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mists, Orleanists, and Bonapartists alike crowded round him to offer their felicitations.
M. Louis Blanc followed the Duke, and then M. Raoul Duval mounted the tribune; but, the hour being far advanced, the Assembly decided to adjourn, and to resume the sitting at nine o'clock the same evening. M. Duval's lengthy oration was the most striking speech delivered on behalf of the Monarchists.
“ The same men who sympathized with the Commune," said he, "are now promoting petitions for our dissolution"_unguarded words which raised a storm of fury among the Left, one of whom (M. Mest reau) shouted in reply, “You have lied!” A scene of great confusion ensued; but eventually, the offender having been called to order, a comparative calm was restored, and M. Duval was permitted to conclude his speech, which he did amidst the applause of his party. The next orator was M. Le Royer on behalf of the dissolutionists. He was followed by M. Dufaure, the Minister of Justice, who, after having explained away all the objectionable portions of M. Thiers' Message, repudiated the petitions for the dissolution in the name of the Government, and insinuated that the latter was ready to throw itself into the arms of the Royalists so that they might "save society” together. Overjoyed at this unexpected declaration, the Monarchists were unbounded in the applause they lavished on the Minister of Justice; and they even consented to abandon the order of the day motive, which they had prepared, in favour of the order of the day pur et simple as proposed by the Government, and which was carried by 483 ayes against 196 noes.
But if the Monarchists thought that now, at all events, they had the President thoroughly with them, they were doomed to disappointment. On Monday the 16th, attended by M. Dufaure, M. Thiers came according to agreement to the Commission of Thirty to discuss the state of affairs, and showed at once that he was not prepared to abandon any of his Constitutional projects. He made a long argumentative speech, in which he reviewed anew his reasons for insisting upon a complete solution of all the Constitutional questions involved in a re-settlement of the government of the country, enlarged upon the points he had simply glanced at in his Message and in his speech from the tribune on the occasion of the debate on the Kerdrel Report, expressing his astonishment that any one could ask for Ministerial responsibility as the great need of the hour; while, as for the proposition to debar him access to the tribune, he declared that the effect of this would be to make crises perpetually recurrent, as he should always be resigning when the Assembly acted as he disapproved. He urged the advantages of a Second Chamber. This new Senate, this revived Chambre des Pairs, would be a Conservative institution endowed with a power of dissolving the Democratic Second Chamber; and by playing one of these authorities against the other a President might maintain his position. Without such means at his command he would be powerless. He was especially scornful at
the suggestion of a véto suspensif, declaring that it would be perfectly useless, and adding that, if a President were to retain any authority in the face of a single Chamber, it would be necessary to endow him with a plenitude of powers the extent of which had never been realized.
M. Thiers, having thus done something more than re-affirm his old position, told
the members of the Commission that he would leave them to consider the arguments he had laid before them, and if they wished a conference with him at any future time, in relation to any of his arguments, he should be happy to meet them again. If, on the other hand, a second interview was to be a mere matter of politeness, he would be unable to accept it, and both parties would have to present themselves anew before the Chamber. Another meeting did take place between the President and the Commission two days later, when both sides adhered to their respective opinions. Truly the dead-lock seemed interminable.
Under existing circumstances it was a relief to all parties when on the 21st of December the Assembly adjourned for the Christmas vacation. And, together with the tide of political agitation, the waters of the Seine, which, under the influence of the extraordinarily wet season, had risen to a height almost unexampled, submerging large districts of suburban Paris, gave no less welcome tokens of subsidence as the
drew to its close. In pursuing the narrative of the leading political issues during this protracted crisis of Parliamentary history, we have left unnoticed the intervening measures and discussions which had varied the drama carried on within the Versailles Theatre. Some of these may now be glanced at. During the first week of the Session the House had before it a Jury Bill, which, after occasional debates, was passed on the 21st of November by 461 votes against 178. Its object was to restore the restrictive principle of the Imperial legislation on this subject, which the Government of National Defence had relaxed. Instead of every elector of thirty years old being competent to serve on a jury, it was ordered that lists of jurymen should be drawn up by the Juges du Paix and Presidents of the different courts of justice, subject to revision by the public prosecutors.
