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Corps Legislatif, which without ministers | no ideas, obtains the Ministry of the Interior, was, like the American Congress, only a by far the most important in France. M. great debating club, is very decidedly in- Behic may possibly be known to those who creased. The emperor has re-connected the hold shares in the Messageries Imperiales, Legislature and the Cabinet, removing those but he has not hitherto been one of the politibuffers between them—the ministers without cal circle. M. Billault, Minister of State, portfolio. Two Cabinet ministers, whose of- who, with M. Rouher, Minister President, will fices correspond nearly to those of our own represent the Cabinet, was last session only president of the council and premier, are to the tunnel through which the Foreign Office speak on behalf of Government of plans and filtered its ideas to the Chamber. And M. acts in which they have had their share. Baroche, now Minister of Justice and ReligThe “ministers with a voice” had none, ion, was at the same period only umbra to M. could only speak as they were bid, only prom- de Persigny. The personnel is changed, and ise after a consultation with the real admin-changed, there seems little reason to doubt, istrators behind. It is the difference between in a comparatively Liberal sense. M. de talking to a partner and to a clerk, and will Morny, who, like his master, understands tend directly to increase the influence and his epoch, and thinks the safety-valve of the the dignity of the legislative branch. Then, steamer an inexpedient seat, would hardly though ministers are not responsible, they have consented to remain in the Government can, as we see, be dismissed, and Cabinet without some guarantee for the press. Then ministers whose bills are rejected, or who are it is improbable that any minister would comdirectly censured by a majority, are very press the journals quite so fiercely as M. de likely to find themselves out of office. Even Persigny, impossible that any minister should in England it is only the practice and not the compress them in quite so hateful a way. theory of the Constitution which makes a His dismissal is by itself a warning which no hostile vote fatal to the continuance in office statesman is likely to disregard, and M. Bouof men who theoretically are only her maj- det has not the personal hold which M. de esty's servants. The tendency, too, of every Persigny possessed. Above all, the visible man is to respect the body to which he be- determination of the emperor to accept the longs, and which he finds he can influence, will of France as the guide, if not of his acts and ministers sitting in Parliament usually at least of the direction of those acts, will regard the debates with a very different feel- give every publicist courage, and make every ing from that displayed by ministers who ob- minister dread lest the time should yet arserve them only from the outside. The rive when a free press should denounce himAmerican secretaries would not be so regard- self before a Legislature summoned by the less of the opinion of Congress if they min- authority of a Bonaparte, but still irresistigled in its debates, nor would they be quite bly powerful. All must depend as yet on so willing to accept their president's decision the emperor's personal intentions, and we as final. The tendency of the change, how- have not forgotten that M. de Persigny began ever feeble, is still to increase the influence his career with a profusion of liberal words, of the representative body over the executive, but the tendency of the decree is to show and thus to open to France the means of ex- once more that the emperor does not forget ecuting her will without descending into the he holds power by the tenure of expounding streets.
the popular will. These, however, are results which will only There is much speculation abroad as to the be felt in the future; the fact more imme-effect of the ministerial changes on the emdiately interesting is the change of advisers peror's foreign policy, and the removal of upon which the emperor has resolved. M. Count Walewski is held unfavorable to inFould remains, it is true, as guarantee for tervention in Poland. Upon questions like economy, and M. Drouyn de Lhuys, as proof this, however, the emperor rules alone, and that foreign policy is unchanged ; but the the change can scarcely affect his course upon bulk of the ministry is made up of new men. foreign affairs. The Minister of War and the M. Boudet, who, though a Councillor of State, Minister of Marine, the Minister for Foreign and a “ most respectable person,” is outside Affairs and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, his own country a man whose name suggests all the officers whose departments would be
greatly affected by war, remain unchanged. I the departure of her people not in itself a M. Boudet cannot prevent Poland from being blessing. He did not shirk the question of heard, or M. Behic cool down all France from tenure, but asserted point blank that any ara fever of eager sympathy. The motives rangement which left the landlord less than which might impel, and the motives which absolute was “ confiscation,” and “a subvermight restrain the emperor in beginning an- sion of all the fundamental principles of soother war of European dimensions, are wholly cial order.” He denied the possibility of unaffected by anything that has occurred. remedy save from the seasons, and called on He will not play for so vast a stake until his the House to refuse the motion, which the mind is made up, or the pressure from with-House did by a majority of one hundred and out is not to be resisted, and when it is made twenty-eight to forty-nine. up, ministers and councillors, public and se It is impossible not to admire the political cret, will be changed, or used as if they were courage which tells the inhabitants of a kingpawns in chess. In the Italian War he hes-dom that there is no hope for them save banitated up to the last hour, and, had Austria ishment; impossible not to distrust the sciobeen less impatient, would have called on lism which propounces so boldly that the Congress instead of his army. It may be very consequences of an unnatural social condiunpleasant for Europe to know that peace or tion are in reality its causes. If Lord Palwar hang upon one man's will, but that has merston's theories are true, nothing can be been the case any time these twelve years, more beneficial to Ireland than the way in and that is the penalty Europe must always which he states them. If it be the fact that pay when in its timid fear of freedom, it re- Ireland to be prosperous must be a desert, if joices that “ order reigns in France." her fate is “ prairie " instead of “ clearings,”
if her people are a nuisance, and their hopes
chimæras, the more thoroughly the country From The Spectator, 27 June.
