ページの画像
PDF
ePub

boundless the gratitude, great the increase the prosperity of France ? rewards, which were showered down Did it establish liberty on a secure on the Gardes Françaises for this basis, or call down the blessings of shameful act of treachery. Never posterity ? It led immediately to all were men the subjects of such extra- the anguish and suffering of the Reordinary adulation. Wine and wo- volution—the murder of the Kingmen, gambling and intoxication, flat- the anarchy of the kingdom-the tery and bribes, were furnished in reign of terror-the despotism of abundance. And what was the con- Napoleon. They forgot their loyalty sequence ? The ancient honour of amidst the glitter of prostitution and the Guards of France, of those guards the fumes of intoxication; their sucwho saved the Body Guards at Fon- cessors were brought back to it by tenoy, and inherited a line of centu- the iron rule of the committee of ries of splendour, perished without public safety: they revolted against redemption on that fatal occasion. the beneficent sway of a reforming Tarnished in reputation, disunited in monarch: they brought on their counopinion, humbled in character, the try a tyranny, which the pencil of regiment fell to pieces from a sense of Tacitus would hardly be able to its own shame; the early leader of the pourtray. Revolution, its exploits never were The revolt of the Spanish troops at heard of through all the career of the Isle of Leon, in 1819, was the glory which followed; and the first next great example of military defecact of their revolt against their sove- tion. What have been its consereign was the last of their long and quences ? Has Spain improved in renowned existence.

freedom-risen in character-augNor were the consequences of this mented in wealth, since that glorious unexampled defection less danger- insurrection ? It raised up, for a few ous to France than to the soldiers years, the phantom of a constituwho were guilty of it. The insubor- tional throne, ephemeral as the dydination, license, and extravagance nasties of the East, pestilent as the of revolt were fatal to military dis- breath of contagion. Spain was racipline, and brought France to the pidly subjugated when it rested on brink of ruin. The disaffected sols such defenders-treason blasted their diers, as bas been observed in all efforts, and the nation, which had ages, were intrepid only against their gloriously resisted for six years the own sovereign. When they were formidable legions of Napoleon, sunk brought to meet the armies of Prus- under the first attack of an inexpesia and Austria, they all took to rienced army of invaders led by a Alight; and on one occasion, by the Bourbon Prince. Since that time, to admission of Dumourier himself, ten what a deplorable condition has Spain thousand regular soldiers fled from been reduced ! Depressed by domesone thousand five hundred Prussian tic tyranny, destitute of foreign influhussars. A little more energy and ence-the ridicule and scorn of ability in the allied commanders Europe—this once great power has would have then destroyed the revo- almost been blotted from the book lutionary government.

of nations. Notwithstanding all the enthusiasm Portugal, Naples, and Piedmont, of the people, the weakness of in- all had military Revolutions about subordination continued to paralyze the same time. Have they improved all the efforts of the republican ar- the character, bettered the condition, mies. France was again invaded, extended the freedom, of these counand brought to the brink of ruin in tries? They bave, on the contrary, 1793, and the tide was then, for the established constitutions, whose failfirst time, turned, when the iron rule ure and absurdity have brought the of the mob began, and the terrific cause of freedom itself into disregrasp of Carnot and Robespierre ex- pute. The valiant revolters against tinguished all those principles of mi- the Neapolitan throne, fled at the litary license which had so much first sight of the Austrian battalions ; been the subject of eulogium at the and the free institutions of Piedcommencement of the Revolution. mont and Portugal, without foreign

Did this abandonment of military aggression, bave all fallen from their duty serve the cause of freedom, or own inherent weakness. All these

premature attempts to introduce free- volutionizing other countries, and dom by military revolt, have failed; they are unable to maintain the goand sterner despotism succeeded, vernment they have established in from the moral reaction consequent their own. The Conscription is again on their disappearance.

rending asunder the affections of Great part of the armies in South private life; the fountains of domesAmerica revolted from the Spanish tic happiness are closed ; and war, throne, and success has crowned with its excitements and its dangers, their endeavours. What has been is again rousing the energies of its the consequence? Anarchy, confu- population. In the shock of contendsion, and military confiscation—the ing factions, liberty is fast expiring. rule of bayonets instead of that of The imbecility of Polignac has been mitres-suffering, dilapidation, and succeeded by the energy of Soultruin, which have caused even the the arbitrary principles of feeble leaden yoke of the Castilian monarch priests is about to yield to the unto be regretted.

