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tion between elegant critique or fo- the success of the reforming party in rensic effusions, and a profound ac. England in the recent elections. It is quaintance with the springs of pub- not the love of liberty which is roused; lic felicity.
that is already fully enjoyed: it is the The election of Cambridge has de- passion for power,--and that, like monstrated the opinion on reform of every other passion, is insatiable, and the men of the highest acquirement goes on increasing, till, by excess of in England of Whig, that of Oxford, enjoyment, it destroys itself. of the same class, of Tory principles. While such has been the fate of the The vote on the Timber question de- elections wherever popular ambition monstrated the feelings of the well- or intimidation could be exerted in informed of the commercial class : England, very different has been the the scene in the House of Lords, on spectacle presented in Scotland. In the dissolution of Parliament, of the some places, no doubt, by the force landed aristocracy, on the same of violence, carrying off electors, or changes. The great majority of the other unworthy engines, the choice education, intelligence, and wealth of bas fallen on reforming members ; the country, is firmly united against but, generally speaking, the preponthe bill. Nevertheless, the open derance of the conservative party, elections have almost everywhere, in against all the weight of adminisEngland, gone in its_favour. This tration, has been most remarkable. is not surprising. The proposed Scotland will shew a majority of change has roused the lower orders three to two in the next Parliament in a body against the higher ; the against Reform. sway of learning, the respect to cha The difference between the result racter, the weight of thought, the in- of the appeal in the two countries is fluence of property, is no longer felt very remarkable, and corroborates, Dazzled by the prospect of political in the most signal manner, an obserpower, the multitude have every- vation made in the last Number of where revolted against those who this series-viz. that electors have no have hitherto swayed their opinions. disposition to resist an extension of The county freeholders conceived their franchise to a more numerous that, in voting for a reform candi- class below themselves, unless it is date, they were voting for the aboli- confined to those who really are postion of tithes and taxes; the boroughs, sessed of property and education, for a free trade in corn, a large share and who will lose something by such of political power, and a total aboli an extension. Accordingly, the Scotch tion of the national debt. The pros. electors, men of education, and capa. pect of these boons was immediate ; ble of discerning consequences, and the King, they were told, favoured of property, and capable of losing the changes; and, within three months something, are as decidedly adverse of a reformed Parliament meeting to the extension of the suffrage to all would be accomplished. Under the lower classes, as the English are the combined influence of these feel favourable to such a change. ings, a majority will certainly be re The reason is obvious, and, being turned in Parliament for the proposed founded in the interests of the differchanges. We are not in the least sur ent classes of society, must remain prised at this ; it is what we always the same in all ages and countries. foresaw would follow the prospect of Substantial interest is, in the end, the success to popular ambition.
governing principle of all men. The “ Il existe,” says Chateaubriand, wealthy elector, therefore, who has “ deux sôrtes de revolutionaires : les much to lose, naturally resists ; the uns desirent la revolution avec la poor elector, who has every thing to liberté; c'est le tres petit nombre: gain, as naturally supports the extenles autres veulent la revolution avec sion of the suffrage. He finds, by le pouvoir ; c'est l'immense majori- experience, that he gains no immeté."* In these words of one well diate or visible advantage by siding versed in the history of public con- with the conservative, while he is vulsions, is to be found the secret of promised the substantial fruits of po
• De la Restauration, p. 9.
pular sovereignty by inclining to the essential to the existence of the conother party. By resisting the exten- stitution and the safety of the crown; sion of the franchise, the humble but it is one extremely liable to abuse. elector is not immediately benefited; By threatening a dissolution for the whereas his popular coadjutors as- purpose of intimidating the House of sure him, that, by joining their ranks, Commons, the executive can obtain and admitting them to his privileges, the votes of many who are placed the great boon of liberation from tax- beyond the sphere of its ordinary es and tithes, and all the sweets of influence; and by appealing to the popular sovereignty, will be gained people at the moment of some violent to the people. The result of the outcry, Ministers can avail themselves elections in the two countries clearly of a popular delusion spread by themdemonstrates the truth of these prin- selves. *-—"All plans of reform hitherciples.
