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by us, as tending to keep open wounds violently indicative of disaffection, as which, after a bold incision, might per- would be held necessary to justify haps have closed with speed, and resto: such a measure in any of the legislared the patient to comparative ease. So tive assemblies of the neighbouring sensible were they, however, not only kingdom. M. Vaublanc justified the that the old offenders should be pu- present projet on the very ground of its nished, but that the plots of new of. being an exact counterpart of the bill fenders should be guarded against, carried through the British Parliament that the first law which they propo- in 1793. That bill, he observed, had sed to the acceptance of the Cham- probably been the salvation of the bers, had for its object the confer. British constitution, because it had ring of a dictatorial power on the go- enabled the government to cut off, in veramentan equivalent, in short, to their early state. threads of guilty a suspension of the Habeas Corpus connection, just beginning to be ex. Act in England. It was to vest tended between the malcontents of in the prefects of districts the power England and the revolutionary mob of detaining persons strongly sus- of France. “ France," said he, “ has pected of machinations against the no longer her revolutionary mob, but government, till such time as pro- she has still her disaffected ; and by per measures might be fallen upon for cutting the ties of communication the full discovery of their guilt ; these which they have among themselves, a judges, however, were to make a re- service may be rendered to her no less port of every case, within four-and- valuable than that which was, on the twenty hours of the arrest, to the mi former occasion, derived by England, nister of police, whose sanction would from the decided conduct of her legislathus be required previous to any con. tom.". A tumult of applause from the siderable detention of the suspected galleries, such as would not be tolera individual.
ted for a moment in the British se• This bill, as we should style it, or nate, followed the conclusion of every projet de loi, was opposed by several paragraph in the speech of M. Valls members of the Lower House with blanc ; and when he closed his some. much pertinacity. M. Tournemine, what florid peroration with these worde, M. Roger Collard, and others, mount “ Yes, all France wishes her king pi ed in succession the tribune, and ha. (oui, toute la France veut son roi ? rangued the assembly informal speeches, the thunder of acclamation was such condemoatory of the designs of the as for several minutes to put a stop to ministry. The most energetic oppo- the whole proceedings of the House. titionist, however, was M. Voyer d'Ar- Hats were tossed into the air, and genson, who brought forward a coun- , handkerchiefs were waved, and flowers ter bill, declarative of the non-necessi were tossed among the deputies, and ty of any extension of the usual law. the words of the orator were resound. M. Vaublanc, the minister of the in ed from every quarter, like the watchterior, replied to this last orator in an word of a party candidate at a poll elaborate speech The chief topics of election in England. Argenson had been the very great We must beware, however, of al. caution usually observed by the Englowing ourselves to contemplate, with lish Parliament in any suspension of too much contempt, these, and other the Habeas Corpus Act, and the somewhat childish manifestations of want, as he alleged, of any symptoms political inexperience, which are to be in the present condition of France, so found in the early records of the French
Chambers. The whole conduct of the transacting parliamentary business, has business of these assemblies has in- been the result of many centuries ac. deed a theatrical and affected air, customed to the possession of parlia. than which nothing can be more averse ments. The French have had no such from the ideas of Englishmen, respect. blessed experience ; and although they ing the proper method of transact. have wisely endeavoured to supply ing the great and serious affairs of a their own defects, by making use of nation. The members of these houses the lessons to be derived from history are clothed in uniforms of office, and and our example, we should not exthe peculiar department of every mi- pect them to be so careless of all regard nister of the crown who enters the for their character of independevce
and house, is in like manner at once re- originality, as to adopt at once all cognized by the colour of his coat. those lesser appendages of our system, This takes away what we conceive to which they may be so easily excu. be a very impressipe thing in the as- sed for not at once discovering to be so pect of the English House of Com- intimately connected with the welfare mons- the appearance of the national of the system itself, as in reality they legislators in their own private like- are. The entrance upon the free funcness of citizens. We like to look tions of a representative-house, must around the walls of our own senate, have been in the eyes of Frenchmen, so and see that variety of dress and de new a thing, that they must necessameanour, which is naturally to be ex; rily have encountered it with a feeling pected among a body of men selected of awkwardness ; and perhaps, had from many different walks of life, they endeavoured to conceal this awk. knights, squires, lawyers, and mer- wardness by a more studious assumpchants, all meeting to devote the even- tion of the airs of ease, we might have ing of their busy day to the service of found only the more reason to smile their constituents. The absence of upon their proceedings. These are form and finery is thus felt to convey all matters of inferior moment, and at once the idea of established pri- will, we trust, follow in their season, vileges, which do not require to be kept After this speech of the minister, alive in the memories of their posses, and the popular cry,on which the minis. sors by any peculiarity of garb, In ter himself laid far more stress than his dike manner, the French manner of situation should have warranted, there debating is wholly remote from our rose M. Pasquier, a distinguished memhabits and ideas. The formality of ber of the Ultra Royalist party. He one orator ascending a high tribune, also disapproved of the bill, but, unafter another has descended from it, like its earlier opponents, his comprepared to recite a recollected, or to plaint was not that it was uncalled for, read a written harangue-all this has or injudicious, but that it did not ina frigid appearance and effect, which vest the executive with so much power would be utterly intolerable among as the circumstances of the times rethose accustomed to the hasty, im- quired. This member wished to have petuous, and nervous collisions of in- the provincial magistrates furnished Lellect, which are witnessed in the par. with a still greater degree of discre. Jiamentary debates in England. We tionary authority, and he backed his should remember, however, that our proposal with a statement of several own free and unformal method of things which had occurred under his
“Ce cri, c'est le cri de la nation," was his expression.
