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of the Masonic Hall ceased to echo to such strains as these:
To turn out the administration
Is the very best thing we can do. "Twill be for the good of the nation To put in old Tippecanoe.*
Hurrah for old Tippecanoe-00-00!
strative character of the row, no lives were lost or bones broken. Even Lloyd, though sadly trodden on by both parties after his fall, sustained no serious injury, nor did the combat of the cousins give rise to any permanent difficulty between them. The registry law was passed some weeks after, to the great disgust of the Loco-Focos, eight or nine hundred of whose voters were thereby placed on the list of unavailables.
THE COUP-D'ETAT IN FRANCE.
A LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND.
BY A. V. KIRWAN, ESQ., BARRISTER-AT-LAW.
Out of a life now arrived at the period of middle age, a considerable portion has been spent by the humble individual who now addresses you, among the people of France. With the history, the language, the institutions of that brave, gallant, chivalrous, and highly civilized people, I have been familiar from my boyhood. In France I have spent in youth, under two legitimate monarchs, some of the happiest moments of my existence; and during the reign of Louis Philippe, not a year elapsed that I did not visit France and her departments, always once, and sometimes two and three times within the twelvemonth. In that country I formed lasting friendships with men of all parties, ages, and conditions. I was acquainted with some of the statesmen, politicians, and orators of the reign of Louis XVIII., I numbered among my personal friends public men in the ministry of, and politicians vehemently opposed to, the government of Charles X.; and during the reign of Louis Philippe there was scarcely a person of eminence, either as a minister, a politician, an opposition deputy, or a legitimist orator, or public writer, with whom I had not some acquaintance. With some of them, indeed, I had the honour of being on terms of familiar friendship. For the generality of these
gentlemen, totally irrespective of political opinions, I entertained sentiments of respect, to which, from position, and what is better, from public and private conduct, most of them were fully entitled. From these observations, you may suppose it is not as a partisan of Carlism, of Orleanism, or of Republicanism, that I address you now. With the divisions in French parties I have nothing whatever to do. But when I find that the personal liberties of some four hundred citizens, of all shades of political opinion, have been shamefully, because lawlessly and perjuriously violatedwhen I find that above two hundred and fifty of the most eminent Frenchmen, comprising orators, poets, statesmen, generals, diplomatists, great lawyers, eminent jurists, and renowned publicists, have been and are now placed under duress, I should never forgive myself the liberty of the press being wholly destroyed in Franceif I did not seek to draw public attention in a country, the last refuge of the oppressed, to a coupd'état the most desperate, the most daring, the most flagitiously hypocritical and sanguinary that has occurred in modern times. If France had a representation-if she hada vote or a voice-if contemporary history were not fettered-if the journals were not merely manacled, but mute as an embalmed mummy-I should
*The pet name of General Harrison, derived from the scene of one of his earliest victories.
not move a finger to speak or to write for men, most of whom are better able to plead for themselves, either with tongue or pen, than any stranger. But when I know that that enlightened and civilized France is now without freedom of personwithout freedom of speech-without electoral meetings-without municipal corporations-without laws or constitutions other than the will of a daring adventurer, who may issue his lettre de cachet against any virtuous but obnoxious citizen tomorrow, when I know that France has neither Chambers, nor press, nor rostrum, nor public opinion-but only bayonets, battalions, and state prisons, yawning to receive any politician who has a spark of independence, when I know that of eightysix departments, forty, say in round numbers, one-half, are under martial law, I repeat, I should never forgive myself, nor ought my suffering friends in prison or in exile to forget my ingratitude, if I failed to draw attention to their case, or to denounce the treacherous and treasonable means by which their personal and public liberties have been violated.