understands those hard truths the better for AN IRISH PREMIER ON IRELAND.
its population. Political reticence is never LORD PALMERSTON's speech on Tuesday on worth much, and the suave etiquette which the condition of Ireland was a good example lets a people perish rather than cease to of the best and worst peculiarities of his prophesy smooth things is the worst, because mind. Mr. Maguire, in a speech temperate the most injurious, of the hundred forms of as if he had been born in England, as full of lying. But then it ought, at least, to be facts as if an Irishman could by possibility clearly proved that the curses are truths, that respect statistics, moved for a royal commis- our blunt friend is telling us things visibly sion to " inquire into the state of the agri- for our good, and not assuming frankness in cultural classes of Ireland,” because the order to feed fat a secret grudge. The premier measures of 1860 in the direction of tenant- spoke with earnestness, and being an Irishright had proved inoperative. Speaker after man can hardly be suspected of anti-national speaker rose to repeat some one of Mr. Ma- prejudice, but his reasonings seem as feeble guire's propositions in italics ; Mr. Roebuck as his convictions are strong. Mr. Maguire, made a clever but unpractical suggestion ; in common with most contemporary thinkers, Sir Robert Peel poured out a strange “ dis- and notably Mr. J. Stuart Mill, ascribes the coorse," which reads like a lecture to a Young evils of Ireland to what he terms the land Man's Society, on the tenures prevalent among tenure. He means, we believe, though he mankind; and then the premier stood up to did not bring out the point, not the tenure order the division. His usual weapon, tact, itself, which is simply the absolute right of was for the evening laid aside; the rapier the owner, and which works well enough in was exchanged for the club, and he struck England and Scotland, but the incessant conout hard. He did not attempt to deny the flict between the tenure sanctioned by law distress—" we all admit and deplore it” and the tenure sanctioned by opinion. The but he attributed it to the seasons, over law makes the landlord absolute, enables which no Government has any control. He him to turn cornfields into pasture or pasture did not question the proportions which the into cornfields at discretion, to split his land new exodus has assumed, but openly doubted among pauper cottiers, or to remove the popuwhether Ireland was not over-populated, and lation en masse that sheep may have space to
feed. There is no limit to his right except Premier, backed, we allow, by the Liberal the one which is the safety-valve of our soci- party, speaking, we admit, the sentiments of ety, and which binds him, if he allows the five-sixths of England, blankly declines to population to stay, to see that in the hour of grant. extremity, while he has anything, they shall He says, and those who vote with him say, not die of hunger. Absolutism corrected by this is not the true disease, but the diseases a poor-law is the English landlord theory and they quote may be proved to be only sympthe lawyers’ theory in Ireland, and, once toms. It is over-population, says Lord Paladmitted by all classes, is, we honestly be- merston, but population is only an effect. lieve, upon the whole the best. Only, the Why should Ireland be over-populated any Irish don't admit it. Their theory, strength more than Great Britain? The theory of ened by a custom of three hundred years, is marriage is the same, the age of marriage that the landlord has absolute right of prop- among the agricultural classes the same ; the erty, but the tenant an equal right of occu- women are not more prolific, the people sinpancy, so long as he pays the acknowledg- gularly and enigmatically free from all forms ment fixed by the lord, and of course, law and of sexual vice. They were but a million opinion are at incessant war. The tenant, once, and the problem is to discover why they justitied, perhaps, by precedents stretching should have increased on the land like rabthrough centuries, improves, or sells' his im- bits, while Englishmen bred like human beprovements, or transfers his right of occupancy ings. Are not the true causes the poverty for a consideration. The landlord, justified and the recklessness which spring of the soby the law, takes the improvements, annuls cial disorganization, which is produced by the their sale, or claims to transfer the occupancy class hostility which, in its turn, has its root under no restraint save his own will and in the tenure? It is the cottier system? pleasure. Of course, there is a struggle, and The French, who do not multiply, are cotunhappily for Ireland the contempt for life tiers too. It is the national character ? In which is at the very root of the Celtic nature, what respect does that character differ from which is the spring of the French passion for that of the Poles, who, so far from multiplyglory as well as of Irish murders, of the Par- ing, have in all probability decreased ? It is isian readiness for barricades as well as the the national creed? Bah! Look at LomIrish sympathy for assassins, makes that strug- bardy, where a Catholic population turn a gle a bloody and therefore a criminal one. drought-stricken plain into the richest of garEnglishmen long ere this would have met a dens, without eating one another up by their system which they hated as the Irish hate numbers. Then, suggests Lord Palmerston, this by a passive resistance, before which the if it be not