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the minority the officials who voted under city which, like Paris, sends up at once compulsion, the old soldiers who voted be- Thiers and Jules Favre, or, like Marseilles, cause Napoleon is the heir of his uncle, the elects at once M. Marie and M. Berryer, is jobbers who thrive on corruption, the con- not thinking specially about dynasties. But, tractors enriched by improvements, the then, can the dynasty survive the system it bribed, the cowardly, and the class wbich has created, and the vote is most unquestionbreeds in the empire as vermin in stagnant ably directed against that? It is an anwater, unanimous Paris would seem to have nouncement that Paris, which always wishes voted against the Imperial system. So keenly to-day what France will agree to to-morrow, was this felt that the victors became calm is longing for a new system, for greater libfrom the very intensity of their sense of tri-erty to intellect, a freer play for thought, umph. · I went," writes an acute observer less restriction in action, a new relation beon the spot, “ through several sections at the tween the executive and the people. It is an time when the votes were being counted ; assurance that Paris, and, therefore, by and there was a serenity in triumph which was by, France, will not bear such circulars as quite touching. In the evening, men gave a M. de Persigny directed against M. Thiers, franc for the second edition of a paper, and will not submit to elect mere nominees, will read aloud outside the figures of the majori- not give up its right, if not to dictate, then ties, which were really incredible in some to criticise, the action of ministers of state. sections ; people spoke briskly, without dis- It is a gasp for more air, the expression of a guise or fear. Fifteen days more, and the passionate wish for that régime of healthy departments would have sent up thirty more conflict which we call constitutional life. deputies to the Opposition. Patience ; he And this is what the great cities have taken laughs well who laughs the last." That vote' means to secure. was the more decisive because there was no It is not because the Opposition is twentyground for local discontent. Whatever the eight instead of five that its vote has become empire may have neglected it has pampered of importance. Twenty-eight men cannot Paris. M. Hausmann told but the truth vote the emperor out of his throne, or refuse when he talked of the gratitude which,--sup- supplies, or punish a tyrannical minister, posing man lived by bread alone,-Paris any more than five. It is because the twentyw ld owe to the emperor who found her eight are of the class who can make Parliabrick, and may one day perhaps leave her mentary conflicts real, can, even when outmarble. All that an absolute court, aided voted, exercise political power. No president by genius like that of Visconti, and adminis- can silence M. Thiers by interruptions on trative ability like that of M. Hausmann, points of form. No minister with a voice could do to beautify and enrich and amuse can argue down M. Pelletan, or make M. the beautiful city has been done, done with Berryer's ringing sentences other than influa heartiness, a cordial enjoyment in the do- ential. No official, however triply cased in ing, most unlike the grudging spirit which so impudence and dotations, can be indifferent often mars official beneficence. There are to the mots which will drop from the lips of hundreds of tradesmen in Paris who can trace M. Jules Simon. Even animals with six their fortunes directly to the decrees of Louis stomachs cannot drink oil of vitriol and reNapoleon, thousands of workmen to whom main alive. It does not do in France to be M. Hausmann's plans have brought work hopelessly outmatched in talk, yet if the Govand wages and security. Parisians, too, ernment resort to argument, there is Parlialove Paris as Athenians once loved Athens, mentary life revived, and can the dynasty and feel a just pride in every improvement survive revived Parliamentary life? How is which seems to justify her claim to be called it to send expeditions to the ends of the world the metropolis of civilization. It is from no when its finance is proved to all men unlocal annoyance, therefore, no citizen sore- sound, or war for ideas with M. Berryer tellness at neglect, no municipal spite, that Paris ing the peasants that conscription eats up has returned all the men whom the emperor's their sons, or send the suspect to Cayenne servants proclaimed the enemies of his rule. with M. Favre denouncing the “ laws of pubTheir vote is a political manifesto, signed by lic safety.” If it be silent, and rely upon all the intellect of the country, a resolution force, then all the argument will be on one carried by the representative population of side, and France is unfortunately logical, and France, that they are weary of a régime of thinks action should follow proof; if it repression, of rulers who avow their belief speaks, it has entered the arena in which victhat the Frenchman is all stomach.