On the 21st of November also, M. Pascal Duprat brought in a Bill for the restitution of the Orleans property to the Princes representing that House. The Bill enacted the abrogation of the Confiscation Decree in 1852, and provided that members of the Orleans family might bring an action for the recovery of their property before the ordinary tribunals. It further proposed that all documents and papers delivered to the Duc de Nemours by a Royal Ordinance should be restored to the public archives as State property.
The Bill passed its second reading on the 22nd. Then there was the memorial presented by Prince Napoleon Jérome to a Commission of the Assembly in the middle of December, recounting the circumstances of his expulsion, and applying for redress. It did not come on for public discussion, however, before the Christmas recess; and the more friendly relations that have been established between the President of the Republic and the majority of the Chamber, make it probable that the incident will not occasion the serious consequences to the Government that were once apprehended. The dismissal by M. de Goulard, of the Mayor of Nantes for the riot in September, when the Lourdes pilgrims passed through that town, was a satisfaction to the Right, while it was ill-received by their political opponents. The discussions on the Budget for 1873 proceeded on the whole harmoniously, even with the unwelcome certainty that the country would have to provide 2,400,000,000 francs to meet its liabilities. In the pre-occupation of public antagonisms with the great constitutional crisis, lesser battle-fields were for the time avoided.
We end the record of public events in France this year with a notice reviving the echoes of one mournful strain which had sounded with a strange monotony throughout all the vicissitudes of party speech and action since the memorable episode of the Commune. “The President of the Republic,” says a telegram of December 22nd, “went yesterday afternoon to the Committee of Pardons, and was present for an hour and a half. The President strongly insisted that the evidence against all the prisoners under sentence of death should be examined before the close of the year. Before leaving, he stated that the Committee had discharged the painful task with which it had been intrusted with a zeal and conscientiousness to which every one, except those who were blinded by prejudice, must render due homage."
GERMANY.—Local Diets-Resignation of Herr von Mühler-Bismarck's Speech on
Denominational Question-School Inspection Bill-Westerwell and Canon Koz. mian-Bismarck's Speech on School Inspection Bill-Bishops of Ermeland and Cologne-Bill for Reform of Districts Administration-German Diet-Cardinal Hohenlohe and the Vatican--Great Debate on the Anti-Jesuit Petitions-Law passed to suppress the Jesuits-Anger of the Pope-Ministerial Crisis in Bavaria – Meeting of the Emperors at Berlin-Centenary Celebration at MarienbergCongress of Ultramontanes at Fulda ; of Old Catholics at Cologne—Social Science Congress at Eisenach-Alsace-Lorraine-Prussian Diet, and Districts Adminis. tration Bill–Constitutional Crisis-Bismarck's Resignation of Prussian Premier
ship-Ultramontanism. Austria.- Bill for Compulsory Elections -- Financial Exposition — Bohemian
Elections-Dissolution of Hungarian Diet-Imperial Movements-New Hungarian Diet-Red Book-Army Estimates Debate-Cases of Official Corruption-Retirement of Count Lonyay from Hungarian Premiership-Outlines of Reform Bill.
GERMANY. The Diets of the separate German States, which held their sittings during the vacation of the Imperial Parliament at the beginning of the year, afforded a vantage-ground for the operations of the Particularists, who desired, in every practicable way, to counteract the growing work of centralization. The so-called “patriots” of Würtemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony stood up for State right as against Federal right wherever it was possible to influence the course of local legislation, and where they could not succeed in their endeavours, made their voice heard in way of protest. In the Prussian Diet alone the centrifugal tendencies had no effective standing point. To merge the kingdom of the Hohenzollerns in the German Empire was in fact the apotheosis of its national existence, the result of its supremacy in the late national history.
