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bond, sharper than the rest—a mere lad, without either whisker or moustache—had covered me. In an instant I dashed my wife, who had just stepped back, against the pier between the windows, when a shot struck the ceiling immediately over our heads, and covered us with dust and broken plaster. In a second after I placed her upon the floor, and in another a volley came against the whole front of the house, the balcony, and windows; one shot broke the mirror over the chimney-piece, another the shade of the clock; every pane of glass but one was smashed, the curtains and window-frames cut; the room,' in short, was riddled. The iron balcony, though rather low, was a great protection; still five balls entered the room, and in the pause for reloading I drew my wife to the door, and took refuge in the back rooms of the house. The rattle of musketry was incessant for more than a quarter of an hour after this, and in a very few minutes the guns were unlimbered and pointed at the magasin of M. Salandrouze, five houses on our right. What the object or meaning of all this might be, was a perfect enigma to every individual in the house, French or foreigner; some thought the troops had turned round and joined the Reds, others suggested that they must have been fired upon somewhere, though they certainly had not from our house or any other on the Boulevard Montmartre, or we must have seen it from the balcony. Besides which, in the temper in which the soldiers proved to be, had that been the case, they would never have waited for any signal from the head of the column 800 yards off. This wanton fusillade must have been the
result of a panie, lest the windows should have been lined with concealed enemies, and they wanted to secure their skins by the first fire, or it was a sanguinary impulse—either motive being equally discreditable to them as soldiers in the one case, or citizens in the other. As a military man, it is with the deepest regret that I feel compelled to entertain the latter opinion. The men, as I have already stated, fired volley upon volley for more than a quarter of an hour without any return; they shot down many of the unhappy individuals who remained on the boulevard and could not obtain an entrance into any house — some persons were killed close to our door, and their blood lay in the hollows round the trees the next morning, when we passed, at 12 o'clock. The soldiers entered houses whence no shots ever came, and though La Patrie, the newspaper of the Elysee, pretended to specify them by name, it was in a subsequent number obliged to deny its own scandalous imputations."
After the barricade at the Porte St. Denis had been carried, the insurrection was virtually at an end. and no serious attempts were made to prolong the resistance of the inhabitants to the stern rule of military power. On the evening of the 4th, General St. Arnaud issued an order to the troops, in which he said:—
"Soldiers, — You have to-day accomplished a great act of your military life. You have preserved the country from anarchy and pillage, and saved the Republic. You have shown yourselves what you will always be—brave, devoted, and indefatigable. France admires you, and thanks you. The President of the Republic will never forget your devotedness. Victory could not be doubtful. The true people, all honest men, are with you. In all the garrisons of France your companions in arms are proud of you, and will, when called on, follow your example."
The Prefect of Police also addressed the following circular to the commissaries of police of Paris:—
"The emeute is suppressed. Our enemies are henceforth powerless to raise barricades. Nevertheless., the excitement to revolt continues. Ardent demagogues mix with the groups to excite to agitation and circulate false news. The Montagnard ex-representatives turn to account the last remnants of their old prestige to lead the people with them. Furnished lodging-houses, cafes, and suspected houses become the receptacle of conspirators and insurgents. Arms, ammunition, and incendiary writings are concealed there. All the causes of agitation mint be suppressed by practising on a large scale a system of search and arrests. It is the means of restoring to the capital that peace and tranquillity which a handful of factious men have sought to take from it. You have all done your duty with so much devotedness and courage that I doubt not but that, in order to fulfil this new and important mission, you will display all the vigilance and energy which are called for by circumstances.
At the same time a pretext was eagerly seized on for commencing the task of disbanding the National Guard. The 5th legion of
that force in Paris was dissolved on the 7th, by a decree of the President, on the ground that several members of the corps had written on their doors during the insurrection, "amies donnees."