Let me not, however, be misunderstood. I am not about to pronounce any panegyric on the late National Assembly of France, for it deserved none such at the hands either of natives or of foreigners. With an immense amount of talent-with a great amount of legislative experience with one firstrate orator-with a score of excellent speakers, and a hundred men of admirable business talents and administrative abilities, the Assembly, exhibited little wisdom, patriotism, dignity, or self-respect. It was split up into half-a-dozen different factions, each having some paltry personal or party object in view, which the clique pursued with all the fanaticism of a misguided self-interest. But notwithstanding scenes tumultuous and noisy, occasionally disclosing hypocrisy, chicane, and political cheating of a low order, there were in the Chamber more than a hundred honest and honourable men, above all reproach, who, in the worst contingency of the nation's fate, might have rallied around them the not hopelessly impenitent--the men of all parties
VOL. XLV. NO. CCLXV.
not lost to a sense of patriotism. The Chamber in a great degree, it must be admitted, lost public confidence for the majority, it was felt, had invaded popular rights by mutilating and more than half destroying the popular franchises; but in this retrograde and reactionary work, the Executive had been the accomplice of the very worst act of the majority. It will not, therefore, now do for the greatest of modern criminals to take advantage of his own heinous wrong, and to turn the whole of the odium of the law of the 31st May on the devoted head of the extinct Chamber, for he himself incited the Chamber to pass the projet, and gave to it his approval and assent.
The worst and the most fatal act of the Chamber was participated in by the President. At the end of May, 1850, it was his cue to side with the majority of the Chamber; at the close of November, 1851, it was necessary to play a different game, with a view to revive a nearly extinct popularity-with a view to discredit the national representatives-with a view also the better to attack them by a coup-d'état. In the contest between the Assembly and the Executive, though the former may have occasionally exhibited suspicion and mistrust, yet these feelings were always generated by some daring unconstitutional speech-by some menacing overt act -or by some largess given to the army, with a view to stimulate and to excite it to declarations in favour of the person, and not the office of the President. These things were alone sufficient to palliate, if not to justify, political distrust if political distrust were not in itself a most wholesome and salutary constitutional principle
a principle always to be inculcated and uniformly to be enforced on representative institutions. Confidence in men, even divested of power, ought to be a plant of slow growth; but to place implicit confidence in any one individual invested with the enormous power of the Executive is a lese nation. Political men must be fools or knaves to do so. Assuredly the Crown of these realms was never more worthily, wisely, or well-filled than at this moment. But, however filled, whe
ther filled by a jure divino member of the House of Stuart, or a constitutional scion of the House of Hanover, jealousy of the Crown is a cardinal principle of representative institutions in this country. No matter, therefore, how innocent of ambition or guile the French President may have been, supposing him even to have been a species of French Washington, jealousy of him and strict supervision of his words, of his proceedings, and of his deeds was not merely necessary, but praiseworthy and patriotic. Washington would have approved of such jealousy in reference to his own Presidency, and Cavaignac would not have complained of it in reference to his Dictatorship. Considering the antecedents of M. L. N. Buonaparte-jealousy of his every word and act was not merely laudable, but a strict necessity, and an imperative duty. Mons. Buonaparte had, fifteen years ago, proved himself a daringly adventurous and a desperately and criminally ambitious man; and an ambitious man ever finds the rule of his conduct in his own desires. He never thinks of what is due to nations or to individuals, to compacts or to oaths, to laws or constitutions, whether old or new; but on and on he goes in his personal selfish career, through guilt, and blood, and crimes of the deepest dye. Looking, therefore, to the antecedents of the man, jealousy and mistrust of him were natural and necessary; looking to his deeds and his acts since the 2nd of the past month; looking to the laws overturned, to the constitution trampled under foot, to the tribunals subverted, to the army corrupted, debauched, and tampered with; looking to the wild waste of evils a perjured President has scattered over France, and to the insidious stab which he has given to the cause of constitutional liberty and representative government in Europe one finds even an excuse for the persevering hatred of a Piscatory, for the mobile manoeuvring and occasionally mischievous tactics of a Thiers, and for even the intense venom of a Baze. The event has proved that these individual politicians judged their President wit complete knowledge, and
sure prevision of his perfidious character and his perjurious designs. I confess that, though I sometimes. disapproved of the tacties of these gentlemen, I always shared in their constitutional fears. M. L. N. Buonaparte has now been more than eleven years under my observation, and the result of minute watching has taught me that unprincipled, reckless audacity, and what is called fortune, and-so long as it is successful-a happy star, may sometimes serve the greatest criminal-may even place him, with no distinguished abilities, in high-nay, the highest station. Providence in its inscrutable dispensations wisely decrees such things to humble and chasten the nations; but a day of reckoning ever comes for the hypocritical dissembler, the tyrant, and oppressor thus suddenly elevated, as well as a day of compensation for his victims and dupes.