over-population, it is the rainlandlords would be as powerless as the Legis- fall. Ireland is a wet country. Well, Lomlature. Suppose a county threw up its hold- bardy is a dry one ; or take Bengal, which is ings, accepting poor relief till its leases were wetter yet, and which is over thousands of signed! Irishmen meet it,we are pleading square miles cultivated like a garden. The their cause, but shall blink no truthlike use of scientific cultivation, as we understand assassins, by cowardly shots from behind it, is to meet local difficulties of soil and clihedges, and still more cowardly menaces of mate and season, and the reason scientific future vengeance in writing. Of course, cultivation does not exist in Ireland is simply atrocities of that kind rouse the manliness of the absence of capital, produced by the classthe landlords, as well as their instinctive hate war which has its root in tenure. To say the of restraints on property, and so the conflict island cannot under any conditions feed its grows daily worse, the gulf between cinss and people is simply to accuse Providence of beclass deepens and widens, the peasant betakes ing rather more stupid than Scotch landlords, himself more readily to his weapon, the land- who contrive to make a poorer soil keep their lord is almost ready—as Sir E. Grogan showed people fat. in his speech-to call for despotic measures “But,” argues Sir E. Grogan, “ it is not of public safety. It is into the possibility of over-population or the tenure, but disorder remedying this state of affairs that Mr. Ma- and idleness." Crush down disorder by guire asks Parliament to inquire, and it is an force, and make the people work hard. Yet inquiry into this condition of affairs that the for three hundred years we have tried this
crushing system under the most favorable and into the possibility of amending that circumstances, and with the effect we see. A tenure Parliament refuses to inquire. government supported by a race who at almost any time in their history could, had they chosen, have exterminated the Irish,
From The Spectator, 27 June.
THE BRITISH DEMANDS ON RUSSIA. was for three hundred years released from scruples by a difference of creed, and applied The six points of Earl Russell's proposal its pitiless strength without a shudder or a by no means reconcile Liberals to the Polish remorse to this one end, and failed. It has policy he is pursuing. They seem to us just not even secured the one poor result, which wide enough to render concession exceedingly in vast and swarming countries like India it difficult, and just narrow enough to make it has secured, viz., the personal safety of the of no conceivable use. If rejected, they leave rich—the end which a government like that us no honorable alternative except to insist of Naples, abandoned of God and detested of on acceptance—which is war; and if acman,
did still contrive to obtain. Are we to cepted, they provide no guarantee against re-commence that system, and live over again further oppression of Poland—which is not three centuries of cruelty, to find ourselves peace. Let us make the three wide assumpat the end either with a desert to re-people, tions—that Russia accepts them en bloc, that or a new effort to begin the career of justice the national Government of Poland, which upon which we are at last fairly embarked ? lately declared that its single object was Statesmen, we submit, will for once agree independence,” consents to recall its own with philanthropists that if all efforts are to words, and that recalling them it retains its fail, and Ireland still to be a wound rather influence with the insurgents ; and, even in than a limb in the body politic, they may at that excessively improbable case, what will least accept that fate more easily by retain- Poland have gained? The Czar will have ing the consciousness that, as at present, Ire- pledged himself to create a representative land suffers under no intentional injustice. government, to select only Poles for office, As to industry and energy, the very ground to establish a fair conscription, to employ of inquiry is that the Irish who abroad suc- the Polish language, to grant a general ceed, at home despair, the very object to be amnesty, and to protect religious freedom. sought is the cause which produces the ad- Considering that Prussia at this moment posmitted difference. The shiftless, improvi- sesses every one of these advantages, they dent, lying heap of rags and geniality who are not necessarily of much value, even when in Ireland potters over a half-drowned potato considered apart from existing facts. But, patch, crouches to the priest and shoots at considered with them, they amount, with the landlord, is in Ohio a hard-working the exception of the amnesty already refarmer, believing in broadcloth, and spiteful fuscd, absolutely to nothing. Poland has only to the priest who objects to a Protestant had all these things once before already, school. The wretched squireen, who is in granted in honest faith, secured by treaty, Ireland the worst specimen extant of civi- guaranteed by all Europe in arms, and they lized man, is in India a successful adminis- have all been taken away. No constitution trator, or in Austria founds a family honored could be more liberal than the one of 1815, for generations. The rebel, who in Ireland the Polish language has never been abolwrites mad verses in the Nation, or talks lying ished, and as for the employment of Poles, trash about the 6. Saxon," or rushes with a it was a Pole who devised the act of tyranny mob of half-armed wretches on the same which has made even Conservatives speak as wretches civilized by English discipline, is in if ready for war. Poles are not pleased when Australia a working and very successful Min- their first-born are kidnapped by a Pole any ister of State, in Canada a large proprietor, more than when they are abducted by a Rusa man whose opinion carries English votes, sian. There is no new guarantee that the whose letters of warning sound to English- Alexander of to-day will be more honest than men masterpieces of eloquent sense. The the Alexander of 1815, that Constantine Niccause of the difference is social disorganiza- olaivitch will be less of a tyrant than Contion ; the root of disorganization is the tenure; stantine Pauloyitch proved to be. All the