Louis Napoleon was well aware of the immense importance of conciliating the Roman Catholic clergy, whose influence, if adverse to his plans, might cause an undercurrent of resistance to set in throughout France which it would be very difficult to overcome. He therefore affected great zeal for the interests of religion, and amongst other acts ostentatiously restored the Pantheon to its original destination as the Church of Ste. Genevieve. His decree ran thus:—
"In the name of the French People,—the President of the Republic, on the report of the Minister of Public Instruction,
"Having considered the law of the 4-10 April, 1791;
"Having considered the decree of the 20th February, 1806;
"Having considered the ordonnance of the 26th August, 1830, "Decrees:—
"Art. 1.—The ancient church of Ste. Genevieve is restored to public worship conformably to the intention of its founder, under the invocation of Ste. Genevieve, the patron of Paris.
"Measures shall be taken at a later period to regulate the permanent exercise of the Catholic worship in that church."
On the 8th the following proclamation was addressed by Louis Napoleon to the French people :—
"Frenchmen, — Disturbances have disappeared. Whatever be the decision of the people, society is saved.
"The first part of my task is accomplished.
"The appeal to the nation to terminate the struggles of parties occasioned, I knew, no serious risk to public tranquillity.
"Why should the people rise against me?
"If I have not your confidence, if your ideas are changed, there is no necessity to shed precious blood; you have only to deposit in the urn a contrary vote.
"I always respect the decision of the nation; but, till the nation has spoken, I shall not hesitate at any sacrifice to baffle the attempts of the factious.
"The task, besides, is now become easy. On one hand it has been seen how mad it was to contend against an army united and disciplined, animated by honour and patriotism; on the other the tranquil attitude of the people of Paris, the reprobation with which they stigmatized the insurrection, show for whom the capital pronounced.
"In the populous quarters, where formerly the insurrection recruited itself so quickly among the workmen, easy of seduction, anarchy now encountered only the greatest repugnance for its detestable excitements.
"Thanks; for such a change is due to the intelligent and patriotic population of Paris. Let them be convinced more and more that my only ambition is to secure the repose and prosperity of France. Let the people of Paris continue to aid the authorities, and the country will soon be able to perform in calmness the solemn act which is to inaugurate a new era for the Republic."
So far as regarded the restoration of tranquillity in Paris, the usurper might say that disturbances had there disappeared, for
the strong arm of an overwhelming military force had effectually crushed resistance; but in the provinces insurrectionary movements broke out, which at one time threatened to result in a general rising of France. But there was no lack of vigour in the Executive, and Louis Napoleon, taught by the miserable experience of Louis Philippe, showed that he was resolved to attempt no half measures, but proceed in his course with ruthless determination. The army felt that they were acting for a man who possessed a resolute will, and they readily obeyed the orders of their officers, who in no case evinced any symptoms of disaffection to the measures taken by the President. The departments where insurrectionary movements appeared were at once declared to be in a state of siege, and the firmness and discipline of the troops soon restored order and obedience. And as the acts of the insurgents were plainly those of men whose object was plunder and violence rather than the defence of outraged liberty, the nation at large sympathized with the army in its stern repression of the marauders.
It caused some surprise to find that, amidst the grief and indiguation with which all the best men in France regarded the conduct of Louis Napoleon, M. de Montalembert openly proclaimed his intention to vote in his favour at the approaching appeal to universal suffrage. He detailed his reasons in a letter of considerable length which appeared in the Universe, and in which he said :—
"There are three courses to be pursued—a negative vote, abstention, or an affirmative vote.
"To vote against Louis Napoleon would be to declare in favour of the Socialist revolution, the only thing which can at present succeed the existing Government. It would be to call the dictatorship of the Reds to replace the dictatorship of a prince who has, during the last three years, rendered incomparable services to the cause of order and of Catholicism. It would be, taking the hypothesis the most favourable and the least probable, to re-establish the tower of Babel known by the name of the National Assembly, and which, in spite of all the distinguished and honest men which it contained in so great a number, had become split into parties in the midst of peace and legal order, and which would most certainly be powerless in the formidable crisis which prevails.
