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other instances fatally influenced their conduct. The laws of exception were carried with great difficulty in the Chamber of Deputies : a still more violent and equal contest occurred on the law of elections, which each party regarded as the dead-struggle. The law as prepared by the Duc de Richelieu, (for that of Decazes did not appear to him sufficiently effectual,) added 172 new deputies, who were to be elected by departmental colleges, composed of the fifth of the original electors paying the highest direct contributions: the 258 members of which the Chamber was composed, were still to represent the colleges of the arrondissements of the department as before; these colleges were still to be composed of all persons paying 300 francs of direct contributions; but they were not to be allowed absolutely to elect deputies, but only to present candidates, out of whom the choice was to be made by the departmental colleges. After alternate successes, in which the triumph of each party was decided by the smallest majorities, the establishment of the departmental colleges was carried by a majority of six. A still more obstinate struggle took place on that which involved the system of election of candidates presented by one college to the other; and the ministry consented to give up this, and leave to each class of colleges the independent choice of its own representatives, on condition of allowing the voters of the departmental colleges to retain their vote in those of the arrondissement. The change introduced by this law, was then simply that of adding 172 members elected by the richest portion of the electors, to whom a double vote was thus given: a change inconsistent with the terms of the charter, and calculated to give a most undue preponderance to the great proprietors. The struggle in the Chamber was most violent: the intense interest felt by the nation exhibited itself in the excitement which prevailed in Paris, and which ultimately occasioned tumults of the most serious nature during the course of the discussion.

The fatal change in public opinion occasioned by the murder of the Duc de Berry, was manifested in the ensuing elections. Not only were the 172 members returned by the newly-created departmental colleges, with few exceptions, of one or other of the different shades of the royalist party; but even in the ordinary elections of the fifth for the year, the liberals, instead of continuing the career of success in which they had been advancing for some years, were beaten by their opponevts. The command of the Chamber thus now assured to the royalists; and with greater prudence did that party now enter in a career of reaction and counter-revolution : not so violent as that undertaken by the Chambre Introuvable, but destined to last much longer, and subject the

liberties and bappiness of France to greater peril. The Duc de Richelieu, whose peculiar supporters were not numerous, retained power for some time by occupying an intermediate position between the two extreme parties. He was inclined to pursue a policy mainly tending in the same direction as that of the ultraroyalists : a concession perhaps involuntarily made to them was the admission of Villèle and Corbières to subordinate situations in his cabinet. His use of power however was moderate : he still discouraged the extravagance of the party to which he had again allied himself. Unsupported however by the vigour of Decazes, he could ill discharge the task of repressing that powerful faction. His ministry served but as a foundation for their future domination, and was dismissed evhen it was thought practicable to enter on a bolder system of reaction.

The intrigues of the ultra-royalist party had put them in possession of all the subordinate offices of the administration, even before they were enabled to place their leader ostensibly at the head of the government. Under the name of the Congregation, the insidious system of the Jesuits had again found its way into France; and from the establishment at Montrouge, proceeded the ramifications of that mysterious and secret association which comprehended every class of the devotees of legitimacy and priestcraft. The disposal of ministerial patronage became entirely subordinate to the dictates of this occult body: a recommendation from Montrouge was a sure passport to office : its absence as sure a bar to advancement. The various functionaries throughout the country were bound to the Congregation by gratitude for past, or hope of future favours; and fulfilled with eager zeal the orders or wishes of the priesthood. The emissaries of the Jesuits dispersed themselves through the land,

“ As thicke as motes in the sunne beame,” and every commune of France was vexed by the zeal of a curé or a missionary. Discomfort was sedulously brought home to every man's hearth, and the peace of families destroyed by the agency of the confessor. An unrelenting war was carried on against the amusements of the people : the theatre was denounced as incompatible with the ascetical gloom of true devotion; and even the Sunday dance on the village green was prohibited and persecuted. To enumerate these constant vexations, or to describe their maddening effect on the persons subjected to their operation, is not for us to undertake: they have been immortalized by the indignation and eloquence of Courier. The sincere friends of religion saw the conduct of its unwise and dishonest partizans with equal regret. Religion, instead of being endeared to the people,

became ridiculous and odious in their eyes. In vain were preachings, legends, and even miracles multiplied : in vain were the solemn rites of Catholicism paraded before all eyes. The missionaries penetrated into all parts of France, planted their crosses in highways and market places, and brought back their idle tales of numerous and enthusiastic converts. Their crosses, and preachings, and processions, excited the smile or the disgust of the people: their entrance into a town was a signal for a general demand for the representation of the “ Tartuffe :” the disorder which attended sometimes amounted to riot, and was quelled by force and bloodshed : and the accounts of the progress of the missionary wending his way amid an indignant and resisting people, remind us of the Irish clergy collecting their tithes, attended by horse, foot, and field-pieces, amid the imprecations and slaughter of their flock.

The ministry of Richelieu was at length destroyed by a parliamentary defeat. A law introduced by the ministers to punish the offences of the press, was attacked by the liberals to whose principles it was opposed, and by the ultra-royalists, who displayed a sudden zeal in behalf of the freedom of the press. The Duc de Richelieu was forced to yield to this combination: and the ministry of Villèle, Corbières, and Peyronnet, succeeded. The first act of these most profligate ministers was characterized by the shameless inconsistency of their party. The law proposed by Richelieu was abandoned, and in its place, a still severer repressive measure and a revival of the censorship were substituted. A ready majority followed the tergiversation of their leaders; and the eloquent and constant opposition of the liberal deputies was in vain opposed to the reactionary course of the Chamber.