to exhibited, are liable to the insurNow, observe what an overwhelm- mountable objection of beginning by ing argument this furnishes against pulling down the constitution as it the whole Reform Bill. The evils at present stands, and then proposing of universal suffrage are universally to build another fabric entirely new, admitted; but the reformers assert and on a plan wholly different, and that this Bill will raise up an effec- of the convenience or beauty of tual barrier against its dangers, be- wbich no man can possibly judge cause it will cause all the voters, a from experience. Why should we million strong, to range themselves not go gradually to work in this as on the side of order against any far- in all other parts of legislation, cauther extension of the suffrage. But tious in proportion to the greatness how is such a consequence to be re- of the concern, and the danger of comconciled with the present result of mitting a mistake.”+-" It is not by the English elections ? Why do not mere popular clamour, or the shouts the 40s. freeholders resist as sturdily or hisses of an ignorant and disorany intrusion of strangers into their derly mob, but the deep, the slow, ranks as the L.400 Scotch electors ? and the collected voice of the intelThe reason evidently is, that they ligent and enlightened part of the make common cause with the demo- community, that the councils of a free cracy, throw overboard the influence nation should be ultimately guided. I” of their landlords, and propose to re- “No man can deny that it would cruit their ranks from the unrepre- be highly impolitic to throw open all sented classes, because by so doing, the boroughs in which the right of they will get the whole power of voting at present belongs, to certain sovereignty into their own hands ; parts of the population. No man of and in the abolition of tithes and tax- common sense would wish to see es, and the division of church pro- that worst description of boroughs perty, secure the substantial fruits of multiplied, in which from two hunpopular victory.
dred to five hundred inhabitants bare In a similar crisis, the new voters will votes; boroughs which are too large do the same. Finding that they have to be in the quiet possession of a gained nothing by all the changes, single great family, but not too large till taxes and tithes are abolished, they to be contested by men of readywill all join the L.5 householders, and money influence; boroughs which the universal suffrage men, in order are, for this very reason, the very sinks to accomplish their object. Govern- of every species of corruption. It would ment will then find that the new vo- be a very violent proceeding to disters, instead of being true to the franchise places of this sort, where cause of order, are a clear addition corporations elect and transfer their to the forces of revolution and an- rights to certain large towns not now archy.
represented. We object, as much as “ The power of dissolving Parlia- any man, to all rash projects, all ment,” says Lord Advocate Jeffrey wholesale reforms, all theoretical sys. in his younger days, " is a power tem-mongers, who will have every
thing or nothing, and care not how English elections furnishes, if there much they put in jeopardy, so as they did not exist before, a decisive and bring out something rounded and unanswerable argument against the finished at the first heat.” *
concession of any farther power to Recollecting these the early and the people. It demonstrates that the far-famed opinions of the celebrated “moral influence of property,” as it men who then conducted that Jour- is called, which alone is to be left to nal, and contrasting them with the the landed proprietors, is utterly nubill which they have since brought gatory in periods of excitement. The forward in their maturer years, we Duke of Northumberland trusted to are filled with astonishment at the the moral influence-and never was magnitude of human inconsistency; a nobleman more worthy, from his and with the most melancholy pre- character, of exercising it; and the sages of the future, when the same consequence was, that his power was passions and temptations which have overturned in his own county. seduced men of their character, shall The Reformers urged the ascendhave seized on baser minds, infirm ency of the borough-holders as a intellects, and equal ambition. But conclusive argument in favour of a as the melancholy progress is now so change. Of this argument they are far advanced, it should prove a warn now deprived; without any reform, ing to all the supporters of real free a Parliament has been returned as dom, of the consequence of placing popular as the warmest friend of themselves at the head of popular freedom could desire. The necessiagitation, and serve as a beacon to ty, the expedience, of an extension all the friends of the constitution, of the franchise, cannot now be pleadthat it is by steady resistance to in- ed; the Reformers themselves have novations even in the last stages of demonstrated its futility. Without its progress, that England can alone Reform, we are on the verge of a be saved from ruin.
republic; with it, where shall we be ? To conclude-the result of the
AN AGONY OF THIRTY-EIGHT HOURS.
BY JOURGNIAC SAINT MEARD.-PARIS, 1797.
