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notes in cash, made its notes a legal tender, and authorised the issue of coupures of not less than 100 francs' value.
An attempt made to dissolve the grenadier and light companies of the National Guard brought that body in collision with the Provisional Government, but the former had to give way, and the National Guard assumed a more democratic character. To employ workmen, the hill-side at Courbevoie was ordered to be levelled, and the Luxembourg to be converted into an English garden. Works truly worthy of a great nation! It is wonderful that any thing English, even a shrubbery, could find favour with so patriotic a people.
To meet these expenses, the city taxes were raised by nearly one-half the year's amount, the increase on the three orders of taxes,-moveable, immovable, and personal, being forty-five per cent. ; an important lesson to would-be Republicans in all other countries. Private plate was melted to make cash, and paid for in paper. An agent de change required fifty francs to change a five hundred franc note.
Every social and political proposition having simply personal interests in view; clubs soon sprang up for the expression of the wants and wishes of parties, who did not fail to speak out in bold and oftentimes alarming language. On all occasions of difference of opinion, with M. Ledru Rollin or Louis Blanc in the Provisional Government, or with the frenzied orator of a popular assembly, it is the same thing, an appeal for decision to the operatives," the class always sought to be made the instruments and the dupes of designing knaves and brawlers, to “come by thousands, come by tens of thousands,” "come all !"
66 There never was," says Swift, "any party, faction, sect, or cabal, whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent, for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead.”
Club oratory was, however, for a brief time superseded by the mania for planting trees of liberty. After every open space in Paris had been disfigured by a poplar, dead and leafless, notwithstanding the waterings of the priest, this ridiculous parade was put an end to by edict. The frenzy of planting trees was succeeded by the more criminal meetings of foreign revolutionists. Germans, Poles, and Belgians were the most
The avowed object of these meetings was to organise bodies who would go to their several countries and proclaim a republic. The signal and ignominious defeat of the first body of Franco-Belgians (now happily followed by that of the Franco-Germans), who marched upon so impudent a mission, put a damper upon these Gallic exhibitions. It was curious that the attempt was made at a spot called Risquons Tout, but it does not appear that the emissaries of the French Republic were inclined to risk any thing at all. While these meetings of revolutionary arboriculturalists and propagandists were going on, a marked desire on the part of the few of the better classes not to appear wealthy began very generally to manifest itself. Carriages especially were put down as a very dangerous aristocratic distinction, and services of plate were incumbrances which the gentry hastened to get rid of to the best possible advantage.
The fell spirit of discontent soon spread from the capital to the provinces. A manifestation on the part of the workmen employed in the spinning factories at Lille to obtain higher wages, and a reduction in the hours of labour, led to serious disturbances. The arbitrary acts of the government commissioners, pursuing their dictatorial work of terror throughout the country, impounding money, forcing the circulation of
paper, laying on taxes and interfering in all private as well as public concerns, excited rebellion at the same time in Lyons, Bordeaux, Blois, and other places.
The spirit of demoralisation spread to the clergy, in which the young priesthood was abetted by the Republic in its rebellion against episcopal authority, and thence to the soldiery. Almost everywhere military manifestations against unpopular officers took place. The 8th Cuirassiers quartered at Mauberge, insisted upon their colonel, chef-d'escadron, and adjutant, being dismissed. At Cambrai, the 5th Chasseurs acted in a similar
way. At Lille, the 57th of the line deposed the colonel. Even the Invalides had an émeute.
Another manifestation of the new spirit of the age was directed against machinery. At Mezières, at Chamblay Jura, at Havre, Rouen, and other places, riots and disturbances occurred in the prosecution of this retrograde national movement. The exportation of grain, cattle, and provisions on the coast was also forcibly opposed by the enlightened legislators of the great Republic. The peace of the metropolis was preserved by a Garde Mobile, who, without uniforms, en blouse, with dirty casquette upon their heads, surrounded by a paper showing that they were soldiers, and with pipes in their mouths, presented an aspect any thing but military, though abundantly ferocious. Sometimes the same Garde wandered in
groups through the streets, half-drunk, and ripe for plunder. Financial embarrassments continued to increase, the houses of D'Eichtal and Co., and of A. Bourget and Co., failed in Paris, that of Perret and Sons, at Neufchatel, and no less than eight banking houses failed in Havre alone in the disastrous second and third weeks of March.