bending despotism of energetic ReAt length the glorious days of publicans. July arrived, and the declaration of By the confession of the journals the whole regular troops of the line who support the Revolution, its adin Paris against the government, at vantages are all to come ; bitter and once decided the contest in favour unpalatable have been its fruits to of the populace. Never was more this hour. The three per cents have extravagant praise bestowed on any fallen from 80 to 50 ; 12,000 workbody of men, than on the soldiers men, without bread, are maintained who had been guilty of this act of on the public works; great part of treason. It is worth while, therefore, the banks and mercantile houses are to examine what have been its ef- bankrupt ; Lafitte himself is barely fects, and whether the cause of free- solvent; the opulent classes are radom has really been benefited in pidly leaving the capital; no one exFrance by the aid of treachery. pends his fortune; universal distrust

The French nation has got quit of and apprehension have dried up the a priest-ridden imbecile race of mo sources of industry. narchs ; men whose principles were The government, blown about arbitrary, habits indolent, intellects with every wind of doctrine, is weak; who possessed the inclina- wholly unable to prevent the downtion, but wanted the capacity, to re- ward progress of the Revolution. strain the liberty of their people. As usual in public convulsions, the

They have terminated a pacific era, audacious, the reckless, the despeduring which the country made un rate, are pressing forward to the exampled progress in wealth, indus- front ranks, and the moderate and try, and prosperity ; during which rational sinking into obscurity. The many of the wounds of the Revolu- Doctrinaires were subverted by the tion were closed, and new channels tumults in October; their successors of opulence opened ; during which by the crisis in December; the last the principles of real freedom struck ministers, by the explosion in Februdeeply their roots, and the industri- ary. Without authority, power, or ous habits were extensively spread, influence, the throne is rapidly falling which can alone afford security for into contempt; the private virtues their continuance.

and firm character of the King, are They have begun, instead, the ca- unable to stem the swelling flood of reer of anarchy and popular tyran- democracy. ny. Industry has been paralyzed, Impelled by revolutionary ambicredit suspended, prosperity blight. tion into foreign war, the governed. Commercial undertakings have ment of France, whether republican ceased, distrust succeeded to confi or monarchical, must inevitably bedence—despair to hope—the vic come despotic. If the allies succeed, tims of the Revolution have disap- the Bourbons will be restored at the peared, and the poor who gained it, point of the bayonet. If the repubare destitute of bread.

Îicans are victorious, military despoThey have begun again the career tism will speedily be established. of Republican ambition and foreign The victorious legions will not suraggression; they aim openly at re render the authority they have won.

A second successful commander will, treachery which is so much the obunder the name of Consul Dictator ject of eulogium, is more dangerous or Emperor, re-establish the empire to the liberty which has excited it, of the sword. After drenching Eu- than to any other human interest. rope with blood, democratic ambi- Freedom consists in the coercion tion will find itself mastered by the of each class by the jealousies and power it has produced; victorious exertions of the others. The crown is or vanquished, it will prove fatal to watched by the people, the aristocracy its parent freedom.

by the crown, the populace by the Such have been the fruits of mili- aristocracy. It is the jealousy and eftary treachery in France.

forts of these different interests to Does Belgium afford a more flat- keep each other within due bounds, tering prospect to the advocates of which form the balance of power inmilitary defection ? Has treason, pes- dispensable to civil liberty. Without tilential and blasting elsewhere, there such an equilibrium, one or other of brought forth the sweet and lasting the constituent bodies must be crushfruits of peace, tranquillity, and in- ed, and the ascendency of the other dustry? Is the independence of rendered subversive of general freeFlanders as secure, its commerce as

dom. flourishing, its people as contented, But when an established governits agriculture as prosperous, its ment is overturned by a revolt of its poor as well fed, as under the hate- own soldiers, the event occurs which ful reign of the Orange dynasty? By is of all others the most fatal to pubthe admission of the advocates of lic liberty, viz. the destruction of Revolution, according to the state- subsisting power by an armed and ment of M. Potter himself, they have limited class in the state. The bayogained only anarchy and wretched- net becomes thenceforward the irreness, “ discord within, contempt sistible argument of the dominant without-the intrigues of kings—the body, and liberty, exterminated by its divisions of faction—the apathy of own defenders, sinks in the struggle despair.”