tory is to the wise and the eloquent, and It is this which makes the elections seem therefore not to M. de Persigny or his. In 80 formidable to the entourage of the court. I either case, the elections have secured greater The Parisian vote may not be, and, we think, freedom and vividness to political life, and is not, directed against the dynasty. The i the Imperialists wisely doubt whether they
are among the plants which can survive re-flection, and there is a very visible tendency moval into fresh air.
to deduce a great deal more from the result The effect, too, of the Parisian vote is not of the French elections than the facts will restricted to Paris or the Parisian members. bear out. They are sufficiently simple. By The declaration of the capital will embolden dint of immense exertions and a momentary every form of antagonism in the provinces. though imperfect union, the parties opposed Had it been known only three days before the to the emperor have succeeded in seating election, twenty cities would have sent up twenty-eight representatives of very varied members of the Opposition. The waverers opinions, ranging from M. Berryer, Legitiamong the members themselves feel that the mist advocate, to M. Marie, member of the Liberal may soon be also the stronger side, Provisional Government, but all more or less and
every member whom the Administration opposed to the Napoleonic régime. Among may irritate sees a party to which he may these representatives are all the nine whom transfer his services with some hope of a fu- Paris has the right to return, and the repreture reward. Frenchmen always need hope sentatives of Marseilles. The Opposition, as a stimulus to energy. Eloquence, too, is therefore, may be said to have carried the not wholly lost within the Chamber itself, capital and the French Liverpool, and to have and inside and out the new members are men quintupled their strength in the agricultural who can evoke as well as lead public opinion. districts, but they have, nevertheless, secured On all sides the apathy which was more fa- only one-tenth of the representation. tal than hostility, as a mud fort is harder to It is evident, therefore, that it is not the pierce than a stone bastion, is visibly giving number of the new Opposition which is supway, the Orleanists look up with new hope, posed to be formidable. Twenty-eight votes and even the Republicans begin to believe cannot interfere with official designs any more that they see the handwriting on the wall. than five, or indeed rather less, for as the Both may be mistaken as to the realization number increases, so does the chance of inof their ultimate ends, for they are matched ternal differences or disputes. The five supågainst an opponent of a rare class,-a man plemented one another : the twenty-eight at once subtle and audacious, a despot who may, and probably will, on questions like the can give way, and who, so his dynasty may occupation of Romo, neutralize one another's but endure, would accept any conceivable strength. The cause of alarm must, theregovernment France might agree to impose. fore be sought either in the character and There is a fund of power in reserve in the power of the new members, or in the state emperor's mind which his antagonists have of opinion revealed by the mode of their no means of measuring, but the limits of election. That power is considerable, and which, are the first, if not the sole, condi- that feeling is dangerous; but in politics there tions of the great game. But the realization are degrees, and the degree of good or misof their immediate end, a relaxation of pres- chief to be expected is we believe, exaggersure, seems to us more than probable. They ated. may not upset the dynasty, nor will English It is thought that the members now elected men wish they should, but they may yet be will bring to the aid of the Opposition very able to offer iť the alternative of reigning un- formidable critical power. Some of them, der conditions compatible with the orderly like M. Thiers, are familiar with practical freedom of France, and, therefore, with the statesmanship,--some, like M. Berryer, capeace of the world.
pable of bursts of most moving eloquence, some, like M. Simon, full of those " sayings ”
which are so terribly effective in France. From The Economist, 6 June. How, it is said, is the empire, which above THE FRENCH ELECTIONS.
