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tween overthrowing a monarchy for the sake of establishing a republic, and supporting a republic after monarchy has been overthrown; and between struggling to sustain a monarchy that is assailed, and struggling to restore a monarchy that has fallen. The first want of France is government, and its second want is wise and efficient government, able alike to protect itself and the freedom of the subject; and the duty of the French statesman is to provide for these wants in the best and speediest manner now practicable. If they can be best provided for by monarchical restoration, royal or imperial, in the elder or the younger branch of the Bonrbons, then he should labor for such restoration ; if they can be best provided for by the republic, princely under Louis Napoleon, or citizen under General Cavaignac, then such republic should be accepted and supported. We regard France, since the revolution of February, as to the constitution of political power, as to a great extent thrown back under the law of nature, and as not only free, but bonnd, to reconstitute government in the manner best adapted to her future welfare, and the question for her to settle is, not the claims of princes, but the political constitution she needs to preserve herself from becoming a prey to the socialists and red-republicans, led on by Mazzini, Ledru-Rollin, and company, those conspirators-general against the rights of nations, the peace of society, and the civilization of Europe.
M. de Montalembert, in the speech before us, as we have intimated, seems disposed to accept and sustain the republic, and the republic with Louis Napoleon for its chief. He is not a Bonapartist; his sympathies are rather with the legitimists; but he contends that Prince Louis has merited well of France and Europe, and, without committing himself for the future, he ably defends the conduct of the president thus far, and awards him the well deserved praise which many from various quarters have denied him. He concedes that the president has committed some faults, the gravest of which, however, was his ill-advised letter on Roman affairs to Colonel Edgar Ney, which he hastened immediately to repair, and which has had no grave consequences. He regrets the dismissal of General Changarnier from his important military command, but thinks it was not wholly without excuse. He also regrets the new ministerial appointments, and would seem to regard the new ministry as not likely to inspire confidence in the friends of order; but he is disposed to judge it by its acts. The president is the responsible head of his administration, and he thus far has proved himself the friend of religion, of order, of legal government, and determined to maintain internal tranquillity, peace and dignity abroad.
To appreciate the merits of the French president, we must take into consideration the very delicate and embarrassing position in which he has been placed from the first. He received it in charge to maintain the republic at home, and the influence and dignity of France abroad. When he was elected, December 10, 1848, the convention had promulgated the constitution, –a miserable abortion, satisfactory to nobody, -and the power of the state was in the hands of the so-called moderate republican party, a feeble minority of the nation, and, whatever their good intentions, without political, and especially administrative capacity. The great majority of the French people were and are monarchists, are not and never have been republicans, and the republic proclaimed by the Parisian mob, in February, 1848, could not have lived a week had it not been acquiesced in and supported by those who did not wish it, had no hand in introducing it, and no sympathy with it. It was impossible for Prince Louis to administer the government without the aid of the monarchists, for the moderate republicans were too few and too imbecile to afford him any real support, and the red-republicans were powerful only in a work of destruction, and were the enemies alike of order at home, and of peace and just influence abroad. He must then conciliate the moderate republicans, secure the aid of the monarchists, and defy the socialists. But if too decidedly republican, he conld not count on the support of the monarchists; and if he trusted exclusively to the monarchists, he might awaken monarchical hopes and prepare the way for a restoration of monarchy, to the destruction of the republic,-or for the division of the monarchical party, which would allow a triumph of the red-republicans to the destruction of social order and the peace of Europe. Here was his great difficultv.
The solution of the difficulty depended on the fact whether the old monarchical party, composed of legitimists, Orleanists, and Bonapartists, had really resolved to let monarchy go, and henceforth to accept without reserve, and to support loyally, the republican order. The repnblicans themselves could not sustain the republic, for the reds would soon absorb the moderates, as in the old revolution the Mountain absorbed the Gironde, and a red republic is as impracticable as undesirable. The fate of the republic was, then, in the hands of the monarchists, and would not they at the first favorable opportunity seek to restore monarchy ? It was to be feared. At the time of the inauguration of the president, it is true, they seemed to have dismissed all monarchical regrets, and to be prepared to support the republic without any after-thought, and the president showed that he had no serious distrust of them, and wished to make no unfavorable distinction between them and the republicans.