which was created in her name. Effects so uniform, consequences It is quite in vain to expect that so unvarying, must spring from some men of reckless and licentious hacommon cause. Victorious or van- bits, like the majority of soldiers in quished, military treachery has pro- every country, will quietly resign the ved fatal to every state where it has supreme authority after having won prevailed: it has everywhere blight- it at the peril of their lives. Indivied industry, shaken credit, destroyed duals sometimes may make such a freedom. Liberty has never suffered sacrifice-large bodies never have, so much as from the rude and sacri- and never will. The Prætorian Guards legious hands of such defenders. of Rome, and the Janizaries of Con

" It must constantly be understood, stantinople, have often revolted and it is not sufficiently recollected," against the reigning power, and besaid Guizot in the Chamber of De- stowed the throne on their own faputies on the 3d of February, 1831, vourite ; but it was never found that á that freedom is never in such dan- general freedom was improved by ger as after a successful revolution. the result, or that individuals were Habits cannot be conceived so much better defended against oppression at variance with the protection of after it than before. the people as the excitation, ambi- Freedom cannot be established in tion, and misrule, which arise from a day by the successful issue of a their first triumph.” These were single revolt.— Its growth is as slow the words of the republican minister as that of industry in the individual : established in office by the revolt in its preservation dependent on the July; after he had been driven from establishment of regular habits, and the helm by the increasing vigour the maintenance of a courageous of the democratic faction to which spirit in the people. Nothing can be he owed bis elevation.

so destructive to these habits as a If the matter be considered coolly, successful revolt of the soldiery. it must at once appear that freedom The ambition which it awakens, the never can be purchased by the revolt sudden elevation which it confers, of soldiers; and that the military the power which it lodges in armed and inexperienced hands, are, of all Charles X. promulgates ordinances things, the most fatal to the sober, subversive of public freedom ? Are patient and unobtrusive habits, which they to make themselves the willare the parent of real freedom. The ing instrument in enslaving their industry, frugality, and moderation fellow-citizens? We answer, Cerof pacific life appear intolerable to tainly; if they have any regard for men who are dazzled by the glittering the ultimate maintenance of their prospect of revolutionary triumph. liberty. If illegal measures have

A successful insurrection in the been adopted, let them be repealed army lodges supreme authority at by the civil authorities; but never once in an armed force. No power let the soldiers take the initiative in capable of counteracting it remains. attempting their overthrow. The The majesty of the throne, the sense interests of liberty require this as inof duty, the sanctity of an oath, the dispensably as those of order. Noawe of the legislature, have all been thing short of an unanimous declaset at nought. The energy of the ration of the national will by the citizens has never been developed, higher classes, should lead to a defecbecause the revolt of the soldiers tion from loyalty on the part of its terminated the contest before their sworn defenders. support was required. The struggle In former times, no doubt, many has depended entirely between the examples have occurred of the incithrone and the army: the interest of pient efforts of freedom being enthe state can never be promoted by tirely extinguished by military exethe victory of either of these con- cution ; but no such catastrophe need tending parties.

be apprehended in countries where This is the circumstance which the press is established; the Repubmust always render treason in the licans themselves have everywhere army destructive to lasting freedom. proclaimed this truth. The opinions It terminates the struggle at once, and interests of the many must prebefore any impulse has been com- vail where their voice is heard. The municated to the unarmed citizens, only thing to be feared for them is or they have acquired the vigour and from their own passions. The only military prowess which is alone ca- danger to liberty in such circum. pable of controlling them. The peo- stances is from its own defenders; ple merely change masters; instead the violence to be apprehended is of the king and his ministers, they not that of the throne, but of the poget the general and his officers. The pulace. rule of the sovereign is looked back No stronger proof of this can be to with bitter regret, when men have imagined than has been furnished by tasted of the severity of military li- the recent revolution in France and cense, and experienced the rigour of Belgium. The revolt of the soldier military execution. Whereas, during at once established the rule of the the vicissitudes of a civil war, the mob in these countries, and put an energy of all classes is brought into end, for a long time at least, to every action, and the chance of obtaining hope of freedom. What security is ultimate freedom, improved by the there afforded for property, life, or very difficulty with which it has been character ? Confessedly none; every won. The British constitution, the thing is determined by the bayonet gradual result of repeated contests be- of the National Guard and army; tween the crown and the people, has neither the throne nor the people can subsisted unimpaired for centuries withstand them. Freedom was as —the French, effected at once by the little confirmed by their revolt, as at treachery of the army, has been as Constantinople by an insurrection of short-lived as the popularity of its the Janizaries. authors. There is no royal road to Liberty in France was endangered freedom any more than to geometry; for the moment by the ordinances of it is by patient exertion and progres- the Bourbons : it has been destroyed sive additions to their influence, that by the insurrection planned to overfreedom is acquired by nations not throw them. Freedom, supported as less than eminence by individuals. it then was, by an energetic and de