I was at Boulogne in August, 1840, when the adventurer, Charles Louis Napoleon Buonaparte, sailing in a steamer called the City of Edinburgh' from Margate, landed on the coast of France at Vimereux. With a well supplied cellar and larder, with a tame eagle, a cook and scullions, with a valet, a maîtred'hotel, a secretary, a chasseur, a hair-dresser, and grooms, with an elaborate and costly dressing-case, and a couple of travelling carriages, there was not wanting a Fortunata to grace these orgies of a political Trimalchio; but notwithstanding the midnight and early morning potations, worthy of the descriptive pen of a modern Petronius, the hero of this escapade in no degree unnecessarily exposed himself. Servantsi. e., footmen and grooms in English liveries officers and soldiers in French, and a couple of military intendants, surrounded and encircled, as he landed and marched to the
barracks, the future emperor, and made a rampart round his body. But never once, I repeat, did the pretender fairly expose his person, and all the bombast we have been reading about his courage and nerve is mere thrasonicnl blague Before
his teeth, yet the moment Capt. Laroche, of the 42nd, could arm his men, M. Buonaparte and his followers took to their heels. Some of his brave and rash adherents I saw shot down before me; others wounded; others, among the rest a Corsican named Ornano, taken in a bathing-machine, but the Coryphæus of the band was calm and phlegmatic as a Dutchman, excepting during the moment he fired on an unarmed soldier, and exhibited as safe a discretion as M. Dupin himself might be supposed to show under similar circumstances. At a quarter before six on that memorable morning, the future emperor touched the French soil. Before eight o'clock his party were routed, and such of them as were not shot or drowned in attempting to escape, were safely lodged in prison. Mind, I do not say that in this expedition M. Buonaparte did not display craft and cunning. It was a crafty thing to buy old French infantry uniforms, to have buttons of the 40th regiment cast in London, to deceive the unwary; it was an artful dodge' to give out to some of his dupes on board that he was proceeding on a party of pleasure; and it was also a cunning and crafty trick to have proclamations ready prepared and printed in London, stating that Thiers was the usurper's minister, and that the usurper himself would seize the sword of Austerlitz, (which sword, by the way, he dropped four years before in a panic, in the barracks of Strasburg, when he made another unsuccessful attempt at empire;) it was also a crafty thing to say, in a proclamation to the army, Je vois derrière moi l'ombre de l'Empereur Napoleon.' But the shadow of the emperor, though duly ventilated and posed, did not procure for the pretender the slightest semblance of recognition in the barracks or in the streets. On the contrary, Capt. Col-Puygellier, who had served the emperor, exclaimed,- Mais vous, vous n'êtes à mes yeux qu'un conspirateur, qu'un traitre. Napoleon a abattu la legitimité, et c'est en vain qu'on viendrait la reclamer en son om. I do not find anything in nisadventure to give me a good
of the man. As little can I
find anything in the events of the 30th October, 1846, which passed at Strasburg.