all things fears scrutiny, to bear scrutiny like
this? The simple reply is that it has borne THERE is some danger we think lest the im- it. It is not possible for men to utter more portance of the incidents now occurring in searching or eloquent criticism than Jules Fránce should be exaggerated. Any motion Favre has done, yet his speeches were pubin a body presumed to be dead, affects the lished in the Moniteur, and still the empire imagination with terror, and terror always stands. Indeed, on certain points the ormagnifies facts. There is too, no doubt, in leanist chiefs did last year speak in ParliaEngland, a secret ill will, not so much to ment, for rumor belies some of the debaters the emperor as to the ministers whom he per- on Rome if they did not read speeches premits to misuse his name, and who are con- pared by M. Thiers, M. Guizot, and M. Dusidered more repressive than the security of faure. There is no one of the Republican his throne requires, which predisposes men members who can say things more cutting to exult in any blow inflicted on them. Nei- than the Marquis St. Pierres said of the law ther fear nor exultation are favorable to re- of public safety, or who will dare to treat
foreign policy with more audacious freedom pable. It is very doubtful whether, had the than Prince Napoleon, yet laws and policy minister and the prefect left the matter alone, are unreversed. M. Berryer brings a higher or bowed with profound deference to the inorder of eloquence, but then his influence is tellect of Paris, M. Devinck would not have poisoned at the source by his connection with been returned. An election thus dictated by ar impossible party. If Sir George Bowyer anger may be very dangerous to the subject could speak like Gladstone he would still never of anger; but then that is M. de Persigny, influence the English middle-class mind, be- not the Emperor Napoleon. cause people would all the while be thinking But even accepting the returns as indica“ this man says these things because he is an tions of the true feeling of Paris, as springing Ultramontane." The objection does not in:leed from a desire for total change and not merely apply to M. Thiers, and that gentleman can for more freedom of discussion, their effect is strike one chord very near to the heart of still somewhat exaggerated. The empire does France, her love of * grandeur and glory.” not rest upon Paris. On the contrary, the He might, if he asked very often, like the emperor has almost avowed that he reigns by Duke d’Aumale, “ What have you done with the choice of the agricultural peasants and France?” prove very formidable ; but then the army, and neither of these classes have is M. Thiers altogether an enemy of the Bo- deserted him. They have returned his nomirapartes ? He has passed his life in exalting nees en masse. It may be said, and it is proNapoleon the First, --why should he give up bably true, that excessive official pressure his heart to opposition to Napoleon the was applied by the prefects, and that the Third? And if he does not give up his heart, peasantry of the more secluded departments his opposition will be timid and compara- were not so much invited as driven to the tively valccless. That debate will be a little polls. Nevertheless the fact remains that livelier, and that a little more care must be they did not hate the empire enough to defy taken in selecting talking ministers, is evi- the official influence, a course which, as the dent; but that seems the extent of the an- example of Paris shows, was, if they chose, ticipation justified by the facts.
open to them to try. The reasonable concluBut Paris, we are told, bas pronounced sion is that they are either favorable or inagainst the empire. Has it, or only against different, and in either case that which exists Persigny? It must not be forgotten that has the advantage of its dead weight. The eight out of the nine elected belong nominally tree may be rotten, but it will not fall till or really to the Republican party, and as the it is either cut or pushed. bourgeoisie certainly do not desire a Republic, But Paris is France ? There is at last the their vote must be considered as given to men thought which is in the ininds of those who who could be relied on to oppose, and there- believe this election so important; but we fore ameliorate, the existing régime, and not do not so read history. On the contrary, we to men devoted to a particular substitute. In believe Paris to have been always so far in the single exception, M. Thiers, it is admitted advance of the provinces as to be almost in by all Parisians that the circulars of M. de antagonism to them. During the Revolution Persigny and M. Hausmann really secured Paris was constantly threatened with the his election. The former, who seems during vengeance of the departments, and the first the past year to have lost all judgment, time they were really represented, the Counopenly dictated to the electors, abused the cil of Five Hundred proposed to abolish the old régime in a style which politicians usually revolutionary authority and restore the Bouravoid, not because they are politicians, but