What then, may be asked, are mocratic press, and a republican posoldiers to do when a sovereign like pulation, ran no risk of permanent

injury from the intrigues of the court. fatal to the cause of freedom. If the A priest-ridden monarch, guided by aristocracy prevail, it will be the goimbecile ministers, could never have vernment of the sword; if the popusubjugated an ardent, high-spirited, lace, of the guillotine. and democratic people.

A civil war in France would have But the danger is very different been far more serviceable to the from the energy of the Republicans, cause of real liberty, than the sudden and the ambition of the soldiers. destruction of the government by the Marshal Soult and his bayonets are revolt of the army. In many periods not so easily dealt with as Prince of history, freedom has emerged Polignac and bis Jesuits. The feeble from the collision of different classes monarchy of Louis XVI. was over in society, in none from military inturned with ease : the terrible Com subordination. mittee of Public Safety, the despotic If Charles I. had possessed a reDirectory, the energetic sway of Na- gular army, and it had betrayed its poleon, ruled the Revolution, and trust on the first breaking out of the crushed freedom, even in its wildest great Rebellion, would the result fits. Three days' insurrection de have been as favourable to the cause stroyed the feeble government of of liberty, as the long contest which Charles. A revolt ten times more ensued ? Nothing can be clearer than formidable was crushed with ease that it would not. No greater conby the military power of the Con sequences would have followed such vention.

a revolt, than any of the insurrections Had the soldiers not revolted in of the barons against the princes of July, what would have been the con York and Lancaster. A revolution sequence ? The insurrection in Paris, so easily achieved, would as easily crushed by a garrison of 12,000 men, have been abandoned : liberty would would have speedily sunk. A new never have been gained, because the Chamber, convoked on the basis of trials had not been endured by which the royal ordinance, would have it is to be. won. The only security thrown the Ministers into a mino- for its continuance is to be found in rity in the Chamber of Deputies, and the energy and courage of the citiby them the obnoxious measure zens : it is not by witnessing the dewould have been repealed. If there struction of government by a mutiis any truth in the growing influence nous soldiery, that these habits are of public opinion, so uniformly main- to be acquired. tained by liberal writers, this must Soldiers, therefore, who adhere to have been the result. No represen- their honour and their oaths, are in tatives chosen by any electors in reality the best friends of the cause France, could have withstood the of freedom. They prevent the strugodium which supporting the measures gle for its maintenance from being of the court would have produced. converted into a mortal combat, in Thus liberty would have been secu which the victory of either party red without exciting the tempest must prove fatal to the very object which threatens its own overthrow. for which they are contending. They Public credit, private confidence, ge- prevent the love of independence neral prosperity, would have been from being transformed into the maintained; the peace of the world spirit of insubordination, and the preserved; the habits conducive to a efforts of freedom blasted by the state of national freedom engendered. violence of popular, or the irresisti

What have been the consequences ble weight of military ambition. They of the boasted treachery of the troops turn the spirit of liberty into a paciof the line in July ? The excitation fic channel; and averting it from that of revolutionary hopes; the rousing direction where it falls under the rule of democratic ambition; a ferment of violence, retain it in that where in society; the abandonment of use wisdom and foresight duly regulate ful industry; the government of the its movements. mob; the arming of France; the sus The institution of a National Guard, pension of pacific enterprise. A ge- of which so much is now said, is not neral war must ensue. Europe will less the subject of delusion, than be drenched with blood, and what the boasted treachery of regular solever be the result, it will be equally diers.

« 前へ次へ »