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religion with equal liberty, and obtains the same protection for his worship,' the president stated that the committee had
proposed the suppression of the 6th article. The words of this article are : However, the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion is the religion of the state. The proposition of the committee with regard to this article appears to have been agreed to without much debate, though it is stated, that, when the question was put, about thirty deputies, who composed the whole of the right and part of the centre right, voted against it. Article 7, which created a warm discussion, the committee proposed to express thus : 'The ministers of the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion, professed by the majority of Frenchmen, and those of the other Christian sects only, receive salaries from the royal treasury. The whole of this article was opposed, but the words in Italics were particularly objected to. It was observed, that there was no necessity for pronouncing solemnly that the Catholic religion is professed by the majority of the people of France. To declare in the charter, a fact-and a fact, too, which is in its nature variable, which might in a certain number of years be altered-was, in the opinion of several of the speakers, extremely absurd. The justice of this opinion was not disputed ; but it was contended, that the whole article ought to be retained, on the ground merely of expediency, because there was reason to believe that its rejection would enable the enemies of the new order of things to mislead the ignorant population of some of the departments: the chamber would be represented as intending to suppress religion altogether. M. Keratry stated, that in fact the committee had been influenced by this consideration in making their report. They felt it their duty to expunge the article which declared the Catholic religion the religion of the state; but, having done that, it was considered necessary to retain the next article. He was convinced it ought to be retained, on account of the western departments, where the chamber had many enemies, who would like nothing better than to have the opportunity of representing the deputies as hostile to morality and religion. After several amendments had been proposed and rejected, the discussion terminated by the article being retained with two amendments. The word only was left out, and the words royal treasury were changed to public treasury.”
This revolution has been effected with consummate skill, and moderation on the part of the people. An eye-witness writes as follows : “I marked their stupefaction on reading the King's ordinances on Monday last. I saw their alteration to successive feelings of displeasure, indignation, and a determination to resist. I saw that determination carried into effect, not by the coup-de-main of a compact organized body, but spontaneously,
VOL. II.-NO. IV.
by the whole population of Paris, who, without communication or concert, and comparatively unarmed at every point, attacked the soldiers of government. They effected it not by a sudden and overpowering assault, but by the persevering, unflinching courage of citizens without leaders, save only the youths of the Polytechnic School, exposed for three days to the fire of 12,000 men, the elite of one of the finest armies ever disciplined. I saw them on the first night (Tuesday) burst open the gunsmiths' shops, and retire quietly with their spoil to put it in order for use. I saw them, during and after their first day's conflict, raise the pavement and cut down trees to form breast-works and barricades, and fortify their city in two hours. I saw them modest and unostentatious after their unequalled victory. I saw their vigilance during the night that succeeded their triumph. I saw their submission to leaders when they appeared, and to their representatives when assembled. I saw their sobriety, their honesty, their probity, their humanity, their good sense, their moderation. I see them to-day peaceable citizens, enjoying the bustle of a fête. Ancient and modern history may be searched, but in vain, for events so honourable, so glorious to a nation, as those of Paris during the last five days.'
The charter, which the king had sworn to observe in the face of the assembled nation, was the sovereign authority of France, which every functionary was equally bound to preserve. He who swayed the sceptre was subject himself to the law; and every peer, every deputy, every officer under the king, owed allegiance to the crown secondary to allegiance to the charter. If it would have been proper for the king to have resisted by force an encroachment upon his authority emanating from the deputies of the people, it was equally right for the deputies to resist by force the forcible attempt of the king to enslave the people. Higher considerations still should have bound him,-the duty that he owed to God; and the example of religious obligation that he was called upon to shew to his infidel subjects. “The family of Bourbon are fond of appealing to the name of Henry IV. That name will, no doubt, be frequently in the mouths of those justly-banished princes, whose perjured frauds and broken faith form so degrading a contrast to his nice and chivalrous sense of honour. When Henry was advised to make prisoner the Duke of Savoy, who had incurred his displeasure by the artful manæuvres which he made use of to retain the marquisate of Saluces, but who had come to France relying on the royal word, what was his answer? • God forbid !' replied the monarch ; 'the word of a king of France is inviolable;' and added, “ I have learned from my earliest infancy, from those who first nourished me, that to keep my faith is much more beneficial than any thing which perfidy can promise. Ought the name of such a king to be polluted by the lips of Charles X.? Henry held the word of a king inviolable ; but Charles, his degenerate descendant, considered the oath of a king a fiction of state, dissoluble as royal interest or caprice dictated. But Henry's conscience was not in the keeping of priests and Jesuits, and he could not promise himself paradise in the next world as the reward of perfidy in this! The immediate and exemplary punishment which followed the ex-king's violation of his oath will be a great moral lesson to those who, invested with power that places them above the reach of penal law, are apt to forget that there exists a Higher Tribunal than that of man, which sometimes, even in this world, visits exalted guilt with the stroke of retributive justice.”
The party in this country which is friendly to the legitimate rights of Charles X. is endeavouring, very improperly, to justify the violation of his oath to the charter upon the wording of the 14th clause, which is as follows: “ The king is the supreme head of the government; commands the land and sea forces; proclaims war; makes treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce; appoints to all the offices of public administration, and makes the necessary regulations, and ordinances for the observance of laws, and the safety of the realm." By the latter words it is contended that the king was empowered to use all means to preserve his own rights, at the expense of the rights of his people; and to employ a power which was vested in him for their preservation, to effect their destruction. Such advocates excite disgust at kingly authority, and at all the principles of monarchical government. Yet these arguments are found in the mouths of the same persons who opposed, and properly opposed, the passing of the Popish Bill by the King of England, on the ground that his oath forbade it. If expediency could justify the violation of one oath, it might equally justify the violation of another : and thus the Church-and-King party, as it is called, exhibits itself to be as devoid of inflexible principle as the other.
