimed by that Society and the indepenagainst these religionists as enemies dence of civil governments-prinof the state and abusers of religion, ciples still more incompatible with and formally called upon the Court the constitutional charter which to perform its duty, by putting in was itself a public right. But they force the existing laws against likewise held that to suppress or them. This example of a popular dissolve congregations or associaright of action, by which an unin- tions formed in contempt of these terested individual demanded the laws and decrees, belonged to the interference of a court provided department of the high police alone; with its own officers to put its that any facts of a different kind powers into action, was not favour- mentioned in the denunciation, dią able either to public tranquillity not constitute any crime, misdeor to the regular administration of meanour, or contravention, which the law : but the partiality of could be judged of in that Court party spirit exalted Montlosier and therefore, upon the whole into an idol ; and a written opinion matter, the Court declared itself was published, signed by nearly to be incompetent. In all the fifty of the most respectable counsel judicial contests between the of the French bar, bearing that the Jesuits and their opponents, their "Denunciation,” as demanding ancient spirit of Jansenism was the execution of the laws against distinctly manifested in the bar. 5.34 the Jesuits, and the congregations, France had not as yet formally was an immense service rendered recognized any of the South to the king and to the country. American republics; but, in the The Court admitted the indict- course of the present year, she apment, so to speak: but the Attorney- pointed commercial agents to reside general appeared, and insisted that in several of them, possessing no grounds were laid even for de nearly, the same character wh liberation, and that the Court was belonged to those sent out by this incompetent to hear such a case. country in 1819. In the month All the members of the Court in of January, she concluded a treaty Paris, to the number of fifty-four, with the emperor of Brazil. By attended the discussion, and the this treaty, France expressly reCourt came to cision. They held that by the de- Brazilian empire, and the imperial

thaxlowing de- cognized the independence of the free of the parliament of Paris in dignity in the person of don Pedro

[ocr errors]

that a

was

<serve as common sailors, for having to it

the. Morea in a French ship broken the law.which prohibits the of war; and carried their wishes trade ;” and he seriously thought, so far as even to call on the that no member, who had seen a Chambers to compromise the goslave-captain thus reduced, would yernment, by voting money for the ever propose to aggravate the use of the Greeks. In the debate enormity or the punishment of his on, the king's speech, Benjamin offence. Probably M.Dudon meant, Constant, who, with general Sedetected slave-captain

bastiani was

great leader of the afraid to come home to enjoy the Philhellenes in the Chamber of fruits of his infamous traffic. The Deputies, moved the following same member asserted that the paragraph as an addition, to the slave-trade was carried on by Eng- address : "Finally, Sire,

your land to a greater extent than by faithful subjects, deputies of the France; that British vessels took in departments, dare to supplicate theircargoes on the coast of Africa as your majesty to consult, in your usual, carried them to Madagascar, wisdom, what methods are to be y and eyaded their law, by intro- taken to save these unhappy Chris,ducing them into the British colo- tians, who fall in thousands beneath nies, as old slaves imported from the sword of the infidels; and, that settlement ! Such were the above all, to prevent Frenchmen, statements gravely made in the whom their country and Europe French legislature.

disavow, from seconding the feroThe proposal of the committee cious enemies of the on the petition was not adopted, name ; for, if we see indifferand the Chamber got rid of the ence our eastern brethren" massubject by passing to the order of sacred, all protestations of respect the day, but the petition itself, as and love for that holy religion

well as the admissions and opinion which they profess as well as we, of the committee, were unequivo- will seem, in our mouths, à cruel - cal proofs of the progress which the and bitter derision.” It was not

public mind in France was making true, in point of fact, that thou

upon this interesting question. sands of Christians were perishing of 'n The French politicians, at least beneath the sword of the infidels ;

the opposition politicians, always military success had as yet been contrived to mix up with the slave. pretty fairly, and savage massacre

trade the assistance said to be given in cold blood had as yet been si by, their government to Turkey equally, divided between Turks and

against Greece, and which they Greeks; and what sort of policy denominated the white slave-trade. would it be to lay it down as a

They did not confine themselves rule, that whenever fortune favours sto, the propriety of government Turkey in

a war against Russia maintaining a strict neutrality, but pr Austria, every other nation must complained of its not preventing hasten to protect them, for the individuals from lending their pri- sake of Christianity, against the

vate aid to the Turks ; abused it for power of their enemy? Both good í allowing ships to be built in French policy, and the real justice of the to ports for the Turkish command cause, may often compel every good iers, and transporting the treasures statesman to wish success to "the

of Ibrahim, Pacha from Egypt sword of the infidel." No wise gos

wit, Christian

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ana

vernment would act on the ideas bate the eloquent expression of the which inspired M. Duhamel when, sentiments which the misfortunes in a debate on the navy estimates, of Greece inspire, proves that it is he described the war in Greece as 'unanimous upon this point." They one " of which the politician can are, in fact, unfortunate meri

, weigh the events in his bražen Christians, who combat with coubalance, but all those behold with rage, not to a defend 'a political indignation and enthusiasm, who opinion, but to save their property, prefer liberty to slavery, the Cross their lives, their religion. of Jesus Christ to the Crescent of seeing them fall by thousands Mahomet."

under the sword of the Turks, In the Chamber of Peers, the who could refuse his pity to so duke de Choiseul 'declared, with much suffering-his admiration to the usual mixture of bad taste and so much courage? But the cause egregious vanity so ordinary in of Greece has served as a pretence French rhetoricians, that for some men to attack the

gothemas were pronounced against vernment, and the Chamber has the enemies and oppressors of thought, with reason, that it would Greece, against all who furnished not become the government 'to arms, or afforded military instruc- meddle with these attacks." It has tion, to unbelievers in the cross; thought that the silence of all that Europe, led by the example of other nations would be sufficient

forth" gifts to justify the conduct of govern

for their brethren in ment. How, in fact, could France and offer: Ware the East, and opening a new Cru- take upon herself to light the torch sade of benefits and generosity: of discord, and throw, perhaps, all that, next to the honour of being Europe into a general war? a French peer, was the honour of “ These considerations have debeing a member of the Greek com- termined us to propose to you, not mittee; that however the barbarous to receive a proposition, which is policy of cabinets might crush the not the mere expression of a senglorious cause, his name, and those timent of pity, but which would of other Greek committee-men be, if taken into consideration, would be consecrated by posterity the approval of a political system for their attachment to liberty, re- which presents the greatest danligion, and humanity; and that ger.” the greatest fault of the budget Specific charges of direct interwas, that it did not contain a vote ference on the part of the French in favour of Greece." The more government to give assistance to sober, rational, and practical views Turkey, and thus violate the neuof the ministers, as opposed to these trality which she professed, were crude ebullitions of superficiality capable of more direct and specific and sentimentalism, were to be answers. It was alleged that the learned from the report of a com- ministers had supplied officers to mittee, to whom a petition con- Ibrahim ; that, under their eyes, nected with the Greek cause had his vessels had been built at been referred. The report of the Marseilles, and the cannon made Committee was the following:

used in the siege of “ The interest with which the Missolonghi ; that they allowed Chamber has heard in a recent de-" agents to recruit for him openly

1

that were

11

« EdellinenJatka »