"To abstain would be to act against all our antecedent conduct; to fail in the duty which we have always recommended to be accomplished under the Monarchy as well as under the Republic; it would be to abdicate the mission of honest men at the very moment when that mission is the most imperative and the most likely to be fruitful. I respect the scruples which suggest to a crowd of honourable men the idea of abstention; but I know also that great politicians—not very scrupulous in general, be it remembered—after having brought us to the point at which we are, after having condemned us to the loss of all our liberties by the abuse which they made of them, at present preach up the doctrine of leaving a vacuum around the Government. * * * * Louis Napoleon will be in 185:2, as in 1848, the elect of the nation. That being the case, I consider that there is nothing more im
prudent—I will even say, nothing more senseless—than for religious men and the friends of order, in a country like ours, to fling themselves across or out of the popular will, when that will has nothing in it contrary to the law of God or to the fundamental conditions of society. * * * *
"There remains, consequently, only the third course—the affirmative vote. But to vote for Louis Napoleon is not to approve of all that he has done: it is to choose between him and the total ruin of France; it is not to say that his government is that which we prefer to every other; it is simply to declare that we prefer a prince who has given such proofs of resolution and cleverness, to those persons who are now showing their principles of murder and pillage. It is not to confound the Catholic cause with that of a party or of a family; but to arm the temporal power, the only power at present possible, with the force necessary to put down the army of crime, and defend our churches, our hearths, our wives, against the coveting of those who respect nothing, who fire at the good coat, who take aim at the landowner, and whose bullets do not spare our cures. * * * * If Louis Napoleon were a man unknown, I would undoubtedly hesitate to confer on him such a force and such a responsibility. But, without entering here into an appreciation of his policy for the last three years, I recall to mind the great religious acts which marked his Government as long as the two powers agreed together,— the liberty of instruction guaranteed; the Pope restored by French arms; its councils, synods, and the plenitude of its dignity, given back to the Church; the number of its colleges, its communities, and works of charity, gradually increased. I seek in vain elsewhere for a system or force able to guarantee to us the preservation and development of such benefits. I see only the gaping gulf of victorious socialism. My choice is made—I am for authority against revolt, for preservation against destruction, for society against Socialism, for the possible liberty of good against the certain liberty of evil; and in the great struggle between the two forces which divide the world, I think that in acting so I am again on the present occasion, as always, for Catholicism against revolution."
Although by the terms of the decree calling upon the nation to vote on the question of the powers to be conferred on the President the people were restricted to a simple "yes" or "no," many availed themselves of the ballot to express in short and emphatic language their political creed. Thus in many of the boxes were found slips of paper inscribed with sentences like the following :—
"Oui! Vivel'Empereur! " "Oui! Mille et mille fois, Oui!" "Oui! A bas la Republique!" " Oui! Vive la Republique Democratique et Sociale!" "Oui! pour que Louis Bonaparte soitEmpereur!" " Oui! Vive l Armee!" " Oui! Mort a Cavaignac!" "Non! Mort au Dictateur!" "Non! Vive Henri V.!" "Non! Vive la Republique!" " Non! A bas lArmee !" &c. All these tickets were, however, annulled, and the votes of the writers were consequently lost.
The result of the ballot was, that the President received 7,439,219 votes in hisfavour.and that 640,737 voted against him.
The evening of the 31st of December was appointed by Louis
Napoleon for the reception of the Consultative Commission, to communicate to him officially this report; and accordingly the members then repaired to the Palace of the Elysee, where M. Baroche, as Vice-President of the Commission, announced the number of votes in a complimentary speech, to which Louis Napoleon made the following reply:—
"Gentlemen,—France has responded to the loyal appeal which I made to her. She has comprehended that I departed from legality only to return to right. Upwards of seven millions of votes have just absolved me, by justifying an act which had no other object than to save France, and perhaps Europe, from years of trouble and anarchy. I thank you for having effectually shown to what an extent that manifestation is national and spontaneous. If I congratulate myself on this immense adhesion it is not from pride, but because it gives me the force to speak and act as becomes the head of a great nation like ours.
"I understand all the grandeur of my new mission, and I do not deceive myself as to its difficulties. But with an upright heart, with the co-operation of all right-minded men, who, like you, will assist me with their intelligence and support me with their patriotism, with the tried devotedness of our valiant army, and with the protection which I shall to-morrow solemnly beseech Heaven to grant me, I hope to render myself worthy of the confidence which the people continue to place in me. I hope to secure the destinies of France by founding institutions which respond at the same time to the democratic instincts of the nation and to the universally expressed desire to have henceforth a strong