It has been already observed, that the constitution established in France in 1814 was incomplete. One law is, indeed, incompatible with the existence of a monarchy, but to which all classes of Frenchmen adhere with wonderful pertinacity. By this law, every father is compelled to divide his property equally amongst all his children. This setting aside of the right of primogeniture is in direct opposition to the policy which God enjoined for the Jews; which policy, in all its enactments that were not essentially local and peculiar, is the perfect model of a state. This law is destructive of the aristocracy : by which term is meant, not an order possessed of exclusive rights detrimental to otherssuch as those enjoyed by the ancient noblesse of France—but an order which, possessing hereditary wealth, and illustrious ancestry, must possess that power which wealth always confers : a body intermediate between the king and the people, and absolutely necessary to the existence of a monarchy in any form, and under any limitations. If a house of peers is to exist-and without it a monarchy cannot exist-hereditary wealth must exist also. A pauper peerage was justly esteemed by Sir W. Temple so great an evil, that he proposed, soon after the Revolution in England, to provide against it by legislative enactment, which would incapacitate any peer from sitting as such who had not a certain income; compelling him in that case to hold his title in abeyance until he obtained the wealth necessary to uphold his dignity.
In the conduct of the Deputies which has been praised, reference only has been made to that part of it which consisted in the conflict. A radical error has been committed, which has led to a worse. Perceiving that by the operation of the law which annuls the right of primogeniture the peerage would sooner or later necessarily become a non-entity, the Deputies acted already as if no such body existed, and, without calling in the aid of that body, and of the clergy, and of the judges, and of the councillors of state, they proceeded at once to dethrone their King, to disinherit his posterity, and to place his crown upon the head of another. In thus acting they shewed an utter contempt of all principle, and a contempt for that very charter, the violation of which by the king, and the submission to which by themselves, could alone justify any part of their proceedings. By the charter, the person of the king was inviolable, and his ministers only responsible. The dethronement, therefore, of the king was contrary to the charter, and unnecessary. Besides this, there neither was, nor could be, the shadow of a pretext for disinheriting the son and grandson of the king. If it be said that the king abdicated, still he abdicated with an express limitation in favour of his grandson : and whether he did or not, the people had no right, could have no right, to take from the heir the possession to which he was born.
The example of a private family furnishes a perfect illustration. Let us suppose that the head of it murders some of his domestics and tenants, and commits various atrocious acts upon others. The rest of the servants are bound to stop him in his career of iniquity, and deliver him over (for he has no substitute to be responsible for him) to suffer the punishment due to his crimes. But the servants have no right to seize upon his estate, withhold it from his son, and confer it upon a kinsman of their former master.
In the case of England, in 1688, the circumstances were very different. The point at issue was not absolute religion ; although Mr. Fox has laboured, with no great credit to his candour as an historian, to persuade us of the reverse. To have taken the next heir, therefore, would have been to take
one who possessed the very leprosy for which the father had been excluded : the next heir, however, who was free from that disqualification was taken ; and the principle of legitimacy and right of inheritance, therefore, was preserved as closely as was possible under all the circumstances. Had right principle been attended to in France, it would have been accompanied also, as it always must be, by the soundest policy. Mr. Brougham has said very truly, that the apprehension now for the tranquillity of France arises from too little power being left in the
“ From the inroads of royal prerogative there is now little to fear, especially if the representation of the people shall be established upon a more extended foundation—the best security both for the liberty of the subject and for the stability of the throne. My anxious hope is that no error may be committed in the other extreme; that the wisdom and temperance which have hitherto shone so illustriously through all the proceedings of the distinguished leaders may preside over what remains of their great work, and enable them to see the hazard of a too feeble executive power. At a moment when they may be more apt to think of the dangers they have just escaped from arbitrary domination, it well becomes their sagacity and foresight to avoid sowing the seeds of dissension and struggle, and change and convulsion, while they are planting the tree of limited monarchy, under whose shade the rights of all classes may best repose in peace and safety. Above all, let us hope that every thing will be shunned which can perpetuate the authority of an armed force, but that functions of deliberation will for ever be separated from those of action; that, having a chosen monarch in whom they can confide, providing salutary checks to his power, and founding his throne, as we in England did our sovereign’s, upon the sacred principle of resistance to lawless tyranny, they will entrust him with the prerogatives of wielding the national force, and representing the country abroad: prerogatives never safely to be shared with any other branch of the government, however necessary it may be strictly to controul them and jealously to watch their exercise.”
We can tell Nr. Brougham a secret of which he little dreams, and that is, that wherever there is sufficient controul over the power of rulers to prevent their oppressing their subjects, there will be too little power for them to carry on the executive government: and, on the other hand, that wherever there is sufficient power vested in rulers to make an effective government, be that power vested in one or more hands, the people will be directly or indirectly oppressed. It is not in the power of human forms or contrivances to give political perfectibility to man; and he has seen and observed but little of what constitutes real happiness, who thinks that the body of the people