From the period of the death of the Duke of Reichstadt, M. Louis Buonaparte, though not the head of the Buonaparte family, but the third son of a third son, invested himself, at his own special request, in the imperial legitimacy, and for this dream of mad personal ambition, put to hazard the peace of thirty-six millions of people, and the throne of a man who, with all his faults, was clement, considerate, and brave. Clothed after the fashion of his uncle, he presented himself at the barrack of Finckmatt, but Sergeant Kubler was as little to be deceived by such nonsense as General Woirol, or the Prefect of the Lower Rhine. The result was, that M. Buonaparte, instead of obtaining an imperial diadem, was marched to prison, whence he was too leniently discharged, without trial, and ultimately shipped from L'Orient to America. From America, after a short sojourn, he landed in this very city of London, in the beginning of 1837, and proceeded to Arnenberg, in Switzerland.
The restless adventurer had not been long within the Swiss Cantons, ere he proclaimed by manifestoes his legitimate pretensions to the empire of his uncle. This fact alone afforded sufficient ground to the ambassador of France, on the 1st August, 1838, for requiring his expulsion from the Swiss territory. It is true that on the 20th August, three weeks after the demand, M. Buonaparte solemnly denied all ambitious views, and repudiated the notion of his being concerned in any conspiracies or intrigues. But it is a fact well known to the diplomacy of Europe, and more especially to the agents of France, that in the spring, summer, and autumn of 1838, he made various attempts to gain French officers to his cause. The certainty of this fact justified M. Molé, then minister of foreign affairs, in declar ing, in a diplomatic missive to the French ambassador, that the adventurer had shown himself callous to all feelings of gratitude, and that the longanimity of the government would only embolden him to enter into new conspiracies. Meanwhile, M. Buonaparte solved the dispute
ther filled by a jure divino member of the House of Stuart, or a constitutional scion of the House of Hanover, jealousy of the Crown is a cardinal principle of representative institutions in this country. No matter, therefore, how innocent of ambition or guile the French President may have been, supposing him even to have been a species of French Washington, jealousy of him and strict supervision of his words, of his proceedings, and of his deeds was not merely necessary, but praiseworthy and patriotic. Washington would have approved of such jealousy in reference to his own Presidency, and Cavaignac would not have complained of it in reference to his Dictatorship. Considering the antecedents of M. L. N. Buonaparte-jealousy of his every word and act was not merely laudable, but a strict necessity, and an imperative duty. Mons. Buonaparte had, fifteen years ago, proved himself a daringly adventurous and a desperately and criminally ambitious man; and an ambitious man ever finds the rule of his conduct in his own desires. He never thinks of what is due to nations or to individuals, to compacts or to oaths, to laws or constitutions, whether old or new; but on and on he goes in his personal selfish career, through guilt, and blood, and crimes of the deepest dye. Looking, therefore, to the antecedents of the man, jealousy and mistrust of him were natural and necessary; looking to his deeds and his acts since the 2nd of the past month; looking to the laws overturned, to the constitution trampled under foot, to the tribunals subverted, to the army corrupted, debauched, and tampered with ; looking to the wild waste of evils a perjured President has scattered over France, and to the insidious stab which he has given to the cause of constitutional liberty and representative government in Europe one finds even an excuse for the persevering hatred of a Piscatory. for the mobile mano ring and occasionally mischiev eties of Thiers, and for Tenom of a Baz
sure prevision of his pern racter and his perjurion. I confess that, though I disapproved of the tact. gentlemen, I always sh.. constitutional fears. M. naparte has now been eleven years under my ol and the result of minute has taught me that un reckless audacity, and wh fortune, and-so long as it ful-a happy star, may serve the greatest crim even place him, with no dis abilities, in high-nay, station. Providence in table dispensations wi such things to humble the nations; but a day ever comes for the hyp sembler, the tyrant, a thus suddenly elevated day of compensation and dupes.
I was at Boulogn 1840, when the adven Louis Napoleon Bu in a steamer called Edinburgh' from M the coast of Fran With a well sup larder, with a ta and scullions, with d'hotel, a secret hair-dresser, and elaborate and and a couple of there was no to grace these Trimalchio midnight a tions, worl of a mod this escap sarily ex i. e., fo liverid Frenc tenda