his own eye, in his capacity of pre. title page of which would be a' suffifect. The discourse of this gentle- cient indication to the public on what man, however, did not produce moch occasion those sentiments had beer effect on the assembly ; and the ques. thrown into the form of a speech. tion being shortly after called for, This, too, was only another instance of the bill of the minister was carried in the inexperience of the French politiits original state by a large majority. cians in regard to the practical detail. Out of three hundred and fifty-six of a representative system. But even as votes, two hundred and forty-eight such, it is worthy of being mentioned. were with him.
The next motion made in the Cham. In the House of Peers, the same bih ber of Peers was one of the Duke of was discussed at some length, although Fitz-James, * which had for its object with less keenness, and in the end it the conferring of some mark of public was carried through by a majority of gratitude on the Duke of Angouleme, about the same extent. One circum- for his services in the south of France, stance occurred, however, in conse- at the period of the usurper's return quence of this debate, which gave rise from Elba. His Royal Highness was to much discussion among the poli- certainly entitled to respect for his beticians of Paris. All the speeches haviour on that occasion ; but his fa. delivered in course of the debate were ther, Monsieur, with much propriety, ordered to be printed by the House, resisted the motion of the Duke of excepting one only, that of M. Lan- Fitz-James, on the ground that his juinais a member more averse to any son's exertions had been made, not even temporary extension of the royal against a foreign enemy, but deluded power, than the great majority of the Frenchmen; and that he could there. Chamber to which he belonged. This fore derive no pleasure from any geotleman took this mark of neglect thing calculated to keep their memory in high disgust, and printed his speech alive. of his own authority. A cry was raised Io the Lower House, in the meanagainst him by some of those whose time, a question of greater moment opinions he had controverted, on the was already begun to be discussed. ground, that his publication of his On the 16th of October, M. Barbeown speech implied a want of proper Marbois, the keeper of the seals ; and deference for the judgment of the ma- the Count Portalis, one of the counjority of his peers. But although cil of state, brought down from his this argument was sufficient to excite a majesty the projet of a new law; ingreat deal of warmth in Paris for some tended to operate in the repression of days, it is in reality one, the strength seditious cries. The evil proposed to of which we, in this country, cannot be repressed by the provisions of this well understand. There is no techni new statute, had indeed, it would apcal law in the charter against a peer pear, arrived at a point at which it publishing his speech, and if there was altogether intolerable. The mob were, it is difficult to see of what use of the Fauxbourgs of Paris, which, as it could be, since, unless the press were we have seen, was always attached to deprived of every shadow of liberty, the cause of Napoleon, and which had the peer might still publish his senti. been, in the course of the whole revo ments in a pamphlét, his name on the lutionary period, too well accustomed
This nobleman is descended from the blood-royal of England, being the representative of the famous Marshal Berwick.