Abroad matters were, if possible, still more delicate and embarrassing for a republican president of France. All Europe was divided into two hostile camps, and it was not yet decided which was the strongest. The Holy Father was in exile, and the infamous triumvirate had established their reign of terror in the capital of the Christian world; the radicals were triumphing in Tuscany; Charles Albert was preparing a second invasion of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, Austria was maintaining an apparently donbtful contest with her red-republican anarchists and her Magyar rebels; central Germany was in flames; and Prussia alternated between red-republicanism and despotism, played fast and loose with anarchy, as her sovereign was drunk or sober, was dazzled by visions of the imperial diadein or feared the loss of his hereditary crown. France held the balance, and the party into whose scale she should throw herself could not fail to preponderate, at least for the time. If she manifested any strong sympathy with the republican camp, war would blaze out all over Europe. If she did not, and if she threw her influence on the side of authority, then she would stand in the apparently contradictory light of sustaining a republic at home, and exerting herself to suppreşs republicanism abroad, and would have to encounter the wrath of all the disorganizers of Europe and of America.
The president does not seem to have hesitated long as to the part he should take. He seems to have resolved to sustain the republic at all hazards, not so much because he was a republican as because he was a Frenchman, and France had' had revolutions enough, and to support the party of order abroad, as the party of justice, of right, and becanse it was the only means of preserving the peace of Europe, alike essential to France and to the other European nations. He did not break entirely with the republicans at home, but
he gave the best pledge possible to the friends of order that he was no revolutionist, that he respected the rights of sovereigns as well as of the people, and, above all, the sacred obligations of religion, by restoring, in harmony with the other Catholic powers, the Holy Father to his temporal dominions, and by expelling the miserable banditti who professed to govern the Eternal City in the name of the Roman people. He withdrew France from her false position as the head of the European anarchical propagandism, and placed her on the side of religion, of order, of legal right, and therefore on the side of liberty. From that moment the reaction against anarchy became decided, and victorious in every continental state except Sardinia, and that too without in the least compromising the dignity or the stability of the French republic. No ordinary credit is due to the man who, withont political experience, could assume the direction of the affairs of such a country as France, at such a time, with such obstacles within and without to encounter, and yet bring them to as happy an issue as they had attained to in March, 1850, and Prince Louis may henceforth without a blush call himself the “nephew of my uncle,” for his uncle did nothing greater or really more glorious.
Undoubtedly, the president must divide this glory with the monarchists of France, the majority in the assembly, for if he had had only the republican party, red or moderate, on which to rely, he could never have carried France and Europe through the crisis; but the larger share of the glory is unquestionably his own, as the elected chief of the French nation.
Up to March, 1850, the monarchical party seein to have been united to a man, and determined to support the republic, although they had never desired it. The greater part of thein seemn still determined to do so, but, unhappily, they are no longer united. The reaction against anarchy, having everywhere proved decisive, the imminent danger of socialism having been somewhat diminished, monarchical regrets seem to have been awakened, and dreams of restoring fallen monarchy to have been indulged. A greater danger than France has yet had to meet, we fear, now awaits her, and from this very cause, for without the support of the monarchists the republic cannot stand, and hereditary monarchy, we fear, is henceforth impracticable in France.
The republicans, including both moderates and reds, are, no doubt, a minority, and even a small minority, of the French people. The monarchists are certainly the majority, and, if united, they could withont difficulty sustain themselves against their enemies. But they are not united, and cannot be united. Three times within the last sixty years they have possessed, and three times they have lost power, through their fatal dissensions. The old French monarchy expired in 1789, when Louis XVI. became, instead of king of France, a constitutional king of the French, and no human power can resuscitate it. The order instituted in 1789 by the constituent assembly, with a few exceptions, was the clear and spontaneous expression of the will of the French nation, including the king, the nobles, the clergy, and the people. It is worse than idle to attempt to go behind that new order, and undertake to reëstablisli the throne of Saint Louis. There is nothing in the habits, the sentiments, or the institutions of the French people at the present time to sustain that throne. The feudal nobility is gone; the feudal church is gone; the distinction of ranks is abolished; and chivalry, if not extinct, has taken an entirely new direction. Sixty years of revolution have destroyed loyalty, changed habits of submission into habits of insubordination, obliterated the sense of law, of the fixed and permanent, and superinduced a morbid desire of change, an absolute impatience of all repose as of all restraint. Here is no place for the throne of Saint Louis, nor even for that of " Le Grand Monarque.” We may or may not regret it, according to the temper of our minds. For onr part we do regret it, as we regret all modern changes, none of which can we recognize as improvements. But while we regret it, we hope we have the good sense to conform to the inevitable necessity of things. We are not in relation to our own country any the less loyally republican because we believe the departure from medieval Europe has been a deterioration instead of a progress. We seek no impracticable restorations: we ask what here and now is our duty, and that is plainly for us to support the republican order established, here and now, alike against monarchy and against mobs.
To attempt to restore the monarchy of 1789, is as idle as to attempt the restoration of the authority of the British crown in this country. That monarchy, when it had far more of the sympathy of the nation than it now has, and was surrounded with a prestige which it now wants, could not sustain itself. As a monarchy it rested on a novel