The freaks of the republican commissioners were only put an end to by the Provisional Government declaring all their acts null until ratified at head-quarters. At the same time the true tyrannical character of democracy was curiously manifested in Paris by an attempt to put down La Presse, and to coerce M. Emile de Girardin, its editor. In the midst of this general embarrassment all negotiable securities depreciated, rents everywhere lowered, all commercial movement at an end, production diminishing, operatives unwilling to work and unable to find employment, every one experiencing a diminution of his capital and his income, it was strongly urged to reduce the salaries of public functionaries—the last thing that is voluntarily yielded to in a crippled or a bankrupt state.
The financial position of republican France may be best judged of by taking the returns of any one week. That
, for example, ending April 6th, when there was a decrease of 300,0001. in government deposits, of 400,0001. in private deposits, of 268,0001. in the cash in hand in Paris and the branches ; an increase of 280,0001. in the commercial bills to be collected, and a decrease of 988,0001. in the total commercial bills to be discounted, with an increase of 165,0001. in the commercial bille protested. This is a state of things which it is impossible can last.
The accounts received from the departments are becoming, at the same time, every day more and more alarming. Serious disorders have taken place at Toulouse, Auxerre, Troyes, Beauvais, Rheims, and other places. The appropriation of the French railways by the Provisional Government for their own purposes, may be but a trifling appropriation compared with that more general one, which all who have to gain and nothing to lose, may yet effect to the advantage of their immediate and personal interests.
every thing It is admitted on all hands that the doctrines entertained by the different orders of Socialists—Ledru Rollin, Louis Blanc, Cabet, Pierre Leroux, Blanqui, and others—all differing with one another, yet all establishing the same great antagonism between labour and capital, have done more to destroy confidence than any of the political changes ; and the prostration of French trade and commerce will be a beacon to the wiser German reformers not to trammel the purposes of moderate reform with the vain and empty theories of inexperienced enthusiasts.
The glorious example of the love of law and order manifested in this country upon the occasion of a turbulent demonstration of a party of low demagogues, was not lost upon France. The moderate republican party hastened to get up an armed demonstration against the more anarchical members of the Provisional Government, Messrs. Ledru Rollin, Louis Blanc, Flocon, and Albert, and against socialism and communism generally. The result was successful, as it ever must be, when those who have any thing to lose can be brought to understand their position in regard to such would-be spoliators. The result of this trial of strength between the two parties, say the French writers, with characteristic nationality, is calculated to have "immense influence throughout France and Europe !" Where did France obtain the example from? With a public profoundly corrupted and the ascertained existence of a conspiracy traditionally followed out against property and human society, the moderate party has, notwithstanding the favourable results of the elections, far more eventful contests to undergo yet, and immense obstacles to overcome.
This keeps their hands for the time being politically tied, but it is not for Europe, still less for England, to blind themselves on that account to the real political views entertained even by the moderate party of republican France.
V.-THE POLITICS OF THE FUTURE.
In the apocryphal manifesto of M. de Lamartine, written in the language of a dreamy ambition inspired by Hachych, the hopes and desires of revolutionary France are fairly set forth, and most clearly enunciated. Belgium, “stifed in its unnatural and narrow limits,” had long before the period to which the vision of the drug-inspired augur extends itself1943 ! united spontaneously to France. So it had also happened with respect to the Rhenish provinces, as a natural consequence of the struggles sustained by Bavaria, Saxony, Wurtemberg, &c., for the maintenance of their institutions, and which struggles were the first origin of that great movement to which all the German people were indebted for their compact organisation into one great and undivided German nation. The fermentation which sprang from the little states on the Rhine, soon spread itself throughout all Germany. The Germanic Diet made great efforts to stifle this rising spirit, and Austria, always behindhand, united itself to Russia and England, to dominate over the diet and to keep down the populations of the west and north, but it was in vain.
Prussia, following out the consequences of the commercial union which it had so happily originated, took its place at the head of the Constitutional States. Although France had reason to dread the reunion of the Germanic populations into a single nation, yet it sympathised with them " from devotion to the cause of humanity.” It threw 60,000 chosen men into Italy to assist in the emancipation of the people, and Tyrol, Hungary, and Bohemia, profited by these embarrassments to throw off a yoke that had become insupportable.
