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people. Vox populi vox dei! And where is the homunculus now that does not understand Latin as well as Cardinal Maii ?
We do not pretend to say that were matters to come to a crisis the parents of England, headed by the First Mother as well as the First Lady in the land, might not ultimately triumph. There is an omen of conquest in the very name of Victoria. But we earnestly maintain that the peril is extreme, and that in the present times the school mistress ought to be at home, and so ought the mother also. It is to be recollected that a general rising of the little people of the empire would have the support of many important interests, which (however they may lately have suffered), unquestionably grew up and flourished under the auspices and patronage of the British nursery. We need scarcely enumerate the China merchants, who have profited so largely by the annual-breakage of "young England,"—the confectioners-the fruiterers—the toymen, and, in all probability the Dutch, and the Infanta of Spain ; indeed we may add the Queen of that country, who is only a woman by Act of Cortes.
THE LATE PRINCE TALLEYRAND.
It will be readily believed that I needed no arousing on the morrow. Despite of my weary journey, and the late hour of retiring to rest, I was up and sur pied long before my friend had left his chamber.
The morning was beautiful, and from my window it was pleasant to watch the departure of the hounds and sportsmen from the court-yard to the green forest. For my part, however, I felt no envy, but rather stood wondering that people endowed with the sense of hearing could endure with patience the eternal twang of the cor de chasse, of all sounds, I verily believe, the most fatiguing and abominable.
I went down to await C. upon the green pelouse which lay so invitingly before my window, and I paused to look up with interest at the broad frontage of the château, which lay in the light of the morning sun, whose beams, reflected on the shining domes of the huge Moorish towers, made the whole building bring to mind some rich and sumptuous palace of the Levant. Indeed these very towers were erected by M. de Luçay, one of the former proprietors, who had brought from Constantinople the taste for oriental architecture, and made the château de Valençay unique in its construction among all the castles of France. It was the delight of the prince to say that “
many were the seigneurs of the country who could put forth the old feudal boast of pignon sur rue, and doujon sur roche, but that it was reserved for him to display the broad flanking towers of the Turkish scraï or Moorish generalife.
It was not long before I was aroused from my gaze of admiration by my friend, who came bounding over the grass to meet me. He smiled as he beheld the reverential look I fixed upon the window which he had pointed out as belonging to the chamber of the prince, where the drawn curtains and closed jalousies announced the profound repose in which its inmate was still buried.
“ You are like the rest of the world,” said he, taking my arm. " - I know that at this moment you are nursing all kinds of fancies, the one more absurd and banal than the other, concerning the old diplomate's sleeping visions, which already I have seen compared in one of your newspapers to the slumbers of the rattlesnake, or the solitary dreamings of the hyæna waiting for his prey, and sure that it cannot escape his cruel jaws.' Nothing,” continued he, “can be more unjust than the opinions formed in England, of the extreme cunning of the character of Prince Talleyrand-of the far sight of his self-interest-of his habitual deception. They add another example to the many on record of most extraordinary popular delusions.
No man was ever perhaps more influenced by the circumstances of the moment, and less resolved upon the course he would pursue until the time arrived for action, than the prince. The conduct he pursued during the events of the revolution of July have fully proved this, and
when you and I have time and privacy, I think I could win you over to my opinion.” "And why not at this moment ?" said I. “The occasion is among
the best. We are alone, and scarcely likely to be interrupted ; and while we wander across the park, I can listen with as much attention as though we were closeted together in the nuost silent chamber of the château.”
C. took my arm and moved forward. “I can but give you my own impressions concerning the opinions of Prince Talleyrand during the eventful struggle of the three days,” said he ; " but you may rely upon the truth of my statement of the facts which took place upon that occasion. I was present with him during the whole time, an eye-witness to the various emotions by which he was governed, and could judge, as far as my own powers of observation went, of the divers motives by which he was actuated.”
As such I give my friend's opinions to the reader, begging him to remember that they are those of one who knew Prince Talleyrand well, had been admitted to his intimacy for many years before his death, and that they may be of value, as bearing the interpretation of many things hitherto problematical.
* Many people,” continued my friend, “ have been led by the political writers of the day into error, concerning the real causes of the revolution of July; they are eager to represent the courage and patriotism displayed by the liberal party on that occasion of sudden and spontaneous explosion of popular fury, as the effect of a deeply laid plot, conceived for many months before; and they seek to impress the public with a false idea of the diplomacy of the chefs de parti in the triumphs of the three days. Another idea which has become as general is, that the statesman who had played so conspicuous a part in all our revolutions, from that of 1789 to that of 1830, and had lent with such good grace to each successive government the aid of his splendid talents—whose word indeed seemed to decide upon their very existence—was no stranger to the struggles and intrigues which ended in the downfal of Charles X., and the banishment of his dynasty from the soil of France. Without pretending here either to condemn or justify the conduct pursued by Prince Talleyrand under other governments, and which history, freed by time from party spirit and from political passion, will alone be able to judge with equity, let us examine coolly the part he took in the revolution of July. Facts may serve better than opinions, to enable the observer to judge with more correctness the character of this great man, so little known in Teality, even at the present time.
