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subjects already proposed by this Institution, a series of lectures should be delivered on the formation of character, and the conduct of life; intended to exemplify the rules of morality, and to enforce the practice of them, not merely by a scientific elucidation, but by a practical view of the affairs of the world, the consequences of a neglect or performance of the various duties of life, by the influence of the feelings, the dictates of conscience, and above all, by the sublime sanctions of the religion we profess. By these means, and by these alone, the various acquisitions made in every department of science or taste will be concentrated in one point, directed to one great object, and applied to their proper purpose -the illustration and perfection of the human character,

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NOTE.—" AT the moment when I was writing upon this subject, M. de Chateaubriand was publishing his work, on the Political System followed by the Ministers. Having the same subject to work upon, as I am proud of sharing his principles, it is not to be wondered at if some of his ideas should appear to flow from my pen, and still less can any body be surprised at the immense distance to which his admirable talents have brought his historical view, beyond the feeble outline I have been able to trace."


WE had long in vain flattered ourselves that the king's ministers (more enlightened upon the true situation of France, and upon the duties imposed upon them by the charter, and above all upon the true support of authority) would no more bring before you the discussion of a question which has already been the subject of so much debate, and in which they have been so successfully opposed both in this House and in the Chamber of Deputies; and we hoped that at last they would leave to a severe but equitable law already established, the care of checking the abuses of the press and of the periodical journals. I was not wrong when last year I said in this seat to the noble peers who did not join in my opinion, that they were perhaps mistaken in giving a too full confidence to the promises then made to them; that men do not willingly give up the power they possess, and that year after year we must look for the continuation of that arbitrary system, apparently so favorable to those who make it the engine of their passions, but yet in reality subverting the authority which

trusts to its support,' and which is so unworthy of a minister who would be a true statesman.

You are this day, gentlemen, called upon to re-enact and extend to the end of the next session, that is to say for fifteen or perhaps eighteen months longer, the law which gives to the minister of police an absolute control over the periodical journals. What motives have been laid before you to justify this fresh suspension of our constitutional laws? Very weak ones indeed, it must be owned. Some loose hints have been thrown out on the circumstances of the times; yet allowing that they are somewhat improved, it is no strong argument for the necessity of this new law. Some dark and mysterious insinuations have been dropped upon our situation relative to foreign powers. We are told of the insolence of some wretched news-writers, we are threatened with the prospect of seeing again in a few days, a second Marat or a Father Duchéne, &c. All such arguments can only be addressed to men weak enough to require that licentiousness may be allowed to the press and the journals, instead of legal freedom. Once for all let us understand that we call for a law; we wish for that only which the charter has decreed. Let that law be as strict as the prudence of the ministers may require; the two chambers may modify it if they think it necessary so to do. What we object to now, what we shall always object to, is arbitrary discretion. What we require is, that all may be done according to law. We may be free under the government of the strictest laws. Liberty consists in being out of the reach of arbitrary discretion.

It is a remarkable circumstance, that the commissaries of the government and the supporters of the sketch of the law upon the liberty of the press, after having in the chamber of deputies, discussed in a most learned and luminous manner the first part of that law, seemed all at once to feel the ground giving way under them, when they came to the article 27.; which for reasons unknown till now, was to undergo such a strange metamorphosis.

Initiated no doubt in the mysteries of government, they thought it of no use to throw away their time in vain discussions, and they thought themselves again sure, that the magical wand, which at one stroke had turned the alteration of an article in a proposed law, into a law clothed with every constitutional form, will fully perform the miracle intended, and give the ministers a second victory as brilliant and even more decisive than the first.

What means have we then left with which to strive against such a formidable power? are we again compelled to tire out your patience; to dwell upon tedious arguments which have been repeated till they create disgust? Must we read again the clause in the charter which relates to the liberty of publishing opinions, and

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