bons. After 1848 the provinces sent up an because they are gentlemen, and so clearly Assembly utterly conservative, which passed pitted the crown against Paris that the most restrictive laws on the press, restrained the dauntless population on earth at once took liberty of meeting, undid all distinctly reup the gauntlet. M. de Persigny could have publican acts, crushed the masses of Paris made any one almost equally popular, and, under grapeshot, and but for fear of civil war as it was, half the constituency of the second would probably have restored constitutional division refused to vote at all. M. Hausmann monarchy. Napoleon in 1852 shot down Paagain pathetically appealed to Paris on the risians mercilessly, and was certainly five ground of the improvements which the em- | times as much hated then as he is now, yet pire had carried out-an argument which the empire stood. He has throughout his always annoys the Parisians. They like the reign watched Paris like an enemy, covered improvements, but they never can bear to be it with fortresses called barracks, laid out told that benefits descend on them from above, streets for artillery, organized an underor to see that their rulers appeal to their in- ground railway specially intended to transterests and not their intelligence. The sen- port troops in safety into the stronghold of timent of honor, which is often the best thing the workmen's power. Paris never loved the left in France, revolts from a cynicism so pal- empire, and the new manifesto adds nothing
to her strength : on the contrary, it dimin- of the press, and the ministerial responsibility ishes it, for the opportunity of constitutional of the Administration. There is also another criticism decreases the temptation to revolu- reason for the difference. In the provinces tionary plots. It is in the streets, not in the Government officials are omnipotent, and the tribune, that Republicans are dangerous. electoral districts are so formed that towns That the emperor has received a lesson by and villages can have no direct control or suwhich he may profit is certain, as is also perintendence over the general result. It the fact that the election will slightly affect was quite the reverse in Paris. There a his external prestige ; but the apprehension constant watch was kept night and day over that it will produce immediate, or very strik- the ballot-boxes, and no opportunity was ing, or revolutionary results, is, we conceive, afforded to official myrmidons of qualifying to say the least, somewhat exaggerated. objectionable votes. It is, however, very
significant that M. de Persigny desired that the time allowed by law before the ballot
boxes can be opened should be extended for From The Press, 6 June.
twenty-four hours. If we are to believe the prognostications It is hardly possible to attribute too much of M. de Persigny, the result of the French importance to this defeat, considering that elections must be considered a heavy blow to the whole power and influence of the Governthe imperial régime. The issue plainly put ment wer exerted to secure a victory, and before the electors in the several arrondisse- that the candidates who have been elected ments of Paris was, that if they returned the were declared by the minister of the interior Opposition candidates they would thereby to be the most dangerous enemies of Imperidirectly pronounce against the empire, and alism. condemn by their votes the means by which the alleged prosperity of the country had been secured during the last twelve years.
From The Saturday Review, 30 May. With one exception, the Government has
PRUSSIA. been beaten by overwhelming majorities in the capital. Such is the result of the uncon The quarrel between the King of Prussia stitutional interference of the minister of the and his subjects is now complete, and forinterior-such the significant mode in which eigners may be very well surprised both at offensive official dictation has been resented. the history and at the termination of the Altogether there will be about twenty-five struggle. If the King of Prussia and his addeputies in opposition to the Government in visers really wished to build up a new policy, the new chamber, instead of five, which was to overshadow Northern Germany with a desthe number in the old one, and among them potism after the Russian pattern, and to force are some of the ablest and most distinguished all opponents into silence at the point of the men in France, great writers, and what is of sword, the design would be intelligible, but more importance, celebrated orators, against nothing could be more strange than the whom, in debate, the speaking ministers of means taken to fulfil the end. A great the Government will not have the least chance scheme of ambition, and a project for a bold of success. Nearly a fourth of the Opposi- and defiant tyranny, would be very strangely tion members have been returned by the inaugurated by the little arts to which M. electors of Paris, and many of the great Von Bismark and his colleagues have had retowns have also declared against the Govern- course. To insist on the right of abusing ment.