Of the numerous accounts which thodized barbarity of that extraordiappeared in Paris in the bloody reign nary period. It more adequately of anarchy in 1792, but few are un- developes, than any other summary. deformed by the creative fancy of of facts, the flagitious excitation of those authors, whose object was to the people, the agonizing scenes of feed the greedy and excited appre- suffering, the odious and unprofithension of the time with tales of able murders, sanctioned by the nahorror ; or by the vehemence of tional insanity; and the desolating party, which sought to give, if pos- rage of merciless destruction, which sible, a more flagitious hue to the smote alike the innocent and guilty. proceedings of the sanguinary ter- Every item of his vivid and minute rorists. By far the most authentic relation, is a faithful index of a conpicture--for such it is—of that ap- stituent portion of the system, by palling and momentous crisis, is the which the ascendant of murderous brief, but forcible and highly graphic authority—indiscriminately levelled narrative of M. Jourgniac St Méard. at the people-was devised to graThe unadorned simplicity of his ac- tify, to awe, and to subject them. count, which merely embodies in His details present, at once, the lesuccession the events of twelve days vity, the crime, the ceremonious of savage massacre, of secret accu form and turbulent disorder of those sation, of public credulity and po- distempered times; nor do they fail pular atrocity, presents us with a to shew, among a mass of cruelty, true and striking image of the me- abandonment, and gross depravity,
Edinburgh Review, Vol. XVI pp. 210, 211,
some splendid instances of generous M. Oh! I am well aware, sir, of devotion, pious resignation, and ex your ability; and I also know that alted friendship, which, despising all you possess the cunning (astuce.) the terrors of dominant iniquity, ex Ans. Permit me to observe, that emplified the duties of humanity and that expression is uncalled for; the virtue in aid of innocence and un- immediate object of our enquiry is merited misfortune.
a mere absurdity, since we are only speaking of the denunciations which
have been made against me. Fourteen Hours in the Committee of M. Do you know M. Durosoi, the Surveillance de la Commune. editor of the Gazette of Paris ?
Ans. By reputation I know him I was arrested by order of this well, but in no other manner; incommittee on the 22d of August, deed, I never saw him. and taken to the Mairie, at nine in M. I am surprised at that, as letthe morning, where I remained un ters written by you to him have been til eleven at night. Two gentlemen, found among
papers. members no doubt of the committee, Ans. One only could have been desired me to walk into a chamber; found, as I never wrote to him but where one of them, overwhelmed once; on which occasion I sent him with fatigue, fell fast asleep. The my address to the chasseurs of my other asked me if I was M. Jour. company, on the insurrection of the gniac Saint Méard.
garrison of Nancy. This address he I answered, “ Yes.”
published in the Gazette de Paris. M. Be seated, sir. We are all This is the whole and sole of my equal. Do you know the cause of correspondence with him. your arrest?
M. You speak truly; and I must Ans. I was told, by one of those also tell you, that you are not comwho brought me here, that I am sus- promised by the letter in question. pected to be the editor of an anti Ans. No letter, no writings, no constitutional journal.
actions of mine, can possibly have had M. Suspected is not the word; for the effect or tendency to comproI know that Gautier, who is given mise me. out as the editor of the Journal de la M. I have seen you at the house Cour et de la Ville, is a mere nomi- of Madame Vaufleury, and also at nal being
the house of M. Peltier, the editor Ans. Your credulity, sir, has of the Acts of the Apostles. been imposed on; for his existence Ans. That may be, as I frequently is quite as susceptible of proof, as visit that lady, and am in the habit the circumstance of his being the of walking with M. Peltier. editor of the journal in question.
M. Are you not a Chevalier of M. I am to believe
St Louis ? Ans. Nothing but the truth; since Ans. I am, sir. justice is the object of a judge; and M. Why do you not wear the cross I can give you my word of honour of the order ?
M. Ah ! sir, we are not now deal Ans. There it is; I have worn it ing with words of honour
for these last six years. Ans. So much the worse, sir, for M. That is sufficient for to-day. mine is unimpeachable.