to express its feelings with all the affairs in France, had not foreseen the phrenzy of vulgar passions, dared, possibility of many of the worst speeven now, after his second restoration, cies of political offences which had daily and nightly to insult the ears of been enumerated. Such of them as it the king himself and the members of actually had foreseen, had been left to his family, with cries and songs of the be punished by confinement, banishmost seditious character. This li- ment from France, and death, accord. cence, which felt no check from the ing to their several shades of guilt and immediate presence of the monarch danger, by the Courts of Assize, in the and his court, was, of course, at least regular manner. It was now proposed, ás turbulent in its manifestations else in the first place, that such of the of. where ; and, in short, the watchwords fences above enumerated-as consist ra. of rebellion were at all times to be ther in slight manifestations of the disheard in the places of public resort, position, than in actually lifting the both in Paris, and in other cities taint- hand of sedition, should be punished ed with the same spirit of disloyalty. by the taking away of political rights, Placards, printed and in manuscript, such as voting for members of the expressive of th: same ideas, were electoral colleges. Confinement, and
the walls by night, in such hard labour in prison, should be innumbers that they could never be flicted upon offences of a somewhat entirely removed in the morning ; so more daring kind; but the safest and that, if at any moment the ear was un. most effectual punishment for such as disturbed, the insult was sure to be seemed to require it, would be found presented in all its breadth to the eye. to consist in banishment from Europe. The stalls of picture dealers, jewellers, The greater number of offenders of and haberdashers, abounded in articles, this class, observed M. de Barbois, the devices or colours of which had are persons of no fortune or station in for their object the encouragement of society, who would lose little by bedisloyal hopesand recollections. Books ing sent across the Rhine or the Alps, and pamphlets of the same description and who, if they were so sent, could were circulated privately from hand to feel little difficulty in returning, be. hand; and to such a height had the cause their obscurity would prevent temperament of sedition been raised their motions from being regarded with under the influence of all these pro- much interest or attention by the func. vocations, that processions had been tionaries of the frontiers. The trying formed, which paraded the streets by of these persons, in the second place, torch-light, with music, and ensigns, should be entrusted to the officers of of a character alike offensive to all good the police and magistrates of towns, citizens, as dangerous to the safety of in order that the business might be the commonwealth.
gone through in a more summary man. The ministerial speakers, after en The charter had left with the larging upon these details, proceeded king the right to re-establish, where to explain the nature of the remedies it might be held necessary, the juriswhich his majesty presented to the ac diction of the old prevotal * courts. ceptance of the House. The code, This had not yet been done ; but, in they observed, being compiled, at a the mean time, a temporary system period prior to the existing state of might be adopted, till such time as
* In these courts a military officer presided, with a legal assessor ; they were ambulatory and peremptory.
the permanent one should be matured grants, feudal rights, and tythes ;" for operation,
and the broad declaration, which was These proposals one party of the thus, in effect, repeated by the governHouse treated without ceremony, as ment, of its intention to hold sacred to many indications of imbecility and the provisions of the charter respecting absurd jealousy on the part of the mi. these points, was not without its effect nistry. The mere ebullitions of vulgar upon the public mind. In the mean folly, said they, should be overlooked time, the government, armed with the and despised ; while, for the more seri. new authority conveyed in these two ous evils complained of, remedies have enactments of the legislature, began to already been abundantly provided in the feel itself more confirmed and secure ; general lawsagainst treason and sedition. and ministers, being again pressed by The erection of other tribunals than an address of the Lower Chambers to those of Assize, was, according to these proceed in their judicial investigation of gentlemen, a sin against the spirit, if the conduct of the persons exempted not against the letter of the charter. in the ordinances published after the re
The ultra-royalists, on the other turn of the king, gave orders for the hand, were equally hostile to the pro. immediate trial of the only other great posals of the ministry, as being, in their criminal, whose rank and offences seemopinion, not too much, but too little ed to render it likely that he would for the necessities of the occasion. In. share the fate of Ney. This was the stead of the punishments of labour and Count Lavalette, whose subsequent confinement, banishment, or loss of story excited so great an interest both political privileges merely, this party in his own country and in ours, that were loud in declaring their anxiety to we shall preface it with a few words see every indication of disloyalty and concerning his early fortunes. sedition treated with the same rigour Marie Chamans de Lavalette was which might be due to actual rebel- originally destined for the bar, but, lion ; and they did not disguise their like many others of the same profesbelief, that death was the proper pu- sion, became a soldier in the opening dishment for all such offenders. This period of the Revolution. After ser. sanguinary proposal was treated, how- ving with honour in the first campaigns ever, with no great respect by the of the Republic, he was so fortunate Chamber, and, after some little discus. as to attract the peculiar notice of sion, the bill was carried through both Buonaparte at the battle of Arcolo, Houses. The consequence of this was, and, on the morning after, was apthe immediate erection of Prevotal and pointed one of his aides-de-camp la Departmental Courts, with powers of this situation his early education ena. tummarily trying all persons guilty of bled him to render himself extremely the offences above described ; and the useful to his employer, insomuch that energy of the proceedings of these he was by degrees entrusted with the courts produced, almost instantane. whole management of his cabinet ; and ously, a total cessation of the crimes shortly after, when the purposes of the which had called for their establish- young adventurer required that he ment. Amor:g the offenders whom should have a confidential agent resi. they were instructed to visit with the ding in Paris to transact his business greatest rigour, were “ persons who with the Directory, Lavalette was had been guilty of insinuating any sus. chosen by him for this important spepicions of design on the part of the cies of embassy. The zeal with which Elug to restore the property of emi. he discharged the duties of his trust,