“It cannot be denied that at the period to which I now refer (1830) the opinions of M. de Talleyrand were most unfavourable to the government of Charles X. Like every other man of sense and foresight throughout the kingdom, he beheld with dread the dissolution of the Martignac ministry, and the substitution of the Polignac administration ; but such political inconsistencies could not astonish, coming from a man of the stamp of Charles X., whose whole life had been a tissue of inconsistencies, from the famous protestation of the Count d'Artois, upon the occasion of the States-General in 1789 to the fatal appointment of the ministry which was to send him forth a second time to emigration, from whence he had returned once before, according to Prince Talleyrand's own expression long previous to the catastrophe,“ having learnt little and forgotten nothing." M. de Talleyrand nevertheless did ample justice to the many good qualities which distinguished the king in private life, and the more he overwhelmed him with contempt as a chef de parti, the more he was pleased to acknowledge in him a feeling and generous nature, and a faithful and grateful friend. In point of real and sterling worth he placed him far above his brother Louis XVIII., whom he accused of having "no friends-only favourites;" and who in his whole life never had the heart to grant a pardon to a single criminal. The one was a better king, the other a far better man.
“Charles X. however returned tenfold in hatred and suspicion all the pity and contempt which the wily diplomate sought to cast upon his government; and moreover the devout monarch never could forget that the Bishop of Autun had renounced the church, and had married, in spite of the threatened excommunication and eternal damnation voted by Rome as the punishment of such a step :-for although Pope Pius VII. had absolved the bishop from his vows of priesthood, it was never without a thrill of horror that the king beheld on court days his grand chamberlain, who never failed on occasions of ceremony and etiquette to present himself before his royal master, in spite of the cold reception he met with in the court circles, where his tottering gait and sarcastic speech had earned for him the soubriquet of · Le Diable Boiteux.' "The king, blinded by prejudice, even forgot in this instance the papal authority; for the marriage of the prince had been sanctioned by the Pope, and was therefore legal in the eyes of the most pious Catholics.
“Nevertheless, at the epoch of the Martignac administration, it seemed as if a kind of rapprochement had taken place, if not between M. de Talleyrand and the king, at least between the former and the ministry. The men who composed this ministry* all of them possessed a degree of moderation in their political opinions, which M. de Talleyrand could not but admire, and wishing to prove that until then he had been opposed, not to the king's government, but to the principles of the ministry who had conducted it, he sought by every means to show publicly his sympathy for the new ministers. He was seen once more to frequent the ministerial salons, and received the ministers at his own hotel with that haute politesse and courtly urbanity for which he was so distinguished, expressing upon every occasion the satisfaction which he felt, at seeing the helm of public affairs at last in the grasp of men whose experience rendered them able to comprehend the exigencies of the country, and possessed of resources enough to provide the most efficient means of meeting them. But this satisfaction was but of short duration. In the month of August following, Charles X., yielding to the instigations of his secret counsellors, who worked upon his unenlightened conscience-taking, himself, undue alarm at the first check endured by the ministère Martignac at the Chamber of Deputies-replaced the members of his cabinet by the Polignac administration. Throughout the kingdom there arose a cry of indignation at this step.
• M.M. de Martignac ... Interior.
De la Ferronaye......Affaires Etrangères.
“M. de Talleyrand, grieved to see the false line of conduct into which the king was falling, but incapacitated from affording help, and moreover assailed each day by some new vexation, took advantage of a short illness to withdraw for a while from court, in order to restore his health at the château of his niece, the Duchess de Dino, at Rochecotte, in Touraine, where he resolved to pass the ensuing winter.
“ Various have been the motives attributed to this retirement at Rochecotte. I am aware that many of the public papers have asserted, and other writers of graver stamp have repeated, that it was during this winter that the plan of attack against Charles X. was conceived and matured, between the chefs of the liberal party and M. de Talleyrand, who, according to general belief, had engaged himself to lend them the aid of his counsel and high influence.
“What gave some little colouring to these reports was the fact, that M. de Talleyrand reckoned amongst his most intimate friends, some of the most violent members of the opposition, who, at the moment of the revolution of 1830, by the force of circumstances, found themselves at the head of the new code of things which they had so long and so ardently desired, and which, after all, was established without their direct influence, as will be proved by a bare recital of facts. Thus M. de Talleyrand received into his daily intimacy General Sébastiani, the Duc de Broglie, M. Villemain, M. Bertin de Vaux, and M. Molé; all of whom, however, remained passive spectators of the struggle, until the moment when the chance turned in favour of the popular party. There was one man, however, who took an active party in the revolutionary movement, who had prepared and ordered its march by his attacks in the journal of which he was principal editor, and whom M. de Talleyrand encouraged and distinguished by most particular favour. It was, indeed, at Rochecotte during the month of May, which Thiers spent there with M. de Talleyrand, that he conceived the plan of those terrific articles in the National, which every morning, like the battering ram of ancient warfare, laid in ruins the wretched bulwarks behind which the tottering monarchy thought itself secure.
“Thiers, in fact, did conspire against the government of Charles X.; but it was conspiracy not with this leader or with that; not with such and such a party; but with the immense majority of the nation, to whom he spoke the language they had seldom heard, and which they all could understand; the language of their old affections, and of their craving need. But thence to argue that M. Thiers came to Rochecotte to concert with M. de Talleyraud the plan of the National, and the overthrow of the government, would be to make M. de Talleyrand play a part much beneath bim. It must also be remembered that Thiers was at that time a subeditor of the Constitutionel, and that nothing foretold in him the future President of Louis Philippe's counsel. His history of the Revolution, full as it was of false ideas and monstrous principles, thanks to some few narratives of interest, and to the great name of Napoleon, which is retraced in grand and noble characters, had established for its author a certain reputation in the literary world. But of a surety, M. de Talleyrand, notwithstanding the high opinion he entertained of the talents of Thiers as a man of business, would have been much astonished if, at that period, in his salon at Rochecotte, some modern Cassandra had predicted that the
Feb. - VOL. LXX. NO. CCLXXVIII.