I shall inform the Committee that M. You are accused of having you are here. been on the frontiers these last ten Ans. You will do me the favour or eleven months; and of having to inform the Committee, that if I there levied recruits, whom you pla- find justice at its hands, I shall be ced at the service of the emigrants; dismissed with my freedom; for I on your return you were arrested, am neither an editor, a recruiter, bat escaped from prison.
conspirator, or denunciator. Ans. If I could bring myself to
A moment afterwards, three solthink this accusation serious, I should diers beckoned me to follow them. require but one hour to prove that, When we reached the court-yard, for the last twenty-three months, Í they requested me to enter a fiacre, have not been out of Paris; and (hackney coach,) in which I was conif
ducted, by order of the Committee,
to the Hotel du Faubourg Saint-Ger .“ Alas! She will suffer more than main.
He lay down on my bed, and when
we were wearied with talking of our Ten Days in the Abbaye. accusation and arrest, we fell asleep.
At daybreak he composed a memoHaving reached the hotel, which randum in his justification, which, turned out to be the prison of the though penned with energy, and reAbbaye, I was given, with my com- plete with circumstantial exculpamitment, into custody of the keeper, tion, proved of no avail; he was dewho, after the usual civility of " let capitated on the following day! us hope that your detention will not August 25th.—The commissaries last long,” ordered me to a large of the prison at length permitted us room, which served as a chapel for to receive the Evening Journal. A the prisoners of the ancien regime. prisoner, newly committed, brought I counted nineteen individuals lying us in several others, in one of which, on beds of coarse canvass; that the Courier Français, I read the fol. which was assigned to me, had been lowing article : « Messieurs Saint occupied by M. Daugremont, who Méard and Beaumarchais are arresthad been guillotined two days pre ed; the former was the author of a viously
scandalous journal, called Le Joura On the same day, when we were nal de la Cour et de la Ville. He about to seat ourselves at table, M. was a captain in the King's regi. Chanterami, a colonel in the Maison ment; and it is to be remarked, that Constitutionelle of the King, stabbed he is the owner of the estate near himself thrice with a knife, saying, Bordeaux, which formerly belong“ We are all destined to be massa ed to the celebrated Montaigne. M. cred—My God, I go to you !” In ten St Méard enjoys an income of more minutes he was no more!
than 40,000 livres.” The estate alAugust 23d.—1 drew up a memo luded to is the property of M. Segur, randum, in which I exposed the ma and as to my fortune, it never exlice of my denunciators; and sent ceeded 20,000 livres, prior even to copies of it to the Minister of Jus the Revolution. tice, to my own section, to the Com August 26th.–Midnight. A mumittee of Surveillance, and to every nicipal officer entered the room, to one who was concerned for the in- take our names and the dates of our justice of my case. Towards five respective commitments. He gave o'clock in the afternoon, M. Durosoi, us hopes that the municipality would the editor of the Gazette of Paris, authorize commissaries, on the folbecame a partner of our misfortunes. lowing day, to discharge all parties He no sooner heard my name, than who had been arrested on vague dehe said, after the usual forms of sa nunciations. This expectation enac lutation; “ Ah! sir, happy am I to bled me to enjoy a night of sound meet you! You have long possessed repose; however, it was not fulfillmy affection, though I have known ed; on the contrary, the number of you merely from the affair at Nanci; prisoners evidently increased. permit an unhappy man, whose latest August 27th.—The report of a pishour is near, to pour out his heart tol was heard in the interior of the into yours." I embraced him. He prison; it was followed by hurry then gave me a letter, which he had and confusion on the stairs and in just received-it was from a female the passages. We heard the noise friend, and to the following effect: of various locks and bolts. Our
“ My friend, prepare for death room was entered by several peryou are condemned; and to-mor- sons; among them was the turnkey row—My heart is broken-but of our ward; he counted us; and you know what I have promised you. said, “ Tranquillize yourselves-the Adieu !"
danger is over !” This was the only While I was reading this brief information, on the subject of the letter, the tears flowed down his disturbance, afforded us by this cheeks. He kissed the letter repeat- brusque and uncommunicative peredly, and I heard him say in a sup- sonage. pressed and almost suffocated voice, August 28th and 29th.-We were