everybody and misstating everything in the These facts, which are calculated to disturb Lower House unchecked, to retire into a the peace of mind of the Imperial party, have lobhy during the invectives of the Opposition, taken people by surprise. It has always on the plea that quite as much reached the been said that Paris is France. Is she so ear there as was worth listening to, and to still ; and if this be the case, how has it hap-claim the proud privilege of going on declaimpened that the elections throughout the ing after the president has put on his hat, country have terminated, with the exceptions are the petty tricks by which a very small above alluded to, in favor of the Government? mind tries to irritate and wound, not the We are inclined to think that the result would signs of a statesmanship that can be bold have been different if the elections in Paris either for good or bad. On the other hand, had preceded those in the provinces, and if the deputies, although the nation is inconthe people throughout the country had known testably with them-although they are suphow unanimous the electors of the capital are ported by all that is respectable and liberal in their desire to return to the paths of Con- in the press and in public opinion - and alstitutional Government-to secure once more though they know that the rest of Germany the privileges of liberty of speech and liberty and Europe is, for the most part, warmly on
their side, yet take these insults very pa- | dislike him personally, and would be sorry to tiently. They behave, indeed, exactly as do him any injury. And if they put up with they ought to do. They refuse, with great him tolerably well, they have the strongest spirit, to accept the new doctrines of Parlia- admiration and affection for the house to mentary humiliation which the minister of which he belongs. Prussia was invented by fers to teach them ; they present addresses to the Hohenzollerns. They, and they alone, the king, couched in firm, moderate, and bold created it, amplified it, and kept it alive. language, and they act well together, sink- Noris it only gratitude that binds the people to ing all minor differences in the generous de- the throne; or, if it is gratitude, it is of the sire to be true to their trust and to their kind that expects favors to come as well as country. But those who are full of the mem- remembers favors that are past. Prussia is ories of English political history wonder why a great State almost by accident, without a they do not do more. Our ancestors cut off frontier, without coherence, without any coma king's head for little graver faults than mon centre of life. The Prussians feel that William of Prussia has committed, and the Prussia might fall to pieces as easily as it crown in England has been compelled, on was bound together, if any serious derangemore than one occasion, by force, or the in- ment occurred in the working of the mastant threat of force, to respect the rights of chinery that keeps it in order. And it is the the people. English critics of Prussia, there- sovereign who is the head to which all the fore, are apt to ask, with a sort of puzzled mixed population of Prussia has become acwonder and contempt, why it is that Prus- customed to look up. Resistance to the king, sians take things so quietly? Nor is this even when he violates the Constitution, may without reason. After all, personal courage easily lead to civil war, and civil war may is the foundation of political liberty, and Eng- shake the royal family from their seat. This land is free because a certain proportion of is not what Prussia wants. Englishmen for a good many centuries have A Hohenzollern must, indeed, be tyrannibeen without fear — not merely without the cal and odious before Prussians come to think fear of death, for that is a small thing, but that rather than put up with him they would without fear of incurring censure and oblo- do without Hohenzollerns altogether, and quy, and the opposition of the great and take the risk not only of that anarchy which powerful. Unless a people will resist a des- attends revolution in all countries, but of that potism, there is no security for liberty. Per- political break up which is the peculiar danhaps the Prussians are rather sluggish by ger of Prussia. Nor is it merely fear that habit, and they may not have the energy and would make Prussian Constitutionalists very spirit which give political life an easy start. reluctant to quarrel with the army. They But they themselves say, that to suppose this want, above all things, to avoid a collision a crisis for active opposition betrays a total with the army; for the army in Prussia is so misapprehension of the state of affairs. They national a force, and the soldiers belong so have, they think, everything to lose and noth- much to every class, that the ordinary Prusing to gain by a revolution, even if the revo- sian would have a feeling of personal pain if lution were successful. They deny that Eng- he had to do anything by which the lives of lish history furnishes any true parallel to the the soldiers were sacrificed. It is the very circumstances in which they now find them- complaint of the military authorities of Prusselves, and they assert that the course they sia that their men are too short a time under are taking, is the one most likely to lead to arms, and remain too much of civilians. And
We can scarcely pretend to know if this is so, other civilians naturally wish to Prussia better than the Prussians do ; and it avoid shooting, or being shot by, them. But is therefore worth while to understand what above all, it must be remembered that this they mean. They have shown great good contest is not so much a political as a social sense, and a considerable aptitude for self- one. The true issue is not whether the government, in their contest with the minis- power of the crown shall be limited, but try. They have never given an advantage to whether there shall henceforth be the strong their opponents, and never quarrelled among line of demarcation which at present sepathemselves. The probability is, that men rates the Prussian noble from the plebeian. of whom this can be said are driving towards M. Von Bismark and his colleagues are the an end which, at any rate, is not absurd or representatives of one of the shabbiest, meancontemptible.
est, most spiritless aristocracies that ever afThe Prussians do not wish to quarrel with flicted a nation. But they belong to an aristheir sovereign more than they can possibly tocracy which socially is very powerful, help. They think that King William is a which glories in giving itself airs, which trisilly, stiff old soldier, cajoled and bullied by umphs in the silliest exclusiveness, and, what the people with whom he lives, but well- is of more importance, which has now for meaning and honest in his way. They do not two centuries at least been revered and