(It might have been very flattering to the pride of the French to have aided and abetted the struggle of the Italians against Austrian dominion, but the Hachych has not been a true prophet here, for the Italians have thrown themselves into the struggle without the aid of their vain-glorious neighbours ; nor can France have an excuse for interference, unless the Italian forces met with a decisive overthrow at the hands of the Austrians. And while Tyrol, Hungary, and Bohemia, have sought to ameliorate their institutions and political being, they have as yet manifested no desire to throw off a “detested” yoke ; on the contrary, they are actively preparing to send large contingents to support the claims of Austria
the Lombardo-Venetian territory.) Russia could not assist Austria, being solely occupied in establishing its authority at Constantinople ; so that nothing remained for France but, “ after having delivered Piedmont, Venice, &c.; after having traversed the Tyrol, and threatened Vienna ; to stipulate the complete and absolute independence of all Italy, and to constitute it into one great nation!" As a sequence to which, the said Italian nation adopted the French colours, and allied itself intimately to France, of which it became a province, the general interests of which were treated of at Rome, on account of its central position, by the Italian Congress.
In the meantime, Portugal, liberated from British influence, had united itself with Spain “regenerated.” England opposed itself to this movement; because," in the first place, it saw its interests in danger ; and, in the second, it could do an injury to another nation.” Then France did for Portugal what it had done for Piedmont; and for Spain, what it did for Italy; it drove back the British, as on the other peninsula it had driven back the Austrians. France restored Gibraltar to the Iberian nation, which in return spontaneously adopted the French colours, and acknowledged itself as a portion of the great French nation. The insurrection of the two Canadas, abetted by France and the United States, facilitated this triumphal movement.
Holland, continually struggling on the wide ocean against the encroachments of England, had to carry on that struggle with certain success, sought and obtained admission as a member of this new and great Iber-gallital nation, of which the central-bank was at Marseilles — the seat of the Federal Congress.
In the East, the first nation that had been reconstructed upon the fall of the old Ottoman empire, was the Hellade, comprising Greece, properly speaking, and the Archipelago, more particularly the Ionian Islands. Poland had resuscitated with the conquest of Constantinople by Russia, and by the same conquest Wallachia, Moldavia, and Bulgaria had become fused into the Germanic nation, to whom the Danube has ever been as a main artery. England had succeeded for a time in holding possession of Syria, but with Russia in Asia on one side, and French Egypt on the other, it was the last dying struggle for power in the East, where India had long ago declared its independence, and France had restored the Cape of Good Hope to its original possessors, the Dutch.
Thus driven back on all sides to its own small island, the fate of Great Britain was like that of all people exclusively commercial—that of Sidon and of Tyre—of Carthage and of Venice, and of Genoa. The Iber-gallital Confederation had formed a definite treaty of alliance with the Germanic
nation, a treaty to which all Scandinavia gave in its adherence, and by which all Europe was preserved from the two greatest evils that for a long time afflicted it—the military despotism of Russia and the commercial monopoly of England. The "insatiable cupidity of perfidious Albion” had seen its term, the stupid egoism of the English oligarchy, which had ever blinded itself to antecedents, could no longer be revived by a democracy ; Great Britain left behind by every nation around it, sank into decrepitude and barbarism!
So much for the future. It is well to be prepared for it—the political manifesto of the French Republic is before us. Incapable by itself
of competing against an united Germanic nation, France, by subjecting, under the pretence of “resuscitating," Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, the Rhine, Belgium, and Holland, wishes to originate a power that can cope with Germany, and that can ally itself with the Germanic nation for the one sole and envious purpose of humiliating and overthrowing Great Britain! That is the sum total of this vapouring ambition, as it is certain that under the dreamy pretence of drug inspiration; the hopes and desires of Young France are really confided in black and white to all who will peruse them in M. de Lamartine’s Hachych. Heaven protect the righteous! It is not always to the proud, the ambitious, or the envious that the triumph belongs; and the British lion is as yet no more prepared to give way before this impudent crowing of the Gallic cock, than are its glories likely to fade away so easily before the superior brilliancy of the Iber-gallital rainbow, whose feet rest on the two peninsulas, and whose arch centres on the future metropolis of European grandeurMarseilles !
I HAVE SEEN THE SUNLIGHT.
BY MRS. PONSONBY.
Break npon thy brow,
Fall so sadly now.
Now o'er fate and heart,
Never to depart.
Of that happy time,
An autumn's golden prime,
The golden bloom is fled,
With them are cold and dead.
Again shall deck the earth,
Knows no second birth.
Lo!-how dark the night!
Dark'as morn was bright.