The disgust excited in the popular mind by the conduct of the legislature, combined with a very natural despair, was the occasion of that disposition to secret associations and conspiracies which now marked the conduct of the Liberals. Numerous secret societies were formed, and a society of Carbonari subsisted for a while. In the army particularly these plots were very

Whilst they lasted, these societies terrified the government, but also essentially injured the cause of liberty, and compromised the characters and lives of persons whom their own imprudence or the villainy of the police drew into such conspiracies as those of Saumur, Colmar, and Rochelle. The last serious attempt to corrupt the army, and overturn the government by conspiracy, occurred at the commencement of the Spanish war. It was the success of that iniquitous enterprize that showed the hopelessness of plots, and thereby more materially advanced the return of constitutional freedom, than even by the false security which its success gave the government, or the disgust which the principles on which it was conducted inspired. From that time secret associations and treasonable plots ceased, and the discontented nation employed its energies in organizing that peaceful and legal resistance which speedily and completely triumphed.


Nevertheless the undertaking and success of the Spanish war gave a great appearance of glory and stability to the government, and at the time considerably strengthened the hands of the royalist party. The expulsion of Manuel on a frivolous pretext is a glaring instance of the audacious defiance of representative government, by which the conduct of the majority was characterized. The consequent secession of the left side, though the most excusable step of the kind ever taken by an outraged minority, seems, like all other secessions, to have injured the popularity of the opposition. The dissolution which took place in the end of 1823 completed the triumph of the ministry; the liberal party was thoroughly discouraged, and their defeat was insured by the gross partiality with which the agents of government conducted the elections. Only seventeen, or at the most twenty Liberals, entered the next Chamber: the strenuous exertions of that small but noble band acted powerfully on the public, but had no immediate effect in checking the organized encroachments of the majority. The power of Villèle and the Chamber was confirmed by the Septennial Law. On this occasion, as on some during the secession in the previous session, the ministers experienced a fierce opposition from M. de la Bourdonnaye and a body of the most furious ultra-royalists, whose passionate declamations in favour of freedom and economy the discernment of public contempt has universally attributed to their discontent at being left out of office. On the occasion of the proposition for the reduction of the rentes, a more steady and reasonable oppositon was experienced from the Chamber of Peers, which was destined afterwards to shield the nation from more formidable attempts to establish misgovernment. The policy of the ministers was, however, in the main triumphant. Bad as it was, it was not yet so daring as it appeared in the next reign. Their opposition to some of the insane projects of de la Bourdonnaye, and to a proposition made by the Archbishop of Paris for a Law of Sacrilege, showed a moderation and regard for public opinion, which were afterwards thrown off.

At the end of the reign of Louis XVIII., the system of royalist reaction and the influence of the Congregation were in full vigour. In August, 1824, a complete revision of all public offices was accomplished by the protegés of Montrouge; a new ministerial department, with a seat in the cabinet, was created by the ap


pointment of a Minister of Religion; and Frayssinous, Bishop of Hermopolis, was invested with the important office. But the progress of the party to further power was reserved for the reign and paternal superintendance of another monarch. The health of Louis, which had been infirm since his restoration, had been for some years breaking. On the 18th of September, 1824, he died, after a short illness; and with his reign we must close this article, which has already been extended to an excessive length. Indeed the guides which we had taken bave long since deserted us, and we have continued a narrative from other sources, in order to give our readers an unbroken view of the entire reign of the first of the restored Bourbons. To complete the description of the character and fortunes of that dynasty, we trust in some future number to give a view of the equally interesting reign of Charles X.; of the subsequent career and downfal of the Villèle ministry, the interval of moderate and constitutional government, the appointment of Polignac and the consequent violent system of royalist reaction, and the final overthrow and expulsion of the dynasty of the Restoration.

The narrative which we have given above requires little additional comment to convey its import to our readers. The character of the restored dynasty, and the causes which decided its fate, lie on the surface of the events which we have described. From the simplest observation of them we may see the exact position of the Bourbons, the conduct by which they might have secured the peaceable continuance of their power, and the faults by which they forfeited its possession. In this respect the reign which we have now examined is peculiarly instructive. The reign of Charles X. exhibits a long and progressive series of misrule, wound up by the striking catastrophe which was its natural result. That of Louis XVIII. exhibits a still more varied instruction. It had some bright and happy periods--some in which the wise conduct of the monarch gave a fair chance to the experiment of constitutional monarchy—and showed how easily the rule of the ancient race of kings might have been reconciled with the feelings and institutions of modern France, and formed a durable basis for freedom and order.

The character of Louis XVIII. was, indeed, by no means incompatible with the position of a constitutional king. He possessed, it is true, none of the high moral or intellectual qualities which his flatterers attributed to him. Cold, indolent and selfish, he appears to have felt no generous sympathy with his people, nor ever to have warmly exerted himself to promote their good. His affections were contined to a few individuals to whom habit or necessity had attached him, and even in these cases his friendship had little permanence.

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