And as a result of this process of absorption into a larger national existence, it became inevitable, at the present crisis of her history, that the central power of new Germany should range herself in opposition to two potent influences, with one of which she had hitherto worked in tolerance or even harmony; the other of which had been the mainstay of her policy ever since the Peace of 1815. The chief features of her history for the year 1872, are the struggle against Ultramontanism and against the aristocratic element in the Prussian Constitution. The struggle against Ultramontanism involved also at particular points hostility to the high orthodox Protestantism which had hitherto flourished side by side with it on the principle of concurrent endowment, in a species of ill-assorted companionship, the one living bond of which was opposition to the inquiring spirit of the age.
The resignation of Herr von Mühler, the Prussian Minister of Church and Educational affairs, which was announced in the middle of January, was the first event of importance as indicating the new direction of the national policy. Herr von Mühler had been appointed to his office in 1862, when the Crown and Commons of Prussia were at direct issue on constitutional questions. He had set himself earnestly to resist all popular encroachments, and had enforced religious restrictions to the utmost of his power in all the schools that came under his sway. In the Universities he installed only such Professors, whether Catholic or Protestant, as might be expected to inculcate a belief in the literal inspiration of Scripture. In the schools, whether elementary or of a higher class, he made the system as denominational as was possible. Science and literature might or might not advance; Catholic Catechisms and Protestant Catechisms were to be inculcated at all costs. The natural consequence was an increased sharpness in the apprehension of differences of doctrine between Church and Church ; and also a widening estrangement between what was considered as "religious education" and the intellectual tendencies of the age. The Mühler régime was unpopular from its commencement. Its author was looked upon as the great obstructer of mental progress, and was compared, with his Protestant Catechism, to Pio Nono with his Syllabus. While his own colleagues in the Education department after a while showed
a disposition to move in the direction of Constitutional liberty, he alone remained stubbornly stationary. As liberal principles gained force among the people, his system of action became more and more hated; and when the great work of the unification of Germany brought the King himself and his great minister in connexion with the liberal movement, it became obvious that the position of the reactionary superintendent of the religious and educational interests of Protestant Prussia became no longer tenable, Von Mühler resigned in the middle of January, and Dr. Falk, one of the ablest members of the Ministry of Justice, and a moderate Liberal, was appointed as his successor.
On the 30th of January, Bismarck electrified the Prussian House of Deputies by a bold declaration of war against the Ultramontanes. It was on occasion of a debate on the Government subsidies towards the maintenance of the Catholic clergy; when Dr. Windthorst, the Hanoverian ex-minister and leader of the Centrum party, complained of the late measures with regard to the Cultus department, of the diminished advantages open to Catholics in the State and in education, and evinced altogether a disposition little in barmony with the working of the United Germany movement.
Bismarck had entered the Chamber for a passing visit only, after transacting some official business with the Emperor. Some venomous remarks in Windthorst's speech provoked him, and he delivered one of those vigorous harangues which, making his admirers alternate at the moment between applause and laughter, caused noticeable results in the political evolutions of the morrow. The breach in the ranks of the Conservative party, the protests of the Kreuz-zeitung, the prospective fusion of all retrogradist parties, the threatened opposition of the Upper House, the Court intrigues subtly directed against himself, were fruits not long withheld. Bismarck began with observing that the desire for peace, expressed by the last speaker, must needs fail of its accomplishment, seeing that his own language had displayed so total an absence of Christian gentle
It was simply the tone and tendencies of the present party of the Centre, he declared, which made it impossible to allow of a Catholic representative in the Ministerial Council. He turned with withering sarcasm on Windthorst. He beheld, he said, as head of the adverse party, a member who, from the very beginning, had joined the Prussian body politic with repugnance and ill-will, a member who, up to the present time, had never shown by speech or action that he had overcome this repugnance, and as to whom he felt doubtful, even now, whether the new formation of the German Empire was pleasing or distasteful to him. To gain their ends, this leader and his partisans had shown themselves ready to make common cause for the time with Particularists and with Protestants alike. But, declared the Prince, a denominational faction within the region of State politics was altogether to be eschewed. “I adhere,” he said, “ to the principle that each religion should be allowed perfect freedom, without therefore considering it