Poles in the ancient kingdom are given up to a position which, disguise it as we may, has the mercy of the czar, to the ruffian who is something of humiliation for a Government deporting the nobles of Lithuania, or the in- whose pride is at least equal to that of any cendiaries who are calling up peasants to Government in the world? By all reports, it massacre landlords in Volhynia. Congress is arming to meet any possible eventuality, Poland will still remain united to Russia, repairing Cronstadt, replenishing arsenals, and the czar will still retain his indefinite ordering masses of troops into the provinces powers as king. Not one guarantee for per- most exposed to attack by sea. Strengthened sonal freedom is so much as suggested. Po- by the adhesion of the people, who, however land will still be occupied by Russian troops, discontented, are not unpatriotic, it may rewhose excesses are protected by the law which fuse point blank, and how will the Foreign exempts soldiers from courts of justice, while Office stand then ? If it has decided on war, the children of Poland are still condemned to it may, indeed, escape ridicule, for it can serve at the furthest extremities of the em- plead the otherwise blameable moderation of pire. That the Russians will employ every its own proposals, and the contrast between power reserved as an instrument of terror is its gentle speech and its tremendous action certain, and there is nothing in the six points will certainly not diminish the dignity of its to prevent their sending all Polish regiments attitude. But if, as Earl Russell affirms, to do duty on the Amoor. The only guarantee it has determined under all circumstances to worth a straw, the cantonment of the national avoid war, it will stand convicted of having army within the national boundary, is care-attempted interference without the power of fully omitted, and Poland is left dependent on securing respect, and must either proceed to a power which to her has always been treach- the extremities which it has repudiated in erous, and which will feel that its promises advance, or submit to leave the affair, and bave this time been extorted by the menace with it Europe, to the will of its great ally. of force. No free press is demanded ; it is as For, it must be remembered, the ministry is easy to punish complaint as crime ; and the not alone in this matter. If England, having instant the paper is signed the government joined France in a specific demand, retreats may commence with impunity to violate its from enforcing that demand, Napoleon may provisions. What is to prevent it, except well refuse to be dragged back by Earl Rusjust such an insurrection as these proposals sell, or to encounter the ridicule which is so are intended to pacify, or just such an inter- fatal in France. He is not bound to acvention of the West as Earl Russell hopes to knowledge that his despatches were only avert? The treaty proposed is, in fact, a words, or to assume that when England demere repetition of that which was signed at manded fulfilment of a treaty, she meant it Vienna, and the breach of which has for should not be fulfilled. Is the Government thirty-three years kept Europe on the verge prepared either to sacrifice the alliance which, of a general war.
while it lasts, keeps the ocean clear and Take, on the other hand, the far more limits the area of almost any disturbance, or probable supposition that the czar rejects or to allow Napoleon to do the whole work and evades the principal propositions. It will be to fix on his own reward ? To go forward exceedingly difficult, if he means to retain with France was wise, if we were going forhis autocratic power, to accept them even in ward to the end; but to go forward, and then seeming. The ruling classes of Russia, which desert her at a point where no critic among include, be it remembered, the officers of the us can blame the emperor for advancing, and army, have reached that political stage at so sacrifice our own honor, the future of Punwhich the spectacle of a free Government in land, and the French alliance in one trium one-third of the empire-constructed by the phant blunder ;—this certainly is no evidence sovereign who refuses free Government in the of high diplomatic skill. other two-thirds—would stimulate them to We confess to a growing conviction thu frenzy. The existing order of society could this question is leading to war, and that Eng not endure a twelvemonth under such a pres- land, with all her efforts, may be unable + sure, and the dynasty would lose as much keep out of the fray. Napoleon has other it from its diplomatic defeat as it could fear to terests than ours, and is liable to a pressu lose from war. Why, then should it accept no government in England can feel. I